Recently, I photographed the removal of the first of three earth and stone dams from the Hamant River in Sturbridge, MA. A project 7 years in planning is the result of collaboration between the town conservation commission, Massachusetts Fish & Game, and other groups. The restored free-flowing river will support the spawning of brook trout and the growth of native plants.
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. Visit my posts about Tippin Guitars, Haynes Flute. S.E. Shires, Co. (brass instruments), and Christoper White Violins.
About 20 years ago I was bicycling around the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts and stumbled across the tiny village of New Salem. I found a long town green lined with mature, old trees, surrounded by 18th and 19th century homes and buildings. There was no sign of a traffic light, convenience store, gas station, or of any modernity what-so-ever. I felt as though I had stepped through a window in time to the year 1830. I half expected to see a movie crew appear from behind the false facades of each of the buildings. But, these building were real on my first visit, and just and fantastic today when I returned to New Salem on the way home from a photo shoot in Hadley, MA about 15 miles away. A sign indicates that this is indeed an historic district. It is so important to preserve windows in time like New Salem. I imagine that each of the 50 US states has precious little villages like this one, seemingly unaffected by the giant footprint of development and economic growth. I’ve felt the same sense of wonder and excitement while “discovering” a silver mine in Colorado, the remains of a logging camp in Maine, and a farm valley in Rochester, Vermont known as North Hollow. If you know of secret little villages like New Salem, please let me know. Maybe this will the beginning of a photo essay or book!
After a full day of photographing the buildings and pedestrian byways of the new MarketStreet Lynnfield, I hoped to capture a definitive image of the new shopping center at dusk. Riding a scissor-lift up about 30 feet above the brick-paved square, I positioned my tripod and Nikon on the platform. I waited for the early evening breeze to abate so I could complete a series of long exposures without vibrations and movement. To the naked eye the actual scene does not appear as colorful and brightly lit. The effect was achieved by combining 4 exposures using a technique called HDR or High Dynamic Range and a plugin for Adobe Lightroom called Photomatix Pro.