Conversations about Photography 2015

J. Parker LambIn an iconic photograph by J. Parker Lamb, a Gulf, Mobile & Ohio fireman enjoys a cool breeze as his freight train heads north behind Alco FAs at Marion, Mississippi, in July 1958. Lamb will share a retrospective of his work at Conversations about Photography on Sunday, April 12, 2015.

Dates: April 10–12, 2015

Location: The campus of cosponsor Lake Forest College (campus map), 30 miles north of Chicago. Learn more about the City of Lake Forest online or download the PDF overview. Rooms are available at two nearby hotels. Please make your reservations no later than March 20 by calling and mentioning our conference to receive the special rate.

Polishing by Gong Zhongli (Chinese), oil on canvas, 55” x 45″, 1984. Collection of Peter Mosse.

Registration: Download the printable PDF form to register by mail with a check or use the Paypal links at left.

Fee Adjustments: The Center has had to increase Conference fees for two reasons. First, catering costs and lodging and travel expenses for Conference presenters have risen significantly during the last year. Second, because of attendance growth and the addition of full-scale presentations (rather than workshops) on Sundays, we can no longer accommodate registrations for a single day. We now must accept registrations only for both Saturday and Sunday, issuing a single ticket for both days.

Your Photographs: After purchasing your tickets, please send one of your recent photographs, preferably from the past year, for inclusion in a presentation of attendees’ photographs at the conference. Send one JPEG image file, either 1920 pixels wide or 1200 pixels high, to info [at]

Patrons: If you feel strongly about the conference, consider becoming a patron (use the Paypal link at left). Patrons help offset travel costs for presenters, and the 25 patrons of Conversations 2014 also provided funds for at least two scholarships in 2015. Patrons are recognized in the program and receive free tickets for all print raffles.

Scholarships: At least two scholarships, funded by conference patrons, are available to cover ticket prices, two nights of lodging (double occupancy), and travel expenses up to $300 to and from the conference. Young and/or emerging photographers and other visual artists are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is February 1; recipients will be announced by February 13.

Lines of communication, by Cyril HerbertLines of communication, railway lines at London’s King’s Cross station, photographed by Cyril Herbert in about 1938. Collection of the National Railway Museum in York, England.

Friday, April 10 (Glen Rowan House, 5:30–9:00 p.m.)

  • Reception with photography exhibition
  • Dinner in Calvin Durand Hall of the Mohr Student Center
  • Axel Zwingenberger
    Boogie-woogie piano music and its railroad influences

Saturday, April 11 (Chapel, 8:30–5:00)

  • Jeff Mast and Mike Valentine
    A Journey into Photo Charters
  • Diane Bacha
    Great American Railroad Stories
  • Peter Mosse
    The World of Railroad Paintings: 175 Years, 25 Countries
  • David Kahler
    Pocahontas Division, Norfolk Southern Railroad
  • Axel Zwingenberger
    Night photography of German steam railroads
  • Ed Bartholomew
    Collections from England’s National Railway Museum
  • Ted Benson, Dick Dorn, Dale Sanders, and Dave Stanley
    72–82: Western Pacific’s Final Decade
  • Reception, Glen Rowan House, 5:00–7:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 12 (McCormick Auditorium, 9:00–1:00)

  • J. Parker Lamb
  • Justin Franz
    Photojournalism and railroads
  • Bill Stewart
    Artist Howard Fogg and the Monon Railroad
  • James Swensen
    Always on the Go: FSA Photography, Russell Lee, and the Railroad
Cumbres & Toltec, by Jeff MastChartered steam freight train on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad on March 15, 2014. Photograph by Jeff Mast