As per the Free 8x10 Eastman thread:
After I made my offer to give away an 8x10 Eastman to a needy person, Kerry Thalmann offered a lens and Henry Chen offered an instruction book. This was really cool and then....! Donald Brewster kicked in two 8x10's for runner up gifts! Whoa! So here we are. The winners are (the cool people who inhabit this forum):
I gave my camera (and by default Kerry's lens also) to Deep Springs College at the request of Jim Galli who wrote a moving appeal for them and offered to do some instruction. Actually the real gift to these kids is Jim Galli's time! I only gave a camera, Jim is giving something much more valuable.
I also got to pick who the "runner up" cameras from Donald Brewster went to.
They went to Sean Yates and Darin Cozine. In an email to them I wrote:
"You two guys were selected for the "runner-up" 8x10's graciously donated by Donald Brewster. I think the statements speak for themselves. Sean my heart goes out to you. I've been there myself. And Darin, you remind me alot of where I was at at that age struggling to do my art with two kids a family and a real job."
Bill Mitch, a true friend of Sean Yates wrote this appeal which moved me very much:
"I'd like to put in a "bid" for a friend (without his knowledge). Sean Yates is a middle-aged, poor but honest librarian remembered by many of us on this forum as the helpful guy who practiced and preached low-cost LF photography (he wrote the review of Kodak's 8x10 Master View camera which appears on the Home Page). A couple of years ago during a period of financial stress he had to sell his entire 8x10 setup that had been accumulated over the years. He has declined an offer of my 4x5 Graphic View because, as he says, 8x10 is his thing. But his enthusiasm grows weak, and I'd like to see him involved again before he gives up."
Darin Cozine wrote his own heartfelt appeal:
"I wasnt sure if you wanted people to repond on the message board or in an email. I am interested in the eastman 8x10. I'm not sure how 'deserving' I am but I will give you a description of who I am and my plans. I am 30 years old and I have a wife and 2 daughters. (that in itself makes me very deserving! =] ) I have been in the IT field for 6 years but I was laid off in 2003. Now I'm making half what I used to ($13 and hour, AK!). Anyway, after alot of soul searching, I've decided that I need some type of art in my life, so I decided to become serious about photography. I've learned quite a bit about LF photography over the past few years, mostly thanks to the internet. I plan to start portrait and wedding photography this year in addition to my regular job. I intend to incorporate LF in a wedding package. I started using a busch pressman 4x5 as my first LF camera, and I've been very happy with it. However there has been very little info about the BP when I started. I ended up writing an article about the BP for largeformatphotography.info, and I am writing a follow-up article that will describe it in more detail. I've also worked with another to offer home-made lensboards for the BP on ebay. (at a very reasonable cost). "
I feel very good about these choices. Guys, do some great work with these!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Special thanks to Kerry Thalmann! Donald Brewster! Jim Galli! and Henry Chen! You guys really understand the mission.