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These are photos from „Das Gesicht des Krieges” (“The face of war”), the 31st edition of the German Camera Almanac, published in March 1941, in the middle of World War II. It doesn't say so, but it appears to have been published by the “Reichsbund deutscher Amateur-Fotografen e.V.”, a nationwide camera club, and it contains a number of interesting photos and articles. As the name suggests, the theme was war, but it would be wrong to put it down as propaganda. Here are some I thought interesting:


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The obligatory photo of the supreme leader amongst his men.


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It wasn't all war. There are a number of such photos such as this, featuring the NSV, the People's Welfare organization.


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This photo is titled„Auf Feindfahrt über London” (“Enemy flight over London”). Given the time, this must have been the Battle of Britain.


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Most of the photos in the book look genuine, but this one has a strong smell of propaganda about it.


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These two (and many more) show the real face of war. It's not fun, but of immense historical interest.

The equipment

It's interesting to note how little has changed in the last 70 years. The photos were taken either with Leicas or Contaxes, such as this one (Leitz didn't have an advertisement in the book):


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The films are of kinds that I recall from the 1960s. Agfa Isopan F was still available, and it still had the same sensitivity: 17/10°, as they wrote at the time, now ISO 17° (40 ISO in the linear scale), only 1⅓ EV less than most modern cameras.


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And the Tessar is still with us:


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Other articles in the book discuss colour photography (much in use, but much more difficult than black and white because of limited dynamic range and lack of soft and hard paper to print on), stereoscopic (3D) imaging and panoramas. The tools we have now are much better than they were 70 years ago, but it seems we're not doing anything very new.


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