In fact, Denver photographer Lloyd Rule revolutionized the process to develop color film. And though his work dipped in and out of the chromatic realm, he has been remembered for much more than his chemical contribution to the medium.
According to Denver Public Library researcher Randel Metz, Rule was a born photographer, and picked up a camera at the tender age of 7. “Allowing a 7-year-old boy [in the 1930’s] to handle such a treasure was remarkable in itself,” says Metz, “but the fact that he was mastering the entire photographic process by the 8th grade is frankly amazing.”
He went on to become a major commercial photographer in Denver, but not before serving in the Korean War. It was in this theater that, lacking the proper tools, Rule discovered a novel way to process color film. His photographs of his time in the Pacific are among the enormous 75,000-image collection housed by the Denver Public Library.
After his military service, Rule returned to Denver to set up shop, working for such well-known clientele as King Soopers and the March of Dimes. He also became the staff photographer for the Denver Museum of Art, which gave him access to art world magnates like Vance Kirkland.
His oft-goofy work shows a lighter side of Denverites, a perhaps necessarily idealized version of the world meant to sell apartments and toothpaste. Nonetheless, it seems like Rule’s subjects probably enjoyed their time with him in the studio.
Kevin Beaty is a media producer with experience in a variety of settings spanning Hollywood film sets to international backpack journalism expeditions. He is on a never-ending quest to meld artful imagery, functional design and intimate storytelling. His biggest struggle in any given moment is whether to shoot stills or video. Find him on Twitter and Instagram at @kevinjbeaty.
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