East Haddam is the next town over from where I grew up and the town center is situated on a bluff overlooking the Connecticut River. The river itself is where my state gets its name, being a local Mohegan word quinetucket meaning ‘beside the long, tidal river’. It is the largest river in a region known as New England, encompassing the 6 states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. For those not that familiar with the region, we are a little bigger than Washington state, and larger than our eponymous England. Small by US standards. My state itself however is quite compact, 48 of 50 in terms of square area (14,357 sq km, a little bigger than Montenegro, about half the size of Belgium), but 4th in population density.
I enjoy shooting around East Haddam, so there will be more shots of the area in this 52rolls journey. One of the most prominent landmarks is a Victorian-era opera house, The Goodspeed, which sits on a small bluff overlooking the river, with a swing bridge providing the river crossing. This weekend I got up before dawn and went to the Haddam side of the river, where this is a small park and docks, to get some shots using my Speed Graphic. I hadn’t shot with it before, at least nothing too serious, so I wasn’t sure how it would perform. I think I need to address some light leaks as the left side of my negatives all turned out a little over exposed. It was a cold morning, I think about 12F (-11C) and as I took the shots, I could hear the ice creaking against the dock, sometimes somewhat violently. I took two shots (1 min and 2min) then got the heck off the dock. This part of the river does not normally freeze solid like this, so I was hoping to capture some reflections off the ice. All shot on Fuji Neopan Acros 100, developed in Rodinal 1+50, and digitized using a Canon PowerShot Elph thing. It has a macro setting and I just put the negs on a light table and hand-held the camera over them, then cropped/inverted, and did some level adjustment in GIMP. Not the best solution, but the best solution I have at the moment.
Being a Speed Graphic neophyte, I just sort of used the a hyperfocus method since I could see very well on the ground glass. I thought I would like the composition on the first set, but seeing the actual negs, I like how the second one turned out. The first one it was dark enough I needed my headlamp to see where I was walking and what settings I had, but by the second shot, the sun was reflecting off the clouds enough to walk around without the headlamp. I’ll have to work on the technical problems. I’ll have to go back and try the 2nd shot (or similar) again, but way before dawn because I like the reflections and dark ice in the first shot.
That same day was bright and sunny, but still somewhat cold, but I decided to also get some photos on the East Haddam side with my Leitz-Minolta CL. I had the M-Rokkor 40mm/f2 fitted. These were all shot on Kodak Tri-X, also developed in Rodinal 1+50.
I also shot a pinhole on my back deck with my Vermeer 4×5, also using Fuji Neopan Acros 100. This one I had make some serious level adjustments because it was pretty overexposed. But I think it looks kinda neat.
And finally to get my 6 sheets to fill my Mod54 insert, I took two different ‘star trail’ shots with the Speed Graphic. I kind of eyeballed the shot like I would with the pinhole, and got less of the sky than I wanted. But hey, star trails! I think this was a 1 hour exposure.
I was hoping to get some people shots, but I was the only idiot walking around East Haddam in the cold.