Monday, February 19, 2018

Dating Pineapples In Greece

Scanning old colour negatives always seems to give results that don't carry the same weight of history as you get with monochrome negatives. We are so used to dividing photographic images into two mutually exclusive categories: the fist five decades were black and white decades, the last five were in colour. We therefore "see" colour images as more modern than photographs that may have been taken on the same day but were shot in black and white.

This sequence of negatives were taken in Athens and Piraeus over thirty years ago, but you need to dig down to find the dating clues. Cars are always a useful standby, as - to a lesser extent - are clothes and hair styles. The fact that I have a full head of curly brown hair on the second shot in the sequence below, suggests a date which must be almost pre-historical.

There is also a shot which was taken outside what I think was (is) the National Historical Museum, which shows the museum attendant quietly nodding off on a chair near the entrance. This, of course, was the era before security guards, bag scanning and closed-circuit TV.

We can, perhaps, turn to the price of pineapples in the first picture to get a more definitive guide to the date, but a lot has changed since the 1980s. So perhaps it is best to stick with my memories of the holiday, which - I guess - must have been in about 1985.


  1. That shot of the napping attendant is perfect, Alan - composition, lighting, contrast, it has everything. Great work!

  2. I am fascinated by the fellow on the squeeze box. That is a hand cart he has, so probably no association with the motor bike near by. The receptacle by him probably is for coins, not coffee. Why is the body of the barrow metal? It's a curious shot.