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Thread: Historical Photographers

  1. #11
    tim atherton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1998

    Historical Photographers


    This thread prompted me to re-watch "Tombstone"

    In Kurt Russell's western revisionist view of things, Fly's Photo Studio sure get shot up a bit at the OK Corral. There is also a scene of Earp's love interest having a boudoir photograph taken by Fly!

    So I guess the filmakers certainly heard of him.

    Tim A

    PS, if you are going to take up a rephotographic project of old western photographs, you might need to get one of those Sam Elliott type moustaches though...
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn blog

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Mobile, AL

    Historical Photographers

    Bill, If you are a photographer of the desert then you need to take a trip to Tombstone, AZ. Camilis S. Fly had a studio in Tombstone near the OK Coral. It has been restored with many of his famous photographs in the surrounding area on exhibit. Fly accompanied the US Calvary to photograph the capture of Geronimo, his son Chappo Geronimo and the warriors he led in battle against the settlers of the West. Gernimo & his warriors were then imprisoned at Ft. Pickens on Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola Fl. Many of the indians died there due to the harsh climate and were moved to Mt. Vernon, AL where it was a little milder. Geronimo and the surviving indians were later returned to reservations in the West. Chappo Geronimo died at Mr. Vernon and is now buried in a National Military Cemetary in Mobile, AL. Fly's historical photographs of the surrender of Geronimo are probably his most famous.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Oct 1997

    Historical Photographers

    Not knowing of one photographer with local or regional fame is not a crime. Have you heard of Alma, Matthew and Glenn Compton? Where I live they are the subjects of local fame, being three generations of photographers covering 100 years in the same studio. They documented life in Northern Utah well, using large format gear. Yet few outside our little area have heard of them. Yes, photography was difficult in the past. If one uses large format or mammoth camera gear it is still so in spite of our not coating our own plates these days. The difficulty alone doesn't make the older work valuable, the images recorded do. Tradition and history will always be pushed aside as we 'improve' on what has gone before us, whether a hundred, a thousand or even fifty years ago. Name the first ten astronauts to orbit the earth-probably can't do that one either without looking it up. Photography is no different. A lot contributed to our modern techniques and will be forgotten by other than the few who enjoy looking and researching our past. A tragedy? No, but a sad commentary on how we value history. Sadder yet is our history in the making that will be lost by the use and erasing of so much digital imagery as we save only what is actually printed in papers, magazines and final images. In the future we will become known and remembered only for the few images that are saved. No more contact sheets, negatives and records left in old boxes in the attics and basements of relatives. A few CD's, zip disks and fading digital prints the soon disappear. No more newspaper archives of negatives and contacts to study as the one or two images used from the digital cameras are the only only ones saved. We still have the images of the crossing of the West in U.S. History due to the work of photographers able to leave a legacy in permanent form. Work valued today even more than when it was first made. In the future we will have little like this to go back to, a spur to all who shoot large format in silver and 'alt process' to do your best to make sure it lasts, whether you remember Fly, Jackson or anyone from our own past. What does last will eventually be seen just as their work is now-an anachronism by some and priceless treasures by others.

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