The original 17 x 11 in. black and white photos were mostly taken with a 4 x 5 inch film Speed Graphic Press Camera and flash when necessary. All photographs in the books were taken by Dale Rooks in 1944 or 1945. The books were printed and bound aboard the Duane Coast Guard Cutter. Each shot has to have light measured with a light meter and lens aperture set, the image brought into focus on the view screen and the lens open for 1/100 to several seconds. The camera uses interchangeable lenses, including a set focal length, wide angle, 50 mm standard or one of many telephoto lenses. 4″×5″ sheets of film are held in a 2-sided film holder that is put into the back of the camera, just in front of the viewing screen. The slide cover in the holder pulled out to expose the film for exposure. The film is exposed to the light of the image coming thru the opened lens. Then the slide is pushed back in the film holder and the next shot is set up. The ISO speed in 1940 was 8 and 16. ISO black and white film speed got up to 40 by the 50s and 100 with Plus-x around 1960 (Tri-X was ISO 400).
After a photo session the exposed 4×5 film is removed from the film holders in a darkroom and put into stainless metal hangers and dipped in developer, wash and hypo fixer. The negatives are then washed before hanging up to dry. When dry, the film can finally be put into the carrier of an enlarger and a black and white print made in any size on several standard sizes of paper from 4×5, 5×7, 8×10 or 11×17. The photo paper is exposed to the light shining thru the negative in the enlarger carrier and on to the photo paper held in the easel. After exposure, the photo paper is dipped into developer, an acetic acid wash, then hypo fix and a final wash. The wet photo is run thru a dryer that keeps the paper flat. Then the picture is finally ready to mount in a picture frame. After all this work to get a print, it is understandable that the negative is stored in a sleeve with the date, names and topic printed on it.
In February 2014 the books of 17 x 11 black and white photographs were photographed with a Canon EOS 5D body and a Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 lens. The images were shot as RAW files at 1/125, f/2, ISO 400 under fluorescent light. The images were processed into JPG format, cropped, and color-de-saturated with Adobe Photoshop CS4. The color pictures of the negatives and typewriter were taken with a Cannon SX260 HD 12 megapixel camera.
Dale Rook’s four books of 11 x 17 bound photographs, numbering over 240 have been in the basements of our houses in Michigan for over 40 years, and in the basement of Rooks Advertising Photograph before that. In addition there are a couple of 11 x 17 print paper boxes of 4 x 5 negatives in annotated sleeves, mainly from the travel trailer tours of the South West, Far West and Midwest photo assignments by Look magazine for the books Look at America. Dale’s photos were mainly used in the Far West book. There are several other books of 8×10 b & w photos of family and friends from the 1940s and 50s.
After the family trailer trips for Look magazine, Dale Rooks started Rooks Advertising Photograph in the basement of his parent’s house in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dale’s father, Albert Rooks was the first Dean of Calvin College where Dale got his liberal arts college degree from.
One day in 2011, my brother, Daryll, googled Dale Rooks and it came across Adam Randazzo’s web site for his grandfather, called John Baker’s War book that used several of Dale’s photographs taken aboard the Duane Coast Guard Cruiser. Daryll told me and I emailed Adam and we got together on one of our vacation trips out east. He has been very gracious in setting up the web site for Dale’s photos and story. He acquired the history of the Duane from being a weather ship and it’s conversion to a cruiser and then back to a weather ship after the war.