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Help I.D. This Photograph!

2013 July 17

They were on a mission. Nearly 100 freelance photojournalists crossed the country on Amtrak’s new rails, hiked through our National Forests, faced down crop dusting planes and fierce situations – just to get that shot. The life of a photojournalist sounds glamorous to many of us, but it’s not easy work, especially not back then.

There were no pocket-sized digital cameras in 1973. You had to schlep it all, get there (no digital gps either), protect the film, develop the film, and mail it to EPA for consideration for the final selection. The criteria was wide, “…document the lives and environment across the United States. The broad collection of pictures will speak for themselves” – Gifford Hampshire, Documerica Project Director.

However, one still had to include information and captions; don’t forget the cataloging. On the run, they needed to jot enough notes to remember when, what, and why they took the picture.

DOCUMERICA: COAST OF CALIFORNIA, 05/1972 by Dick Rowan.

DOCUMERICA: COAST OF CALIFORNIA, 05/1972 by Dick Rowan.

That didn’t always pan out. Now, we need your help. In this California coastal scene – who is on the ball today, or who has been there (here?). If you know where this is, tell us. Better yet, send in a matching snapshot today and we’ll add it to our Then and Now group. We guarantee it’ll be an easier job of documenting the scene today.

The first person to match it correctly will get some fame on EPA social media, and extra kudos here.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

7 Responses
  1. SFZ permalink
    July 17, 2013

    I’m pretty sure this is Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

  2. Jennifer White permalink
    July 17, 2013

    OMG….That looks like Playland. The one in San Francisco that used to be along the Ocean Highway when the Cliff House was still a huge tourist attraction. So many memories in that picture.

  3. Leticia Solis permalink
    July 18, 2013

    Santa Monica Beach

  4. pam permalink
    July 18, 2013

    its not sydney

  5. Zach Lipton permalink
    August 8, 2013

    Also pretty sure this is the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Compare this to a modern photo (not my own) I found online: http://photsy.com/blog/?p=176. Note the same gondola ride and roller coaster. I believe this would have been taken from the Municipal Wharf looking back toward the Boardwalk.

  6. mykle permalink
    August 8, 2013

    This is absolutely the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.

Comments are closed.