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The living pictures of Mole and Thomas

18 AUG 2009 | Posted By: Luke

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The living pictures of Mole and Thomas

Mole & Thomas
 
Mole & Thomas
 
Mole & Thomas
 
Mole & Thomas
 
Mole & Thomas
 
Mole & Thomas
 
Mole & Thomas
 
Mole & Thomas
 
Mole & Thomas
 
Mole & Thomas
It's actually quite mind boggling that most of these image were created over 90 years ago. Using thousands of returned soldiers in post WW1 peace time, English photographer Arthur S Mole and his American colleague John D Thomas were commissioned by the US government to take a series of morale building photographs for the troops. They recreated battalion insignias and symbols of American pride by coordinating the thousands of soldiers in colour coded clothing and arranging them in such a way as to correct the distortion of perspective created by distance from the lens. Amazing.

The images were created by Arthur literally drawing the image in outline onto the lens of his camera and then coordinating with troops on the ground who then positioned flags as markers. Each shot took around 1 whole week to get the outlines right but only half an hour to move the thousands of soldiers into place for the final shot.

It's a technique that has been replicated many times since but the fact that this was produced using the technology of the day is all the more impressive.

Here's probably one of the more famous iterations of this technique from 2005 - The Big Beer Ad for Carlton Draught 2005.



Pictured to the right of this post are examples from the series by Mole and Thomas and for more please visit the Carl Hammer Gallery.
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Comments on this Post
There are "8" comment(s) on "The living pictures of Mole and Thomas"

Respect freeak
It's so hard to believe that they're real. But it's not hard to believe that they're awesome.
freeak  -  5 years ago
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Respect Katie
Beth Ditto.
Katie  -  5 years ago
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Senior Member rudy
i concur with freeak
rudy  -  5 years ago
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Respect -Mikolai-
"12,000 men in the torch alone," These are crazy. I guess it's good practice for co-ordinating beach landings and stuff.
-Mikolai-  -  5 years ago
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Respect NOTORIOUSJAY
So epic.
NOTORIOUSJAY  -  5 years ago
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Respect Jake
Epic indeed! :O They are stunning! - Jake OXOXOOX
Jake  -  5 years ago
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Respect NOTORIOUSJAY
That list would be getting long now wouldnt it Fuji?
NOTORIOUSJAY  -  5 years ago
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Senior Member Rosevich
remarkable
Rosevich  -  5 years ago
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