On the road–just looking

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My crits had a few surprises at last weekend’s conference of the Society of Photographic Educators Middle Atlantic. Colette Copeland had asked us to help out, so we left Philadelphia at 5 a.m. to get there in time for our scheduled time to look at portfolios and talk to whomever showed up. We set a record to Fairfax of 2 1/2 hours!

While I was talking to Nancy Breslin, whose diaristic photos enchanted me, I had to take a picture of her pinhole camera. In these times of plastic and digital, it has an ur-camera kind of clunkiness that just stole my heart–wood, square corners, brass fittings, just a tiny wooden box. How appropriate that the photo’s lighting has a sepia tinge!

A first cousin to the camera was the un-portfolio of student Josh Harshbarger, who claimed he couldn’t afford to buy one. To satisfy a class requirement, he made the thing himself. I loved the un-streamlined shape, the Rube Goldberg string hinge and the button-and-string fastener. Harshbarger conceded that the box might be a bit heavy. I think he has a talent for sculpture.

And finally, I had to share Jenni Snead’s “Dinodate” series of photos that she made for an intro to color photography class (which she took with Harshbarger, by the way). The acid colors, the story telling, the concept, the execution made my heart go pit-a-pat. I hope you can get a little sense of it from this one photo. The date is going really well here. I think Snead was a little shocked by my enthusiasm.

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