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Introduction:

A 4x5” “Baby Deardorff” and a couple of film holders

Apple and Fujifilm made major announcements on the same day recently – September 12, 2023. The contrast between them is actually not new in any way – it goes back to the invention of the snapshot by Kodak in the late 19th Century. As Kodak was inventing this new use for photography, L.F Deardorff and others were improving the design and image quality of large-format cameras. The divide that began in Rochester, NY more than 100 years ago is with us today, with smartphone cameras to document our lives and larger-format cameras with a wide variety of capabilities to make art. This pair of articles, which share an opening paragraph, examines what that looks like today.

            to understand the divide, we need to travel in space and time. Our destination is Rochester, NY at the turn of the century – the LAST century. In 1900, Rochester was America’s Opt...

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Dan Wells, "Shuttterbug" on the trail, is a landscape photographer, long-distance hiker and student in the Master of Divinity program at Harvard Divinity School. He lives in Cambridge, MA when not in wild places photographing and contemplating our connection to the natural world. Dan's images try to capture the spirit he finds in places where, in the worlds of the Wilderness Act of 1964, "Man himself is but a visitor". He has hiked 230 miles of Vermont's Long Trail and 450 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail with his cameras, as well as photographing in numerous National Parks, Seashores and Forests over the years - often in the offseason when few people think to be there. In the summer of 2020, Dan plans to hike a stretch of hundreds of miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, focusing on his own and others' spiritual connection to these special places, and making images that document these connections. Over years of personal work and teaching photography, Dan has used a variety of equipment (presently Nikon Z7 and Fujifilm APS-C). He is looking for the perfect combination of light weight, ruggedness and superb image quality.
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