I left last class feeling pretty good about Photoshop and excited to use a new tool. I’m sure when I go back in to meddle with some images for next week’s assignments, I will still find that I have a long way to go before feeling fully competent with it. Thank goodness for the various tutorials posted online and through the Lynda site.

Between the readings like the Case of the Inappropriate Clock and working ourselves on an image, I have realized how easy it is to distort and “fake” photographs or even how important it is to crop photos to draw attention to certain parts of them. I never really considered staging a photograph to be a fake, but Errol Morris made a really good case about some of the most famous Depression-era photographs.

In other news, I’ve finally been getting some translations back for these German letters that I will be digitizing on my web site. I truly had no idea what they might contain and was nervous that they would be filled with casual, every day ephemera that wasn’t that interesting. Thankfully, in just two of the fifteen letters, the writer, an adult German woman who lost her husband in the Battle of Stalingrad, includes observations about her post-war life. I’m excited to see what else the letters contain. I’m waiting on the various German speakers that I begged favors from!

Here are two excerpts I have so far.

“As refugees we are longingly thinking of our loved ones resting in the cemeteries of the hometowns we have left behind. But God’s grace shines even on the most desolate graves. I wonder where my dear husband is laid to rest. Where in the vast countryside of Russia did he find his eternal sleep? I would love to put some flowers on his grave but I will never be able to visit it.  I often think that God is looking after the millions of unattended, ignored veteran graves in this world.”

– Nov. 26, 1950

“It doesn’t look good for my parents to come visit us this year. Most likely they won’t be able to get an inter-sector travel permit to leave East Berlin. It is doubtful that we could go visit them because the situation is very critical at the moment. Why do the Russians always cause problems? It is very sad particularly, since the youth in the Russian Sector is raised under communist rule. These young people don’t know the truth and believe everything the Communist Party is telling them. It is very hard for us in the West to watch – knowing that there is nothing we can do about it.

What is your opinion on this? For my part, I am convinced that Communism will implode in itself one day. May God help us to get rid of the “bad things” in the world!”

– June 14, 1952

I commented on Jenna’s blog.

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5 Responses to Images

  1. Jenna Scholz says:


    I couldn’t agree more about photoshop – 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I love the translations you have so far! Your project is going to be awesome! Now if only we can figure out the whole database thing.

  2. Tam says:

    I love the sample translations! Sounds as if you will have some really fascinating material to sort through for your project. And I completely agree on Photoshop. But like you, I refuse to be deterred.

  3. Pingback: Another Day, Another Scholar(ly Failure) | Backward Glance

  4. Lacey says:

    Photoshop has only increased the need to be wary of “staged” or inauthentic photographs unfortunately! We now know how to remove that pesky little alarm clock if we wanted to! Not sure how I feel about that haha
    It’s so awesome that you are starting to get some translations back! You had mentioned wanting to find letters sent to Germany, were you able to make any progress on that?

  5. Theana says:


    Wow! The translations you have from the letters are touching. The first one really stuck with me. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking. You can feel her pain. I’m very interested in how your final will turn out! Looking forward to reading more excerpts and seeing where your research will take you.

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