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Thread: Requesting information on a plane

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Requesting information on a plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunky View Post
    My QUOTE; it could have been taken at Pearl, not as your saying, QUOTE; not, as you seemed to wish or explain away, at Pearl HarborQUOTE, as for the painting, as your saying "practices, they were painted as to where they were used, as there is no colour in this photo, it could be, it could be, that there was no colour photography at this time. you can only surmise on what is the actual colour.
    Well, I suppose now I must certainly bow to your demonstrated superior knowledge of USN paint practices . . . did I mention that these “practices,” a word to which you apparently take some exception, were published directives from the USN Bureau of Aeronautics? . . . as in “you will do this.” I suppose also it would be asking far, far too much to ask you to point us all in the direction of true enlightenment as you seem to know something the rest of the USN at the time did not.

    Be that as it may, you are obviously far more knowledgeable then am I on the subject . . . and your ability to tell darkening of blue from a lightening of, if you will, not blue, in a clearly composed black and white photo is positively uncanny , especially with the myriad of available image examples a simple google or bing search might present.

    So, if you wish to believe that the photo in question actually shows an airplane painted blue only we cannot see that it is so, you just go on believing that . . . someday it might even be true . . .

    I do not recommend holding your breath until that day comes.

    Bye the bye, there most certainly was color photography in the 1940s . . . maybe something else you might wish research . . . of course, I could be wrong and you, again, right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunky View Post
    I'll stick with QUOTE; Napoleon Bonaparte, I liked him
    I love consistency.
    Last edited by R Leonard; 01-25-2014 at 08:11 PM.

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Requesting information on a plane

    Each to their corners now,, Color still photography was available (though not generally) from the mid 1930's. As to military photography, it was most commonly done in B/W, color print work being reserved for special occasions, or when technically necessary. Not all military photo labs were equipped to print color negatives, as that is a more technically demanding process. Transparencies were able to be processed at nearly any lab, as no printing was needed.
    I can tell you that attempting to discern a color from the Gray scale is not easy at all, as several different colors may have a matching gray scale. (This is why Frankenstein's Monster is rendered in color with green skin in posters, they needed to differentiate between Boris's face, and other elements in the scene when shot in B/W. Showing as different shades of gray.
    No point in trying to figure the colors involved here, much too difficult to do.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Requesting information on a plane

    So, just so I understand the problem . . .

    Here's a nice (OMG) color shot on a nice sunny day on Eniwetok in 1945 . . . there's two PBMs in the shot, the one in the background merely serves to show that by the end of the war the overall dark blue regulation was in play in the VPB community. The one in the front is the one of interest . . . typical of most of the war for the Pacific Theater, the regulation non-spec blue grey over light grey.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now, what happens when we see the same scene in black and white? Don't know how this works for anyone else, but I can sure discern the blue grey from the light grey.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Let's try again. Here's the seaplane ramp at Norfolk NAS (a place, apropos of nothing else I spent many an hour in my youth drowning bait or dipping crabs) where we see at least 30 PBMs in both the regulation north Atlantic grey top over white sides and not a few of what one might think more standard blue-grey over light grey. Another nice sunny day.

    First color
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now black & white - is it really that hard to tell one scheme from the other? And can anyone besides me make out the difference between the blue grey and the light grey on the PBM facing us in the foreground? Even though the light grey is totally in shadow? Who would have thought!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now, let's head south to Guantanamo Bay NAS. Here's a nice shot of a PBM in the north Atlantic scheme. Note the white fuselage and the dark grey on the top of the fuselage, the radar dome and leading edges of the wing. If you were to look down on the plane from directly above, the entire upper wing surface would be that dark grey. You can see that in the photo above of the ramp at Norfolk NAS. And another bright sunny day.

    Same deal, first color -
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next B & W - note nice solid color to the fuselage, but you can still see the edges of the grey upper works.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    But wait, there's more . . .

    How about a quick trip back north, this to Patuxent River NAS (another place I've spent a little time, there's some great cliffs near by with fossils of shark teeth three and four inches long just falling out of them) for a picture of an actual PBM-3R from VR-8.

    Nice color shot on a nice summer day . . . again with the north Atlantic scheme. You can make out the dark grey in all the right places.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And now B & W - certainly no confusion in my mind about the paint scheme in use.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last but not least here's a nice color shot of a blue-grey Pacific standard scheme. Yet another lovely day (I'm beginning to suspect no one took color pictures in bad weather ). The light grey underside is partly in the shadows and partly in the sun.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    So, what happens with B & W? Is it too hard to tell where the blue-grey ends and the light grey begins? Well, not for me, with or without my glasses. And the difference in appearance between a blue-grey over light grey scheme and a overall white/light grey with dark grey upper surfaces scheme is fairly obvious to me, indeed, stark when comparing this photo to the PBM at Guantanamo Bay, above.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Guess I just do not understand the problem.
    Last edited by R Leonard; 01-25-2014 at 10:28 PM. Reason: spelling correction, there's no 'd' in 'color'

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Requesting information on a plane

    Beautiful pic's, thanks R.

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Requesting information on a plane

    Quote Originally Posted by R Leonard View Post
    So, what happens with B & W? Is it too hard to tell where the blue-grey ends and the light grey begins? Well, not for me, with or without my glasses. And the difference in appearance between a blue-grey over light grey scheme and a overall white/light grey with dark grey upper surfaces scheme is fairly obvious to me, indeed, stark when comparing this photo to the PBM at Guantanamo Bay, above.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Guess I just do not understand the problem.
    B&W photos do not render colours accurately or consistently in greyscale.

    I'm rusty on this as it's a good 20 plus years since I was doing B&W photography and darkroom work off and on during the preceding 20 or so years, but Tankgeezer's last post accurately described the impossibility of working out colours from a B&W photo.

    The problem is that different colours can appear exactly the same in greyscale as B&W photography, as indeed is colour photography, is based on the light reflected from the subject. Dark green and dark blue and sundry other colours can appear at the same point in greyscale. Or the same colours could appear lighter in direct sunlight and darker in shadow.

    It is impossible to know what colours are in a B&W photo without knowing what colours were present.

    Even then, you would need to know whether colour filters were used as they change the rendition of colour in B&W, as in http://www.ephotozine.com/article/us...hite-film-4828 You might also need to know what film was used as different B&W films rendered various colours differently.

    B&W photographers in the WWII era knew their craft in ways that began to be lost from the 1960s as colour took over. The colour photos you've used in the Pacific might have had filters used to compensate for the bright sunlight and sky background which would tend to wash out the main subject in the foreground.

    I'd like to post a colour photo and a B&W of the same scene to illustrate the difference but it would be rare to find one. Digital conversions of colour to B&W are meaningless as they do not represent the image captured on B&W film. Colour photos can be rendered differently depending upon the brand, developing process used, and filters used when the photo was taken, which in turn will introduce more variables as film technology changed.

    Please note that none of the above bears on what colour the planes were or your knowledge of those issues. All I am saying is that it is impossible to use B&W photos to support or disprove an argument about what the original colours were in the photo. The best they can do is confirm that there are differences in dark or light colours and gradations on the grey scale.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 01-26-2014 at 03:12 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Requesting information on a plane

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    Each to their corners now,, Color still photography was available (though not generally) from the mid 1930's.
    Colour still photography in WWII, and for many years afterwards, was based on motion picture colour film as it was essentially the same film, just in much shorter lengths for still film. It's why 35mm became the standard film instead of 120 and sundry other sizes.

    I think the Germans produced a lot more colour images, which I have some vague recollection was somehow related to the availability or utility of the Agfa process, for their publications than did the Alliies.

    I have an even vaguer recollection that there was an issue with Agfa film in that it produced a ?greenish? cast in prints.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Requesting information on a plane

    Well, what you say about photography, especially of the B&W variety is true. I still to this day go to the effort to obtain 35mm B&W film and shot through my trusty AE-1. Sometimes even run through a roll or two of color for special events, but on the whole I prefer to shoot in B&W. Development can be interesting . . . B&W no problem . . . and I’ve a buddy who will do the color for me. In short, I am well aware of the limitations of B&W film . . . and its compositional, dare I say, artistic, advantages. I need no lecture on photography, but your explanations are probably helpful for the un-indoctrinated, thanks for the commentary. Odd, though, that you should mention Agfa . . . some 40 years ago when I was going through a “. . .everything must be in color - beautiful colors . . .” phase, Agfa was my film of choice for true color presentation . . . guess they must have fixed the problem of the earlier times.

    The point to my little demonstration was to show, first, the actual colors, then, second, how those appear colors appear in B&W. A very simple and enlightening demonstration, and presents the obvious differences in the two paint schemes. As was pointed out: “ . . none of the above bears on what colour the planes were or your knowledge of those issues . . .” Knowledge, as they say, is power.

    For those of us, such as myself, who spent their entire childhoods surrounded by US naval aviation and half their childhoods actually living on naval air stations (An aside, the year I went off to my freshman year at that obscure military college in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, was, coincidently, my father’s last year of commissioned service, his 33rd. 31½ of those years he wore the wings of a naval aviator, commissioned in June 1938 and winged in December 1940. That last year, home, when on leave, was quarters at Breezy Point, on the Norfolk Naval Air Station, right behind the Breezy Point BOQ, with a unobstructed view of planes coming and going from New Chambers Field and not all that far from those old, but no longer used, seaplane ramps. This was the third time with actual quarters on this station in my then youthful 18 years. I well remember from earlier year’s the row on rows of the PBM’s direct descendant, the Martin P5M lined on that seaplane ramp or bobbing at anchor in nearby Willoughby Bay, but they all went away in the late 1950s.) For those of us who grew up living on naval air stations, paying attention, watching these comings and goings, able to identify an aircraft by sound without looking; for those of us who have maintained an abiding interest in the historical aspects of US naval aviation, lo, for more than, say, 55 cognizant years, that is, since maybe 5 or 6 years old; for those of us, however few, who may fall into that description, a B&W photo of a WW2 era USN aircraft is not at all hard to decipher. Some don’t get that . . . not particularly my problem except their challenges are more than somewhat . . . ahhh . . . weak when unsupported by practical experience. The USN spelled out in great laborious detail how aircraft were to be painted . . . this was not a case of commander’s discretion, this was effectively “. . . this is how you are going to do it (period)” The historic record in both color and B&W photographs only serves to reinforce the concept that these paint schemes were thoroughly implemented across the service.

    Those of us familiar with these and their follow on paint schemes through repeated exposures can recognize them at a glance. I daresay, looking at a given photograph, that I would not mistake a Pacific theater paint scheme for an Atlantic theater paint scheme, even in B&W, as the difference between the two, for me, is glaringly stark. Someone without that exposure might want to bob and weave about cameras, film, and lighting, but no, to the practiced eye, and I assure all both of mine are so practiced; it is but child’s play to tell the difference.

    Here is a case of someone making an incorrect aircraft identification (and how one could confuse a PBY for a PBM I can’t fathom unless it is another one of those exposure things), somewhat explaining that away, and then making an incorrect locale identification or guess with no evidence at all, indeed, flying in the face of evidence to the contrary already offered and apparently through a process of disregarding of the evidence for wishful wanting. Simply digging the hole deeper. When his error in locale is explained, he goes off on photography, lighting and angles.

    Where I’m from, when one finds oneself in a hole which is getting deeper, the best thing to do is stop digging.

    I believe the demonstration provided clearly shows the effects of lighting and angle on the paint schemes in question. If one is at all reasonably conversant in the subject, one would draw the same conclusions as did I; if one is not so reasonably conversant, then one is forgiven, but uninformed, nay, wishful, speculation does not do much for identification. I am sure the correspondent in question has his own areas of expertise to which I would surely and willingly defer due to my lack of knowledge in the same. This, however, since US naval aviation in WW2 is just about the only historic field in which I have maintained an avid interest - any other fields, despite a degree in history, being but of idle curiosity, is not one of those cases. So, knowing, through both regulation and practical demonstration what the actual colors schemes were, all one need do is compare the photo way back in the original post to the B&W version at Guantanamo Bay NAS in the Atlantic scheme and to that last B&W version of the Pacific scheme. Is it really, really, that hard to tell the difference? No generalities, no photography theory, just a side by side comparison . . . it is night and day.

    Take it or leave it.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Requesting information on a plane

    Quote Originally Posted by R Leonard View Post
    Well, I suppose now I must certainly bow to your demonstrated superior knowledge of USN paint practices . . . did I mention that these “practices,” a word to which you apparently take some exception, were published directives from the USN Bureau of Aeronautics? . . . as in “you will do this.” I suppose also it would be asking far, far too much to ask you to point us all in the direction of true enlightenment as you seem to know something the rest of the USN at the time did not.

    Be that as it may, you are obviously far more knowledgeable then am I on the subject . . . and your ability to tell darkening of blue from a lightening of, if you will, not blue, in a clearly composed black and white photo is positively uncanny , especially with the myriad of available image examples a simple google or bing search might present.

    So, if you wish to believe that the photo in question actually shows an airplane painted blue only we cannot see that it is so, you just go on believing that . . . someday it might even be true . . .

    I do not recommend holding your breath until that day comes.

    Bye the bye, there most certainly was color photography in the 1940s . . . maybe something else you might wish research . . . of course, I could be wrong and you, again, right.



    I love consistency.
    Thank you for bowing to my knowledge, I can assure you there is no need. “Practises”, you say are directives from the USN Bureau of Aeronautics. can you show me where these directives are stated, IE, LoC or ACI, these are of cause British Directives, but then, there is no need to explain this to you, with your superior knowledge.

    Thank you again for remarking on my knowledge, yet again. I assure you there is no need, you can see blue in the photo, you imagination, must me an inspiration to others, as, there as have been no mention of the word blue, apart from you.

    I would say that you should hold your breath, then when your face goes blue, not navy blue, a light blue, then start breathing again.

    Ta Ta, as for colour photography, I was just settling down to watch a film, Wizard of Oz, I thought I would let you bite on that one.

    I stated, that I liked him, not loved him, or conformity.
    Last edited by Chunky; 01-26-2014 at 12:26 PM.

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