This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Panama Canal. One of the greatest engineering projects of modern times, and one of special interest to every American, is the construction of the great Panama Canal across the Isthmus of Panama. When completed this canal will connect the Carribean Sea with the Gulf of Panama - or, in other words, the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific - a distance of about 50 miles. This project has
Photo by T. R. Dillon
Photo by T. E. Dillon
Illustration No. 100
Engineering Construction - Reservoir
See Paragraph 509 received much attention during the past twenty-five years. Large sums of money were raised by a company, organized in France, to construct a sea-level canal at Panama. The actual work performed was very slight, as compared to the total amount required to complete the canal, and entirely out of all proportion to the expenditure. Finally, the affairs of the company fell into the hands of receivers, under very scandalous circumstances. The United States Government, in the meantime, appointed an engineering commission to examine the project, having received an offer from the French Panama Canal Company, who wished to dispose of their interest in the project, for forty millions of dollars. The matter was finally considered by Congress and terms agreed upon, which gave the United States full possession of the Isthmus of Panama.
511. Accurate reports must be sent, by the engineering officials working on the Canal, to the head of the United States Government, and it is, therefore, just as necessary to have official photographers as regular constructing engineers. Thus it will be seen that photography plays an exceptionally important part in this particular instance.
512. In addition to these, press photographers are sent to the Canal Zone, from time to time, to secure photographs and information for the magazines they represent. The photographs we have reproduced in the accompanying illustrations are of the type the press photographer would obtain.
513. In Illustration No. 101, Figure 1 shows the Cu-lebra Cut as it appeared in June, 1906. This cut is about 11 miles from the city of Panama, which city is located on the west side of the Isthmus. Figure 2 is from a photograph of Bas Obispo Cut, looking toward Colon, which city is on the eastern side of the Isthmus. This illustration shows a mountain of solid rock, which will have to be excavated for the Canal. Figure 3 shows the dirt cars, three deep, at Las Cascadas. The Canal is in the immediate rear. Figure 4 is from a photograph of a steam shovel working on the higher levels of the Culebra Cut. This steam shovel may also be seen in the distance in Figure 1.
514. In making these photographs it was the aim of the photographer to show to the best possible advantage the lay of the ground and the methods employed in getting out the dirt and rocks.
515. The photographs reproduced in Illustration No. 102 are scenes in Panama City. Figure 1 is a view of this city from Tivoli Hotel. Figure 2 is from a photograph of Central Avenue after the Isthmian Canal Commission had paved it. This shows the Spanish style of architecture, which prevails throughout the Isthmus. Figure 4 shows another section of this avenue during the Roosevelt parade in 1906. Figure 3 shows yards of the Panama Railroad at Panama City.
516. In Figure 1, Illustration No. 103, is shown a lot of old French machinery piled up at Empire. This is but a small part of the unused materials which were left by the French company when the United States purchased the Isthmus. Figure 2 shows the laborers in line for their pesos, at Ancon. Figure 3 is a mining gang at Pedro Migner, excavating for a lock site. Figure 4 is a general view of the Empire shops, at Empire City.
517. In Illustration No. 104, Figure 1, is shown a type of architectural construction used throughout the Panama regions, and which the American Government uses entirely for their employees. The building is constructed with large porches completely surrounding it, which porches are screened in so that it may be possible for persons to sit out in the fresh air and yet be protected from mosquitoes and other insects, which are very troublesome at times. The particular building illustrated in this figure is the penitentiary at Culebra, a double row of barb-wire being around it. Figure 2 is a tropical view showing the palms in the hospital grounds at Ancon. The house on the right was formerly the De Lesseps' palace. Figure 3 shows the native huts at Pueblo Nuevo. Figure 4 is from a photograph of a railroad flag station at Lirio. One of these stations is located at every turn in the road, in order to avoid collisions, for dirt trains from the Cut follow each other very closely.
Photon by Cyril B McKenzie Empire C Z
Illustration No. 101
Photos by Cyril B. McKenzie Empire C. 3.
Illustration No. 102
Photos by Cyril B. McKenzie, Empire, C. Z.
Illustration No. 103
518. This set of illustrations gives but a very slight idea of the great possibilities which present themselves to the photographer in this particular section of the world. The material for the press photographer is unlimited, yet it is necessary that care be taken to secure the most interesting and the most typical views. There are so many new and extraordinary scenes that it is possible to waste dozens of plates and yet not secure a print which will be acceptable to publishers. The pictures must in themselves tell the story to a great extent. The manuscript which accompanies them should deal simply with definite data which cannot be told in the photograph.
519. Pictures such as these just described, accompanied with a little data somewhat after the style of this chapter, for the compiling of a story, is what the papers want and are willing to pay liberally for. The more action and typical views one can obtain the more interest the pictures will have.