Yesterday I went to see the Nationals play the Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco. It was an interesting game. Very few hits and not much scoring. The Nationals won in 10, 2 to 1. As you can see it was a beautiful day, perfect for baseball. I was at the mercy of the guy selling the tickets, and just asked for a very cheap seat. Ended up in section 302, which by my estimation is the nicest place to sit in the whole park. The only problem was that for the first time in all my years of going to baseball games, it was difficult to concentrate on the action with this amazing view of the bay always pulling me away from the game. Even if you HATE baseball, it is totally worth $24.00 to sit up here for an afternoon drinking a few beers and being part of a crowd of very friendly people. / After the game I blasted over to the offices of Collector’s Weekly and met with Hunter Oatman-Stanford who wrote this article about the suitcases that really opened a lot of doors for me. We were joined by two other editors and had a great chat about this and that. I was totally blown away when they told me that the story had generated roughly 600,000 views on their site. I really owe a lot to Hunter for his great interview and interest in the project. / Made it out to the airport in time to catch the redeye back to Boston. Got home at about 9.30 this morning and was happy to see the Pearl, who after a bit of a scare this weekend seems to be back on her feet.
Cris made it back from Bangladesh safely in spite of some bad weather in the UK which could have slowed her down. Before she left Dhaka, she told me about this headline in “The Daily Star”. I asked her to bring it home and here it is. Something about the word stinky in a daily paper that struck me as funny. The photo of the monkeys huddled together was to illustrate a recent cold snap in South Asia.
When I am not away from home I drive past this field almost every day. It is on the East end of the Town of Amherst and is one of my favorite views in the valley. It is lovely to have farm fields right in the middle of things. A few days ago I noticed some white fencing and as I looked closely I saw that there were goats inside the enclosure. I had known that there was a business in the area that rented them out to eat brush but this was the first time I have seen them in action.
They are really small, but have been at it in this field for about a week and are making great progress.
On Monday I shot the last of the Willard suitcases for a while. I hope to use the rest of this month to begin editing the images for the Exploratorium exhibit, and knowing how my brain works I knew I couldn’t attempt to edit while I was still shooting. I was surprisingly emotional about the whole thing; an important part of the project ended and I am not sure when it might resume. It is also significant to me that it marks the end of the Kickstarter phase of this work. So some thank you’s are in order. I could NEVER have gotten this far without Kickstarter and the incredible support of the almost 700 people who backed me. Thanks to Alex Ross for the long term “loan” of his lights and soft boxes. He is a true friend. Craig Williams and the New York State Museum gave me access to the cases and Craig’s support was instrumental in keeping it all moving along. And Peggy Ross kept me organized. Without her help in unwrapping, setting up the shots, helping me see things I would have missed, and putting the objects back where they belong I would never have made it through as many of the cases as I did.
I will work on a post later today showing the last case in the queue, as it were. It was a great one to end on.
Peter, Cris, and I went to a Red Sox game last night. It was an absolutely perfect night for baseball; temperature in the mid-70s and a constant light breeze from the south. In the bottom of the first, Carl Crawford hit a double off the monster and was then picked off second when he wandered a bit too far from the base. That pretty much sums up the season. It has been a tough year for the club. But still, baseball on a beautiful summer’s evening. Can’t be beat (unlike the Sox who lost 6-3).
This is a bit of an experiment. When I was out at Willard recently, I shot the bowling alley in Hadley Hall and then went upstairs to the projection room. The lighting was the weirdest I have come across. I shoot most of this stuff in RAW, so that I have tons of latitude when it comes to editing the photos. I messed around with these images for a long time and I could NOT get the color to look good. The walls were yellowish and there were mixed fluorescents. Rather than get discouraged and stuff the whole idea of a post I decided to convert to black and white and see how they look online. Funny, since in the days of film I used to shoot this sort of thing in black and white much of the time.
The tradition for the projectionists was to write the name of the film and the date it was shown on the walls.
Lots of interesting films here. For example, “All Fall Down” was shown on 13 January, 1963, and Apache Rifles got a (Good) rating.
And here “The Glass Slipper” was shown on 14 April, 1956. And these were all 35mm prints!
What really interests me about the asylum having shown first run movies is that the residents of the institution were able to attend, as were the people who lived in the surrounding towns. From what I have been told, the townsfolk sat in the balcony and the asylum residents sat downstairs.
I like these notes for the projectionist. There must have been someone downstairs who could send some sort of signal in case of a problem.
The projection room seemed to me to be almost totally intact. The sheet of paper here might be hard to read online, but at the top of the list is “Back To The Future”.
Here’s another of the projection lenses. A beautifully made optic.
There was still quite a bit of paperwork lying around.
I was just blown away by this room and its contents.
It is really hard to put into words just how fortunate I am to get into places like this, and how important it is to me to be able to preserve images of something that very few people can see for themselves.
So, thank you all for checking in and encouraging me to do this kind of work. I am off to Rotterdam tomorrow to shoot more suitcases and will post an update to that project very soon.
Cris and I took the Pearl for a walk early this evening and we stumbled upon an interesting crowd at the UMASS Sunwheel. It dawned on me pretty quickly that it had something to do with the “Transit of Venus“.
Some of the UMASS astronomy people were handing out these cool little eclipse viewers. Cris had a hard time seeing the dot, but I was able to pick it out at about the 1 o’clock position on the sun. (If you click the link above and look at the Wikipedia page, Venus was in a similar position.)
It is so great to live in a community where you can come across gatherings like this one, and it was so nice that the rainy weather cleared out just at the right time.