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Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by doughowk, Aug 3, 2006.
NY Times article on John Coffer includes an audio slide show with interview & tintype pictures.
Thanks for the link. I would like to attend one of his workshops some day. You don't see many people like John these days. In addition to his workshops, he also has books/DVD's available.
Is it just me, or was the fact of his marital misfortune and his lack of a current "affair of the heart" weirdly emphasized? The reporter seemed determined to paint a picture of him as "a man who could use an online dating service."
His workshops sound great.
Yes, unfortunately it seemed the reporter allowed her personal opinions about his lifestyle and lack of love life slant her story. Maybe she was alternately attracted to and appalled by the guy?
Nonetheless, it was nice to see an article about non-digital photography in the mainstream press! Even if it is in the same issue of the NY Times that is carrying this story!
Oh well, you win some and lose some.....
I took a workshop from John Coffer over Memorial Day weekend and was also at his farm for his 6th Annual Tintype Jamboree last weekend. In all that time I never heard him speak ill of his ex-wife or first assistant. I think the author of the article presented a very skewed view of John. John's lifestyle certainly is far from mainstream and his responses to things can be a bit unusual (e.g., he seemed almost to experience a childlike excitement one evening as someone hit the nearby town of Watkins Glen to return with a huge pizza for the evening meal around the campfire one night during the workshop), but he also seemed quite reverent and respectful. He is very independent and resourceful, well-respected in the wetplate community, really knows his stuff, and is certainly walkin' the talk.
The recent Jamboree was a lot of fun although it was a rainy muddy mess on the farm. It was referred to by a fellow wetplater as being the "Woodstock of Jamborees" on another forum. (That must have been the reason I arrived wearing my "Jefferson Airplane Loves You" t-shirt.) I met a lot of great folks there and everyone appreciated John's hospitality. It was fascinating watching him pour and process a 20x24 glass negative as well as a 20x24 tintype. He's da man.
The only excuse for NY Times article is they did place it under "Home & Garden" section. The audio slide show was much better, though. Thanks for the JohnCoffer.com link, need to order a DVD and plan on another process to learn;-)
I just read that article and must say that it was one of the worst pieces of journalism (and I use that phrase loosely) I've ever read. Was this supposed to be an editorial about "wild men" and how they can't find women?
Agreed, it seems as if she was too wrapped up with the 'mountain man' focus, rather than focusing on the photographer. Afterall, what discussion about a man's sheets belongs in an article about a photographer ?
Lame-ass journalism at it's worst. Seemed like she was holding her nose the whole time.
I knew the article was heading down a strange subtextual highway when she mentioned the smoky smell of his surroundings and his person in the first couple of paragraphs. Interesting article if you ignore the unsubtle, judgmental stuff that the reporter sprinkled liberally throughout the piece.
I agree- it was a VERY Bizarre write-up. I kinda got the impression that the author wanted to be hot for him but couldn't bring herself to, so she had to trash his personality, instead of actually discussing his passion for photography and his teaching.
Journalism has been dead for a while now.
I think that's a bit extreme, but as a long time NY Times reader I can certainly attest that outside the main news sections it has become increasingly "fluffy". The Times, like many mainstream newspapers, is desperate to stem readership declines that are most severe in younger age categories. So it tries harder and harder to be "hip" by being more and more frivilous.
And true, as noted earlier, this article was situated in the "House & Home Section" so the focus on the house and sheets and bath etc. was appropriate. The discussion of his lack of a love life and "repellant nature" though was not.
It would have been a much more interesting article for us here if it had been written by the NY Times photographer who had attended the workshop and took the tintypes!
Thanks for posting the link. I have passed it on to my students.
Although I don't appreciate the direction the reporter took in writing, I am always glad to see non-digital photography receive some press.
I think I sold Fred Conrad the Darlot lens he was using for his tintypes. I sold the guy from Star Camera one of my "brass cannons" and he was excited to tell me he was building a camera for Fred Conrad from the New York Times. Looking at the photos, I wish I'd kept it.
And,incidentally, I too have had problems with a former girlfriend or two....
Well ok, yeah, a little bit.
I should have said television journalism is dead and rotting, radio journalism is gasping for breath, and print journalism has a nasty chest cold that is headed to pneumonia.
Its nice to see an article on real photographic process in the mainstream. It's disgusting that it can't just be an article, that it has to be "juiced up"
At least its not about some idiot actor or singer's baby.
Guys, it's a Feature Story ! Calm down !
Probably do more for his career than a dozen articles
the Re-Enactors Gazette.
Of course, none of US live on the margins of society !
Mainstreamers, one and all.
Since it was the NYT, I didn't ready the article, but did really enjoy the multimedia piece. The photographer's own words and his own images.
Go back and be impressed with what can be done when multi-media is used well.
John is one of the kindest, most respectful and dignified people I've ever met. I never heard him say anything bad about anyone and my wife and dog love him as well. I stopped reading the Times several years ago precisely because of such self promoting hacks. That being said, the crossword rocks.
So what do you read now - the Post?
Murdoch's NY Post doesn't bother with crossword puzzles because they've run out of monosyllabic words!
NEWS-papers:Wall St Journal, Financial Times, Science Monitor.
I do get the Times online though...just in case. But theyre not getting my $1 a day. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I used to deliver the Sunday Times as a boy in the tenement walk-up laden North Bronx...the thought of a fall preview + special magazine supplement weekend still make my legs shake.