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Press photography & inclement weather?
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've thought of this for quite a while and have seen no references to it anywhere. Thought there might be some old press photographers out there who would know?

About inclement weather, rain & snow, etc. Obviously this did not stop photography 50 years ago. But to my knowledge, there were no baggies, trash bags or even custom made rain protectors for the cameras. As much as I love my Graphics, they are obvious not weather proof to the least degree. So, what did photographers do back then? Rain coats? Unbrellas? Just let the cameras get wet and do a massive clean up when they got home?

Just a curiosity question that I couldn't find the answer to, even in old press photography books & manuals...
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DonH



Joined: 03 Jul 2001
Posts: 33
Location: SURRY SIDE !!!!!!!!!!!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personnal Observation: The old guys probably didn't worry about it too much. I once went to a WWII reenactment, and ended up in 8ft of salt water. I'm 5'9, so you can imagine the result. Everything got completely soaked. After the event, I rinsed my Speed off with fresh (tap) water, and ended up with two corroded screws on the pop-up viewfinder. These beasts can handle almost anything, just keep your film dry!
DonH
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daleraby



Joined: 24 Nov 2001
Posts: 60
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since no one has posted an actual historical reference, I'll give you my half cent worth...

DonH is right... cameras like this can take much abuse. I have some old Kodak Vest Pocket cameras from shortly after the turn of the last century... they still work fine... my Speed Graphic seems much more robust than those old work horses, though.

I have seen a picture of a Combat Graphic which has a heavy leather covering over the entire bellows assembly, so perhaps there was a sort of "rain coat" available at one time. Now, cameras are not the only wet sensitive machines that have to work in bad weather... flint lock rifles also had to fire in rain... and they wouldn't if the powder in the pan got wet... hence the phrase "keep your powder dry". What those old soldiers did was to simply cup their hand over the frizzen part of the lock, thus shielding it from the rain. This had limited effectiveness, hence the development of caplocks, but it did work.

Cameras can be shielded under coats and capes, by leaning over them, and by shooting from overhead cover. I suspect that this was done more often than not when the rain got real bad. Historically, you don't see too many photographs taken in bad weather because of the difficulty of taking the picture as much as the effect of the weather on the photographer and the camera. Angus McDougal has at least one published photograph taken in a blizzard for the Milwaukee Journal. I'm just curious enough to make an inquiry of them as to how their old guys used to take care of their cameras.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine assisted for a photographer that ended up shooting for National Geographic in the Arctic. Nikon gave him a new F3 to go along with his own equipment.

After about the second week the F3 failed. It was flown back and a new one sent up. Nikon tore the old one apart and decided they had dropped the camera since one of the pc boards was cracked.

At about this time the second F3 died. It too was shipped back and the assignment was finished on an all-mechanical Nikkormat.

Nikon claimed that this one too was dropped. It wasn't until the photographer got into Nikon's face about the fact that it was highly unlikely that he could drop two cameras to do exactly the same damage and still not have a dent on the pentaprism. It was finally decided that the pc board couldn't take the cold and cracked.
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good example of "weather graflex photography" is found on page 328 of the book "Life Photographers - What they saw". A pic there taken in 1951 shows Gen. MacArthur entering a building in a pouring rain in Japan. I count 7 graflex cameras, ALL of which are out in the rain. Some 35mm wimps and a movie camera were under umbrellas, but not the REAL photographers! They HAD to get the picture.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alec,

I think one of those very cameras just went up on ebay.
It's right here

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1317141504


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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Les, that's one of them! Or, at least, a Dripping Image of one.
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daleraby



Joined: 24 Nov 2001
Posts: 60
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That pitiful beast needs some TLC... or at least a warm place on my fireplace mantle... I've placed a bid... like I really need another obsolete camera that I can't get film for!
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bertsaunders



Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 577
Location: Bakersfield California

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A weatherproofing tip for the leather on your Graphics----NEATSFOOT OIL----will waterproof your camera leather, body and bellows---wont keep the film dry, but will make cleanup easier Bert
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bsuds



Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 2
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's easy, the mission never changes. GET THE PICTURE!!! Keep the film dry, clean up later with tap water, dry with a hair dryer, CLA the shutters. I've gone back to Graphic because I can count on them to work.
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hartwell_a_m



Joined: 04 Jun 2001
Posts: 84
Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The old timers probably did the same thing that I do with my Nikonos V wich is after I get inside I rins the camera off and dry it with a towel, then they probably used Neatsfoot oil on the leather parts, and about every year or so sent there shutter in for maintenance.
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daleraby



Joined: 24 Nov 2001
Posts: 60
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2002 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I now own that soggy old work horse and four film holders, and Les, it's all your fault!
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2002 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale,

I'm sooooo sorrrry!!!! Have you sought professional help with your ebay addiction? I was once addicted to ebay too, but ebay free for over 6 months. I felt so much better I even wrote a 12 step plan for ebay addiction, but then realized in order for people to get it, I'd have to sell it on ebay.

Dale doesn't buy cameras to use or collect, he buys them because he feels sorry for them and wants to give them a good home!

You could call it dada art, put it in a museum with the title, "rode hard, put up wet"

you could do a two camera Public service Announcement. This would be the second camera with the caption, "This is your brain on drugs."

what the hhhhhheeckkkk are you going to do with this?!!!

_________________
"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
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daleraby



Joined: 24 Nov 2001
Posts: 60
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2002 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well... I'm gonna go cold turkey starting today... o' course that means after all my pending auctions are won... and I have the hausfrau convinced that some auctions take years to complete... so it may be a while.

As to what I will do with it... well, that kind of depends upon its condition when I see it. Probably it will get a little neatsfoot oil massage, shutter lube and exercise, a good cleaning and then be impressed into service as a proud piece of Green Bay Web equipment, just like the others.

I bet you're envious!

[ This Message was edited by: daleraby on 2002-01-09 09:38 ]
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2002 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale, you've got to get a grip!

A "win" on e-bay is not necessary a win.

I tried that logic on my wife for awhile, [Hon, I'm once again a winner in life's lottery] but she caught on!
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