I recently discovered the Library of Congress online photo archive, an amazing archive of photographs depicting many aspects of American life up to the 1950’s. Online are thousands of scanned photographs, many of high quality glass negatives. The resolution on these will blow you away, and the high resolution scans are available to download in very large TIFF files for closer examination.
This sequence shows the launch of the battleship USS Georgia at Bath Ironworks in 1904. Large format cameras aren’t known for their rapid shooting ability, and film speeds in 1904 would have been single digit ISO’s so to manage four frames during the launch was a remarkable achievement.
I passed through Bath on a driving tour of New England in 2001 and found it to be a bit like Barrow in Furness here in the UK – a small town dominated by a massive shipyard. At the time, the yard had just transitioned to building ships on a massive level concrete platform before they are transferred into a giant floating dry dock for completion and launch, rather than the traditional slipways, as shown above (This actually isn’t too different to the method used at Barrow, where subs are assembled in the Devonshire Dock Hall, and then wheeled outside onto an elevator and lowered into the water).
Due to limitations of time, camera and access, I only took three pictures from an area outside the site, but you’ll get an impression of the size of the facilities. Interestingly, the Arleigh Burke class destroyers which the yard has been producing for many years are actually longer than the Georgia (500 vs 440ft) although they aren’t quite as wide (66 vs 76ft) and have a lower displacement (about 10000 tons compared to 15000 tons).
Diane at Ebb and Flo Bookshop has kindly created a Facebook event for my little exhibition. It’s an ongoing event rather than a one off thing, so the ‘join’ aspect is rendered a tad superfluous, but if you are a Facebook user, feel free to join or share or whatever to help spread the word!
Although I have my own Facebook account, I’ve never got round to creating a seperate facebook account for my photography, it’s enough keeping on top of the websites, blog and Tumblr. But never say never…….
After too many late nights and a lot of blood sweat and tears, my first exhibition opened today at my local independent bookshop, the delightful Ebb and Flo in Chorley. It’s only 12 framed A3 photographs, but the exhibition space is somewhat small and probably couldn’t take many more, so I’ve gone for quality not quantity.
Better quality photos to come when I take the Nikon with me!
This one is another of those which I’ve had trouble processing in the past. For some reason, the combination of colours, as well as the light, is slightly odd and has always left me struggling a bit – I’m still not sure if I’ve cracked it yet. I don’t know whether increasing the contrast in the trees on the right has now given them too much visual presence. They may need toning down, without returning to the somewhat amorphous muddy grey mass that they were before.
Still, if nothing else, it’s grist for the mill.
Sometimes images naturally lend themselves to high contrast, others don’t. In this I’ve shown what happens when you go too far. The starting monochrome conversion was inevitably quite flat, muddy looking even although given it was a grey overcast day on a muddy wasteland that’s to be expected.
But overall, the scene just didn’t suit a high contrast approach. The mill itself will stand up to it, but the sky is a bit if a mess and the large white patches of unknown material on the wasteland take too much attention visually and need further toning down.
I’ll rework this with a far more subtle look in the future, but the lesson from this is that there must be tonal balance in an image, and you have to take each image on its merits rather than apply a standard style and look to all images.
Although this blog is very much alive (if not updated as frequently as it used to be), I’ve also started a blog on Tumblr. As this WordPress blog is my primary platform, I’ve linked the two so that all the posts on here automatically appear on there as the audiences are different, but Tumblr content will mainly be for sharing content I find rather than create myself.
In an effort to consolidate my domain names, I will also be changing this blog to either blog.mechanicallandscapes.com or mechanicallandscapes.wordpress.com so that I have a consistent portfolio website / blogs that all look similar as well. Further details to come when I figure out if it’s possible and what the consequences are from an audience / follower perspective!
A change from my usual hotel resulted in the opportunity to see Lucerne from a different perspective, so finding the highest point in the hotel I was legally allowed in, I took my camera, opened the window and snapped away unhindered!
In front of Lucerne’s vast railway station. The arch was from the original (very attractive) station building which burnt down in 1971
The Wilhelm Tell paddle steamer. Taken out of service in 1977, the ship is now a floating restaurant on the lakeside promenade.
All being well, a trip on the lake is in order on my next visit…………….