Thursday, January 28, 2010


Turners Falls, Massachusetts

Another dark winter day in New England.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Two Air Conditioners

Turners Falls, Massachusetts

Meanwhile there are new postings over at The WPII blog, and also this morning a post at Martin's Public Eye Blog.

Turners Falls, Massachusetts

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Waterbury, Connecticut


Waterbury, Connecticut staged demonstrations large and small across the U.S. today. Including Waterbury.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dark Day, IV

Bethlehem, Connecticut

OK, it would be fair to call it evening by now. But the sense of evening was very slow coming on because it had been so dark all day long. Really dim conditions seemed to set in imperceptibly, and then suddenly it was full dark.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

WP Supplemental: more theaters

There has been a lot of interest in the pictures of drive-in theaters I've been posting here, and that were featured at the Lens blog. For those whose interest is really keen, here is a LINK to a large gallery of scans from the project. There are 75 photographs here, with identifications of the theaters by name and location. The scans (like the ones I've been posting here and very unlike the ones in the galleries on my web site) are meant to give a good impression of what the digital pigment-ink prints look like (except of course for size). Almost all of the pictures were made on 8x10" and 7x17" format, but there are also a few that started out as 5x7s.

Public Bulletin Board (with fish)

Turners Falls (Town of Montague), Massachusetts

Be sure to click on the picture at right to read about all the special ingredients in the advertised products. Clicking any picture on this blog always displays a larger, more legible version.

Monday, January 18, 2010

WP Supplemental: The View from French King Bridge

Erving, Massachusetts

Yesterday I had to go up to northern MA to meet with a gallery director and hand off a set of prints for an upcoming group show in Vermont. We met in the parking lot of the French King Motel, which is about a quarter mile past this scene, which is an officially designated SPECIAL PLACE.

Sunrise at the Super 322

Clearfield, Pennsylvania

Drive-in theaters are frequently named for the road used to access them. In this case it's old state highway 322, also known as the Woodland Bigler Highway, which at this point runs close and parallel to Interstate 80.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hairpin Turn, II

On Rt. 16, near Tazewell, Virginia

Rt. 16 begins, according to the best maps I can find online, at (I'm not kidding) Mouth of Wilson, VA, which is in spitting distance of the North Carolina border. It wanders up the far southwest corner of Virginia to cross the West Virginia border, and winds its way over innumerable hills until it finally peters out around Beckley, WV. It's just about my favorite stretch of road in the world. Strangely, what's so wonderful must be all about the experience of driving it, much of the time locked in second gear. I've only gotten a few interesting pictures of road views on the four times I've driven the route, though I've gotten some wonderful things in the small towns along the road. Towns with names like Squire, War, and Welch. This one gives a pretty good sense of how the road builders dealt with the terrain.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hairpin Turn, I

Great Smokies National Park (near the North Carolina/Tennessee line)

This is another big camera shot. Click on the picture to get a more legible view. I'd pulled off the road through the park in order to set up my changing tent at the tailgate of my truck to reload my film holders. When I finished, I was fascinated by the view from the entry from the little rest area. A bevy of at least thirty MG cars of 1950s vintage had just passed, leaving a strong aroma of leaking crankcases, but they were gone before I could move to the entry and set up the 7x17 camera. At that point, a bunch of motorcyclists came by.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The HILAND Drive-in Theater

Rural Retreat, Virginia

The view from the back of the field doesn't show the most unusual thing about this drive-in theater in southwestern Virginia. Built in 1952, the fully enclosed screen tower has always contained family living quarters. A reader commented here yesterday to say that as a child he loved overnight stays with relatives who owned, I suspect, this theater.

When I visited, in 2003, it was a busy, successful operation with all the theater facilities in immaculate condition. More amazing though, the living quarters had recently been refurbished at an incredible level of detail and execution.

This is the ground floor kitchen and living room area. The second floor is also fully finished as bedrooms, bathrooms, and a den, while farther up into the tower interior there are several more levels of storage space.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Final Days

Buffalo, New York

The Buffalo Drive-in Theater was one of the last to survive right inside the limits of a large city. The fields were surrounded by industrial and residential buildings. But the theater closed in 2007, shortly after I made these pictures.

Buffalo, New York

Monday, January 11, 2010


Richmond, Virginia

Display sign for the former Plaza Drive-in on the south side of Richmond. The theater's lot is now a junkyard.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Toplands Farm

Roxbury, Connecticut

For a variety of reasons I find myself driving over Painter Hill several times, at least, each month, but one of the consolations is the ever-changing view north across this enormous hay field. The domed shape is, I suspect, a classic drumlin, though it's one of the larger and flatter ones around here. The view from the narrow road is never the same twice.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Wadesville, Pennsylvania

I've never been much convinced that there's a specific, definitive, best shot of a subject. For that matter, I don't think much of the idea of a definitive print. If I return to a negative done twenty years ago, I think it would be ridiculous to attempt to print it exactly as I did back then (if the materials are even available). I make better prints now than I did twenty, or ten, or thirty, years ago, and the picture, if it's worth printing again, deserves the best I can do now. Seems to me.

I'm also not sure I should have to choose which of these I like better. The firehouse is almost the only building still standing in Wadesville, which is being eaten away by a coal strip mine, owned as you might guess, by the Reading Coal Company. I also posted about this a while ago, but it took me till now to catch up with the big camera negatives.

Wadesville, Pennsylvania

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Loading Dock

Waterbury, Connecticut

This is in the same complex as the Gate and Benrus shots, just a block from from Gabe's.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Monday, January 04, 2010


Waterbury, Connecticut

The same factory complex as yesterday's "gate" picture. I've lived in this area since the mid-seventies and I don't think this large complex has been occupied in all that time.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Waterbury, Connecticut

Back for a while to some color work from this past fall.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Another Derelict

Deer Lake, Pennsylvania

I've done a lot of research to locate existing and derelict drive-in theaters around the country, but sometimes I just trip over something on my way somewhere else. This turned up on my way to the eastern Pennsylvania coal country.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Cornfield, II

Ansonia, Pennsylvania

These two cornfields are an example of a funny phenomenon I run into from time to time. I can go quite a distance without finding anything that inspires me to set up one of the big cameras, but when I do find subjects that say "take my picture," there often seem to be several in a cluster. Even stranger, when I've found something to shoot, I've learned to turn around and look exactly the other way. It's surprising how often something is there, too. This picture was made by picking up the tripod after the picture in yesterday's post, and carrying it across the narrow paved road to make a picture facing west instead of east.