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Books of interest

 
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
Posts: 469
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:43 am    Post subject: Books of interest Reply with quote

I have found two books that will be of interest to LF photographers.

The first is "America by the Yard"; a book dedicated to Cirkut images. This wide format book has many multi-fold reproductions of period photos that are by themselves sufficiently interesting to make the book worthwhile. There is also a relatively brief and incomplete discussion of Cirkut cameras. A great book to have; I got my copy at Amazon which currently offers it for $58

The second book is "The Last Steam Railroad in America". This book presents the work of O. Weston Link, a professional photog who as a personal project spent about five years in the 1950's photographing the Norfolk & Western, which had granted him special access and support for the project. His specialty was carefully presented night time flash work. The book goes into considerable detail about his technique and planning. Without disclosing what specific equipment he used, the book does state that he worked in 4X5. I just got my copy at Borders Books and Music, as a bargain book, for $8.

John
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have Link's book. He is one of my favorite photographers and the images in this book are stunning. I highly recommend it.
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"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Among railfans, Link is a god. The photographs tell why. Google up "O. Winston Link museum" for a real treat.
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Railroad interest or not, I recommend studying Links works for the mastery of flash illumination he practiced. I've seen no one even close to the perfection he obtained lighting large, sometimes moving subjects.

BTW, there were 2 Link books.

I strongly recommend visiting the Link Museum in Roanoke Virginia. They have lots of pics and well as his self-made flash synchronizer.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least for a time he used a Graphic View
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In fact, Les, for most shots he used TWO Graphic Views, which gave him the choice of: horizontal or vertical, or B&W and color. With his setup of solenoids, he could fire everything with the push of one button. He was an electrical engineer and did all his wiring, including circuits to verify that there were no open contacts before firing. Considering the fact he used so many flashbulbs for each shot, that alone had to save him a bundle.

There's also a video of him made shortly before his death. The producer talked him into making one last setup to demonstrate his procedures. He did so, using every last bulb he had stored away. Brought out all those custom made reflectors using a dozen or more bulbs each. The subject was HIS OWN LOCOMOTIVE [yes, he was a RR fanatic]. In the last scene of the video, he is shown shouting a countdown to exposure. Somebody off camera is hollering but he fires away. As the video pic pulls away, a dialog is heard where one of his helpers runs up to him and says "you forgot to pull the slide". Link says something faint like "well s**t". What an ending!

Little know fact about Link: one of his last assistants was David Plowden. As a result of that work, David went on to publish a book of his own on railways.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1427
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another, perhaps more widely known, fact: OWL's wife, now widow, Conchita (sp? anyway, it's "con" plus "cheater") gypped him out of his prints and negatives, some of which are still untraced, while she is (still? I hope) serving time in the slammer for her misdeeds. Sadder than the dark slide---this is the dark *side*.
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
Posts: 469
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further examination of the Link book discloses that he did in fact use a Graphic View (evidently multiple cameras on frequent occasions) and a Rolliflex. There may be more by the time I finish reading the book.

Google does have quite a bit about Link; I was surprised that he died relatively recently (2001 I believe). The zany stuff with his wife (multiple occasions where she was messing with his work) added a very strange note; she may still be in the slam from the last conviction.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1427
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of the Graphic View, there has been a number of really beautiful version II offerings recently on the auction site, at very good prices. One with black bellows recently went for the minimum bid of $249.95 (no lens but with three boards), and there's a red-bellows beaut up now with Ektar 203 at $350 last time I looked. I've been so tempted to bid on one just to have it, but so far I've resisted. Don't know how much longer I can hold out!
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last post about Link. I just visited his Museum last week. Highly recommended if you are near Roanoke, VA. Fun to see his photographs so well presented. And there is an excellent movie shown ever hour.

It is fun to find his "tripod holes" at locations well identified around Virginia. I was able to locate and rephotograph a number of them.

He finished his work on the Virginia railroads in the late 1950s. Later, after his retirement, and getting freedom from the wife who defrauded him, he became sick one day while living in New York state. He began to drive himself to the doctor, but had a massive heart attack.

He pulled off the road and asked some citizens to call an ambulance. He died before they could get there.

He was age 86.

He was in front of a train station.
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