The Canals Of Lowell

Near Tsongas Arena, Nikon FE2, 50mm f/1.4 Ai, Ilford FP4

Near Tsongas Arena, Nikon FE2, 50mm f/1.4 Ai, Ilford FP4 Plus

The canal system in historic Lowell, MA is managed by the National Park Service, and is part of the Lowell National Historical Park. Its origins go back to about 1821 or so, when the canal system was technically part of East Chelmsford. Clearly the city of Lowell made a beautiful little purchase.

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Spectacular photographic subjects, and contrast.

Water moves through the canals at breathtaking speed and power.

Water moves through the canals at breathtaking speed and power.

This wedding party along the canal, en route to the banks of the canal, was too fun to resist. They were apparently running behind, as a photographer was already set and ready to go. Lucky the FE2 was choosing some fast shutter speeds while in Aperture Priority-

Wedding Party

Wedding Party

The remainder of the roll was shot using the 80-200mm Zoom Nikkor. But the 50 proved a great choice for these frames. Results from the zoom to come.

NOTE: Regretfully, I did not make it to this year’s Lowell Folk Festival, which is usually photography heaven. I hope to capture some of the spirit and flavor of this beautiful city, in this entry, and the ones to come.

UMass Lowell

I grew up near Lowell, MA. I love the city’s history, culture, and architecture. One place I have never really visited, aside from a brief visit while attending another college, was The University of Lowell, which is now known as UMass Lowell. It, like the city, is a wonderful mix of old and new. I shot this roll of Ilford FP4 Plus midday with the Nikon FE2, 50mm f/1.4 Ai, and a Hoya yellow filter, semi-stand developed in Rodinal. Here is some of the old-

House

Allen House

The entrance certainly has been remodeled, but the charm has been maintained-

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Entrance

This statue of French composer Claude Debussy stands in front of one of the libraries. What his relation was to the city, or the university, I have not a clue. Mathematical structuring, maybe?

Debussy

Debussy

On to the new-

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The Commonwealth spares little expense when it comes to college and university libraries. O’Leary Library seen here. Debussy stands guard over this one.

Believe it or not, Saturday summer construction was taking place on the other side of campus.

Construction was taking place on this Saturday, just beyond this science courtyard.

Construction was taking place on this Saturday, just beyond this science courtyard.

This abandoned cap was too good to resist photographing. It hangs at the entrance to the above courtyard.

Is this your hat?

Is this your hat?

Maybe not as charming of a classic New England campus as, say, Fitchburg State, UMass Lowell does have some of it’s engineering pedigree still visible. What college engineering student isn’t speeding through on a bicycle?

Parked right next to the tree.

Parked right next to the tree was this vintage Huffy 3-Speed.

A nice campus. But as fun as it was to photograph, not the same as photographing your alma mater. Of course, I am a bit biased here. Colleges and universities have some great visuals, for sure.

Delta House – More Ilford Delta 100 Professional Shots

The new face of Fitchburg State University- Hammond Hall.

The new face of Fitchburg State University- Hammond Hall.

This roll of Ilford Delta 100 Professional was exposed exactly a year ago to the date of this article. Another one of those “why didn’t I develop it sooner?” moments. The event was Fitchburg State’s moving in, and the first every day use of the new Hammond Hall, a multi million dollar addition and functional facelift to the Hammond Building, which has long had that 1960’s industrial look. Following the lead of modern academic architecture, this hall makes great use of glass and open spaces, while taking full advantage of the existing structure. Shot with the Nikon FE-2, and 35mm Nikkor F/2.8.

Through the front doors of Hammond Hall.

Through the front doors of Hammond Hall.

The use of 100 speed film was indeed limiting, but, made for some great contrast.

Art Gallery

Art Gallery

Brighter scenes really worked out much better. I am guessing the above area will now be where annual student Communications/Media displays, such as “Visions”, will be presented.

Students finding their way around the new halls.

Students finding their way around the new halls.

There is the new student bookstore, commuter dining halls, study areas adjacent to the library, study areas. The university really has a wonderful new addition. The above shot really highlights the geometry and open feeling of the hall.

Another Ride On The Schwinn

It has been a long time since a film emulsion, black and white or color, has been as thrilling to develop as my first roll Ilford Delta 100. My only regret is that I waited almost a year to develop it after shooting it. This film just has the “look” that I love. Of course, Tri-X, the discontinued Plus-X, T-Max, and Ilford’s HP5 and FP4 are also gorgeous films. I think it is the tonality and grain structure that really make it stand out. Yes, it is a “slower’ film, at ASA100. But, give it some light, and it really shines. Later this week, I will post some shots that I took indoors. Once again, the Nikon Fe-2, and Nikkor 35mm Ai-

Hard to say when this Schwinn Suburban was made, but safe to say that Sears sold a ton of them.

Hard to say when this Schwinn Suburban was made, but safe to say that Sears sold a ton of them.

I could not remember if the bike was for sake, or simply parked in front of the consignment. But not until I scanned this shot did I remember that it was parked with another vintage Schwinn-

Twin Schwinn's.

Twin Schwinn’s.

I scooped up two more rolls of Delta 100 this weekend. In the fridge, burning a hole in my pocket to shoot. Can’t wait!

Return To The Symphony – Strings

Last month’s performance by The Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra at Worcester’s Institute Park, at WPI, continues to be the favorite photographic event of the year. Little question that Kodak Tri-X was the right choice here, for many reasons. Mainly, the contrast, and the timeless look of the film. The first shot here is one of my personal favorites.  A few more scans from July 21st-

The Nikon FE-2's Light Meter Nailed The Exposure Here.

The Nikon FE-2’s Light Meter Nailed The Exposure Here.

Many Newbie Photographers Obsess Over Bokeh, After "Tack Sharp". Shots Like This May Turn Me Into Such A Junkie. Creamy Smooth Bokeh.

Many Newbie Photographers Obsess Over Bokeh, After “Tack Sharp”. Shots Like This May Turn Me Into Such A Junkie. Creamy Smooth Bokeh.

High Contrast Scenes With Bright Highlights And Dark Shadows Were Everywhere This Evening.

High Contrast Scenes With Bright Highlights And Dark Shadows Were Everywhere This Evening.

These Syphony Members, I Think, Were In Roughly The Same Spot At Last Year's Performance.

These Symphony Members, I Think, Were In Roughly The Same Spot At Last Year’s Performance.

Walking Up Elm Street

I took a few random shots on the 21st, before the concert, while walking up Elm Street here in Worcester. I challenged myself to keep one lens on the camera, that being the 135mm f/2.8. I know that a lot of “newbie” photographers with slow zooms on the dSLR’s, once they discover the joys if a sharp, fast prime, make similar challenges. In this case, knowing that the 135 would be the glass of choice for the concert, well, with Tri-X loaded up, it seemed like the way to go for fast shutter speeds for hand holding. No “VR”, no “IS”, just old school hand holding, and breathing technique. I didn’t have the motor drive mounted on the FE-2, but it might have helped here to keep the body more stable.

Gargoyle At Gate For 34 Elm Street

Gargoyle At Gate For 34 Elm Street

Side View

Side View

View Of New T&G Offices At City Place

View Of New T&G Offices At City Place

Scaffolding

Scaffolding

More From The Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra At Institute Park

Here are a few more shots from this wonderful performance. I wish I could see them Sunday evening, in Auburn. Tri-X was made for events like this.

Warming Up

Warming Up

Ms. Shivick And Mr. Calmes Can Flat Out Belt.

Ms. Shivick And Mr. Calmes Can Flat Out Belt.

The Sheet Music Is Practically Legible Here.

The Sheet Music Is Practically Legible Here.

Sometimes, Rehersal Before The Actual Performance Provides Great Candids.

Sometimes, Rehersal Before The Actual Performance Provides Great Candids.

Thrilled With The Shadow Detail Of Tri-X And HC-110.

Thrilled With The Shadow Detail Of Tri-X And HC-110.

Sound Checks

Sound Checks

If you have the opportunity to photograph an event like this one with film. You won’t be disappointed. And get close. You’ll be happy that you did.

Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra – Summer, 2012

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”- The Great Robert Capa

Last year, it was my pleasure to attend a summer concert at Institute Park, put on by the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra. I posted some photographs that were amongst the very favorite I took that year. This year, I had to return, this time with some different gear. And taken almost a year to the date – 7/9 last year, 7/21 this year. While last year I opted for the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR on the N80, this year I went more old school, with the FE-2, and 135mm f/2.8. This called for getting up a little closer to the stage, and losing the flexibility and convenience that a zoom provides. The 135, though, is such a fine, sharp, contrasty lens. A joy to use, I mounted a Hoya orange filter. I read that this is a great filter to use for skin tones and nice facial exposure.

Here are just a few shots from the second roll. The film here was Tri-X, and the developer HC-110. Maybe some of my favorite shots of this year as well. Many more to come.

Conductor Myron Romanul

Conductor Myron Romanul

Vocalists Jane Shivick And Michael Calmes

Vocalists Jane Shivick And Michael Calmes

The Sunset Lighting Made For Some Great Light And Shadows

The Sunset Lighting Made For Some Great Light And Shadows

A Difference Of A Few Minutes Made For Rapidly Changing Lighting Conditions The FE-2's Light Meter Really Kept Up With The Conditions Nicely

A Difference Of A Few Minutes Made For Rapidly Changing Lighting Conditions The FE-2’s Light Meter Really Kept Up With The Conditions Nicely

Sunglasses Were Needed Here, Even After 7PM

Sunglasses Were Needed Here, Even After 7PM

Amazing, Talented Pipes, Singing From "The Sound Of Music"

Amazing, Talented Pipes, Singing From “The Sound Of Music”

Slower Shutter Speeds Made For Some Great Baton Action

Slower Shutter Speeds Made For Some Great Baton Action

I cannot wait to scan more of these. This was a wonderful event, which really did produce some spectacular images. I am sure this blog will feature many more in the weeks to come, as I shot almost two complete rolls this night.

Union Station – On The U.S. National Register Of Historic Places

And, rightfully so- “(Union Station, Worcester, MA) was originally built in 1911 during the heyday of railroading in the United States as a replacement for the previous one of 1875. It was abandoned in 1975 and fell into disrepair. It was acquired by the Worcester Redevelopment Authority and completely renovated at a cost of $32 million under the leadership of former Mayor Raymond Mariano. The renovated station opened in July 2000.”- Wikipedia

Finding scenic spots and historical landmarks in the area can be a bit of a challenge. Especially daunting is finding a spot that I have yet to visit. Which is maybe in part why I keep coming back to this beautiful train station.  Structurally elegant, yet highly utilitarian, it serves thousands of passengers daily, while looking fresh and timeless.

Venues like this offer so much contrast, texture, and geometry to photograph. You can occasionally get lucky, as I did on another day, and get some very fast-moving trains, and try some slower shutter speeds for panning, and conveying a sense of motion. Maybe another blog entry, for another day. And yet more scanning.

A few scenes, taken with the Nikon FE-2, and TriX, which seems to lend itself so nicely to the subject-

The view from the platform.

The view from the platform.

All aboard!

All aboard!

Exquisite stained glass decorates the ceiling and interior throughout.

Exquisite stained glass decorates the ceiling and interior throughout.

Even staircases were lovingly restored, following original design.

Even staircases were lovingly restored, following original design.

Freedom Is Not Free- Memorial Day, 2012

I thought with Memorial Day in the US right around the corner, this might be very timely. Last month, I visited the Worcester County Korean War Memorial in Worcester, MA. As I was at the dedication in 2007, I have wanted to return to this beautiful, moving statue, showing a protective, stoic Army soldier, with a sweet, proud little Korean boy standing side by side with him. It is very hard not to be moved to tears, as it shows strength and courage in what truly was a brutal bloodbath of a war. Yet, beautiful stories came out of it, such as US soldiers feeding and protecting orphaned children.

Remembering them, these were taken with my FE-2, 105mm f/2.5, 50mm f/1.8, and Kodak Tri-X. Never forget. Enjoy your Memorial Day.

From http://www.kwmworcester.org/index.asp :

The Worcester County Korean War Memorial on Foster Street (formerly Worcester Center Boulevard), Worcester, honors the 191 young soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in the Korean War. This phase of the memorial was dedicated on November 9, 2003. Thousands of people attended the ceremony, which was the culmination of an effort that spanned decades.

Phase II construction completed the memorial and a final dedication was held on October 20, 2007. Phase II includes educational signs, additional flagpoles and a new Walkway of Honor situated in a park-like, tree-lined setting. It also includes Heroic-sized statues of a Korean War American soldier and a Korean child, representing the 100,000 orphans helped by the GIs during the war and symbolizes the hope and bright prospects for Korea’s future. Plus, the new Walkway of Honor includes bricks for fallen heroes of Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Somalia and Philippines, as well as American ex-POWs. Bricks are also inscribed for six American news correspondents who died in Iraq and Pakistan.

For Information or to make a donation to the Memorial call Toll Free 1-800-343-0939, ext. 0234.

Standing side by side, St. Vincent's Hospital in the background.

Standing side by side, St. Vincent’s Hospital in the background.

The little boy is so strong and proud.

The little boy is so strong and proud.

Side profile- the statue truly is lifesized.

Side profile- the statue truly is life-sized.