Saturday, July 28, 2012

Daguerreotype, Ambrotype, Tintype and more from Wallkill NY

  Today was a great day spent in Wallkill, NY with one of my old friends Mahandeep.  I met her at a 2008 Rainbow Gathering in Wyoming state.  She's a traveler and explorer and has been getting pretty seriously into Kundalini yoga recently with great results for her aura and presence.  She's back at her grandmothers house for a little bit and extended the invitation for me to stay over as long as I want.  I am planning on possibly swinging by here again on my way back from Maine as it is a very peaceful and pleasant environment.

  We went around the town New Paltz, which is not too far from Wallkill and has a very hip and bustling Main street with lots of bookstores, coffee shops and alternative-minded people.  Just down the road is a beautiful field of sunflowers and there I took these two images using Polaroid 600SE camera, which is quickly becoming my favorite instant machine, and Fuji FP100c film.

  Afterward we stopped by an old barn located on Waterfront street that has been converted into an antique shop to browse about and see what we can find.  To my surprise and delight in one of the cases I was a great vintage half-plate Tintype in original frame and glass!  Tintypes are abundant, but to find a half-plate one that is in its original outfit is quite a treat, so I asked for the manager and he came out to talk to me as he is also interested in photography.  When I took a closer look in that same case I noticed another couple of smaller framed images and after taking them out I realized that one was an actual Daguerreotype and the other one an Ambrotype!  I have been waiting to find something like this, but never did I think that I'd find them in the same place.  I told Walter, the manager, of my mission to collect a line-up of historical images done with various photographic techniques and he was extremely kind and gave me a great discount on purchasing all three images.  Here is a quick shot of them.  I must admit that the Ambrotype is a bit damaged and I'll have to look up a way to restore it if possible.  I also wonder if there is a way to make the Daguerreotype image darker as it seems to have faded a bit over the last 100+ years (probably due to the moist environment that is prevalent here on the East Coast of US) - it does look a lot better in real life, so there's another incentive for folks to meet The Photo Palace Bus in person and take a look at the collection firsthand.

  The antique shop had quite a large number of bins full of old photographs and among them I also found a Carte-de-visite and what I believe to be a medium-size Albumen portrait.  While browsing the books upon the shelves I came across a hard-bound copy of History of Photography by Beaumont Newhall, 4th edition from 1964.  Knowing what reverence his old student and my favorite professor Brian Taylor of SJSU has for this man I decided to buy it as well, but there was no price anywhere to be found within it.  I walked back to Walter and he very generously donated that wonderful text to the Photo Palace cause.  The dust jacket is a bit tattered, but I'll try to repair it the best I can - most importantly all the knowledge is still intact on its pages, so now I have my reading cut out for me.

  I would recommend any photo enthusiast who is passing through Wallkill to stop by this antique shop as they do have a multitude of vintage photographs as well as some very interesting cameras including a Bell & Howell Electric Eye Sprecial edition - takes 127 film, has two settings for various kinds of film and a sliding focusing scale.  They also have a number of odd old Polaroid cameras, at least ten Kodak Brownies from various decades and in good shape and much much more to look at.

  My next update may not come for a little while (unless something extraordinary happens) as I am off to the state of Maine - it has been my goal all along to make it to the farthest north-east corner of US during the initial test-run so that the country is crossed from the extremes of north-east to south-east.  I was happy to find out in TN about the small Rainbow Gathering in Maine coinciding with my visit there, so I'll be continuing the Rainbow Documentary as well as visiting that beautiful state. 

  Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend,

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