Photographs by Frank

2 August 2020

Early Saturday Morning

Yesterday morning, one of the photo groups I belong to met (in Brattleboro) for the first time since March. We met outdoors in a park, wearing masks, etc.

I got up early and left the house before seven hoping to catch some good light and make some photographs. My first stop, as I headed west on Route 9 was “the truck”. This derelict truck sitting in a roadside field in Stoddard has been a favorite subject since it appeared a few years ago.

The light was just perfect and I spent fifteen or twenty minutes photographing “the truck” and its neighbor. I just discovered “the neighbor”, a second derelict truck maybe fifty feet from “the truck” and hidden from the road by some trees. I have no idea how long “the neighbor” has been there. I’ll be going back as the light on “the neighbor” will be best late in the day.

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The Truck
The Truck
Truck Detail #1
Truck Detail #1
Truck Detail #2
Truck Detail #2
Truck Web
Truck Web
Truck Detail #3
Truck Detail #3
Truck Detail #4
Truck Detail #4
Truck Detail #5
Truck Detail #5
Truck Detail #6
Truck Detail #6
The Neighbor
The Neighbor
Truck Detail #7
Truck Detail #7
Truck Detail #8
Truck Detail #8

After breakfast at the diner in Keene (with outdoor seating) my next stop was the Stonewall Farm in western Keene. I took a short stroll around the farm and found lots to photograph.

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Stonewall Farm -- Tractor Detail #1
Stonewall Farm -- Tractor Detail #1
Stonewall Farm -- Tractor Detail #2
Stonewall Farm -- Tractor Detail #2
Stonewall Farm -- Tractor Detail #3
Stonewall Farm -- Tractor Detail #3
Stonewall Farm -- Latch Hook
Stonewall Farm -- Latch Hook
Stonewall Farm -- Safety
Stonewall Farm -- Safety
Stonewall Farm -- Blue Metal
Stonewall Farm -- Blue Metal
Stonewall Farm -- Tools
Stonewall Farm -- Tools
Stonewall Farm -- Red Maple
Stonewall Farm -- Red Maple
Stonewall Farm -- Green Maple
Stonewall Farm -- Green Maple
Stonewall Farm -- Silo Detail #1
Stonewall Farm --  Silo Detail #1
Stonewall Farm -- Silo Detail #2
Stonewall Farm --  Silo Detail #2
Stonewall Farm -- Silo Detail #3
Stonewall Farm --  Silo Detail #3
Stonewall Farm -- Silo Detail #4
Stonewall Farm --  Silo Detail #4

My original plan was to make a third stop at the Chesterfield Gorge. However, I looked at the time and decided I did not have time. This was the correct decision as I made it Brattleboro with about twenty minutes to spare before our 10 AM get together.

30 April 2020

April Photos

Filed under: Early Spring,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Frank @ 6:03 PM

Here it is the end of April and I have not posted any new photos since the 10th of March. Early spring is usually a slow time for me photographically, but this year given the pandemic, has been especially slow.

I have been spending much of my time thinking about and making cyanotypes and I continue to do this. I have made some new photographs in April mostly by taking a camera with me on my regular walks around the area, although I did not download any files off the camera until today.

So, here are ten photos made in April… the earliest from the 6th and the most recent from the 28th. They are displayed in chronological order below.

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Jane's Barn
Jane's Barn
Beaver Pond and Lodge (Harris Center Property on Brimstone Corner Road)
Beaver Pond and Lodge (Harris Center Property on Brimstone Corner Road)
Beaver Dam Which Creates the Pond
Beaver Dam Which Creates the Pond
Suzy's Stone Wall
Suzy's Stone Wall
Infrastructure #1 (On a Bright Sunny Day with Harsh Shadows, Photograph the Shadows!)
Infrastructure #1 (On a Bright Sunny Day with Harsh Shadows, Photograph the Shadows!)
Infrastructure #2
Infrastructure #2
Untitled (Shadow)
Untitled (Shadow)
Ice on the Road
Ice on the Road
Stone Wall in Snow (22 April)
Stone Wall in Snow (22 April)
Mill Buildings, Harrisville, NH
Mill Buildings, Harrisville, NH

9 April 2020

Cyanotypes

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Cyanotype,Landscapes — Frank @ 4:30 PM

It has been just a month since my last post. Like most of us, I imagine, my world has shrunk in these strange times. I have not made many new photographs in the past month. I have been busy though.

Back on 3 January, according to Amazon, I bought some “black light” LED strips with the intention of refitting my UV exposure unit. This unit is used for making alternative process prints via contact printing.

When I made this unit, probably fifteen years ago, I used fluorescent bulbs designed for reptile cages. These bulbs were getting old and cranky. I know… just like me! Three of the six bulbs would not start at all no matter how much I fiddled.

Thus about two weeks ago, I finally broke out the screwdrivers and pliers, removed the fluorescent fixtures and replaced them with the LED strips. It took me all of a half hour. I’m not sure why I waited so long!

Light source at hand, and a bunch of virially induced downtime available I have begun making cyanotypes again. It has probably twelve years since I last worked regularly in cyanotype

Since 31 March I have spent six sessions working in my “dim room” in the basement*. I basically started from scratch by determining exposure times with the new light source. The LEDs are about twice as fast as the old bulbs were. Exposures are taking 5 minutes give or take.

I moved on to printing step tables in order to optimize the curve applied when I print negatives digitally. These curves are used to control contrast.

I then explored variations in processing and a number of different papers.

Yesterday, things really started to come together and I made decent prints from three negatives as shown below**.

Shown are files straight from the scanner with no further processing. They show the entire piece of paper… I even left in the step tables for those who care! 😉

The digital versions are just a bit flatter than the actual prints. The images are 4.5″ square and come from my camera obscura.

The first two are printed on Arches Hot Press, a traditional watercolor paper. The third is printed on Stonehenge White, a traditional printmaking paper. Both papers are very smooth, 100% rag papers and are relatively “heavy”; 300 gsm for the Arches and 250 gsm for the Stonehenge.

I’m close! Another final tweak to the curve to, hopefully, improve contrast in the highlights and I’ll be ready for serious work!

After that it is back to experimenting with toning of cyanotypes. This is something I had much fun with previously.

Then maybe I’ll move on to Van Dyke Browns or salt prints. Those will take much more effort in terms of a darker workspace and how to handle the waste. Having a septic system makes one think very carefully about the latter!

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Hedgehog Mountain
Hedgehog Mountain
Harrisville Mill Buildings
Harrisville Mill Buildings
Cape d'Or Light
Cape d'Or Light

* One reason that cyanotype is nice is that, being a UV sensitive process, one does not need a strictly dark room. Avoiding sunlight or fluorescent lighting all together and using dim light otherwise suffices.

** I picked these three images to test with because, for cyanotype, these represent difficult tonality. Cyanotype has a fairly short range and contrast is somewhat limited compared to silver-based processes or, especially to digital prints. In my view, these three images push the limits of what is possible with cyanotype.

10 March 2020

Today’s Meander

Filed under: architecture,Landscapes,March — Frank @ 11:00 PM

This week is town meeting week. Elections for town offices were held today and the town meeting is Thursday evening.

“Meeting” is one of the three “M words” associated with March in northern New England. The other two are “mud” and “maple”. Mud season has been unexciting this year. Judging from the great plumes of steam emanating from local sugar shacks, the sap is running well.

After I voted this morning, I meandered, with cameras in tow, through Hillsborough and Deering with short traverses through “corners” of Hennicker and Francestown. I stopped at a favorite farm on Bear Hill Road in Hillsborough and discovered a new (to me) church in East Deering.

By the time I got to East Deering the interesting skies had turned smooth gray and it had begun to drizzle. I’ll be returning to East Deering when the conditions (light and skies) are better.

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Farm Pond, Hillsborough, NH
Farm Pond, Hillsborough, NH
Barns, Hillsborough, NH
Barns, Hillsborough, NH
Shed Window
Shed Window
Church, East Deering, NH
Church, East Deering, NH
Church (detail), East Deering, NH
Church (detail), East Deering, NH

9 March 2020

Recent Photos

Filed under: Landscapes — Frank @ 9:00 PM

Last Saturday morning I headed to Brattleboro for the monthly meeting of a group of “photo friends”. We show each other new prints and discuss some photographic topic each time we get together. After lunch and a visit to both the used bookstore and the art supply store, I meandered home hoping to make some photographs. It took me three hours to make what is a one hour drive if I head directly home. The light was ugly and the skies cloudless. I stopped only once, in Lempster, NH as the sun was beginning to set and made the first photo in this series.

This morning, the light was much better. There were thin, high clouds and thus nice soft, yet directional light. After a visit to the grocery store, I made a loop through Hillsborough Center and East Washington where I made the remainder of the photographs in this series. I arrived home (with the making of a sald) just in time for lunch.

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Meetinghouse (Lempster, NH)
Meetinghouse (Lempster, NH)
Meetinghouse (Hillsborough Center, NH)
Meetinghouse (Hillsborough Center, NH)
Old Field Gate
Old Field Gate
Pond, East Washington, NH
Pond, East Washington, NH
Farm Shed
Farm Shed
Barn Interior
Barn Interior
Grange Hall (East Washington, NH)
Grange Hall (East Washington, NH)

29 February 2020

Hill Tops

Filed under: Landscapes — Frank @ 10:06 PM

This afternoon was cold and blustery. There were a couple of brief snow showers but the clouds were broken and moving fast.

After moving some firewood (a daily chore) and filling the bird feeders (a roughly weekly chore), I headed out for a short drive. My initial goal was the orchard on Norway Hill in Hancock. I am toying with the idea of an “orchard project”. We’ll see.

From Norway Hill, I headed to my favorite hill top… Meeting House Hill in Antrim.

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Norway Hill #1
Norway Hill #1
Norway Hill #2
Norway Hill #2
Meetinghouse Hill #1
Meetinghouse Hill #1
Meetinghouse Hill #2
Meetinghouse Hill #2

26 February 2020

Potter Place

Filed under: Landscapes,Winter — Frank @ 10:00 PM

Potter Place is the site of an old railroad depot and village in the town of Andover, New Hampshire. The depot building and a general store across the road are used as a museum by the Andover Historical Society.

This afternoon, I spent an hour or so poking around Potter Place.

It is interesting enough that I have put it on my mental list of places to return to at some point in the future. Sometime when when the weather is better and the buildings are open for exploration,

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Potter Place Depot #1
Potter Place Depot #1
Potter Place Depot #3
Potter Place Depot #3
Still Life with Luggage #1
Still Life with Luggage #1
Birds On A Wire
Birds On A Wire
Still Life with Luggage #2
Still Life with Luggage #2
Semaphore Signal
Semaphore Signal
Drink Coca-Cola
Drink Coca-Cola

12 February 2020

Canterbury Shaker Village Redux

Filed under: architecture,Landscapes — Frank @ 11:04 PM

Today, I made a return visit to Canterbury Shaker Village. After my first visit I felt that there were more photographs to be made. I still think that this is true even after a second visit. We’ll see.

The large majority of the photographs I make with the camera obscura are intended to be black and white. In my mind monochrome is just part of the “feel” of these images.

However, every once in a while, an image just begs to be left as a color photograph. This was the case today. The yellow of the Ministry Shop in contrast with the blue sky was just too much to lose!

Anyway, here are a few of the photos I made today. The last one was made in Canterbury Center; a few miles from the Shaker Village.

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Dwelling House, Canterbury Shaker Village
Dwelling House, Canterbury Shaker Village
Sone Wall, Canterbury Shaker Village
Sone Wall, Canterbury Shaker Village
Garden Barn & Shed, Canterbury Shaker Village
Garden Barn & Shed, Canterbury Shaker Village
Meeting House (right) and Ministry Shop (left), Canterbury Shaker Village
Meeting House (right) and Ministry Shop (left), Canterbury Shaker Village
Church, Canterbury Center
Church, Canterbury Center

5 February 2020

Two from South Elmwood Road

Filed under: Landscapes — Frank @ 9:00 PM

Yesterday, on my way to Peterborough, I swung by Elmwood. I suspected that the light might be good for a photograph of my favorite hand pump. I was not disappointed.

Although I have made photographs of this pump on at least two other occasions over the past couple of months, none of the photographs were exactly what I had in mind. Yesterday the light and the clouds came together and I was able to make the photograph I had in my head.

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The Pump
The Pump
Apple Trees & Crotched Mountain
Apple Trees & Crotched Mountain

4 February 2020

Chichester & Canterbury

Filed under: architecture,Landscapes,Winter — Frank @ 12:05 PM

A few weeks ago, I passed through Chichester. At the time, I was not able to stop but I added it to my the list of places to explore photographically. Yesterday, I returned specifically to make some photographs.

I had a quick sandwich for lunch at the Chichester Country Store and successfully resisted the cider donuts which they are apparently famous for. After lunch, I headed towards Canterbury.

In the many years I have lived in New Hampshire, I have never visited either of the Shaker Villages in NH (Canterbury and Enfield). That changed yesterday.

The buildings are closed for the winter but I walked the grounds making photographs with my camera obscura. The place was deserted except for a young fellow, Dan, who had set up his easel and was making a small oil painting. We chatted briefly, but the light was beginning to fade and he needed to finish his painting so I did not dally. Dan said that this lovely spot is his go to place when he needs peace and quiet. I can see why!

I’ve put Canterbury on my list of places to return to and I think that I will try to get to Enfield in the near future.

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Chichester Barn #1
Chichester Barn #1
Chichester Church
Chichester Church
Chichester Barn #2
Chichester Barn #2
Chichester Barn #3
Chichester Barn #3
Chichester Barn #4
Chichester Barn #4
Chichester Barn #5
Chichester Barn #5
Canterbury Shaker Village Firehouse
Canterbury Shaker Village Firehouse
Canterbury Shaker Village Cow Barn Foundation
Canterbury Shaker Village Cow Barn Foundation
Canterbury Shaker Village Ministry Shop
Canterbury Shaker Village Ministry Shop
Canterbury Shaker Village Dwelling House and Tree
Canterbury Shaker Village Dwelling House and Tree
Canterbury Shaker Village Orchard Shed
Canterbury Shaker Village Orchard Shed
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