Saturday, 12 October 2013


As we know, all of today's photos used in magazines and online are in some way changed or enhanced, I myself do it all the time at work and at play.

But the pioneering postcard producer JOHN HINDE had beaten us all to it!
Already experimenting with colour photography in the 1930s, he set up his own company to produce thousands of colour postcards from the 1960s onwards.

I bet you have one in your own collection. They stand out from the black and white cards being produced at the time by their magnificently garish colours! He often chose quite mundane scenes, but they were transported into these beautiful, colourful sunny British holiday pictures!

The process involved is fascinating. Although an accomplished photographer himself, he would send out his photographers to take all the pictures, mostly of seaside resorts, and then pour over the negatives to choose his favourites. After getting black and white prints done he would then get to work in true Photoshop style!
He would mark them up with all the colours he wanted. 'Make that car red', 'That jumper can be green', 'Those shorts yellow'! 
I think it's great that he would also just get rid of things that got in the way as well. 'Delete that rubbish bin', 'Remove those clouds', 'That man is getting in the way'!

All the prints would then be sent to Italy, who were the leaders in this field, to make the 4-colour separations for printing. The results were stunning, never before seen full colour postcards.
They have become a part of our memories of holidays and are at last getting the recognition they deserve.

So next time we are deleting that annoying lamp post on a photo or boosting the colour of the sky to make it look like a sunny day, remember, Mr Hinde was doing this 50 years ago!!

If you are quick (it finishes tomorrow!!), you can still catch a little exhibition of his work at the Photographers' Gallery in London. They are down in the basement, next to the shop!

And check out this brilliant gallery to see a wider range of his postcards.

Great example of the colours chosen by John Hinde. ©

Red and yellow were often chosen as they stood out the most on the postcard stand! ©

A typically mundane scene, but with the colour added becomes a stunning picture. ©

The photographers would often get people to stand around to add interest to a picture! ©
Gloriously cheesy postcard!! ©

Another fairly boring photo, somehow transformed into a stunning masterpiece! ©

I love this card, the monorail adds to a classic Hinde combination of people, colours and an impossibly blue sky! ©

This is a great example I found on my recent trip to Dorset, giving you multiple scenes and colours.
This is a stunning picture of Piccadilly Circus, giving you a hint of the other side of Hinde's work.

If you fancy delving a bit deeper into John Hinde's work, it's would be worth your time. Although chiefly remembered for these gorgeous postcards he took some amazing photographs himself. Especially the series of fascinating shots taken on a tour with a circus in 1948, called British Circus Life. And a forerunner to his postcards were a set of atmospheric colour photographs taken of an Exmoor Village in 1947.

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