Scene from the movie Rear Window

Still Photo from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window starring Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart.

I’ve been wanting to do a series of posts about how photographers are portrayed in the media and after watching  Rear Window a few nights ago I thought it would be a good film to kick off the series. I’m not going to review it as a film critic would, instead I’m going to examine the film from a photographer’s perspective.

Released in 1954, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Jimmy Stewart as L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies, Grace Kelly as Lisa Fremont, Wendell Corey as Detective Thomas Doyle, Thelma Ritter as Stella, and Raymond Burr as Lars Thorwald.  You may remember Raymond Burr as TVs Ironside, a detective who always got his man, or woman. Or you may remember him as Perry Mason, a lawyer who never lost a case. The screenplay was written by John Michael Hayes and was based on a short story by Cornell Woolrich.

L.B. Jefferies (Jimmy Stewart) is the main character. A photojournalist,  staffer for an unnamed magazine.

Opening Scene

The camera pans across an apartment to reveal Jefferies  in a wheelchair. A plaster cast covers his left leg. The camera continues to pan to a nearby table where we see a smashed Graflex. The camera tilts upward and stops on a black and white photograph mounted on the wall, a crash at a dirt track speedway. Two race cars have collided and become entangled as they lift off the track. The drivers ejected from their cockpits, body’s contorted, arms flailing. A wheel has come off and is hurling toward the viewer.

The phone rings, Gunnison, the magazine’s editor, not knowing Jefferies has another week in his cast, calls. He needs a photographer in Kashmir. 60 plus years later, Kashmir is still in play.

Jefferies: Didn’t I tell you that was the next place to watch? When do I leave, an hour?

Gunnison: That one week is gonna cost me my best photographer, and you a big assignment.

Jefferies: I can take pictures from a jeep or a water buffalo, if necessary.

Gunnison: You’re too valuable to the magazine for us to play around with. I’ll send Morgan or Lambert.

Jefferies: I get myself half-killed for you, and you reward me by stealing my assignments.

Gunnison: I didn’t ask you to stand in the middle of an automobile racetrack.

We can assume that Jefferies’s leg was struck by the wheel, which would lay him up for weeks with nothing to do but spy on his neighbors out his rear window. Luckily as a staffer he had health insurance. We know that as his visiting nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) tells him,” The insurance company would be much happier If you’d sleep in bed at night instead of in that wheelchair.”

The Love Interest

Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly) plays Jeffries girlfriend, a socialite working in the fashion industry. She wants him to quit the magazine, open a studio and shoot fashion and portraits. She says she can get him a dozen assignments tomorrow. Promises, promises, show me the purchase order!

When Stella asks Jefferies if he is going to marry Lisa : No, She’s too beautiful. She’s too sophisticated. She belongs to that rarefied atmosphere of Park Avenue. Can you imagine her tramping around the world with a camera bum Who never has more than a week’s salary in the bank?

 So I assume back then, just like today, no photographer went into photojournalism to get rich. Maybe he should have taken Lisa’s advice and opened that studio, It worked out okay for Penn and Avedon. I also found it interesting that he refers to himself as a “camera bum.”  I’m curious about the genesis of photographer as bum. Maybe it’s because people associate photojournalism with exploiting the suffering of others. Maybe it’s because it’s a hard way to make a living. Maybe it’s both.

Description of the neighborhood from Hayes’s screenplay:
The neighborhood is not a prosperous one, but neither is it poor. It is a practical, conventional dwelling place for people living on marginal incomes, luck — or hope and careful planning.

Due to the growing prosperity in the U.S. in the years following World War II the fifties saw an explosion in magazine titles such as Life and Look, giving rise to photojournalism as a profession. Television was in its infancy and print was still the main means of communication. The rise of the middle class saw Americans with greater disposable income and companies tried to capture those dollars by buying ad space in magazines making publishing a profitable venture.

The Camera Gear

4x5 Camera

Graflex 4×5 SLR with Revolving back

The smashed Graflex in the opening scene was probably a 4×5 R.B. Super D. What was unique about it was that it was a 4×5 single lens reflex with a large mirror that reflected the image coming through the lens onto a top mounted ground glass. It had a large, collapsible focusing hood that would pop up when the lid was opened and would have been used at waist level. The R.B. designation meant it had a revolving back to allow for both horizontal and vertical images. This camera would have been a good choice for Jefferies to use to photograph auto racing as not only did it offer reflex viewing but it also had a focal plane shutter capable of speeds up to 1/1000 of a second. The following comes from an article about the Super D on Graflex.org: Do not use the Graflex for photographing near-by action such as aircraft carrier landings. When you are peering into the focusing hood, dangerous activity may come too near before you detect it. I guess Jefferies never read the manual.

Another consideration would have been that many photo editors of the time dismissed 35mm as unsuitable for publication. W. Eugene Smith was fired from Newsweek because he refused to used large format.

Jimmy Stewart, Rear Window

Still from Rear Window featuring Jimmy Stewart with Exacta camera and telephoto.

Another camera that featured prominently in the film was the the 35mm Exacta, mounted with a phallic, 400mm telephoto lens. Stella referred to it as “that portable keyhole,” which implies it’s use is voyeuristic and indecent. While the lens is impressive in size, in reality 400mm results in only an 8x increase in viewing size, equivalent to a good pair of binoculars. Exacta’s where made in Dresden, Germany where they developed the first 35mm Single lens reflex camera. For whatever reason they taped over the Exacta nameplate on the top of the camera.

When Jefferies is trying to discern what is different in the courtyard after a woman’s disappearance and the death of a small dog he asks Lisa to hand him a viewer and a small yellow box. So, who use to own yellow like UPS owns brown? Kodak of course. Could have been a box of Ektachrome but I’d like to believe it was Kodachrome instead. Reviewing his slides shot a few weeks ago, he realizes there IS something different in the courtyard! No spoilers, you have to watch it for yourself.

A Flash of Inspiration

So Jefferies gets caught snooping in Thorwald’s apartment. How can a man in a wheelchair defend himself against a potential attacker? With flash bulbs of course! Thorwald’s pupils would have been dilated as the apartment was dark. A blast from a flash bulb at short range would blind him at least temporarily, slowing his advance. Several flash bulbs later… you’ll have to watch the film for the ending. Turns out this is not so far-fetched an idea. When working in areas where a photojournalist might be in danger it was recommend to carry a monopod in one hand and keep a flash in your pocket. The flash would be turned on and at full power. The thinking being that you could blind an attacker with the flash, beat them bodily with the monopod then run like hell!

Be sure to look for Hitchcock’s cameo appearance too.

Photographers, Did I miss anything? If so feel free to comment. Oh, any comments about cheap erectile dysfunction medications will be trashed unless accompanied by offer of free unlimited supply, shipped directly to a friend of a friend.

hitchcock-stewart-kelly

Aug. 10, 1954: From left, Actress Grace Kelly, Times Photographer Phil Bath, who is president of the Los Angeles Press Photographers Association; Actor James Stewart and Director Alfred Hitchcock look over camera equipment used by news photographers ad in Paramount picture, “Rear Window,” which stars the actors.

Orthotown magazine cover

Cover of Orthotown magazine featuring Dr. Jason Hartman.

The Creative Director at Orthotown Magazine contacted me to shoot a feature profiling Dr. Jason Hartman, DMD, MS of Sparks Orthodontics. Orthotown is a B2B trade magazine published by Farran Media. Sparks Orthodontics currently consists of ten locations throughout Central and Eastern Pennsylvania. My job was to take readers on a visual tour of the practice.

Patient area at orthodontists.

Patient area at Spark Orthodontics.

I began by shooting architectural details in the morning before the practice opened to the public. The bright and modern decor helps to differentiate Spark from other practices. I also used this time to determine the best location for the cover shot of Dr. Hartman and to set up lighting.

Upon Dr. Hartman’s arrival we jumped right into shooting the cover portrait.  I had to make sure to leave plenty of space above and around him for the masthead and cover lines.  When I was satisfied we had several options I struck the lights and moved to the waiting room where we did the staff shot.

Staff photo at Spark Orthodontics

Staff photo at Spark Orthodontics in Schnecksville, PA.

 

 

When the practice opened to the public my approach became more photojournalistic. I documented the doctor’s interaction with patients and staff. I also did equipment shots as Spark are often early adopters of new technology.

It was pleasure working with Dr. Hartman and his staff. From the time I spent there It was obvious that they cared for their patients and enjoyed their profession. We should all be so fortunate.

 

 

See more of my editorial work.

scanner at orthodontist

Patient in scanner at orthodontist’s office.

Orthodontist and patient

Spark Orthodontics in Schnecksville, PA

Trash the Dress

Newlyweds prepare to jump into Kennebec River for Trash the Dress photo shoot.

If you’ve been a photographer for any length of time it’s inevitable. At some point, no matter what your speciality, you will be asked to photograph a wedding. I shot a few weddings early in my career but now, I refer couples to photographers who specialize in them.

Never Say Never:

I received a call from my good friend Peter, who lives in Maine. He said his niece Libby was getting married and asked if  I’d photograph her wedding. The ceremony and reception would be held at his mother’s home situated along the Kennebec River. My ties to that place run deep as I have been their guest many times over the years. I agreed to do it, happy to have the opportunity to repay their generosity and I could take a few extra days and make it a vacation. Stopping in Providence on the way up I picked up my son Wynn, to share the experience and to assist during the wedding. 

It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony, the reception was held under a large tent by the river. The people, the location, the weather, the music, the food, were wonderful. It was the most enjoyable wedding I have ever attended, let alone photographed. 

Trash the Dress

Newlyweds make their way to a canoe for a trash the dress photo shoot.

Wynn Plants a Seed:

Towards the end of the reception Wynn jokingly asked Libby if she wanted to do a “Trash the Dress” shoot the next day. Libby and her new husband Andrew talked it over for a minute and replied “Yes!”  They thought it would be fun to go to the island and jump off the cliff into the river.

The plan was for me to photograph the” lovers leap” from a canoe. Wynn would paddle in the front, Libby’s Uncle Nick, would paddle from the back, I’d sit in the middle and shoot. 

The Kennebec is a tidal river, only placid for a short period of time, at high and at low tide. By the time everyone was ready low tide was long gone and it would be several hours until high tide. We would now be fighting very strong currents. So strong in fact, that you needed to paddle upstream as hard as you could to counteract the current carrying you down stream as you crossed. If you miscalculated the trajectory you could end up below and on the wrong side of the island.

My crew paddled to the Island first so I could photograph the newlywed’s as they made their way across. Libby was no stranger to the river and knew just what she was doing. Andrew, on the other hand, just needed to have faith, and to keep paddling. 

3Newlyweds, trash the dress

Newlyweds Andrew and Libby make their way to the cliff where will they jump into The Kennebec River.

Might As Well Jump!

Everyone got to the island without incident and we made our way to the top of the cliff. Andrew hung a Just Married sign then stripped down to his birthday suit but as the song goes, “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” Wynn, Nick and I made our way back our canoe as Libby and Andrew positioned themselves on the edge of the cliff, contemplating what they were about to do.

Once our canoe was at a reasonable distance from the cliff  I double checked my camera settings and gave Libby and Andrew the go ahead. They counted to three then jumped. I fired off nine frames before they hit the water.

Newlyweds leap into Kennebec River

Newlyweds leap into Kennebec River for Trash the Dress photo shoot.

 

Lilly on the shore

Libby, looking like The Winged Victory of Samothrace, after the jump.

 

 

Newlyweds Andrew and Libby with her grandmother

Newlyweds Andrew and Libby with her grandmother Natalie.

A Word of Caution: Scenarios such as this can put subjects and/or yourself in danger. Weigh the risks and take necessary precautions. No Trash the Dress photo is worth risking life or limb. In this case I was confident my subjects and my crew were up to the task and that all would return to shore safely. My trust was not misplaced.

 

 

beekeeper with smoker

Beekeeper Dave Harrod with smoker.

I first met Dave Harrod at The Miquon School where his daughter Nina and my son Wynn were classmates. Neither one of us were beekeepers back then. We lost touch after the kids graduated from Miquon. It was a pleasant surprise to meet up with him several years later at one of The Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild meetings.

Wanting to get back to my Beekeepers series I messaged Dave asking if I could photograph him working at his apiary. He replied yes and said to meet him 10:00 am Saturday at The Saul School. 

The Saul School is a magnet school that specializes in agricultural sciences and is located along Henry Avenue in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia. The school gives Dave a place to keep his bees and in return his bees pollinate Saul’s crops, flowers and fruit trees. 

Saul School Apiary

Dave Harrod working his apiary at W.B. Saul School.

“Better Suit UP”

It was a hot and humid morning so I hoped to get away with not wearing my bee suit, it is possible at times. As I approached the hives Dave called out that I had better suit up. He said he was really disputing the hives and that they were in a bad mood. I heeded his advice.

Aside from the suit being hot it’s not easy peering through a viewfinder while wearing a veil. Nor is it easy changing camera settings wearing thick gloves. On the other hand it’s hard to take photographs while writhing in pain from multiple bee stings!

Beekeeper taking a break

Dave taking a break in a grove of trees for shade and to escape angry attack bees.

In an attempt to re-queen hives in the Guild’s apiary Dave had inserted Queen excluders into some of his hives. A queen excluder is a screen that restricts the queen’s travel to the boxes at the bottom of the hive. This causes the bees in the upper boxes to create a new queen that can later be moved to a queen-less hive.  

While Dave’s day job is in finance he earned an MFA in Photography from University at Buffalo. At times our conversation veered away from beekeeping to cameras we have owned, darkroom techniques and the merits of film vs. digital. He offered to let be borrow his Kodak Master View 8×10 camera. I thinks its time to take him up on his offer!    

Dave is the current president of Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild.

Wynn Goes to Paris

Shoots Film

Eiffel Tower, Paris France

Eiffel Tower from Place du Trocadero ©2018 Wynn Geary

 

As a child my son’s passions were art, architecture and soccer, photography was his Dad’s domain. It wasn’t until I taught a pinhole workshop at his school that he made his first photograph. Later, I gave him a 35mm point and shoot which he personalized by covering it with bug stickers. I loaded it with a 36 exposure roll of film and not fifteen minutes later he was back for another roll. That little camera is still tucked away in a drawer in the kitchen.

I began experimenting with digital photography using a Nikon Coolpix. I later purchased a Canon D30 and gave the Coolpix to Wynn to preserve my film stash.

My strategy worked for a while. He’d shoot as much as he wanted then download the photos onto his Mac G3. Then one day I asked him if he needed fresh batteries because I knew the Coolpix was a power hog. He dug through his backpack but couldn’t find the camera. “ I must have left it at school,” he said. 

A week later he came home and pulled the camera from his backpack. He told me he had it with him when he and his friends where hiking in the woods and that a girl had tripped and injured her knee. In typical Miquon School fashion everyone dropped everything and rushed the girl to the office for first aid. The Coolpix had spent the week outside, along a trail in the woods, in the rain. I did appreciate his honesty.

The Coolpix survived a week in the elements, what did it in was a broken battery door from the toss of his backpack onto the sidewalk.

Later, Wynn got an iPhone and of course, aside from the ability to text and make phone calls, it had a built in camera. For several years the iPhone was all the camera he needed. With each new iPhone version the cameras got better and better as did the photography related apps.

 

View from Eiffel Tower

Champ de Mars from Eiffel Tower ©2018 Wynn Geary

When Wynn went off to college I gave him my old Canon 20D. Not wanting to give up any of my L series lenses I  bought him  a used 35-80 kit lens.  Coming from an iPhone he found the 20D’s settings and menus confusing. The LCD was too small and the kit lens was too slow. The iPhone remained his camera of choice.

For the past couple of years I have been collecting film cameras. Some, people have given to me, others I find in thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales. I still carry a torch for film, especially black and white. I shoot with these cameras occasionally and still maintain a darkroom. You can see some of my recent  b&w work “Thanksgiving Day Parade” in a previous post.

Wynn mentioned he had friends at RISD that had done film photography when they where in high school and that they would like to try it again. I sent Ryan a Pentax ME and an Olympus OM-2 to Skye for their birthdays.

View from Eiffel Tower to the East

View from Eiffel Tower to the East ©2018 Wynn Geary

This got Wynn to thinking maybe he’d like a film camera too and that maybe he’d like to have it for his trip to Paris over spring break. I thought it a bit risky, taking a used camera you have never used before on such an important trip. Then I decided, what the hell, he would be taking photos with his iPhone too. 

While I had multiple cameras I could have given him all were 60’s or 70’s era manual cameras in need of some amount of restoration and I wanted to give him a camera with at least one auto exposure mode for insurance.

 

Detail, Eiffel Tower

Detail, Eiffel Tower, Paris

 

Luckily, a few days before Wynn would leave on his trip, I found a Canon AE-1 program at the local thrift shop. It was in great shape and came with a fungus free, 50mm 1.8 lens. It even came with an owner’s manual. When I got it home I installed a new battery and everything worked perfectly. The program mode was a big plus, I would rather he concentrated on content, light and composition than on technical issues.

I shipped the camera along with five rolls of 36 exposure Tri-X which he could send back to me for processing, printing and scanning when he returned. For inspiration I sent him a link to photos of Paris by Andre Kertesz. I told him to not come back with ANY unexposed film.

It wasn’t until the day of his flight that i realized we had never had a discussion about flying with film and x-rays! I texted him while he was on the train to the airport and he texted back that the film was in his suitcase and that it would be checked. I told him that was the worst pace for it as the x-rays for check bags is much stronger and would surely fog the film. He removed it from his suitcase and at the airport he asked for hand inspection. 

 

Here’s what Wynn had to say: Having the AE-1 Program in Paris was a blast, it really gave me the motivation I needed to go into full tourist mode. The AE-1 ended up giving me exactly what I needed, a camera that was super easy to operate, light and durable, and yielded exactly the kinds of photos I was looking for – images that look like they could be prints from IKEA. I’m excited to continue to use my new film camera but am hesitant to take it out without a special occasion. If you would like to send me a roll of film my address is 02 College Street, Box No. 0617 Providence RI, 02903

Check out Wynn’s website to see more of his work in multiple media @ Wynn Geary Design.

 

 

 

Carousel in Paris

Carousel near Metro Saint-Paul, Paris ©2018 Wynn Geary

 

Gardens at Versailles

Gardens at Versailles ©2018 Wynn Geary

Wynn was happy with the results and so was I. I’ve never been to Paris so it was fun to go there vicariously through his photographs.

       Au revoir pour le moment!

Bantam Market: Branding a Fictitious Agricultural Company

Brandig Bantam: a fictitious agricultural company

Bantam Branded Lionel boxcar used for class on marketing and branding.

When my son, a junior at RISD, asked if I’d come up to photograph his final projects, I didn’t have to think about it long. It would be nice to spend time with him and I welcomed the opportunity to explore Providence further. Wynn had created Bantam Market, a fictitious agricultural company for a marketing & branding class. He chose to illustrate the branding guidelines booklet using a Lionel train and buildings bearing the Bantam Logo and graphics. I had helped him to dig the train and buildings out of storage when he was home for Thanksgiving. He placed them in a bucolic diorama he had constructed from builder’s foam, lichen and faux grass.

rooftop garden

Rooftop garden created using Lionel building for Marketing class branding an agricultural company.

It was heartwarming to see. When Wynn was a child we spent many evenings working together on a layout in the third floor guest room. The layout has been down for years and all the trains and accessories have been packed away. I’m amused that these toys from a shared past have been resurrected for the purposes of academic achievement.

Post Production:

As I photographed the diorama on a cluttered table in the industrial design studio, some Photoshop work was needed to remove elements of the shooting environment. While I could have used my laptop Wynn got me into a computer lab with 27” iMacs and I much prefer a larger screen and more powerful processor for this type of retouching. Not surprisingly, as we were at a design school, I had full access to the Adobe’s Creative Cloud.  Once the skies were added I reduced saturation, boosted clarity and  applied gradients to reduce sharpness to enhance the miniature look. 

After several hours of work the cursor began flying around the screen closing windows and shutting down Lightroom and Photoshop! Wynn went to the IT office to investigate. It turns out there was someone new working there. While remotely shutting down unused station #1 he also inadvertently shut down #10, which happened to be where I was working. Fortunately I had saved everything and was back to work in no time. I added mountains and skies in the backgrounds then lit up the headlight and added smoke to the locomotive. 

Other aspects of the diorama included a market with rooftop garden and a hotel with billboard featuring Bantam Market’s slogan “Hello Neighbor.” You can read more about it in Wynn’s own words on Behance.  

Bantam-Billboard

Bantam Market Diorama featuring Lionel train and buildings.

Bantam Market Diorama

Bantam Market Diorama featuring Lionel train and buildings.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving day parade in Philadelphia

Thanksgiving Day parade, Philadelphia PA.

Despite having lived in Philadelphia for over thirty years, this was the first year I was in town for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I decided to go because I’ve been getting back into street photography and I knew there would be ample camera fodder there.

One advantage to photographing an event like this is that people generally don’t mind being photographed. They’re out in public, they’re in a good mood and many are taking photos themselves. Confrontations are less likely to occur at a public event than when you just snap someones photo on the street. However, there was one technique I did employ, that was to take someone’s photo then lower the camera and look beyond them as If I was photographing a float or a balloon behind them. It worked every time.

The Very Hungry Catepillar balloon, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Philadelphia.

I’ve been collecting film cameras for a while now and for these photos I chose a Canon EOS-1 with a 35mm lens. I liked the idea of using just one camera and one lens which would be limiting yet freeing at the same time. Limiting as I had only one angle of view to work with. Freeing because I had less gear related decisions to make and since the camera was small and light I could move around easily and react faster than if I was carrying a lot of gear.   I loaded the camera with Tri-X as that’s what I had on hand. I used a 25A Red filter for dramatic skies.

While the bright, morning sun was cheerful, it presented challenges as far as photography was concerned. Challenges like high contrast, strong backlighting and lens flare. While the camera has multiple auto exposure modes, I shot on manual using the Sunny 16 rule  and opened up a stop & 1/2  for backlight subjects. As for lens flare, I could move into the shadow cast by a building, wait for a balloon to cover the sun or just go ahead and shoot, letting the flare do what it’s going to do.

 

Aside from the marching bands, floats and balloons there were plenty of subjects of interest just off the parade route, subjects like the ubiquitous, Philly Jesus and a Free Hugs guy. When I’m out shooting I always try to remember to look behind me. That’s often where the better photo is. And yes, I received  both a hug and a blessing, can you ever get enough of either?

Philly Jesus

Philly Jesus at Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade.

Cyclist spectator with floating Christmas wreath.

Free Hugs

Free Hugs at Thanksgiving Day Parade, Philadelphia, PA

 

 

Previous Posts: PhiladelphiaPhoto

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard Pinhole Photography: Diptych

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Sunday, April 30, was Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Anyone who takes a pinhole photograph on WPPD can upload one image to their gallery which hosts over a thousand images from 53 countries. There is no entry fee, no judging, no rights grabs, no advertising, no prizes. Just a celebration of lensless photography.
 


It’s been five years since I participated, not for lack of interest but because I didn’t have the necessary chemicals on hand or the weather was not conducive. This year was different. I selected a camera, had paper to produce negatives and developer and fixer for processing. While it was overcast, it was bright enough to produce a good exposure and it wasn’t raining.

I had a box of 8×10 paper that I cut in half and loaded into 4×5 film holders. Not only was this economical but the large paper negative could be contacted printed, or scanned and inverted in Photoshop. Another option would be to peel the emulsion from the backing and print the negative using an enlarger.

Another advantage to making paper negatives is that processing can be done in trays under a safelight, using only developer; stop, fixer and a short water wash. As you can see the image coming up in the developer you can quickly evaluate both exposure and composition. The paper was outdated so I added a bit of liquid orthozite to the developer to minimize fogging.

As I hadn’t shot paper negatives in a while I limited my subject matter to the backyard. By staying close to home I could leave the camera set up while I ran into the darkroom and processed the negative. If that negative wasn’t quite right I could go back to the camera and recompose or vary the exposure time.

Determining pinhole exposure times can be tricky as the apertures are tiny and the photographic paper has an ISO of around 3. I took readings with a handheld light meter. Using a pinhole exposure slide rule, I found the suggested exposure for my f/419 pinhole, 8 minutes! 

4×5 Speed Graphic Pinhole camera

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The Speed Graphic is perfect for pinhole work. It produces a large film or paper negative. It can zoom from wide angle to telephoto depending how far I extend the bellows. It can be used in either horizontal or vertical orientation. I can load multiple film holders and stay in the field as long as I like. The flip-up eyepiece and wire finder aids in composition. It folds up for easy transport and with the exception of the bellows, is anything but fragile.
 

I purchased laser drilled pinholes from The Pinhole Resource to remove any doubt concerning the quality and size of the pinholes. I also bought two additional lens boards from eBay so I could have a choice of 60mm,160mm or 240mm focal lengths.
 

Unfortunately, the cloth shutter stopped working shortly after I purchased the camera. I now use a refrigerator magnet as a shutter.
 

If you participated in W.P.P.D either this year or at some time in the past, leave a comment with a link to you image. If you haven’t participated yet but would like to in the future, just remember it’s always the last Sunday in April.

 

 

 Dr. Deb Delaney, University of Delaware

 Dr. Deb Delaney, University of Delaware, Presenting “Take Time to Smell the Roses.”

 

Pro Bono, Latin, meaning “for good.” When it comes to shooting for free, you need to do what feels right for you. If there is a cause you believe in and you want to donate your time and expertise, that’s up to you. In my case, I volunteered to document the 7thannual Philadelphia Beekeeper’s Symposium held at Temple University. Everyone working the Symposium was a volunteer. I had also donated several photos to be included in the program, one of which appeared on the cover.

 

Samuel Ramsey

Samuel Ramsey, University of Maryland, dispelling beekeeping myths.

 
My wife, my son and I are beekeepers and we have benefited greatly from the educational programs offered by the guild.  We have become friends with many of the guild members and I have been photographing them for my Beekeepers of Philadelphia series. It was good to see previous subjects and to meet new potential ones.

I got to a attend a Symposium that I would have paid to go to otherwise. I received photo credit in the program and on social media as well as links to my website. Both the president and the communications coordinator thanked me at the event and again later, by email. I received the satisfaction of knowing that in a small way, I am helping other beekeeper’s and maybe the honey bee population at large.
 

If you have ever considered keeping bees why not check out Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild website for more information and maybe even register for a class!



 

Meghan Milbrath

Meghan Milbrath imparts knowledge from 25 years of beekeeping.

 

 

 

Davey Rance handled the AV.

Davey Rance handled the AV.

 

Van Gogh inspired hive.

Van Gogh inspired hive raffle.

 

registration desk

Edian and Laura, manning the registration desk.

 

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crushed steel block

Close up of crushed steel block at The Steel Yard, Providence Rhode Island.

 
     Summer was coming to an end. Once again it was time to make the pilgrimage to Providence, Rhode Island to move Wynn back into the RISD dorms. Just like last year we rented a Dodge Caravan and stuffed it to the roof with Wynn’s belongings. What we did differently than last year was to leave a week earlier to avoid Labor Day traffic. In addition, rather than book yet another drab hotel room we booked accommodations on Airbnb, which by the way, was founded by  RISD grads. We booked a loft at The Steel Yard, a non-profit, industrial arts school located on the campus of what was formerly The Providence Iron and Steel Company founded in 1882. 
 

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Home Sheep Home Pagoda 
    We had planned on leaving by noon but by the time the van was packed and we pulled away from the curb it was 3:00 in the afternoon. After a long but uneventful drive, we pulled into the gated parking lot of The Steel Yard. It was dark so any exploration of the campus would have to wait until morning. Not to mention we were tired and anxious to see the loft.
 
 
 
crushed block of aluminum

Close up of crushed block of aluminum at The Steel Yard, Providence, RI

   The loft, set in a reclaimed factory building, was amazing. The lower level had hardwood floors, spacious open area with full kitchen, two bedrooms and large tiled bathroom  with a huge bathtub and pedestal sink. The upper level offered two additional sleeping nooks and a TV alcove complete with sofa and plenty of cushions. Many of the loft’s original appointments had been retained, like the heavy metal doors on one bedroom and copper plated sliding doors on the other. Many reclaimed objects, both decorative and functional, have been artfully incorporated into the space. The loft received 50 five star ratings so if you need to stay over in Providence I highly recommend it.

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Rough brick buildings and gantry cranes.
     After a good night’s sleep I was awakened by sunlight pouring into the bedroom through two large windows. I’ve never been much for sleeping in and this morning I was anxious to explore our surroundings. I got dressed, had a cup of coffee, grabbed my camera and stepped out into the alleyway.
 

   

“Hoss,The Boss” iron furnace.

 

 

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I walked the campus under gantry cranes and past brick and metal buildings. I passed sculpture gardens and ornate handmade fencing. Toward the back of the property sat a rusty iron furnace named “Hoss” which was surrounded on three sides by rectangular blocks of crushed metal. Some were identifiable, like bicycle parts, old lockers or chain link fencing. Others gave no clues as to their original form or function. Either way they looked really cool and yielded my favorite photos from the outing.

 
 Steel Yard Logo

Steel Yard Logo on wall

 

      As an industrial design major Wynn will definitely be working there as The Steel Yard has close ties to RISD and he plans on attending the Halloween Iron Pour. 

like to include people in my photos to add scale and interest but unfortunately there were no classes or events happening while we were there. Guess that just gives me more reason to go back.

 

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