Operation Crossroads [1946] was the first controlled test of atomic weapons after WWII. Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific was the site. This photo is of the 2nd shot "Baker"- 23 kiloton exploded 90 ft. underwater. Amongst other things Crossroads proved that it's not a good idea to spray millions of tons of radioactive water over ships if you want to use them again, and that testing bombs as far away from anyone as possible was very expensive. Nevada was a lot closer and cheaper- and you could party in Vegas!
As a professional photographer I continue to be amazed at how dirty government negatives are! Dust, hair and fingerprints- these guys would never have made it thru my Photo-1 class!
I gave up trying to retouch this and decided to rant instead. Still, it is quite a beautiful hi-resolution image. Love the black and white indicator stripes on the palm trees.
Here comes the kid with the projector again!
Note: the Bikini bathing suit was named after the tests.

1 comment:

Sharon Day said...

Admittedly, as disasters go--it's gorgeous! There's symmetry in nature it seems, even in bombs bursting. I have to admit, with PhotoShop today, those little marks and smudges on the photos can all be taken away pretty readily. I was shocked when I gave my son a bunch of really old 1940s photos of my dad in the Navy and he was able to punch them up and I could see them as if I'd never seen the photos before. I love that! p.s. that's probably one of the prettiest bomb shots I've seen!