I recently visited the factory of C.B. Fisk, makers of pipe organs in Gloucester, MA. A team of about twenty seven highly skilled craftspeople build instruments that are close relatives of the organs used by Bach in the 1700’s. Superficially, the workspaces resemble common machine shops and woodworking facilities, but there is more than meets the eye. Built to very tight tolerances, a large organ for a church can take up to six months to complete — and that does not include shipping and assembly. A 1/16 scale model of each organ is built by the shop’s designated model-maker, and each organ is dry-fit in the plant before shipping.
I recently visited Boston violin maker Christopher White in his studio. This is the forth installment of my series on musical instrument makers in New England. The shots may become the foundation for a magazine story or exhibit.
In over 25 years at his workshop, Christopher has made over 150 violins and violas and over 30 cellos. Inspired by the work of Cremona Italy masters Guarneri del Gesu and Antonio Stradivari, all the work is done using hand tools; with the exception of rough cuts made on a bandsaw.
An exhibition of the work of photographer Edward Steichen. Showing at The deCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA until March 19.
You may have discovered Steichen as I did in the exhibition catalogue of the great “Family of Man” show, curated by Steichen in 1955. The photographer’s ground-breaking work helped photography gain recognition as an art form in a world of skeptical art critics. Marvel at his dramatic portraits of Hollywood stars, still life compositions, high-fashion, flowers, and city scenes.
Not many people know that I photograph swim teams. It takes me back to my junior high school years when I attempted to be a fast breaststroker at the Y on 14th Street, Manhattan. This shot was something of an accident. My strobe didn’t fire and instead of a frozen sports moment I got this impressionistic shot.
In spite of the drought that has dried up New England since the summer, the fall color has turned out to be surprisingly good. Here’s a shot that uses 3 different exposures to capture the wide dynamic range of this scene. I use Photomatix Pro to create fine HDR images.
This photograph is available as a fine art print or, licensed from commercial use.
In late August I visited S.E. Shires, Co. to photograph the crafting of custom trumpets and trombones. This is the third installment of my series on musical instrument makers in New England. The Shires plant in Hopedale, MA has been making brass instruments for devoted horn players since 1995. Most of the men and women who work here are musicians too. They’re using computer guided cutting tools and machines, early 20th century apparatus, lots of small and large welders, and plenty of hands-on work to make each perfect instrument.
An afternoon walk in the woods near home, showcasing the bright green of early June. (All photographs are available for commercial licensing and fine art prints.)