Friday, October 29, 2021

Philly in South Boston and Back Home

After lunch with Little Guinness, it was Philly's turn to expose some film.

The day the Marathon took place, all the action was in the Back Bay and points west, so we thought a stroll around Castle Island in South Boston would be a nice way to enjoy the pleasant weather. What had been an island which held a British "Castle" fort, is now connected by a causeway on the south and a gigantic seaport on the north, right at the mouth of the Charles.

To the southeast the view is of the harbor islands.

Pleasure Bay is completely enclosed by the causeway and seaport. If you've ever flown into Logan with a starboard window, you're probably familiar with it. Every three minutes or so a plane goes over at about three hundred feet. That grey streak in the sky is an airliner on final approach.

The Castle, where the British seige of Boston was headquartered, was destroyed in 1776, but the site was used for some kind of military purpose as late as World War II. The current Fort Independence was built between 1833 and 1851 with a late medieval star-shaped design intended to repel cannon balls.

The only gate in the walls has a vaguely Mesopotamian look.

The interior is only accessible by guided tour. When we got there, the last tour of the season had just concluded.

As a kid who grew up in the Midwest, I'm always impressed by the tides. You can literally see the water flowing downhill from the harbor into Pleasure Bay.

I'm going to miss the full-length mirror in the spare bedroom, slightly curved just leaning up against the wall. I could get used to looking like a super-model.

I think Greyson has had about enough of us.

At the gigantic B terminal at Logan with the distinctive control tower in the background. 

After years of reading warnings about booking the last flight of the night, I was paranoid about getting stuck at O'Hare. We boarded and pulled away on time, but half-way down the taxiway, they announced that "something was wrong with one of the airplane's computers and they had to do the load-balancing calculations by hand." Just what you want to hear in a flying aluminum tube you're sealed into. Once again we got to enjoy a complete tour of the taxiways to get our turn back on the runway. They put the pedal to the metal and we got to Chicago almost on time, but there was a Triple 7 blocking the way to our gate and we had to sit there and wait for it to move. We landed at the end of the C concourse and had to run to the tunnel, halfway down the B concourse and over to the F concourse, luckily near the terminal. Our flight had called final boarding. We spent almost as much time getting to the runway as we did flying to Appleton but we did make it home that night.

Then there's always that sweet necessity to just go out and take pinhole pictures so you can get the roll processed.

There were only a few Mums left at the garden center before our trip and we bought what we thought were two matched pairs.

This '56 Studebaker President was sitting in the lot of a repair shop. I grew up in South Bend, Indiana, not too far from the Studebaker plant, where my father was employed for a couple years. When my Dad worked in Wisconsin for a year before we moved, he bought a used '57 President. The first car I remember was a bullet-nosed '51 Champion.

On the other side of the railroad, I encountered this deco bus for sale. If I ever go the RV route this would be a cool way to do it.

A dramatic arrangement of clouds over Menomonee Park.

And a little hint of autumn color.

Philly has a .15mm Gilder Electron Microscope Aperture, 24mm from a 24x36mm frame.  Fujicolor 200.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

LUMP East in a local sculpture garden

When the sun is roughly opposite to the position in the sky where it will be on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, the League of Upper Midwest Pinholers traditionally meets on Sunday morning for a photowalk. I've always aspired to commune with them on these occasions. The four and a half hour drive has always been an obstacle but I've tried to do something in solidarity while they were meeting in the Twin Cities.

This year's location was the sculpture garden of the Walker Art Center in the middle of Minneapolis. Most of the local botanical gardens have one or two sculptures and there are some sites near Milwaukee that are described as sculpture gardens, but that's also a considerable drive.

I'll just have to see what can be done and imagine what kind of photographs might have been made if I were out west with them.

Standing in for Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's Spoon Bridge with Cherry, one of our Scandinavian-designed Maya tablespoons with a cherry tomato.

I made a foamcore LUMP to act as Robert Indiana's LOVE. 

I hope I don't get sued by Robert Indiana's estate for this, but it seems to me like a derivative work. I'd gladly give them all the money I earn from this photograph, although maybe that would make my blog go viral.

The door stop from our back door and a steel document box in place of Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch.

My cardboard tripod for the Pinhole Lab Camera substituted for Mark di Suvero's Arikidea.

Inspired by Flatpak in the Garden by Lazor Office, which I can't find a direct link to, a roll of Acros 100 and a little platform made for an iPhone microscope to inspect pinholes.

My response to Scott Burton's Seat-Leg Table reveals something about my hybrid approach to the negative/positive process.

The foam insert from a set of headphones whose box I may make a camera out of someday. Sort of a combination of Sol LeWitt's X with Columns and Oldenberg's Geometric Mouse - Scale A.

After Cowles Pavilion and Regis Promenade (again with the no direct link).

Elwood of course has no peer in the Walker collection but is sort of related to Hare on Bell on Portland Stone Piers by Barry Flanagan

Also unique to our lanai, the ensemble on the bottom shelf of the baker's rack.

The group photo.

And fulfilling that uniquely eastern ritual of the official footograph, this radical interpretation with My Blue Suede Shoes which I wore throughout the project.

Can't wait to see the pictures from Minneapolis.

All with the 45mm front of the the Variable Cuboid, .27mm hand-drilled pinhole. Ilford Delta 400 semi-stand developed in Rodinal 1:100, except for the footograph which I again forgot to do before I ran out film, which was done with the 4x5 Pinhole Lab Camera at 75mm. .34mm pinhole on #2 Glossy, developed in the Rodinal used for the film.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Little Guinness in Providence

Once again on our way to visit the offspring. Impressed by it's recovery from light leaks, I set out with Little Guinness. At the Appleton airport, despite being almost noon, our airplane must have dead-headed in from Chicago. Foreshadowing our future flights, it just sat on the tarmac for twenty minutes with several United employees with dayglo vests deplaning before they moved it over to the Jetway for boarding.

The overhead bins on commuter jets are smaller than on big airliners and United pre-emptively gate checks your bags. That would be fine except you have to stand around halfway down the jetway waiting to get them back while the people who checked luggage walk past to get to their connecting flights.

There was plenty of time waiting at O'Hare. We landed on the F concourse near the main connecting hallway and this gate was right where it connects to the B concourse so we had hardly any walk at all. This was just after we got there. By boarding time the place was packed.

The weather looked a little unsettled, but the radar on Weatherbug only showed some mild showers.

We boarded on time and even pulled away from the gate a little early. About the time we got to the first taxiway we were informed that there was a "little disturbance" over this side of Lake Michigan and all eastbound flights were being held til it cleared. That only took ten minutes but it took two hours to get our turn on the runway again including a complete circuit of the extensive taxiways.

Boston was crawling with marathoners and their families, so we went down to Providence. Our first stop was this picturesque galleria for lunch at a restaurant we picked because of it's punny name, Rogue Island, but it was temporarily closed.

Half way down the hall, we encountered a bookstore dedicated to local notable author,  H.P Lovecraft.

They make no bones about not being a normal place. I've always thought Lovecraft was trying to be scary by just making up weird names for things. Andy characterized his style as "horror by capitalization." Other than ours for Biden-Harris, my favorite campaign sign on our block last year promoted Cthulu for President. The slogan was "Why settle for the lesser evil"

Then we headed to the Art Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design.

The special exhibition gallery held Defying the Shadow - works by black artists that "oppose a historical narrative of dispossession and domination that continues to violate the humanity of Other-ed bodies." Most of the exhibit was photography.

The galleries on the lower floors are in one building and on the upper floors in another. This is the view out of the window in the passage that connects them.

In addition to four other institutions of higher learning, downtown Providence is the center of government of the state of Rhode Island. Built in the early 20th century, The Providence County Courthouse occupies a plot of land that had some judicial function since 1723 and now also houses the Superior Court of the State. Providence is where the idea of separation of church and state began after Roger Williams got kicked out of Massachusetts and started his own colony.

Crossing back over the Providence River, I was struck by the seemingly random placement and disparity in scale between the small 19th century building and the minimalist modern monsters looming over it.

Providence is one of the oldest colonial cities in the country. I'm always fascinated by the parade of historical styles on the relatively narrow streets.

Finally, lunch at the historic (from 1933) Congress Tavern. The friendly waitress, whom Kristin said had the most archtypical Rhode Island accent she'd ever heard, kept us entertained with commentary on the wedding that was being set up across the courtyard.

We also had to visit a couple of microbreweries. This one still had their pandemic seating on the sidewalk. It was right across from a photographer's studio whose sign said "Film • Photography." I got a little excited until I looked him up. He was using "film" in the sense of motion pictures.

Our evening adventure was the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Zoo.

They're not kidding about the spectacular.  Six thousand individually carved pumpkins are on display, sometimes decorating a fifty foot tall tree. The show goes on for a month and they replace the pumpkins as they wilt.

The event includes lighted displays on the lake with spooky boat rides and a zip line over the water.

The first night we were there, in the wee hours of the morning,  I broke the flush lever on the upstairs toilet. It turned out it had been modified with discontinued non-standard parts and the entire flush mechanism had to be replaced.

Andy jumped into action and after three separate trips to the hardware store, returned it to working order.

After being told about four times that there wasn't enough room for anyone to help, I went outside to take pictures. One last pink rose of the season.

The action in the vegetable garden is pretty much over and cleaned up, but one last egg plant remains.

A basil plant is still very vigourous. Mine never get this big because I'm always after them to deal with the mid-August flood of fresh tomatoes.

The next day we went to one of their old haunts in Quincy for lunch. I got a Guinness to honor my little camera but ran out of film before I could get a close up of it.

Little Guinness has a hand-drilled .17mm pinhole 24mm from a 24x36mm frame.