This post has no point. I just wanted to share.
First of all, a very kind supporter who might or might not remain anonymous (s/he hasn't told me yet) donated the funds for the purchase of this lovely artifact, which shall decorate the front hall of the TOP office / photo museum at the Eastlake House:
It's a Rochester Optical Pony Premo No. 6 "self-casing" camera, very popular at the turn of the 20th century, manufactured a few hills and dales away from me in Rochester, New York, probably between 1903 and 1906. The camera was developed when one W.F. Carlton ran the company, whether he designed it himself or not. I am delighted to have it to welcome visitors inside the front door of the office entrance of the house. My remaining decision is whether to put it on a contemporaneous vintage tripod or just let it sit on a table. It's going to look fetching either way.
The new house is a very complicated little house. I've been working out the placement of furniture and functionality...on paper, as I'm still not moved in to the place yet. But if things go like I think they will, on a large table opposite the Rochester Optical camera will sit either an Epson P600 or P800—right there in the living room! The living room (where the photography books will also go) will function as part of the office. (I mean, assuming TOP survives this year+ of moves, and I still need an office. (I do know we haven't been covering the world of photography very well of late. (That will change this Fall. (I know I said that last Fall. (But this time it's more likely to be true.)))))
Another fun thing: there will be a permanent sign out front that will say "The Online Photographer / Eastlake House." For this year the sign will be made of vinyl stick-ons, but in a year or two (or three?) when I can afford the $6–800 it costs, I'll get one of those hand-carved gold-leaf wooden signs. Or maybe I won't, but I will sure enjoy thinking about it.
Summer is gorgeous on Keuka Lake (I'm told Fall is too) and the Finger Lakes are a target-rich environment for photographers. It sure seems like a no-brainer to host workshops. Could you see it? A primary instructor in a field of expertise, with me doing hosting duties, portfolio reviews, and helping to lead discussions. There are plentitudinous B&B's and hotels in the area and lots of nice restaurants, and we could meet at the Eastlake House for group and individual discussions and one or two shared meals. Sure seems like something to think about for 2016.
Here's the other cool film camera mentioned in the header. When I was (very sadly) de-accessioning my beloved but long-unused darkroom equipment, retired high school photography teacher and TOP reader Jeff Dionesotes, who turned out to be a very nice and interesting person—and, of course, like all TOP readers, well above average—came by the house to pick up my superb SaltHill print washer. So check out the man's box:
Naturally it shoots film; digital photographers are not known to have a great deal of use for print washers.
It's a Horseman Multiformat 985, and Jeff says he does everything with his, from snapshot memories to careful artwork. Which, if you ask me, is several shades of awesome (English translation: brilliant). Of course, he did take a return snap of me, and mentioned that it would be at least several weeks before either of us would see it...if either of us ever does. Jeff, you listening? Any progress to report?
By the way, I didn't charge Jeff for the washer. Ancient journalistic scruples, still in play: I didn't pay for it in the first place, so I couldn't profit from it now.
And as an aside, anyone know where Joe Saltzer of SaltHill is these days? I'd love to say hello.
(Thanks to anonymous and Jeff)
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
James Sinks: "Ah, the living room. A strangely named space in my experience—why would the room filled with an Epson 7900, 54" print timmer, rolls of paper, heavy duty copy stand, backdrops, props, light stands, C-stands, boom stand, lights, tripod, camera, and lenses, be called the 'living room'? Surely, 'photo room' would be a much better name for it."
Rob L: "That Horseman's a wonderful machine; I have its German cousin of sorts, the Linhof Tech 70, and use it for about the same purposes(the looks you get shooting on the playground, or soccer, with that critter...). The Rochester's a pretty Pony too:) Good luck with getting the house set up, and I have to say, workshops sound like a grand idea!"
scott kirkpatrick: "Your new camera looks very close in style, function, and content to the Wright Brothers' camera, the one which took the picture of their first flight. Theirs was made by Gundlach (a few blocks from the company that made this one, and they had a rapid rectilinear, the kit zoom of the day, which could be assembled in wide, normal, and telephone configurations."
Mike replies: Mine has a Gundlach Rapid Rectigraph lens, which may or may not be what you meant. Many of the Rochester camera companies were either close to each other or "in bed together," and I suspect at least a few were started in the hopes that George Eastman would eventually buy them, which he did in the case of Rochester Optical.