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Thread: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

  1. #1

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    Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    Are there any large format photographers in the College Station, TX area? I've been living here for 15 years and have never seen anyone (but me) out with a large format camera. I've been using large Format cameras for over 30 years and would love to find some photographers with similar interests in the local area. Even if your just lurking on the forum and considering giving large format a try . . . let me know!

    Thanks!

    Henry

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    Re: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    Quote Originally Posted by henrysamson View Post
    Are there any large format photographers in the College Station, TX area? I've been living here for 15 years and have never seen anyone (but me) out with a large format camera. I've been using large Format cameras for over 30 years and would love to find some photographers with similar interests in the local area. Even if your just lurking on the forum and considering giving large format a try . . . let me know!
    You're a few decades too late.

    When I was living there, I had the almost exclusive use of an old Linhof Kardan view camera that was owned by the Environmental Design department at you-know-where. I was the only student in that program who knew what it was for. They also had a Century Graphic 2x3 press camera that I used to photograph the bonfire one year, and the student camera club sold thousands of those prints (I still have the negative). There were several of us at the time who were into larger formats, and that capability made many things possible for me as an architecture student (including doing commercial paid work for professors, research departments, and other students).

    So, you might poke around the MSC Camera Committee (if it's still called that) and try to develop interest. Back in the day, they had a very nice darkroom operation (with five black-and-white and two color individual-use darkrooms, plus a small studio). Me and another guy did plenty of commercial color developing in that darkroom, including Sunday-night processing and contact sheets for a couple of professional rodeo photographers. The last time I was there, the changes overwhelmed me, but I can't imagine that all that interest is completely gone.

    One way I generated interest in large-format and darkroom work was to offer a course (even as a student) in the Free University. I taught both photography and bicycle mechanic classes for that and had a blast doing it. They were always looking for teachers.

    I'll bet there is still a prof or two in the ED department that has an interest in view-camera photography.

    Rick "sometimes you have to create colleagues when you can't find them" Denney

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    Re: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    You're a few decades too late.

    When I was living there, I had the almost exclusive use of an old Linhof Kardan view camera that was owned by the Environmental Design department at you-know-where. I was the only student in that program who knew what it was for. They also had a Century Graphic 2x3 press camera that I used to photograph the bonfire one year, and the student camera club sold thousands of those prints (I still have the negative). There were several of us at the time who were into larger formats, and that capability made many things possible for me as an architecture student (including doing commercial paid work for professors, research departments, and other students).

    So, you might poke around the MSC Camera Committee (if it's still called that) and try to develop interest. Back in the day, they had a very nice darkroom operation (with five black-and-white and two color individual-use darkrooms, plus a small studio). Me and another guy did plenty of commercial color developing in that darkroom, including Sunday-night processing and contact sheets for a couple of professional rodeo photographers. The last time I was there, the changes overwhelmed me, but I can't imagine that all that interest is completely gone.

    One way I generated interest in large-format and darkroom work was to offer a course (even as a student) in the Free University. I taught both photography and bicycle mechanic classes for that and had a blast doing it. They were always looking for teachers.

    I'll bet there is still a prof or two in the ED department that has an interest in view-camera photography.

    Rick "sometimes you have to create colleagues when you can't find them" Denney
    Hey, Rick -- I'd love to see your bonfire picture. Please post!

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    Wayne venchka's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    There is Allan over in Hunstville. A few of us in Houston-The Woodlands-Magnolia. You missed a great all day half the night photo-bbq-beer-bs get together all over Montgomery county last weekend.

    I'll keep you posted on future stuff.
    Wayne
    Deep in the darkest heart of the East Texas rainforest.

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    Re: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    You're a few decades too late.


    So, you might poke around the MSC Camera Committee (if it's still called that) and try to develop interest. Back in the day, they had a very nice darkroom operation (with five black-and-white and two color individual-use darkrooms, plus a small studio). Me and another guy did plenty of commercial color developing in that darkroom, including Sunday-night processing and contact sheets for a couple of professional rodeo photographers. The last time I was there, the changes overwhelmed me, but I can't imagine that all that interest is completely gone.

    Denney
    The darkrooms in the MSC were shutdown about 10 years ago. They also got rid of the wood shop and other hobby type facilities. I used the wood shop about 10 years ago to build a nice wood case for my 8x10. They are closing the entire MSC in a few days for a three year remodel. I'm not sure what will be included as far as new facilities. I considered a free university course but I would have to find facilities to teach analog photo.

    Thanks for responding!

    Henry

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    Re: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    Quote Originally Posted by William McEwen View Post
    Hey, Rick -- I'd love to see your bonfire picture. Please post!
    I also spent some time photographing the bonfire building process with my 4x5 (black and white). That was over 10 years ago now. After the collapse a sort of memorial appeared along the fence that was erected. People left flowers, hard hats, poems, pictures and the like. I went over with my 35mm and shot about 5 rolls of kodachrome of the things people left. I took a quick look at the slides when they came back just to see if they came out and have never looked at them again.

    Henry

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    Re: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    Quote Originally Posted by William McEwen View Post
    Hey, Rick -- I'd love to see your bonfire picture. Please post!
    That will require scanning that negative--I'll put it on the list.

    Come to think of it, those were 6x6 negatives. It's possible that those were from the following year, when I used my Mamiya C-3. That year, my pictures were too swirly compared to the 35mm image made by another guy that had more of a Hindenberg look to it. The pictures from the Century should have been 6x7 or 6x9. I'll have to look again. I made that picture in perhaps 1977--memories have faded a bit.

    Rick "who found that negative again just a few days ago when looking for 4x5 stuff" Denney

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    Re: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    Quote Originally Posted by henrysamson View Post
    The darkrooms in the MSC were shutdown about 10 years ago. They also got rid of the wood shop and other hobby type facilities. I used the wood shop about 10 years ago to build a nice wood case for my 8x10. They are closing the entire MSC in a few days for a three year remodel. I'm not sure what will be included as far as new facilities. I considered a free university course but I would have to find facilities to teach analog photo.
    That's a shame, but not surprising. I used that woodshop to make several things, and I could nip across the hall to it while waiting for prints to wash or negatives to dry.

    Those darkrooms were excellent and really helped shape my photographic life. There were two beginner darkrooms set up for 35mm, two intermediate darkrooms set up for medium format, and an advanced darkroom with a D3 enlarger for large format. Unlike journalism and most public darkrooms, these were individual darkrooms and each person provided their own chemistry. Only the big Arkay washer was shared (and that caused enough problems!). One had to pass a lab practicum to get permission to use the darkrooms, starting at the beginner level. Each darkroom had its own key, and it required the correct rating on the membership card to get the desired key. The two color darkrooms had D5's with dichroic heads and Unicolor film processing drums and temperature baths. That was before the days of Jobo processors. The studio had a four-head Speedotron Brown Line 1600 system. I spent probably thousands of hours in those darkrooms, getting compressed experience that few amateurs on their own would be able to attain. And when I built my own darkroom some years later, I used the same pattern and equipment. All that stuff is in mothballs now, alas.

    It's a shame that's all gone now. But when I was at A&M, the Camera Committee had something like 200 members, and I'll bet that dwindled quite a bit in ensuing years.

    Rick "still missing Texas after 11 years of exile" Denney

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    Re: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    Quote Originally Posted by venchka View Post
    There is Allan over in Hunstville. A few of us in Houston-The Woodlands-Magnolia. You missed a great all day half the night photo-bbq-beer-bs get together all over Montgomery county last weekend.

    I'll keep you posted on future stuff.
    ACK! I have been outted!

    Yep, was a great day shooting, yacking, munching and looking at prints. Come join us next time, you will never been the same!

    Allan

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    Re: Large Format in S.E. Texas (College Station area)

    Thanks Wayne and Allan! Just let me know the next time you all get together and I'll do my best to join you!

    Henry

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