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Thread: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

  1. #1
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper


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    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

    Thanks for posting!

    A well written history of a "windmill tilter". Thomas Joshua Cooper as told by Dana Goodyear is every photographer's hero.

    Would all our lives be so romantically described.

    I also like that a few images were shared!
    sin eater

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    Re: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

    Interesting article, but it has way too much hyperbole or even plain lies for me. More importantly, there are some beautiful Cooper images on the Lannan Foundation website.

    Here are a few statements that I thought were a bit over the top:

    "He has bought the last of the film developer that he prefers, the last of the fixer, and the last of the paper." I wonder what the developer and paper were? Why so particular about fixer?

    "Awkward, fragile, heavy (the rig, including tripod and film, weighs some sixty pounds)," His set up looks usual, no way it is 60 pounds.

    "Made from nineteenth-century wood, the camera is particularly vulnerable to the influence of salt water." Wood is not especially sensitive to salt water, no matter how old it is. Sure, it could warp etc., but metal would be worse in salty environments.

    "The final two weeks they spent in the twelve-foot-long dinghy, towing Northanger and depth-sounding as they went." The Northanger was a 54-foot motorized sailboat (so they say)-- why do this with a 12-foot dinghy? It would be like towing a large truck with a bicycle, and the main hazard was ice, so depth soundings would not help.

    "Printing requires total concentration—fifteen hours a day, a week per print." Over 100 hours to figure out every print?

    "They were in a freezing fog, but Cooper could see on the map that nearby was an uncharted island," Uncharted, yet on a map, somehow seen in freezing fog? This could just be unclear writing taken literally.

    There are dozens of others, and even some more on the Lannan Foundation website (e.g., "equipped with special film for below freezing temperatures".) I did not believe anything after a while.

    By the way, the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary.

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    Re: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

    I guess you never told a story around a campfire...
    sin eater

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    Re: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

    Quote Originally Posted by mmerig View Post
    Interesting article, but it has way too much hyperbole or even plain lies for me. More importantly, there are some beautiful Cooper images on the Lannan Foundation website.

    Here are a few statements that I thought were a bit over the top:

    "He has bought the last of the film developer that he prefers, the last of the fixer, and the last of the paper." I wonder what the developer and paper were? Why so particular about fixer?

    "Awkward, fragile, heavy (the rig, including tripod and film, weighs some sixty pounds)," His set up looks usual, no way it is 60 pounds.

    "Made from nineteenth-century wood, the camera is particularly vulnerable to the influence of salt water." Wood is not especially sensitive to salt water, no matter how old it is. Sure, it could warp etc., but metal would be worse in salty environments.

    "The final two weeks they spent in the twelve-foot-long dinghy, towing Northanger and depth-sounding as they went." The Northanger was a 54-foot motorized sailboat (so they say)-- why do this with a 12-foot dinghy? It would be like towing a large truck with a bicycle, and the main hazard was ice, so depth soundings would not help.

    "Printing requires total concentration—fifteen hours a day, a week per print." Over 100 hours to figure out every print?

    "They were in a freezing fog, but Cooper could see on the map that nearby was an uncharted island," Uncharted, yet on a map, somehow seen in freezing fog? This could just be unclear writing taken literally.

    There are dozens of others, and even some more on the Lannan Foundation website (e.g., "equipped with special film for below freezing temperatures".) I did not believe anything after a while.

    By the way, the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary.
    Worth writing a note the the editor of the New Yorker. They should do better.

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    Re: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

    The developer is Edwa Fg7 and the paper was Agfa Multi contrast classic both discontinued. As to the fixer I have no idea. As to the dinghy towing the sail boat. They were in uncharted waters with no information as to what was there. I'm sure they didn't literally tow the the sailboat but had it follow the dinghy they were taking depth soundings from. There is rock as they were in Antarctica.

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    Re: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    I guess you never told a story around a campfire...
    Sure, plenty of them, but I wouldn't encourage a magazine writer to publish them. And I do try and stick to the truth.

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    Re: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

    Bull$hit is a necessary part of being an artist. Otherwise you're just a guy with a large antique camera . . . like me.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

    Nothing new here. John Muir and Clarence King embellished their adventures for sake of big city suckers. It's what sold books. Then not too long ago Greg Mortensen.

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    Re: Very neat artice by the New Yorker on Thomas Joshua Cooper

    Thanks for the developer and paper info.

    i would expect a 54-foot sailboat to have a depth sounder -- and they could have traveled further off-shore in much deeper water until they neared the shoreline destination and carefully sounded their way in using the dinghy. Submerged fiords can be difficult to map, but broader reefs are usually better known, as that's where the fish are. With all of the obviously false information, why would I think their seafaring was any more credible? Also, in the article, the ship captain discredits Cooper's account.

    I am a long-time subscriber to the New Yorker, and enjoy the writing. But sometimes their freelancers are fooled or just like to write "campfire stories" that are supposed to be factual. This is the third one in a year that I am aware of.

    Perhaps I am just not used to the norms of the art world.

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