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Member since 05/2006

« Making the Maps | Main | First Book & Some Publicity »

May 24, 2006


Harris Radin

Hi Earl...I just found your web site and enjoyed your talking anout the Avedon years. I was there at the 58th street studio for a time 59-1960. Dick took me to Paris for the fall collections....and after that I opened my own NY studio...which lasted for 4+ years before a manor career change. I very much enjoyed your talking about darkroom proceedures because I too did some printing there..but mostly film developing and studio help...running errends and cleaning up, loading film and delivering prints to ad agencies, Bazaar ,getting some food etc. I also acted as an assisrant to Hiro from time to time Iwish you well and am looking forward to reading all of your adventures. Best regards....Harris

Franklin Harrell

Hello, Earl.
I enjoyed so much reading your essay on the Avedon years. As one who counts Avedon as his favorite photographer, I found it especially inspiring. I have sold nearly all my digital equipment, and now primarily use a Hasselblad to make darkroom enlargements. The explanation of the process was excellent. And you are right, of course...making images the old fashioned way, as it were, requires immeasurably more skill.


Was the Panthermic 777 always in liquid form, or did you mix it from scratch? If so, do you have the formula?
Thanks, enjoyed your writing.

Thanks for the comment. The Panthermic 777 that we used always came premixed in glass 1-gallon jugs. Some people made their own, but I understand that it was difficult to mix. I don't know the formula, but it should not be hard to find via a google search.

Cliff Shapiro

Thank you, thank you!! It was a pleasure to read about your experience and Richard's methods in the darkroom. I'm currently a student in Santa Fe, NM, working on my thesis, much in the style of Avedon (one of my favorite photographers).

I mix my own developers, and I can't believe I didn't think about keeping a hot cup of HQ! Brilliant.

Thanks again!

Do you have a formula for the glycerin solution you mentioned?? I'm am printing large and paper curl is a constant battle.

Off to the darkroom to try some new things!!

Earl Steinbicker

Thanks for your comment. About the chemicals - they were all commercially prepared, pre-mixed in gallon jugs. The glycerin-based flattening solution that we used was, I believe, made by a firm called Heico. Kodak made a similar product. Both were concentrates, to be mixed with water. We kept a 16x20 tray filled with the working dilution next to the Pako rotary dryer. This had two notches into which fit a 20x24 sheet of plexiglass, leaning against the wall. Prints were always soaked for a while in the solution, then wiped down with a squeegee before being put on the dryer belt. The product was called something like "Photo Flat." It was important to not have the heat too high, and to not over-dry. The stuff had a pleasantly clean smell about it. I have no idea whether such a product is still made, and have no experience in mixing chemicals.
Hope this helps a little,

Carol Schmidt

To anyone interested, available for purchase is my late dad's PAKO ELECTROGLOSS DRYER, among other things.

My late dad was A. L. Schmidt, Staff Photographer for Kalmbach Publishing Co from 1951-1993: Trains, Model Trains, Model Railroader magazines, etc. He was also a professional photographer who shot 100s of Milw (WI) couples' weddings in the 40s-50s-60s and also owned a Photography and Supplies store with my mom.

Also have his H-F Print Washer, developing tanks, enlargers (Omega D2 and Federal 219, I believe). And you name it - SO MUCH OTHER vintage professional photography equipment. Much of the Graflex and other cameras have already been sold. But there's much left. These items were in his darkroom.

I MUST SELL, as his house will be sold in Oct 2014. I don't have to heart to dismantle and discard these precious items. They will never be back in circulation. Now is the time, before it's too late.

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