Friday, March 1, 2013

Random Weirdness: 70s Photoshop - Magic or Madness

A couple of weeks ago, we looked at some fine pics from Spiegel where they used some spiffy props in their shots.  For comparison, I thought we'd look at one of their competitors, JCPenney's.  Now please note that these pics are from the same year; however, JCP opted to go with some really randomly weird photo shopped backgrounds instead.   Did it work?  Did the photoshop technology of the 70s produce magic or madness? Well, let's see.

Indian Lake is a scene you should make with your little ones.....(1) Yes, obviously we are at the lake. Can't you tell from the background?  And naturally when one is at the lake, one is going to wear a tartan skirt, dark hose, and a matching tartan vest (with tartan collars for a triple tartan slam!).  Why I see that at the lake all the time!!  Or why not wear a long red dress?  That sounds like perfect attire for a lakeside barbecue, or perhaps a boat ride.  (Please note that I mean no disrespect to the fine technicians of that era in this post.  In fact I prefer the artistic purity of their efforts as opposed to the computer stuff done today).

To add an extra dimension of random weirdness, the tiny pic of Kathy shows her doing an Irish jig.  Uh, tartan is Scottish, not Irish and St Paddy's day is in the Spring, not Autumn.  Oh well, she still looks good! Magic or madness?  The verdict on this pic is definitely madness!

Flowers in her hair (in her hair), Flowers Everywhere (Everywhere)....(2)  So you didn't quite buy the lake idea did you?  Well then, how about some random field of flowers?  Now this is slightly more believable.  After all, the image of a pretty girl in a dress in a field of flowers is, at least, plausible?  Right? Okay maybe not.  Kathy still seems to be trying to do that Irish jig thing.  Magic or madness?  I have to go with magic on this one, at least they are trying in the right direction.

Now we move from the field to an Autumn forest scene complete with a stream.  Notice that the models, if they were actually there, would be standing IN THE STREAM, and the stream has SNOW in it!  I'm not sure that wearing a short dress would be a particularly good idea.  But remember, with the technological wizardry of 70s photoshop, Kathy and Karen never had to leave the comfort of the studio. How did they do that?  Magic or madness?  This one is madness, for sure.
Let's set the table for this last pic.  The background is some kind of bucolic forest and field theme.  So what are we going to showcase here?  First we have Karen in a kind of shirt dress and a dress with a nautical theme.  How do those fit in with the background?  Shouldn't the sailor dress be with the lake background in Pic 1?  Are we heading for madness again?

Roll out the barrel, roll out the barrel again.....(3) Okay, okay, as I tend to do, I'm wandering off base here. Obviously, Kathy is dressed for Oktoberfest, and the background is the park where the crowds will gather to indulge themselves in bier, bratwurst, and um pah music till the wee hours of the morn!

Well a guy can dream, can't he?  After all that is the genius of  randomly weird 70s photoshop technology! Magic or madness?  There's no doubt about this one.  This last pic is absolutely magic!


(1) This is a song from The Cowsills which is the actual music group that The Partridge Family TV show was based on.  Remember the Spiegel post from two weeks ago referenced a Partridge Family song.  So this kind of ties the two posts together in a randomly weird 70s sort of way. Cool huh?

(2) Another Cowsills song.  Two in one post!  What are the odds of that?  Well, actually, pretty good.

(3) Nope, this is not a Cowsills song.  And it isn't Partridge Family either.  It's just a good ol' fashioned Oktoberfest song.  I was going to do "The Chicken Dance" song, but it doesn't have any lyrics.  Oh no, now I can't get The Chicken Dance tune out of my head!  Arrrggghhhh!


  1. There is a clear answer for the craziness for these backdrops...all photographers were strung out on "dope" in the seventies!!! LOL!!!

    My grand niece is loving all these photos of Kathy. We print them out and cut them out for paper dolls that she has pagaents with. Kathy always wins!

  2. Such a fun idea making paper dolls out of the catalogs in the attic....I'm going to have my grand babies do it! Good idea. I wish some of these clothes (not this perticular group) were in the stores today. If I find, and I know I will, pictures of Kathy should I post the pictures?

    1. Yes, if you have some pics, you can post them for sure. I set up this site so that I review everything before it is published (to keep any weird or inappropriate stuff from showing up). So if you can send them to me, I'll post them (and give you credit of course).