Conversations about Photography 2005

The program included:

  • Thomas H. Garver, Madison, Wisconsin, “The Truth About O. Winston Link. Was He Really a Railroad Photographer?” Garver, Link’s assistant in the 1950s, served as agent for the last seven years of Link’s life. An art historian, Garver is organizing curator for the Link Museum in Roanoke, Virginia.
  • Shirley Burman, Sacramento, California, “Walking in His Footsteps,” photography by her husband, Richard Steinheimer; and “Women in Railroading.” A new book, Passion for Trains: The Railroad Photography of Richard Steinheimer, has been released this fall by W. W. Norton. Stein was awarded a lifetime achievement award in 1983 from the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. Burman is a well-known photographer and social historian.
  • Michael Valentine, Ferndale, Michigan, “Digital Imaging: Promises, Pitfalls and Challenges in the New Era of Photography.” Valentine is vice-president of Valentine Robotics, Inc., an Auburn Hills, Michigan, firm. He has had articles published in Trainsand CTC Board magazines and contributed to foreign publications.
  • Sayre Kos, Mundelein, Illinois, has organized a presentation by six developing photographers. In addition to Kos, they include Nick Trimberger, Burlington, Wisconsin; Matt Heeren, German Valley, Illinois; Ryan Schoenfeldt, Cedarburg, Wisconsin; Brian Schmidt, Napoleon, Ohio; and John Ryan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Kos, a student at the College of Lake County, worked as a conductor for the Wisconsin & Southern for six months.
  • Steve Crise, Los Angeles, California, “Thinking Beyond the 3/4 Wedge Shot. He started working professionally in photography in 1979. Currently he produces stock photography for Corbis with an emphasis on rail transportation. Projects include providing images for the San Bernardino Historical Society’s web site that supports locomotive 3751. He is a founding member and curator of photogrphy for the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation/Donald Duke Research Library in Alhambra, California.
  • Robert Harr, Chicago, Illinois. As a photographer for Hedrich Blessing in Chicago since 1952, he handled its railroad accounts for 20 years. His talk will concentrate on work for the Great Northern Railway.
  • Jim Wrinn, Trains magazine editor since October, “Photography for Publication.” Wrinn worked for the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina for 18 years before accepting the position in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

“Conversations about Photography,” co-sponsored with the Lake Forest College library’s Archives and Special Collections, also will include a report by John Gruber on the Center’s three-year project, “Representations of Railroad Work, Past and Present,” and a review of the library’s railroad collections. David Mattoon, a research associate at the archives, will speak. The winners of the Center’s creative photography award will be announced.

The daylong program is at McCormick Auditorium, Johnson Science Center, on the middle campus of Lake Forest College, one block south of Deerpath Road in Lake Forest, Illinois. Coffee and soda will be available at 8:30 a.m.; presentations begin at 9 a.m.

“The Center is doing a wonderful job of honoring historic railroad photography of the type in the Donnelley and Lee Library’s collections. We are enthusiastic, too, about all that is being done by the Center to encourage quality contemporary railroad photography. Our role at Lake Forest in supporting this significant conference reflects the value we place on these efforts,” said Arthur Miller, archivist and librarian for special collections, who will talk about the library’s railroad photography web site.

Tom Garver (top), Shirley Burman (middle), and John Ryan. All photos by Hank Koshollek.