Friday 14 May saw me start the day with Juan Vrijs from Haghefilm for a lesson in film repair and splicing. I was joined by two L. Jeffrey Selznick School students, Josh Haidet from Alliance, Ohio and HyunJu Jang from South Korea. Juan took us through film preparation and a variety of repair techniques including ultrasonic film splicing and film sprocket repair. Careful examination of film to be duplicated is essential. This ensures any damage to the sprocket holes or film surface is repaired prior to the film being duplicated, thus reducing the chance of further damage occurring to the film during the duplication process.
Following Juan’s instructions proved to me why I chose a path into the digital realm.
After a quick lunch at the LDR Charpit I visited Todd Gustavson, Curator of Technology and toured the GEH Photographic Equipment Vault.
The vault is an environmentally controlled collection of photographic history. It contains cameras from the era of the Lumiere Brothers as used by Marius Sestier in Australia in the late 1890s, through to digital technology. One of my personal favourite items is the Cinematographe by Lumiere. Todd is the author of Camera, A History of Photography from Daguerrotype to Digital and is currently working on the second volume.
After the Photographic Equipment Vault tour I met with Joe Struble of the Photography Department for a tour of the Photography vault. Joe is passionate about the photography collection and has been at GEH for over 20 years. Walking through the vault I noticed names on the archive storage boxes like a who’s who of photography … Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eadweard Muybridge, Ansel Adams, Julia Margaret Cameron … the list just didn’t stop.
The collection also contains early photographic examples such as daguerreotypes of which Joe showed me one of his favourites. A gold encased daguerreotype of a gentleman that looked like it could have been taken yesterday, although it is over 100 years old, a stunning example and an amazingly captivating image.
On Sunday I head off on my USA road trip to Culpeper, Virginia to spend the week at the Library of Congress facility. There I will be taking part in classes including, optical printing, film quality control, film processing and data security.