[Alt-photo] the alt family tree

robin moyer robinmoyer1 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 20 04:13:15 UTC 2017


Per Dick Sullivan's recent comment: The founder of Elegant Images, Alan
Goodman, was a DuPont Chemist and studied with me at a school I had set up
at Glen Echo Park in Maryland, called PhotoWorks. I occasionally taught
some alt processes there, but having only had one class in photography in
the physics department of the University of North Carolina in 1969 (Taught
by Dr. Ross Scroggs), I mostly had to study hard and fast to keep ahead of
my exceptionally bright students. Steve Szabo was a friend and Washington
Post photojournalist. We both began printing in platinum (no palladium
available) about the same time and passed on what we learned from ancient
texts to our students. So Steve and I taught each other, often
simultaneously discovering stuff. Steve cheated a bit by hanging out with
George Tice, but generously shared. And in 1974 we both had our work
purchased by the Library of Congress. Alas, Asia called (again) and I left
Photoworks in the competent hands of Rhoda Baer and Tico Herrera to jump
start my career in photojournalism, leaving Alt Photo behind. I note with
great pleasure that PhotoWorks is still thriving with over 20 lecturers and
loads of alt-photo.

Fast forward to Hong Kong 2010: After reviewing boxes of 8x10 negs circa
1970s, I caught the Platinum bug again and was talked into building a 34
print portfolio of platinum prints (platinum had only once before been
exhibited in Hong Kong (Coco Chanel by Douglas Kirkland)

An old colleague (mentor) from Time Pix, Bill Pierce, introduced me to
master PT/PD printer Carl Weese and Carl graciously answered my relentless
stupid questions about things long ago forgotten. I managed to make some
passable prints, and we sold half the exhibit over two years, and just
recently sold the remaining prints and had to order more chems from B&S to
print the missing pix.

I don't know what it is like in the world of Alt Photo Process academia,
but the world of photojournalism that has been my life for the past 47
years has been one of generous friends, colleagues, and competitors happy
to onpass what they know about photography, share their contacts, cameras,
lenses, film (or now cards), cars and hotel rooms/tents, even in the midst
breaking stories and deadlines. All mentors. All good. Well, mostly good.

––Robin Moyer


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