Friday, June 28, 2013

Return to Sender

Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

Linking this reflection to Weekend Reflections, where you can find some very interesting reflections.  Thanks for looking and enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Relic of the Past

Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

Until I saw this on our photowalk around Red Hook, I had forgotten all about these things.  There were a number of these "Call Boxes" rusting away on the streets, long since replaced with more modern ways to call for a fire engine or an emergency vehicle.   I'm sure in some communities they must still use something like this, or a more recent version.  This antique call box has long since been disconnected, but still serves a useful purpose.  One can find useful information in some of the handbills that are found on these boxes.  Local "street artists" practice their skills on these, although I'm not sure how much skill is involved in the stencil of the "little dictator" shown below.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

I don't consider myself a street photographer at all, but I do admire the work of those who practice street photography and street portraiture.  I particularly like the work of  Bob Dein, whose blog can be seen here.  He posts his work to the "100 Strangers" Flickr group as well as to a number of other photo centric websites.  I met Heather during our "Switch to Manual" photo walk.  She noticed a group of photographers taking pictures, and  was concerned that something was wrong.  I insured her that everything is fine, and that were were all part of a photography workshop, and just out practicing around the neighborhood.  She was relieved to hear that.  I then asked if she'd let me take her portrait.  She graciously agreed.  Thank you, Heather!   

Monday, June 24, 2013

Inside Out Project Portraits

Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

The Inside Out Project is a world wide participatory art project created by the artist JR, a recent recipient of the TED prize.  From the website describing the project:
INSIDE OUT gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement for what they stand for. It is a global platform for people to share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art.
These are a couple of portraits on display in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  It's hard to say from just looking at these portraits exactly what these people's statements are.   I'm sure there is an interesting story behind each of these portraits.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Photographers at Work

Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

Part of the Switch to Manual class as we explored the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.  I'm sure it's obvious who the "pro" in this picture is. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Brooklyn Inside Out Project

Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

After photographing within the Red Hook Bait and Tackle Shop, the "Switch to Manual" class embarked on a photo walk around the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.  There was much to see and photograph, including this art exhibit.  This is a part of a global art project inspired by the Parisienne artist JR.  You can find out more about his project if you "google" the Inside Out Project.  From what I've learned about this project, the artist "JR" has a mobile photo booth and will take anyone's picture.  He then prints it very large and puts it on display like this for all to see.  He has done this all over the world and the final results are really quite impressive.  Most recently, he did this in Times Square, in New York City. The portraits here are  the result of his work in Brooklyn, NY.   After a while, the portraits become weathered and the victims of other 'street' artists, thus adding to their appeal as street art.   These particular portraits were displayed on a corrugated wall which made for some interesting textures  and distortions.  You can find out more about the Inside Out project in NYC here.  You and also find out more about the global Inside Out project here.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Model Builder

Red Hook Bait and Tackle, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

The model builder here is actually a part of a lamp.  I don't recall if the lamp actually worked or not, but  I was impressed by the workmanship in the carving of the lamp's base here.  He has quite an expressive look on his face as he builds his model.   I would not put this lamp in my living room, but it didn't seem out of place at all amongst the taxidermy and other objects displayed at the Red Hook Bait and Tackle Shop.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Red Hook Bait and Tackle, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY 

Besides all the taxidermy on display, there were many figurines, statues, nautical items, and other "works of art" just about where ever anyone looks here.  I have photographed many other figureheads at Mystic Seaport,  but none quite like this mermaid.  I would like to think that she actually did adorn the bow of a sailing vessel, and was rescued from the scrap heap to serve as the unofficial hostess of the Red Hook Bait and Tackle Shop.  In reality, she's probably a very nice reproduction.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More Trophies

Red Hook Bait and Tackel Shop, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

The Red Hook Bait and Tackle Shop is a pretty interesting place.  They have quite a collection of taxidermy on display and offered endless subjects to photograph.  After learning how to use the manual settings on our cameras, we spent about an hour shooting in the bar, which had not opened for business yet, so we had the place to ourselves.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY 

The Red Hook Bait and Tackle Shop offered endless photo opportunities on which to practice our new manual shooting skills.  These are just some of the "trophies" on display.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Red Hook Bait and Tackle Shop

Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

This place doesn't look like much from the outside, but it is one of the best neighborhood bars in all of Brooklyn, NY.  In a addition, it serves as the somewhat, "unofficial" headquarters of  the "Switch to Manual" Workshop hosted by professional photographers Antonio Rosario and Tom Martinez.  You can learn more of their workshops here.  In an attempt to improve my feeble photographic skills, I signed up for the workshop and after meeting here for course instruction for a couple of hours, we spent  the rest of the day shooting both inside this bar, as well as around the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.  I'll be posting pictures all this week from both inside the Bait and Tackle Shop, as well as from around the Red Hook area of Brooklyn.  If you're ever in the area, I would highly recommend the Switch to Manual Workshop.  Even if you know all about the manual settings on your camera, the chance to spend a day shooting with Antonio and Tom in Red Hook is well worth the price. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Breck Marshall

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

Happy Father's Day to all those fathers out there.  This would be my ideal way to spend a Father's Day afternoon, along with both my daughters.  The Breck Marshall, is an example of a "catboat" used extensively for fishing and pleasure around these parts back in the early 1990's.  This reproduction was built in the museum's Small Boat Shop in 1987.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

The Roann came to Mystic Seaport in 1997 after having fished the shores off the east coast of the United States for 50 years.  She was built in 1947 in Thomaston, ME, and represented quite an advance  from the sail powered fishing schooners that preceded her, in that the Roann was powered by a diesel engine.  She is one of the last examples left of an Eastern-rig dragger which used a conical net called an otter trawl dragged along the seabed to catch flounder and cod much more efficiently than earlier fishing schooners.  After extensive restoration at Mystic Seaport, the Roann will soon have another function, tending to the Charles Morgan, the last remaining wooden whale boat,  during the Morgan's 38th voyage to historic New England seaports next summer.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wine Glass on Vines

North Stonington, CT

This wine glass was not empty for long during the Spring Wine Festival at Jonathan Edward's Winery in North Stonington,  just long enough to capture this reflection of the surrounding vineyards.  Thanks for looking and enjoy your weekend.  If you like seeing reflections, please visit Weekend Reflections, hosted by James.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Canon Demo

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

I think back in the day, it took a crew of at least 6 or perhaps 7 to fire a cannon from a warship.  The gentleman in the blue coat described the entire process and went through all the commands, and played two different roles in the firing of this cannon.  One important role, not shown here, was often performed by boys on aboard ship, about the age of 10-12.  These boys were referred to as "powder monkeys" and would run from the cannon back to the ship's magazine and carry a single charge for the cannon.  Once delivered, they'd immediately run back for another charge.  For safety reasons, there was never more than a single powder charge near the cannon.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Welcome Home

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

One of the many festivities re-enacted during this weekend at the Seaport was a the triumphant return of  our Union troops. Having arrived from battle on the historic steamboat, Sabino, the troops were welcomed by the ladies, dressed in their finest, as well as the local political leaders.  They paraded around the town green and were officially welcomed home by rousing speeches by President Abraham Lincoln, the governor  of Connecticut, William A. Buckingham, and Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, who also was from Connecticut.   

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blue and Grey

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

Both sides of the War Between the States were represented.  Being a Union Naval encampment, one had to look hard for Confederate soldiers and sailors.  I know that a lot of re-enactors immerse themselves in the history and actually portray an historic figure.  I should've spend more time talking with these gentlemen to learn more of the characters they represent.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Encampment

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

The encampment was set up on the Village Green of Mystic Seaport.  These tents were more than just display, however.  Many, if not all of the re-enactors actually spent the nights in these tents.  Still, with modern amenities only a few steps away, these  re-enactors had it easy compared to the soldiers who fought back in 1863.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Abraham Lincoln

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

President Lincoln was on hand to review the troops as were some other local government officials.  He seemed to be having a good time with the men.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Firing Demonstration

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

I watched the troops being drilled in firing their rifles.  These were all single shot rifles which required quite an effort to reload.  I'm sure well trained soldiers in the day got off a lot more rounds than these men.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Union Soldiers

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

Mystic Seaport was the perfect backdrop for a Civil War re-enactment of a naval encampment.  Pictured here are some of the soldiers on parade.  By the looks on some of their faces, these actors take these roles seriously.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The H.L. Hunley

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

This past weekend Mystic Seaport, along with the Connecticut Civil War Commemoration Commission hosted a reenactment of a naval encampment, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the role of the US Navy during the Civil War.  One of the many exhibits was this replica of the Confederate vessel, H. L. Hunley.  This submarine was the first submarine to sink an enemy ship on February 17, 1864, when it successfully approached and detonated a spar torpedo against the side of the side of the sloop, USS Housatonic off the coast of Charleston, SC.  After the attack, however, the Hunley never resurfaced and it's crew of eight all perished.  The wreck of this submarine was discovered in May of 1995 and raised on August 8, 2000 and is now undergoing conservation in Charleston.  This traveling replica of the Hunley raises awareness of the role the Navy played during the Civil War, and commemorates those sailors lost, on both sides of the conflict.  The exhibit contained biographies for each of the crew members, as well as some artifacts recovered from the Hunley.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Old Man in Niantic

Niantic, CT

New Hampshire had it's famous Old Man of the Mountain, which unfortunately collapsed in 2003.  I'm sure this rock outcropping doesn't have nearly the notoriety of the ill-fated cliff in New Hampshire, but looking at it just right, I can see some facial characteristics.  Perhaps it doesn't look like an old man,  or even a human face at all, but it's the best Niantic can offer.