Sunday, June 20, 2010

Coming In July - Gwen Trahan

Award Winning Safford Middle School Photography Program.
Our July 1 program will be presented by Gwen Trahan who recently started a photography program at Safford Middle School. She has already led her students to great achievements—they won three of the top five awards at the Center For Creative Photography annual High School Photography Day in May of this year. Come hear Gwen talk about the program and show some of her students’ work.

Gwen is building the program at Safford from the ground up and is anxious to establish a well-equipped darkroom for the next school year. WPHS member Judy Laviolette has helped her list items you might be willing to donate:
• Any form of digital cameras
o SLR, point-and-shoot, etc.
• 35mm SLR cameras
o Fixed or interchangeable lenses
o Fresh film
o Fresh paper
• Working darkroom equipment
o Enlargers & timers
o Negative carriers
o Contact sheet makers
o Beakers, tongs, trays, etc.
• Lighting equipment
o Lights or light kits
o Reflectors, stands, etc.
• Fun stuff for experiments
o Disembodied lenses
o Gels, etc.

If you want to contact Gwen about donating items before the meeting, you can call 520-419-1329 or email her at

Click Here to Read More!

June Program Summary

Bill Page Tells Us About The Galapagos Islands.
Our June program was Bill Page, giving us a close-up look at the Galapagos Islands. We were expecting to see lots of birds, but learned much more. Bill talked about how the Islands were originally volcanoes, with some islands older than others. He also showed the various climate zones on the islands that are so visible even in short distances. Bill talked about why the ocean currents made these islands special, carrying some animals clinging to driftwood all the way from the mainland to this isolated group of islands over 600 miles from the coast of Ecuador. Many birds probably got to the islands by being blown along with storms. For some of the animals, there are no natural predators in this habitat and it is speculated that they have evolved accordingly.

Bill showed some incredible pictures of birds—blue-footed boobies, a heron, pelicans and frigate birds as they puffed their red chests and as they stole fish from the pelicans. There were even penguins frisking about. He talked about Darwin’s famous study of the finches and showed pictures of some of them, pointing out the differences to us.

However, Bill had photographed several other interesting types of animals. The Galapagos Islands are famous for the giant turtles that have always been fighting for their existence, usually threatened by humans. We saw a picture of “Lonesome George” the last turtle of his particular subspecies in the world. There were sea lions and Bill’s story of a too-close encounter with a particularly big one. The lava rocks make great homes (and backgrounds) for the large marine iguanas and the colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs.

Bill Page obviously has a tremendous enthusiasm for photography and the subjects of his photos. Although the cameras are heavy, he (and his wife) carry two of them with different lenses. Thank you, Bill!! You are a master photographer and teacher and, in such a short time, we learned so much about the Galapagos Islands and their inhabitants.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bill Page On Tap For June

Our program for June will be presented by Bill Page. In 1991 Bill retired from teaching sciences in New York State. He taught grades 7 through 12 in public school and graduate courses in Long Island University. His interest in birding and photography began during his youth when he was a farm boy in Pennsylvania and continues today.

Bill and his wife Joan have traveled to the sub-Antarctic islands and the Antarctic Peninsula in 1996 and again in 2000. In 2003 they traveled to Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. Additionally they have photographed in Africa, Alaska, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Galapagos, Panama, Peru, and Trinidad & Tobago.

At our June meeting, Bill will share his Galapagos show with you. Combining some of the most interesting birds in the world with Bill’s great photography will make this a special program!
And here is the rest of it. Click Here to Read More!

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Meeting Notes

Ed Jackson showed us some of his favorite books on camera collecting and photography. He has been a long-time photographer and a more recent collector. He says the books help him dream of what he’d like to have. He noted that the “bible’ of camera collecting is Jim McKeown’s well-known Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras which is over two inches thick. Paul Garrett showed us the first edition which was only about a quarter of an inch thick. There are other price guides, but Ed thinks McKeown’s is by far the best and most comprehensive. Another classification of books are those giving a historical perspective, highlighting some of the most important cameras. A beautiful and comprehensive book is Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital by Todd Gustavson and George Eastman House. This book not only traces the camera’s development, but talks about the inventors and artists who use them. Another of Ed’s newest favorites is Classic Cameras by Colin Harding. The articles focus on 75 classic cameras with great pictures and history for each one.

Ed’s favorites for information on collecting cameras include the set by Ivor Matanle: Collecting and Using Classic Cameras and Collecting and Using Classic SLR’s. Other good sources are Jason Schneider’s Camera Collecting, Book One, Book Two and Book Three which include articles originally published in “Modern Photography”. He also introduced a wonderful website: It is very comprehensive and well organized.

Then there are the books that focus on a specific brand. These included books such as The Story of Kodak, Leika Manual (one of many), and Nikon Rangefinders. Two books that Ed especially recommends are Nikon - A Celebration and Canon i- A Celebration by Brian Long. Other favorites include Jason Schneider’s Camera Collecting, Book One, Book Two and Book Three which include articles originally published in “Modern Photography”.

Most of us use our camera books for reference, but Ed has read many of the books in his collection cover-to-cover. Thanks, Ed, for an opportunity to see some books that we might want to add to our collections. (We can always buy another book case…..)
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Our speaker for the May meeting will be our own Ed Jackson. The title of his presentation will be "Books on Camera History and Camera Collecting”. The books will be available for you to peruse to see what you will want to add to your own book collection. The “Show and Tell” for May will be after Ed’s presentation and will also focus on books for photographic history or collections. Bring your favorite book and tell us about it (if Ed hasn’t already featured it). End of Article. Click Here to Read More!


Our April program certainly convinced us that photography has a great future. First we saw five high school students receive prizes for their entries in the Spring WPHS Show High School Photo Contest. Their work was considered some of the best we’ve had by judges and members alike.

The second part of the program consisted of presentations by Ashley Whaley and Claire Warden, our 2009 College Scholarship winners. Both are students at Arizona State University and demonstrated a strong sense of both the artistic and technical aspects of photography.
Ashley showed us some of her work around a variety of themes. One theme was hands—portraits where one really got a sense of something special about the person by focusing on their hands. She also had a series of “staged” work telling a story about people who had lived in a house that had been abandoned. We got a feel for their lives by looking at the images Ashley produced. Ashley works both with film and digital processing.

Claire has published a book containing some of her best images. She shoots with a 35mm camera and then scans and prints the images digitally. One of her series of works was a variety of textures, conveying the feeling just with the texture. Claire noted that she particularly focuses on networking with photographers and gallery owners and curators, so that, when she’s ready for a full time job, these connections can produce results, even in a tight job market.

Both students are interested in photography and curating exhibits. Claire currently works part time at the gallery at ASU and both have secured internships at galleries for this summer. Ashley and Clair truly appreciated their scholarships because the money went directly into their education and photography, allowing them to concentrate a little less on part time work and more on their classes.

Ashley Whaley and Claire Warden are both skilled photographers and the WPHS can be assured that we invested in good students. Thank you to Ashley and Claire for great presentations—we expect to see your work in prestigious galleries in the future.
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Friday, February 26, 2010

March Program - Dr. Rebecca Senf

Our speaker for March is Becky Senf who is a curator at the Center for Creative Photography. She will be speaking about the real Ansel Adams. Becky has studied Ansel Adams and his photography extensively so you know her program will be interesting.
Dr. Rebecca Senf is the Norton Family Curator of Photography, a joint appointment at the Center for Creative Photography and the Phoenix Art Museum. She curates three exhibitions a year for the Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography in Phoenix and her past exhibitions include Debating Modern Photography: the Triumph of Group f/64; Richard Avedon: Photographer of Influence; Human Nature: the Photographs of Barbara Bosworth; Edward Weston: Mexico; Odyssey: the Photographs of Linda Connor; Charting the Canyon: Photographs by Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe; and Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic Portraiture. Senf grew up in Tucson and went to undergraduate school at the University of Arizona, studying the History of Photography. She spent ten years in Boston, Massachusetts where she earned a Ph.D. in Art History at Boston University. In Boston she worked on the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s major exhibition Ansel Adams from The Lane Collection, for which she also co-authored the exhibition catalogue. Her current exhibition on view at the Phoenix Art Museum is Ansel Adams: Discoveries (Jan. 31, 2010 to June 6, 2010). Upcoming projects include Exposing Time: Capturing Change Through Photography (March 6-June 27, 1010) and Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Photographer at Work (2012). Click Here to Read More!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jerry Day - Toy Cameras

The speaker for our February meeting was Jerry Day, a long time photographer and collector of specialty cameras. Members were immediately impressed by the array of colors on the four tables of Jerry’s display. He had toys that look like cameras and cameras that look like toys as well as a display of novelty photographic items. Jerry showed and told us about some of the “prize” cameras including those made for world fairs, Mickey Mouse (pictured), Charlie Tuna, and Santa Claus. He has cameras made for Barbie and Ken, too. Jerry has a kid’s enthusiasm for the toys and stole the show when he put one camera up to his eye and pressed the button. The camera produced a stream of water which reached Joseph Pocholczyk who was sitting on the front row. Joseph took the situation with good nature and the audience got a good laugh.
Another interesting part of his presentation was his progression as a photographer and collector. He had a copy of the folding Brownie that he started with as a young student. When he was in Korea in the military, he dreamed of owning a Nikon. Unfortunately, only one of this model came to the PX each month and he never won the lottery to purchase same. He did get a less desirable Olympus which he used to record some of his time in Korea. Later, back in the US, he got his degree and went to work for the Game and Fish Department where he did a great deal of recording using photographs. Especially since he retired, he has enjoyed scouring local yard sales for these specialty cameras.
Thanks, Jerry, for sharing your great collection and your enthusiasm for it!
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

World's First Commercially Produced Camera to Bring $1,000,000 at Auction

The Giroux Daguerreotype is described as a very rare model of the world’s first commercially produced camera. The camera was designed and produced in Paris in 1839 by Daguerre's brother-in-law, Alphonse Giroux. Approximately 250 were produced and sold at $50 each. The camera today, after calculating inflation, would cost approximately $1000. It is one of the only cameras by Daguerre that still exists and is described as being in excellent original condition. There are only a few of these cameras that exist worldwide and most of them are in the possession of public museums.
On May 29th the camera is expected to be auctioned in Vienna. The starting price of the auction will be 200,000 Euros. The WestLicht Photographica auction house is in charge of selling the camera and expects the camera to go for as much as 700,000 Euros ($950,000 US).
The camera has a double box body and the photographer can focus by pulling the smaller box away from the 15inch lens. To bring the camera into focus, the rear box must be moved forwards or backwards along the wooden camera base. Image exposure time is quite long and can take up to three minutes depending on how well lit the image is. Images produces by the Giroux Daguerreotype are finely detailed and practically grain less. The images should also be very durable when framed in a way that excludes air. The cameras are highly sought after as a coveted collectors item.
There is also a 24-page instruction manual that comes with the camera, but the user must be able to translate German to understand the manual.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Graflex 4x5 Super Graphic and Super Speed Graphic

by William E. Inman, Sr.

Graflex introduced the 4x5 Super Graphic in February 1958. It was heralded by Graflex as “the greatest advance in press cameras in years, and is sure to catch the imagination of every advanced amateur and professional photographer. The Super Graphic is new in every way...completely new design and appearance …. new features for greater-than-ever versatility.

The Super Graphic is smaller than its predecessor, the famous Pacemaker Speed Graphic. It's styled in two-tone gray and black with aluminum trim.” A modern dream camera in every way. We need to back up to 1956, when the president of Graflex, Inc., Gaylord C. Whitaker, enlisted the services of industrial design consultant Peter Muller-Munk, who, along with the Graflex engineering staff, began the redesign of the 4x5 Graphic camera. Drawing heavily on Graflex research, they checked “human engineering” all the way from typical handholds to the mechanics of the shutter tripping. To give this camera the strength of the mahogany box of the Pacemaker, they chose an aluminum body for strength as well as lightweight properties. They went to Alcoa Aluminum for production parts, while assembly of the camera took place at the Graflex plant in Rochester, New York.

Human Engineering Features:
The Super Graphic is designed for convenience in handling. All locks and releases are readily accessible for adjustments and are large enough and properly shaped for foolproof operation.  The front lens standard swings, tilts and shifts have “click-stop” neutral positions.  The electronic shutter and flash tripping button can be used without changing hand position. The automatic focusing scale is on top of the camera for ease of
reading. All the flash shutter connections are internally wired to minimize dangling cords and prevent misfires from partially disconnected plugs.  A removable long optical viewfinder is supplied as an accessory.

Construction Features:
For maximum strength, resilience, precision, production cost savings and minimum weight, the Super Graphic uses an extruded strip bent to shape, and butt welded at the bottom joint. Integral beads on the edges add rigidity and serve as trim strips for the leather-grained covering. For parts requiring light absorption, black
anodizing replaces paint, which ends chipping and scratching.  Other precision parts are die-cast aluminum or magnesium to further minimize weight.

New Features:

1. Automatic flash setting calculator operates as part of the focusing scale on the top of the camera for determining the correct f stop.
2. Horizontal swing and forward tilt movements of the lensboard are standard, along with rising, shifting, and backward tilting movements.  The horizontal shift is usable even with short lenses.
3. A spring loaded focusing track was added for stability. An improved yoke is now “V” guide, running entire length of each side of the bed.
4. A revolving back that locks in the horizontal or vertical position. The rotation works in either direction accommodating a left-handed user, if necessary.
5. A removable focusing hood for quiet, one-handed operation was added.
6. A dark slide holding clip, on the focusing hood, runs the full length on the back of the hood and is made of “phosphorus bronze.”
7. Larger, easier-to-handle rangefinder cams and a simplified mechanism for easiest changing of cams was added.
8. Rangefinder focusing from 90mm wide-angle lenses to telephoto lenses is standard.
9. Interchangeable, internally wired, lensboard assemblies for either flashbulbs or electronic flash provide connection through the camera body.
10. A double cam action slide lock on the Graflok back provides positive positioning of the Grafmatic, Film Pack, Roll Holder and Polaroid film holders.
11. A built-in electrical socket on the lower right side accepts a polarized three-prong pin cord for the Graflite and the Stroboflash, providing internal shutter synchronization and eliminates cords dangling from the shutter.

12. A Presslock Tripod Mount accessory for instant and solid attachment or removal of the camera when fitted to a tripod.

13. A new type bed lock arrangement, rotation of either focusing knob, locks or unlocks the bed, which eliminates accidental releasing.
14. The Super has a high-precision builtin rangefinder. The rangefinder cam operates the focusing scale indicator on the stop of the camera, so that the scale always matches the lens used. Shown below is the Pacemaker rangefinder, which is the same system used in the Super Graphic, with a few changes.
15. An electronic shutter and flash tripping release button are located conveniently for left -hand operation. The BC circuit is powered by two 22.5-volt Eveready batteries (number 412) for tripping the solenoid in the base of the front lens standard.
The same circuit can also be tripped from the Graflite two-cell flash unit red button with the addition of the Y cord (Catalog number 2808) for flash bulb firing.
When introduced in 1958, the Super “outfit” sold for $416, while the 4x5 Pacemaker Crown Graphic outfit with the same shutter sold for $340. The Super Graphic remained in the Graflex line through 1973,
when camera sales were discontinued. In that year, the Super outfit sold for $641 and a 4x5 Pacemaker Crown outfit for $543. 
The 4x5 Super Speed Graphic
The Super Speed Graphic was introduced in 1959 and last sold in 1969, when Graflex stopped production of the Graflex 1000 shutter.  The only difference between the Super Graphic and the Super Speed Graphic was the introduction of the Graflex 1/1000 leaf shutter. The bodies are the same.  Up to that time, the fastest leaf shutter was 1/500. The Graflex 1/1000 shutter was a revolutionary design. For further information, see my article in the GHQ Volume 5, Number 1, titled “The Dream Shutter.”

If your camera needs to be repaired, I highly recommend Fred Lustig.  Mr. Lustig has provided quality Graflex service for many years and has a good supply of parts for the 1000 shutter and the Super Graphic.
He can be reached by mail at 4790 Caughlin Parkway, No. 433, Reno, NV 89509, or by phone at (775) 746-0111.

Graflex Trade Notes, February 1958.
Graflex Super Graphic/Super Speed Graphic Instruction Manual.
Alcoa Aluminum Newsletter, October 1959, Peter Muller-Munk Association publication.

Special thanks to Mr. William E. Inman, Sr. and the Graflex Historic Quarterly for their kind permission to reprint this outstanding and informative article.
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

January’s Guest Speaker

Ann Simmons-Myers from Pima Community College
by Jerry O’Neill
Mrs. Ann Simmons-Myers was our guest speaker at the January general meeting. She is the director of the Photographic program at Pima Community College.
Ann’s presentation consisted of a group of unique and beautiful film photos made by her. The photos were printed on high quality paper and enhanced using special techniques that make them into works of art. If you missed this presentation we will be sure to invite her back to speak again at a later date. Thanks Ann!
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Spring Camera Show - March 14

Show time in Tucson March 14, 2010! We are ready for our 50th show. Set-up at 6:00 a.m. Show opens 8:00 a.m. Timing is so everyone can get in on early bird deals as well as having the public enter an hour earlier. WPHS consignment tables are again planned for opening when ready at 8:00 a.m. Exhibitors may enter from exhibitors' free parking back of the building at 6:00 a.m.
The InnSuites City Center Conference & Resort (new name) has a block of rooms set aside for exhibitors by calling (520) 622-3000 which includes Sunday breakfast. Our InnSuite hosts have the entire Restaurant open from 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning.  Show closing remains at 3:00 p.m. and request not leaving early.
We will ask you to remind all customers of the list of all other exciting happenings and demonstrations throughout the show. Schedules and events will be posted and copies on every table. This show includes a participant questionnaire regarding show related thoughts to be used in planning of the Fall 2010 show set for October.
InnSuites location is 475 N. Granada at the corner of St. Marys (East/West) & where Main Street becomes Granada (North/South). Best information on routes is to Google Map Quest.
You may use the following link to the show info on the WPHS web site
( This also contains a print out of the show reservation & membership application form to mail in with your check.  Note March 14th on your calendar! You may also contact via email, telephone or surface mail at my addresses below.

See you on Sunday March 14th at the InnSuites and have a great show!

Best regards,
Paul Garrett, Show Chairman Click Here to Read More!

February WPHS Meeting Program

Our speaker for February will be Jerry Day. He will talk about his toys that look like cameras, cameras that look like toys, and other specialty items. Jerry has been collecting for a number of years and will bring many of his cameras for you to see. Jerry enjoys his collection and will talk about how he got into this area of collecting. You'll enjoy his enthusiasm and his cameras!

In March, we'll look forward to hearing about the real Ansel Adams from Becky Senf from the Center for Creative Photography. Becky has studied Ansel Adams and will have an interesting show for us.
Click Here to Read More!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January Program

Ann Simmons-Myers first worked in a darkroom at the Ohio State University in January of 1971. Since that time, she has sustained a love of photography and its various processes through teaching and exhibiting. In 1979 Simmons-Myers moved to Tucson, in order to study alternative photographic processes with Todd Walker and fell in love with the desert. For the past twenty years she has been head of the Photography Program in the Visual Arts Department at Pima Community College, where she learns from her students every day.
Her work has been shown extensively throughout the United States as well as several foreign countries.
Ann will have several pieces of her latest work on display and will share her vast photographic experience with our members.
We urge you to attend this outstanding and exciting program.
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