Sunday November 29, 2009

LITCHFIELD, CONNECTICUT – Back to Litchfield to photograph the First Congregational Church at sunrise.  The congregation first met in 1721.  The story of the building is a bit complex.  Here’s a quote from “Historic Buildings of Connecticut”:

Litchfield’s first meeting house was built on the Green in 1723, the second in 1761 and the third in 1829. In 1873, a fourth church, in the High Victorian Gothic style, was built and the 1829 Federal-style structure, with its steeple removed as was typically done with deconsecrated churches, was moved around the corner. In the coming years it would serve as a community center and theater, known as Amory Hall or Colonial Hall. In the early twentieth century, tastes had shifted back from favoring the Gothic to an interest in the Colonial Revival. In 1929, the Gothic church was demolished and the 1828 church returned to its original site on Torrington Road and restored, complete with a new steeple (1929-30). Reconsecrated, it continues today as the First Congregational Church of Litchfield.”

I’ve taken the liberty of presenting this image in both color and black and white.  The black and white version demonstrates the power of abstraction of this medium.

This images was captured with a Leica M9 digital camera, and a fifty-year old Leitz lens, a 50mm dual range Summicron modified to mount on the M9.  The finished image was stitched together from four overlapping frames, which provides resolution similar to a medium format digital camera or 4×5 film.

The time on the clock on the steeple could either be an hour slow or perpetually 6:30 – it’s actually the latter.

First Congregational Church Litchfield Connecticut
First Congregational Church Litchfield Connecticut
Black and white version
Black and white version

Saturday, November 28, 2009

WARREN, CONNECTICUT – At last a crisp, clear late fall day.  This is the sort of day that gives seasonal weather changes a good reputation.  After struggling against against murky light for most of the week.  I spent the afternoon in Litchfield having lunch and photographing the town.  Tomorrow is supposed to be clear so I’ll come back for sunrise.  Today’s posting is from a walk in the woods a little latter in the day.

Birches Warren, Connecticut
Birches Warren, Connecticut

Friday November 27, 2009

NEW MILFORD, CONNECTICUT – Another grim, overcast day.  While driving on back roads from New Milford to Kent, Connecticut. I spotted an odd structure: a run-down wooden ziggurat.  I stopped to photograph it (despite the poor light).  As I was working a woman stopped her car and told me its story.  It was built by a man named J. Pol in the mid-1960s.  His teenage daughter became pregnant; the State of Connecticut alleged that he was the father and took custody of the daughter away from him; he denied it and built the ziggurat as a memorial to is life with her.

J. Pol Memorial New Milford, Connecticut
J. Pol Memorial New Milford, Connecticut

Tuesday November 24, 2009

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Today is the run up for Thanksgiving – a major food shopping day.  We spend the morning at Fairway in Harlem (it’s at 125th Street and the Hudson River).  The weather cleared dramatically, providing an opportunity to photograph the underside of Riverside Drive from 125th Street.

Riverside Drive from 125th Street
Riverside Drive from 125th Street

Sunday November 22, 2009

WARREN, CONNECTICUT – The Congregational Meeting House in Warren, Connecticut.  Warren was carved out of Kent Connecticut in the 1780s.

The Warren town website provides the following history: “Warren was settled in 1737 as part of the Town of Kent.  In 1750 a separate ecclesiastical society called the Society of East Greenwich was established and a church was founded in 1756. In 1786 Warren was incorporated as a separate town.
Even though for most of its history Warren has been an agricultural community, by 1810 Warren became known as an educational center with five private schools and an academy which produced 15 ministers and educators.  Over the last two and  a half centuries Warren’s population has fluctuated widely. By 1810 the town’s population had increased to 1100, but with the decline of agriculture and the local iron industry it reached an all-time low in 1930 with only 303 inhabitants.”

Wikipedia furnishes the following information on Warren: “As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 1,254 people, 497 households, and 353 families residing in the town. The population density was 47.7 people per square mile (18.4/km²). There were 650 housing units at an average density of 24.7/sq mi (9.5/km²).”

Warren, Connecticut
Warren, Connecticut

Saturday November 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, CONNECTICUT – Washington was established by the General Assembly of Connecticut in 1742 as “Judea”. Biblical names are common in Litchfield County – Bethlehem Connecticut is a neighboring town. The Congregational Church in Judea had its first meeting in 1741 in a log shed. A meeting house was subsequently built on the town green, completed in 1784; it was destroyed by fire; the present building was finished in 1800. In the late 17th century the name of the town was changed to Washington. The town cemetery is still named the Judea Hill Cemetery.

This is part of my plan to photograph every church in Litchfield County. I’ve selected an image for today that highlights the meeting house’s neoclassical detailing. I’m continuing to explore the quality of out-of-focus rendering.

Congregational Meeting House, Washington CT
Congregational Meeting House, Washington CT