David Vestal's darkroom for sale on ebay

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by davidkachel, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. davidkachel

    davidkachel Member

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    I wasn't sure where to post this and don't mind if it gets moved, but I know a lot of people here would want to know about it.
    It would appear that David Vestal's family is selling his darkroom on ebay. Here is the link:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Darkroom-Co..._DefaultDomain_0&hash=item48616098bc#viTabs_0

    I have no involvement in this and if I lived nearby, might have bought it myself.

    If you buy it and there happens to be any of the correspondence between Vestal and myself, I would appreciate knowing about it.


    David Kachel
     
  2. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    In the book "The Craft of Photography", page 68, a number of items match up fairly accurately with the photographs. The shelf and shelf supports, the enlarger model, the tray storage under the sink, the sink itself, stains where the bottles were stored, etc. Even the easel appears to be the same.

    Here's another . . . the scale pictured on ebay also appears to be the same scale in his book, page 238.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2014
  3. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    If this is his complete darkroom it is pretty modest.
     
  4. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    Modest indeed. He definitely wasn't participating in a darkroom hardware race. Not what I would have expected.
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Goes to prove how knowledge and skill goes a very long way.
     
  6. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    A life time a tools wrapped up in one sale for a pittance. Didn't even have someone to pass it on to in the family to continue printing, or an apprentice to keep it going. I wonder about my darkroom in the future.
     
  7. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    looks pretty much like mine, only more organized. What do you need? An enlarger, trays, paper, safelights.

    OK, I have four enlargers because I do different formats and my Focomat is better than sex. But other than that...this guy has the same as what I do, pretty much.

    The price breaks your heart, especially with all that paper, but that's what i see whole darkrooms go for here in utah too.
     
  8. 131802

    131802 Member

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  9. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Makes me sad somehow.
     
  10. markbau

    markbau Member

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    I didn't know he died. I'm a big fan of his, loved his books and purchased 4 of his prints through a DCCT print offer many years ago. A great mind and a brilliant writer on the subject of photography. A huge loss!
     
  11. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    Smithsonian has already contacted me about mine. The display will pose the question "how can someone with so much produce so little?"
     
  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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  13. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    David Vestal - RIP

    Sad to see of his death. I have a rather ragged copy of The Craft of Photography. I must admit that my BW work would be A LOT better if I "took the course." I wonder if a retrospective might be in the offing or if his photos have been too dispersed to be brought together for such. BTW, here's a nice remembrance: http://theonlinephotographer.typepa...er/2013/12/david-vestal-a-wonderful-life.html

    For those of you who don't have The Craft, watch for it. It is a worthy book which belongs on any BW photographer's bookshelf.
     
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  15. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    And they call the SP Nikon's first professional camera. Blech!
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    And what's with calling it an Fx?
     
  17. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    IIRC Fx is actually printed on the top near the shutter speed dial.
     
  18. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    Me too.
     
  19. lns

    lns Member

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    ^^

    Me three.
     
  20. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    I was saddened to hear of his passing. I read all his articles and learnt a lot from him. I also own 4 of his prints. Very simple, straight forward prints. Just like him and how he worked. It's sad to see his stuff ending up on the auction site, and probably will go for peanuts. What about prints that he left behind? It's my understanding that he had quite a few on hand.
    I am reminded of a friend of mine (considerably older than me, retired Latin teacher) who was a well known railroad photographer here in Canada. He had some amazing images that I had the good fortune to print for him over a 5 year period. Many of which he shot in China just before it converted to diesel about 10 years ago. He died suddenly a few years ago of a brain hemorrhage. His half brother came in (millionaire), binned all his prints and thousands of valuable negatives. I have no idea what happened to all his gear (he shot with a Pentax 67), and when I asked him, he refused to answer. But just like that, he was gone. No trace of him. Sad.
     
  21. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    That's heartbreaking. It speaks to a lack of respect, a lack of understanding anyone else's values or worth.
     
  22. lns

    lns Member

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    Yes, but we don't know the family situation, and there might have been a lot more to it.

    I think these things happen far more than we think. As hobbyists pass away, they leave a lifetime's accumulation that may be priceless to them but that prove hard to value and then sell. Their heirs are often grieving, and almost always know very little about the deceased's collections. I knew someone who was a prominent collector in a number of hobbies that aren't as popular any more, including film camera collecting. His widow hired someone to sell much of it for her on eBay. But she had a hard time finding libraries and organizations to accept the books and magazines she wanted to donate. She spent months on that effort, and some of it was futile.
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    David Vestal will be missed, but I don't find the auction to be all that sad.

    It looks to me like readily available, good quality equipment that has been heavily used. It doesn't look to be rare or hard to find equipment. I think its value was much more in the operator, not the equipment.

    It would be nice if someone could continue the work that David did, but the equipment he used most likely was the least important part of that work.

    I would rather hope that it goes to someone who is closer to being a beginner, who would have a chance to create their own photographs with it.

    That would be a fitting tribute to Mr. Vestal.
     
  24. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    What's sad to me isn't the auction as such but the miss-description of the gear, that equipment that belonged to him would be sold without knowledge of what each piece even is.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  25. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    I like that. This is the selling of the well used tools of a craftsman. Hopefully the new owner will take the time to learn something of the previous owner and become inspired to excel their own efforts. And even in the legacy is lost in the transaction, the market is such that these will end up in the hands of someone that wants to use them.
     
  26. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    David Vestal was a great writer and teacher. I wish I had met him.