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Unknown Photographer

Commando troops, in training at a base in Southern England, advancing in the face of real machine gun fire, May 1942
Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print on paper

Creation Place: Europe
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.87

In training at a base in Southern England, commando troops are shown advancing in the face of machine gun fire – real machine gun fire, as you can see by the furrow being ploughed by bullets a few feet in front of the helmeted heads. Recently King George VI saw training such as this, with bullets whistling about, May 1942.

Ferrotyped prints are processed in such a way that they are shiny. The print has a sensitive surface, usually thinner, because it was put through a press while still wet.

Ferrotyped prints have a sensitive surface, usually shiny and thinner, because they are put through a press while still wet. Ferrotyping makes the surface of the photograph smoother. Light does not scatter as much on a smoother surface, so this increases contrast. That makes ferrotyped images better for press photography.

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