In Memory of John H. Pinkard, Jr.


In 1911, forty-seven states were in the United States and Arizona came in later, the same year that FotoCraft Camera Club’s founder and patriarch, John H. Pinkard, Jr. was born.  He was born on the campus of the University of Alabama A&M’s (Faculty Cottage), November 13, 1911.  John’s parents were teachers at the college.  Years later the family moved to Washington, DC.  As a teen John became fascinated with all things photographic, and for the rest of his life he was involved with many kind of cameras and long hours in the darkroom. He attended the Dunbar High School was played the violin in the Armstrong/Dunbar – All High School Orchestra.  Mr. Pinkard went on the attend Howard University and earned a Master’s of Science in physics and took further studies in teaching science. He became a solist with the University orchestra, and due to his interest in writing he was inducted into the Stylus Literary Society and became its archivist in the 1980”s. During World War II, he worked at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) and was a member of a team that developed the first guided missile as a Navy project. He devised photographic and optical components that tracked experimental models of the missile called “The Bat”. Also at NBS, he produced a kind of “super-micorfiche” that put over 1,000 infocard images on a single 20” x 20” sheet of high definition film.  The film was the heart of an information storage and retrieval system.  In 1940, he joined the 12th Street YMCA FotoCraft Camera Club – that was 75 years ago.  The club, by the way, was officially established in 1937.  John served as President for the club and historian.  He was also Executive Treasurer for a very long time.  Some have joked that he retained the job because he could count, was an honest man, kept good records, worked tirelessly without pay, and had impeccable penmanship.  Among his special honors from the club is a unique competition award named for him, The John H. Pinkard, Jr. Slide Presentation Award. In 2002, the Exposure Group, a professional photographic association in DC, awarded him the Maurice Sorrell Lifetime Achievement Award.  He was the recipient of several honors in city-wide photographic competitions and black & white club competitions and his works have been exhibited throughout the metropolitan area.  His dry wit and comments about being a relic brought the group to unashamed laughter. There was also a great deal of admiration for him.  His dedication to FotoCraft was commendable.  There are numerous shooting stars in the heavens, and John’s trail of light now outshines them all.

Excerpts from Light & Shadows A Newsletter of the FotoCraft Camera Club-September 2008

Welcome to the world of FotoCraft Camera Club!

Welcome to FotoCraft Camera Club Washington, DC’s oldest African-American and fastest-growing camera club.

FotoCraft Camera Club is for photographers of all levels, from beginner to advanced.  We provide educational programs, competitions, photographic excursions, special interest groups and Photo Challenge Groups. We also have an array of communications tools such as a Website and Blog, Facebook Page,Twitter Handle, YouTube and Google+ channels in the latest world of Social Media, By joining FotoCraft locally and on the internet, you can take advantage of tremendous exposure opportunities to exhibit your work across all of our media channels!

Visit our Contact Page to visit all the channels to discover our vast array of online social media!


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