The Geometry of Photography

David had been studying his pictures a lot and the angles of the shots were beginning to set one photograph apart from another.  Jim Laughead’s trademark was the camera on the ground shot that made the players look even larger than they already were.  After you look for a while, there is inimitable style in a Laughead photograph.  Some of that is the Huck ‘n’ Buck, but another part is the low angle.  When put together, a Laughead photo becomes a unique thing.  David had picked up on the differences:

Have you noticed what the most significant difference is between the attached photos and those used for the Post Cereal set? … In the Post set look at the position of the player's knees in relation to the horizon.  Now look again at the attached photos.  They appear to have been taken at ankle level. …  If Laughead was known for the ground level photos, someone must have given he and Bradley specific instructions as to how the photos should be taken.

It was true.  Life Magazine had documented the Laughead style in a 1951 article titled “Speaking of Pictures…”.  So did someone at Post actually tell Jim Laughead how to shoot football photos for their promotion?  Or did somebody else take the pictures?

Even more uh-oh.  This hunt was not supposed to go this direction.

1963 Pros magazine1962 Browns media guide1962 Salada coin Jim BrownSoon, David had found more pictures—Jim Taylor and Sam Huff on the cover of Pros Football ’63 magazine, Jim Brown on the 1962 Browns media guide and corresponding Salada coin, Packers 1964 Philadelphia Gum cards of Hornung, Kramer and Ringo that matched their 1962 Salada coins photos.  There were several Bears photos at training camp in Rensselaer, Indiana, that looked like they were from 1961.  There were pictures of Rolvaag Memorial Library at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where the Cowboys held training camp in 1961 and Burnett Field in Dallas where they practiced during the season.  There was discussion about where the teams that trained in the Midwest did so.

The Jim Taylor photo on Pros was from 1961 and taken at the same time as his Post cereal photo.  Sam Huff’s photo, as David pointed out, was also used on his Salada coin.  The inside cover of the Brown’s 1962 media guide gave the photo credit: "COVER PHOTO OF JIM BROWN BY COURTESY OF JIM LAUGHEAD, DALLAS."