Weekly photo challenge: Sun

I found this photo of the early morning sun over the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, probably Port Said which faces east.  It was taken during the war, in 1941 or 1942.

I selected it because of the sunrays bursting out below darkish clouds.  I love the silhouette of the lamppost and the large tent, but what I love even more is what appears on an image like this, one that I’ve looked at for the past fifty years as a Kodak 4″ x 3″ photo in an album, when I brighten it with an image editor and all the detail of the tents, the lamppost, the fence and the man in white becomes evident.  The scene was captured by a Brownie box camera, but no one back in Australia knew what was below that morning sky, until now.  It’s an exquisite pleasure to draw details from a black and white photo which have hidden there all these years.  See a photo I submitted during the February photo challenge, where some words I had ignored, because barely visible on a tiny photo, became plain as day with a bit of image tweaking:  https://soundslikewish.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/february-photo-a-day-2nd-feb

Here’s the photo for the Sun challenge, as it looks in the album:

Early morning sun, Mediterranean (Port Said?), 1941/42

And below is the photo with adjusted curves.  For me, someone with bad night vision, this is what I imagine it’s like to see in the dark.

Edited image of early morning sun, Mediterranean (Port Said?), 1941/42

18 thoughts on “Weekly photo challenge: Sun

    • I like sunrays too, especially when I see this effect in real life. When I played with the image editor, I brightened the photo and produced the one you see above, but I also tried darkening it, which produced brilliant rays, the only light in an almost black photo. But it was too strange to submit for a sun theme!


  1. It’s really amazing what technology can reveal. This is a fascinating before and after look. I also love how the the light from the sun is just as evident in a black and white photo as it would be in colour (if not more). Great interpretation for this week’s theme!


    • My father was a private in the Australian army, posted to the Middle East in 1941/42 to battle with the Germans and Italians. He lasted 8 months and returned home a ruined man. But during his time there he wrote poetry, painted and sketched and took photos. Some photos in the album look professional, as though he bought them like a tourist would. But most of them are little Box Brownie photos, and he is the subject in many. For my blog, I’m posting those which are universally interesting rather than personal. And I have to choose carefully because many of the photos are grim – prisoners of war, dead soldiers, sinking ships etc. Luckily, for the photo challenge themes, there are many taken from his time on leave when soldiers were free to wander about the interesting places of Egypt, like, Alexandria, Cairo, the pyramids.


      • Alot of great professional photographers used brownies. Your father’s photos are really good, and they have an ethnographic quality. Have you ever looked into exhibiting them? Walker Evans and Russell Lee were two American photographers from the 1930s and 1940s that took pictures in that sort of style. Any way, I enjoy seeing them.


      • I’m very grateful for your comments about these photos and for your interest in their origin. I have never thought of exhibiting the actual photos – I’m no photographer or artist and don’t have a clue about these things. However, I did jump at the chance to put them on this blog through the weekly photo challenge. Thanks for the names of similar photographers – I’m interested and will look them up.


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