Monday November 23, 2009

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A tough day for photographs: meetings all morning followed by a large lunch in a dark restaurant. Ugly, gray light outside. Late in the day I found myself uptown near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Gugenheim Museum. I have an ongoing project shooting iconic buildings as if one happens upon them at random – the objective is to try to capture the surprise of seeing them for the first time. The Gugeneheim is iconic but it’s hard to “happen upon” it – it’s cut off from Central Park across Fifth Avenue by a wall, and it’s hemmed in on the other three sides by larger buildings and the Manhattan grid. I ended up shooting details, and got this as it was getting dark. Not my best work.

The Guggenheim Museum, Manhattan
The Guggenheim Museum, Manhattan

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

Thursday November 19, 2009

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Looking back at the past week’s work I kept coming back to the cemetery in New Preston. I decided to try more images with large out-of-focus areas. Returning to Grand Central Terminal I reshot the phones with a Leica M9 and a 35mm Summicron pre-aspheric version IV lens – I’ll be using this for the next several days. This lens is known as the “bokeh king” – bokeh being a subjective view of the quality of the out of focus portions of the image.

Grand Central Terminal - lower level
Grand Central Terminal - lower level

Tuesday November 17, 2009

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Another day with the M9 and 35mm Summicron.  I took the shuttle to Boston in the early morning and managed a walk around for an hour or two before a day of meetings.  Here’s what Wikipedia says about Dorchester Street and the Dorchester Street Bridge:

The Boston South Bridge over Fort Point Channel, on the site of today’s West Fourth Street Bridge, opened on October 1, 1805 as the first bridge connecting downtown to South Boston. Until it was sold to the city of Boston on April 19, 1832, it was a toll bridge.   The Dorchester Turnpike Corporation (sometimes called the South Boston Turnpike) was created by the state legislature on March 4, 1805, to build a turnpike from the east end of the Boston South Bridge (Nook Point) to Milton Bridge over the Neponset River, on the other side of which the Blue Hill Turnpike later continued.  Construction cost more than expected, and thus high tolls were charged, so many travelers took the old longer route through Roxbury. Despite that, the Dorchester Turnpike was one of the most profitable turnpikes, with earnings steadily climbing to a peak in 1838. When the parallel Old Colony Railroad opened in 1844, earnings quickly fell.   The North Free Bridge, on the site of today’s Dorchester Avenue Bridge, opened in 1826, providing a more direct route form the north end of the turnpike to Dewey Square downtown.[1] On April 22, 1854, the turnpike became a free public road, named Dorchester Avenue. The name was changed to Federal Street in 1856, as it provided a continuation of that street from downtown Boston (via the North Free Bridge), but it became Dorchester Avenue again in 1870.”

Summer Street Boston
Summer Street Boston