Photographs by Frank

15 November 2022

Leadmine Road

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,November — Frank @ 10:45 PM

A few weeks back I discovered Leadmine Road in Nelson and Sullivan and the view of Mount Mondanock from there.

On Saturday morning, I went back with my camera but the weather did not cooperate. When I left the house there were nice scattered clouds about, but by the time I got to Nelson the skies were solid overcast. The trip was not for naught as I had a chance to chat with Jeff whose family owns the field across which lies access to the best views. Jeff is glad to allow folks to walk to the back of his field with its spectacular view. (He even has posted a sign on a tree inviting folks to email him with comments.)

Yesterday evening I checked the weather and the forecast looked good (scattered clouds) for the early this morning. I awoke before sunrise this morning and was out the door before 6:30, headed again for Nelson. The temperature was 22 deg. F.

Alas, as the sun rose, I could see that the skies were mostly clear with only a few thin clouds present. Such is the life of a landscape photographer!

I persisted none-the-less. I figured that I could, at least, see how the sun lay on the land at this hour.

When I got to the field, I donned my blaze orange (it’s deer season after all), grabbed both my regular camera and my camera obscura*, and headed out across the field. I made my first exposure just after 7:00 and spent a little bit less than an hour photographing. The temperature was 28 degrees when I returned to the truck and headed towards Harrisville for breakfast at the General Store.

When the light is poor for making photographs (as it was this morning), I find that the camera obscura often gives more interesting images than a regular camera. This was true this morning. Most often, I present my camera obscura photos in black and white. However, this morning, I was struck by the nice contrast between the cool blue skies and the warm brown grass of the field. Thus, I present these as color images.

These photos are, I doubt, “definitive”. I’ll be watching the weather and making further trips to Nelson over the coming weeks and months. Having such an interesting scene at a relatively short distance from one’s house is a boon. Great photos often come when one has the luxury of repeated visits.

The distant mountain in #1 and #3 is Mount Monadnock; the body of water is Silver Lake. The barn is Jeff’s.

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Leadmine Road #1
Leadmine Road #1
Leadmine Road #2
Leadmine Road #2
Leadmine Road #3
Leadmine Road #3
Leadmine Road #4
Leadmine Road #4

* For new readers, the camera obscura is a primitive optical device invented in antiquity. It consists of a box, a lens (or sometimes a pinhole), a mirror and a ground glass upon which the image is projected. I have added a shroud and bracket to my camera obscura that allows me to photograph the ground glass with a small digital camera. As one can see here, these images have a unique look.

10 November 2022

Two New Cuprotypes

It has been three weeks since my last post. I figured that I ought to post something… anything. So here goes!!!

November is often a slow month for me photographically. The landscape is dreary gray and brown. The odes are done for the season. However, I have made exposures on four days since my last post. I just hadn’t found time to write here.

One of the ‘distractions’ has been some more cuprotype experiments. However, a couple of days ago, I decided that it is time to stop doing experiments and, instead, to make some ‘art’.

Yesterday evening I printed two negatives using exposures I made about a week ago. This morning I printed these negatives as cuprotypes. My intent was to tone both prints with the iron (II/III) toner that yields an interesting blue-black print. However, I decided that I liked the cemetery gate image as the native brick-red. Thus, I did not tone this print further. One need to be flexible when making art!

These images are both 6×7.5 inches on 8×10 inch paper. The gravestones are on Legion Lenox 100 paper and the gate is on Rives Heavyweight paper.

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Gravestones (Harrisville, NH)
Gravestones (Harrisville, NH)
Cemetery Gate (Nelson, NH)
Cemetery Gate (Nelson, NH)

20 October 2022

Late Foliage Season

Filed under: Autumn,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 11:10 PM

Foliage season is winding down here in southwestern New Hampshire… it has been a good one.

Autumn foliage is always tempting to photographer and I am no exception. This time of year the camera goes with me whenever I leave the house. I don’t always make photos, but when the light is right and the scene attractive, I pause to admire the beauty and make a few exposures.

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Blaze of Red
Blaze of Red
Barn in Autumn
Barn in Autumn
Waterside Color
Waterside Color
Autumn Blueberry
Autumn Blueberry
Late Autumn Hillside
Late Autumn Hillside
North End of Gregg Lake in Autumn
North End of Gregg Lake in Autumn

These last two photographs are panoramas made by merging three frames in the computer. Displaying panoramas in the blog is always a bit wonky; right click on the images and open them it a new tab/window to see them best. (Printing them is tough too… they will easily print about three feet long.)

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North End of Gregg Lake in Autumn (three frame pano)
North End of Gregg Lake in Autumn (three frame pano)
Crotched Mountain, Late Autumn (three frame pano)
Crotched Mountain, Late Autumn (three frame pano)

9 October 2022

Foliage / Edges

Filed under: Autumn,Landscapes — Tags: — Frank @ 3:00 PM

Yesterday, I attended a NH Society of Photographic Artists print sharing event in Concord. The meeting was ninety minutes long and the drive about 45 minutes each way. I left the house before seven in the morning and returned home just before five in the afternoon.

My “excuse”…The foliage is roughly peak and I meandered both to and from Concord!!!

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Piscataquog River, New Boston, NH
Piscataquog River, New Boston, NH
Contoocook River, Henniker, NH #1
Contoocook River, Henniker, NH #1
Contoocook River, Henniker, NH #2
Contoocook River, Henniker, NH #2
Contoocook River, Henniker, NH #3
Contoocook River, Henniker, NH #3
Field Edge, Deering, NH
Field Edge, Deering, NH
East Cemetery, Deering, NH
East Cemetery, Deering, NH
Marsh Edge, Antrim, NH
Marsh Edge, Antrim, NH
Barn, Francestown, NH
Barn, Francestown, NH

30 June 2022

Monhegan Island – Surf

Filed under: Landscapes — Tags: — Frank @ 4:00 PM

Where ocean meets land there is surf. Islands are well endowed with surf watching opportunities. I took advantage of those opportunities and made many, many photos of the surf over the week we visited Monhegan Island.

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Monhegan Surf #1
Monhegan Surf #1
Monhegan Surf #2
Monhegan Surf #2
Monhegan Surf #3
Monhegan Surf #3
Monhegan Surf #4
Monhegan Surf #4
Monhegan Surf #5
Monhegan Surf #5
Monhegan Surf #6
Monhegan Surf #6
Monhegan Surf #7
Monhegan Surf #7
Monhegan Surf #8
Monhegan Surf #8
Monhegan Surf #9
Monhegan Surf #9
Monhegan Surf #10
Monhegan Surf #10
Monhegan Surf #11
Monhegan Surf #11
Monhegan Surf #12
Monhegan Surf #12
Monhegan Surf #13
Monhegan Surf #13
Monhegan Surf #14
Monhegan Surf #14
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Surf From Above #1
Surf From Above #1
Surf From Above #2
Surf From Above #2
Surf From Above #3
Surf From Above #3
Surf From Above #4
Surf From Above #4
Surf From Above #5
Surf From Above #5

28 June 2022

Monhegan Island – The Shoreline

Filed under: Landscapes — Tags: — Frank @ 11:00 PM

During our week on Monhegan, we hiked most of the trails in the conserved ‘wild’ section of the island which is owned and managed by the Monhegan Associates, a private land trust. This is not difficult to do as the island is less than two miles long and less than a mile at its widest. There are a total of eleven miles of trails (trail map as a pdf file).

In doing this we saw essentially all of the shoreline. All of the shore is rocky and most of it is very steep. There are several headlands where the cliffs drop directly into the water.

Again, I made many (too many?) photographs of the shore line from many different vantage points. Here is a baker’s dozen that it hopefully varied enough to hold your attention.

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Gull Rock, detail (Monhegan Island)
Gull Rock, detail (Monhegan Island)
Whitehead from Burnt Head (Monhegan Island)
Whitehead from Burnt Head (Monhegan Island)
Whitehead from Gull Rock (Monhegan Island)
Whitehead from Gull Rock (Monhegan Island)
Monhegan Island Shoreline #1
Monhegan Island Shoreline #1
Gull Rock from Burnt Head (Monhegan Island)
Gull Rock from Burnt Head (Monhegan Island)
Monhegan Island Shoreline #2
Monhegan Island Shoreline #2
Black Head (Monhegan Island)
Black Head (Monhegan Island)
Monhegan Island Shoreline #3
Monhegan Island Shoreline #3
Monhegan Island Shoreline #4
Monhegan Island Shoreline #4
Monhegan Island Shoreline #5
Monhegan Island Shoreline #5
Monhegan Island Shoreline #6
Monhegan Island Shoreline #6
Monhegan Island Shoreline #7
Monhegan Island Shoreline #7

Monhegan Light

Filed under: architecture,Landscapes — Tags: — Frank @ 10:00 PM

The lighthouse on Monhegan Island is an interesting (in that it is unpainted stone) but not particularly tall (at 47 feet) structure that can be seen from many vantage points in the village. The structure does not need to be particularly tall because it sits at the high point of the island putting the beacon at 178 feet above the water.

As with so many lighthouses, the beacon has been automated. Thus the “surplus” structures including the keepers house has been turned into a museum. We were glad to visit and learned much about both the cultural and natural history of Monhegan.

Also present on the grounds of the lighthouse is the original, hand-struck, bell from the Manana Fog Signal station. This Wikipedia article is a bit out of date as it does not state that the facility was decommissioned in 2014. The bell stands roughly five feet high.

I made numerous photos of the lighthouse from many vantage points around the village and at many different times. Here is a very few of them.

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Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #1
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #1
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #2
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #2
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #3
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #3
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #4
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #4
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #5
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #5
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #6
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #6
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #7
Lighthouse, Monhegan Island #7
Manana Fog Signal Bell
Manana Fog Signal Bell

5 May 2022

Weathersfield Center (again) and Baltimore, Vermont

Filed under: Landscapes,Misc.,Spring — Frank @ 11:17 PM

Back at the end of March, I visited Weathersfield Center, VT for the first time and discovered the wonderful meeting house there. After this excursion, I looked at a map of the general area and noticed the nearby town of Baltimore. Joan was born in Baltimore, Maryland and our daughter, Katrina, has lived there for the last fifteen or so years. Thus, I decided that when I next visited this part of Vermont I would go see Baltimore. Today was the day!

This morning, I taught an introduction to photography tutorial for the Vermont Center for Photography in Brattleboro. After I was done teaching, I pointed my truck north. The weather was pleasantly warm and the skies were partly cloudy.

I stopped first in Weathersfield Center. My first visit there was on a cold, damp day and I used my camera obscura exclusively that day. Today, the light was much more conducive to photography. I made photographs with both the camera obscura and my ‘regular’ camera. I left the images from the latter as color since I like the contrast between the warm orange bricks, the cool azure sky and the green spring grass. I also noticed (and photographed) the nearby town pound* with an interesting iron gate. I had completely missed the pound on my first visit.

After photographing the meetinghouse, I attempted to head towards Baltimore. Notice I said “attempted”… I had either one of those “you can’t get there from here” (use a thick New England accent when you read that!) moments or my map was broken.

Eventually, I got out my phone, fired up its GPS application and, without further drama, found the westernmost end of Baltimore Rd (on VT10 just to the west of the junction with VT106 in North Springfield). Baltimore Road, which is not paved, makes a six mile loop through town. The other end intersects VT106 just north of the junction with VT10. The two ends of Baltimore Road are less than a mile apart!

Roughly half way along this loop one comes to the Baltimore Town Hall (see the last photo below). The (rather nondescript) town hall is the only public building in Baltimore. There is nary church, etc.

Upon arriving home, I learned a bit more about Baltimore by Googling, of course, as any modern guy would do! It turns out that the current population of the town is roughly 230 people, about what it was two hundred years ago (i.e. in the early 1800s) and quite a bit higher than the low of about fifty in the early 1900s**.

The town has a total of 7.2 miles of roads, all of which are unpaved. Just out of the frame on the right of my photo of town hall sits a road grader; my guess is this is only significant asset the town owns other than the town hall.

The town hall was built in 1894 as a one room school house and was used as such until 1988!

In summary, Baltimore is a bit out of the way and on the quiet side, but I am glad that I made the trip. Maybe, I will go back some day and drive the other twenty percent of the the town roads that I missed this time thorough!

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Meeting House (Weathersfield Center, VT)
Meeting House (Weathersfield Center, VT)
Meeting House and Memorial (Weathersfield Center, VT)
Meeting House and Memorial (Weathersfield Center, VT)
Meeting House (Weathersfield Center, VT) (with the camera obscura)
Meeting House (Weathersfield Center, VT) (with the camera obscura)
Town Pound Gate (Weathersfield Center, VT)
Town Pound Gate (Weathersfield Center, VT)
Town Hall (Baltimore, VT)
Town Hall (Baltimore, VT)

* Town pounds are small, generally stone wall enclosed areas where wayward livestock were penned up until their owners could ransom them. Loose livestock were a serious matter when most folks depended on their gardens and fields for the bulk of their sustenance and the ‘fuel’ for their horses and oxen. Stray livestock could quickly decimate a garden and thus were rapidly escorted to the town pound before (hopefully) they could do much damage. The owner of the strays would then have to pay a fine in order to retrieve their animals from the pound.

** This pattern is typical for many small towns in New Hampshire and Vermont. Populations peaked in the first half of the nineteenth century when sheep farming was at its peak and declined thereafter as farmers moved to more fertile territory as the mid-west (then “the west”) was ‘settled’. Populations generally reached their lows in the first quarter of the twentieth century and slowly rebounded thereafter. The current population of many small northern New England towns is roughly the same as it was two centuries ago.

30 April 2022

Nasami Farm

Filed under: Landscapes,Spring — Frank @ 11:32 PM

Joan was in need of some plants for the yard. So, today we made a trip to Nasami Farm, the Native Plant Trust’s nursery in the Connecticut River valley village of Whately, Massachusetts.

While Joan selected plants, I wandered the grounds looking for photographs.

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River Valley Skies
River Valley Skies
Paper Birch
Paper Birch
Untitled
Untitled
Catkin Pair
Catkin Pair
New Birch Leaves
New Birch Leaves

27 April 2022

Harrisville Details

Yesterday morning I picked up my last load of compost for the season. This final load was destined for Joan’s cousin Suzy who lives near our abode. Since I had no fixed schedule, I meandered vaguely in the direction of home. Of course, I had my camera with me.

As I drove, I noticed the nice texture (at least in some directions) in the clouds and went in search of a foreground for the interesting clouds. I ended up at Halfmoon Pond in Hancock, near the Harrisville border (see the first photo, below). The textured clouds did not last long. The overcast built steadily and it began to drizzle.

Knowing that Joan had to make a trip to Harrisville Designs, and with the lunchtime approaching, I called Joan and arranged to meet her at the General Store for lunch. After lunch Joan headed to the yarn pushers for what she needed and I wandered about the village to make photographs.

Harrisville, NH is a quaint, well preserved old mill town. It is among my favorite places to make photos. Since the weather was not suitable for grand landscapes (think low, thick overcast and intermittent drizzle), I concentrated on the details.

It was almost 5PM before I got the compost delivered.

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Halfmoon Pond (Hancock, NH)
Halfmoon Pond (Hancock, NH)
Barn (Dublin, NH)
Barn (Dublin, NH)
Shagbark
Shagbark
Nubanusit Brook
Nubanusit Brook
Trilium
Trilium
Chalkboard Wisdom
Chalkboard Wisdom
Church Detail #1
Church Detail #1
Church Detail #2
Church Detail #2
Millwork Remnant
Millwork Remnant
Cupola with Bell
Cupola with Bell
Mill Buildings
Mill Buildings
Room With A View?
Room With A View?
Brickwork
Brickwork
Daffodils
Daffodils
Headstone Trio
Headstone Trio
Steeple
Steeple
Veteran Marker
Veteran Marker
Be Happy
Be Happy
Harrisville Reflection
Harrisville Reflection
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