PhotoHistory XII Symposium, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York
September 29, 2003

The first showing of our Magic Mirror of Life tent was at PhotoHistory XI Symposium in Rochester, New York on October 21, 2000. A page on this site, Magic Mirror of Life at George Eastman House, is devoted to that day. When the program for PhotoHistory XII was planned for September, 2003 we were honored to be asked to bring our camera obscura tent back for a return visit.

As the time neared to pack the tent and leave for Rochester we watched with mounting panic as hurricane Isabel aimed at the east coast. The closer our travel day approached the more certain it seemed that Isabel would arrive in Baltimore just in time for our trip. An alternate plan was needed since packing a large car-top carrier with equipment in the midst of a hurricane was not possible. We downsized our plans to our one-person tent, a viewing cabinet camera obscura, and a reflex box camera obscura. The night before we left we designed and printed a group of 16X20 inch posters on the camera obscura.

Although the waterfront areas of Baltimore were very badly flooded in the storm, we were far enough inland to suffer only a few broken tree limbs so were able to leave on Friday, September 19. The weather was awful for the entire trip from Baltimore to Rochester but Saturday when the conference opened was clear and sunny. We set up in the beautiful side garden with a view of Eastman House.


We were initially disappointed that we could not show the larger tent but at the end of the day we agreed that it had been a wonderful experience and the interaction with the visitors had been much more enjoyable than showing the large tent to groups had been.

We were able to attend several of the presentation during the day because we were assisted by two terrific Eastman House docents who were able to take over the demonstration while we attended a number of the lectures.


Jim Kunkel, is shown below on the left with Jack. Eugene Kowaluk, on the right, is being shown the the operation of one of the camera obscuras by Jack. They were both quick studies and did a wonderful job of showing the instruments while we were attending the symposium.

The day was perfect, the setting was beautiful, the symposium was (as always) filled with interesting information. We want to give special thanks to our long time friend, Nicholas Graver and the other symposium planners; our able assistants, Jim and Eugene; and the staff at Eastman House for giving us this opportunity to share our love for the camera obscura.

A bonus of the day was a chance to visit with our friend Martha Cooper (AKA Kodak Girl) shown below with the horse with a view camera that decorated the front lawn of Eastman House.


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our 1996 trip to
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Images of camera obscuras from our collection.

Some Images from our collection
Trade Cards with Camera Obscuras
Lost UK Seaside Camera Obscuras
Other Lost UK Camera Obscuras
Lost US Seaside Camera Obscura
Lost US Park Camera Obscuras
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No, it's not a camera obscura

Portable and box camera obscuras from our collection.
Wooden Camera Obscuras
Metal Camera Obscuras
Camera Obscuras with the Lens at the Top
Cardboard Camera Obscuras
A French Artist's Camera with supplies
Vermeer's Camera, a 1934 teaching camera
Camera Obscura Publications

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Modified 8/2004