View Full Version : Photo History XV - A Report from the Eastman House

Bob Hubert
27-Oct-2011, 08:46
Hi All:

I had the opportunity this past weekend to attend Photo History XV at the George Eastman House. This two day event brings camera collectors and photographers from all over the world to discuss cameras and their importance in history. The conference is run every two years and includes an excellent “flea market” for used and antique cameras and lenses. If you have not attended this event in the past, I would seriously consider it for 2013.

This year, a number of the presenters were directly of interest for large format photographers. Many of them have produced books that may be of interest and the Photographic Historical Society will most likely publish the papers from the symposium in the near future. If you would like further information on any of these presenters, you can contact the Photographic Historical Society through their facebook page:


The presentations of interest to large format photographers were:

Pinhole Photography presented by Kaoru Kuraishi
Mr Kuraishi discussed his work with an 8X10 pinhole camera (Deardorrf) and his work in the countryside of Japan. His artistic muse is the Japanese painter Hokusai. He presented an excellent paper on large format pinhole photography and the particular problems of calculating exposure.

Making Kodak Film presented by Robert Shanebrook
Mr. Shanebrook is a former Manufacturing Manager at Kodak and has written an excellent book for the lay person on the manufacture of Kodak Film. You can see his book at the web site www.makingKODAKfilm.com.

The Ambrotypes Epoch in Photographic History presented by Margo Note
Ms. Note is the Director of Archives for the World Monuments Fund and discussed the ambrotype and how it was originally seen as a cheap form of photography that would lower the quality of the entire profession.

George Eastman’s Catalogs by George Layne
Mr Layne unveiled the project that has placed every Kodak catalog on a DVD for use by early camera users and collectors. An invaluable resource for any user of early Kodak cameras and lenses. Although this DVD was a gift to all symposium attendees, I believe it is available for a small fee through the Photographic Historical Society.

500 Cameras presented by Todd Gustavson
Mr. Gustavson is the Curator of Technology for the George Eastman House and he has produced a beautiful paperback book containing photos and descriptions of 500 cameras in the Eastman House collection. It is heavily weighted towards plate cameras and other large format cameras. A valuable reference available through the Eastman House at http://www.eastmanhouse.org/

The Century Studio Camera presented by Jay Allen.
Mr. Allen has compiled a new book of information on all models of the Century Studio Camera as well as all available accessories and backs. He has included an expanded version of his original book on soft focus and portrait lenses as part of the new book. The book can be purchased directly from Jay Allen for $65 by mailing 1526 South New Jersey Street, Indianapolis Indiana 46225.

I will be happy to supply any additional information on these presentations. Hope you find this useful.