Photographer's Note

I have spent the last three months showing brand new photos from Poland and Helsinki, but now I start another journey in my time-machine. Today I bring you back to the summer of 1970, and to Mosul in northern Iraq.

I fully agree that this is not a perfect scan. I actually made this several years ago and only recently picked it up from my computer. I made some minor adjustments and considered it acceptable. Re-scanning would probably not have achieved much more, since it's not a very good photo to begin with, taken with a very simple camera on an Agfacolor film for slides. I show it mainly because of its relative documentary value.

This was in July, the sun was burning ruthlessly and the temperature was at least 40C. Everything outside this shady area would have been overexposed under any circumstances.

Mosul is the second, or possibly third largest city of Iraq. Three months ago it was captured by the extremists of the "Islamic State", and an unknown number of Christians and other minorities may have been slaughtered.

When I visited Mosul 44 years ago it was a quiet and pleasant city. Please note that the rubble in the background was caused by bulldozers pulling down a house in the traditional, peaceful way. This was long before the days of suicide bombers.

I have no special memory of taking this photo. I imagine I just walked up to these men, said hello and asked to take a picture. Then I snapped it before they had time to change their minds. In those days before everyone in the whole wide world had a mobile phone with a camera people were usually quite excited to have their picture taken, even if they would never see the photo. I liked that attitude, even though I could never quite understand it.

Here is a larger version.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9727 W: 513 N: 18858] (83434)
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  • Date Taken: 1970-07-00
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  • Date Submitted: 2014-09-16 11:43
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