Thursday June 21, 2012

A blind man with a white beard to rival Herman Melville's sits in a wash of sunshine, reading "Moby-Dick" in Braille. Dr. Louis Schiller called this phtograph "Let There Be Light" -- and in 1948, it formed part of the Berkshire Camera Club's traveling show. According to Eagle archives, the club planned a nationwide tour as far south as Atlanta, Ga.

This summer, the camera club will cover walls in the Berkshire Museum with color in ‘The Big Picture,' an exhibit in celebration of the club's 75th anniversary. Since 1937 -- in the ebb of the Depression -- the Berkshire Camera Club has met to offer workshops, hold informal contests, share projects and look at the county from new angles.

Cameras have evolved in that time. In 1937, color film was as revolutionary as the iPhone. (Koda chrome, the brand Paul Simon made famous in song, came on the market in 1935.) Flashes were often external -- and some lit with a match or came attached to the camera like a miniature lampshade.

But camera people continue as curious, clear-eyed and cutting-edge as ever, and they continue to light the county in new ways.

-- Information from Eagle archives, the Berkshire Museum, the Berkshire Camera Club and the Web