To Infinity and Beyond: A Captain Kirk for Our Time

To Infinity and Beyond: A Captain Kirk for Our Time
The mega-camera

One of the great things about living in my world is getting to know interesting people--really interesting. Like Dennis Manarchy, a 21st century Captain Kirk setting out "to boldly go where no man has gone before"

Dennis Manarchy with Chad Tepley in their studio

Dennis Manarchy with Chad Tepley in their studio

Dennis and his associate, Chad Tepley, are embarking on a 20,000 mile odyssey with a camera the size of a studio apartment to photograph our vanishing cultures before they are gone forever: the dwindling numbers of Tuskegee Airmen; aging medal of honor winners of World War II (one the last passed away just days ago); the Eskimos of Alaska who are vanishing at an alarming rate; Native American Medicine Men--formerly highly respected tribal members but now disappearing; lepers living out their last days on a remote Hawaiian island; an old Cajun on the Louisiana Bayou, one of a dying breed. This man once planted 100 saplings to celebrate the birth of his daughter. The trees grew and so did she. Twenty years later, she was married within their circle. Manarchy will insure their places in history before they are gone forever.

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Virgil Poole, one of the last Tuskegee Airmen

Dennis Manarchy has another reason for doing this project. Not only is he preserving the images of dying cultures, he is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the camera by paying homage to the dying art of film photography. These photographs, his swan song to the brilliance of film, will also allow him to fulfill a lifelong dream: to create the perfect photograph, which he believes can only be done on film and only on a scale that is larger than life. "Film has a look to it," he says,"a classic look that cannot be duplicated. There is a warmth to film that just isn't there in digital." Manarchy's camera will produce 4.5 X 6 foot negatives. The prints developed from these negatives will be over two stories tall and will have detail 1,000 times greater than those from average digital photography. You will be able to see a single eyelash on a child's face and wrinkles on a man's skin that seem to look into his soul. They will be beautiful beyond imagination. At the end of the road, we will all be able to share Manarchy's work.He is planning to stage a huge exhibit of his photographs--first on the Washington Mall, and later in Millennium Park--as well as at other suitable venues nationwide. It will be a show for the ages.

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  • I look forward to seeing his show. Thanks for telling me about him.

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