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Thread: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

  1. #1

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    Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    The history of LF photographers is mostly fractured on-line with frequently limited image samples of prominent (and lesser known) greats. The quality of images is in some cases questionable (i.e. Porter's images from Carter museum), and though some are well presented by such groups a Getty and the individual's website, I am not aware of a "prime source" for extensive and high quality image presentations.

    A thought came while sleeping (love the dream state) as to whether this forum could/would be willing to take on the creation of an extensive and comprehensive educational tool of say at least 100 (or more) LF photographers whose work found acclaim , whether the result of fine art, commercial/studio/portrait, architectural, landscape etc. There is the issue of writing bios and placing that photogs work in context of the period and impact overall.

    There is the issue of copyrights which would have to be researched for foreign image takers (Japan for instance), then approaching each source for rights to use and/or link to images. We could simply accumulate all references and links from elsewhere on this forum into one Educational Section, perhaps editing prior posts with new material (if that is possible) and new links.

    I recognize that such an endeavor would likely require much greater database and speed capability, not just because of new data, but from an expectation of much increased activity from new members and non-member perusal.

    Specific photographers could be assigned to members who are willing to participate, and a group of editors established to review the material prior to final posts.

    Comments and other considerations welcome. This may not be feasible, but wouldn't it be great to have a single source for LF on the entire internet and say quintessential images from each in good quality for viewing?

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    Go right ahead

    I no longer worship heros
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  3. #3

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    Re: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    So historic content should be about events and not individuals who had an impact - I wasn't expecting a "counter culture" response, but it is trending (or at least was).

  4. #4

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    Re: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    Even if it's feasible that sounds like a MASSIVE task, I'm not sure who would be willing to take on even a part of it.

    Personally my focus ( ) is on doing my own projects and taking my own photos, I like to look at old pics for many reasons, but at my age I ain't got time to work on grandiose projects, sure if it gets done I'll drop in and have a browse, but I suspect most people would think the same.

    Such a project requires a VERY passionate prime mover willing to spend a lot of time (years?) pushing and pushing and doing the grunt work at the exclusion of most other things in their life. If that's you then great, but now you have to find "members who are willing to participate, and a group of editors established to review the material prior to final posts", maybe another 10 or 20 people with the same passion plus someone well versed in copyright law as well.

    There's a Farcebook group called "Legends of the Old West", lately one of the members has been posting a heap of images from around 1900 by Solomon Butcher. These are amazing to look at and very high-quality repros, so I can see the attraction to the end results of such a project, it's just the huge workload it would entail...
    Rob Gray Nature Photographer Extraordinaire
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  5. #5
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    luminous-lint.com seems to be working on something similar... It's a subscription thing now..

    I love photo history personally, but don't have time to be both photographer and fully go down the rabbit hole of historian. (and have family, job, etc..)

  6. #6

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    Re: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    Good, well is anyone willing to provide an initial list of say 100 (let's think beyond US borders as well), country (this is tough as many cross borders or lived in multiple countries) and with each their best known genre (i.e. A. Adams = Landscapes , not portrait).

    Would love to write some AI to pull links for each photographer; alternatively I could email well known photographers that I know and perhaps create an independent email address for receipt of links. Make it a cooperative effort from all photographers who are willing to participate. We could list them as source and a link to their own site.

    I retired just prior to Covid and am finishing my mother's estate matters. If I can do that, well... I am willing to look at feasibility. But before I start I would need some commitment from this website owner that they are willing to support the concept, and the endeavor (with hardware and software).

  7. #7
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    Paper Books may last longer than any Digi, this forum lost all images before I joined, look that up

    I erased many of my Forum image posts with one click, I now regret that, I twitched

    Consider pre digi, new discoveries of films, prints of lost art https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivian_Maier

    Suddenly Digi Storage is being limited as data is too huge already...and hacked constantly

    A Digi glitch now blamed for Big Boat blocking the economy world wide

    EMP could erase all $$$

    I know I already said 'no'

    I think we need heavy duty Time capsules all over our wasteland with Film, Gold/art, no Digi beacon

    Our Earth has long history and tail

    I don't want to go to Mars, Elon
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  8. #8

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    Re: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    All valid points.

    Having lots of great images accessible in one spot would get me through a trip to Mars (with a lot of valium or sedative).

    Convincing Musk to allow 8x10 (or larger) film images to be taken on Mars might be worth some consideration. Who is willing to go?

  9. #9
    Benjamin's Avatar
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    Re: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    A sort of encyclopedia of large format photographers is a fun idea, but you might be underestimating the scope of your project.

    I don't think there is a difference in this type of project whether it's a website or a book. Takes as much time and needs as much work - "writing bios and placing that photogs work in context of the period and impact overall" sounds simple enough, but just for Walker Evans or Edward Weston you're talking about tons of research to do.

    Then there is the issues of coherence and of "who decides what", meaning, as you pointed out, that you need a chief editor and an editorial committee. Needless to say that the combination of an editorial committee reviewing material sent by unpaid contributors who voluntarily spent a lot of their time doing research and writing is not an easy one to navigate...

    I'm a book lover and a lover of photo books and thus agree with what Tin Can has said about digital vs print. I find it sad that a lot of the information you wish people would have easy access to has been printed but is unavailable either because so many great photo books are out of print or are found at ridiculously high prices on different resale websites.

  10. #10

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    Re: Forum large scale project - one stop source of historic lf photographers

    Benjamin, your thoughtful response brings to mind the pile of photobooks that sit on my shelf accumulating dust (mostly). Salgado, Gibson, McCurry, Dykinga, Porter and others I will pick up from time to time. I find myself at my computer many hours daily, and accessing old and new images on-line is too convenient and in effect obviates the need for books to some extent (Ralph Gibson would vehemently disagree). On-line magazines (Burn, Aperture etc) are interesting sources of material, some published in books, others not. I do not own any books by Haas, Shore and too many others, so when I have an impulse to be inspired, clicks take precedent - hence my objective.

    Without a nice group of passionate collaborators, this won't happen. I have good bandwidth, but not to cover more than say 10 image makers over a year or so.

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