Archive for the ‘history’ Tag

It’s For You   1 comment


Yeah, so it’s old. I remember seeing phone sets like this when I was growing up. What does that say about me?

A few years ago, Pete Limmer, from Limmer Custom Boots, allowed me the privilege of wandering around his business property in search of old photo subjects. Housed in an aged barn in Intervale, NH, old artifacts and boot lasts were kept stashed around the building, making for fascinating shooting.

Since that time, the building has become part of the Moat Mountain Brewery after a substantial renovation. Today, due to local zoning restrictions, tours are no longer allowed, so I consider it great good fortune to have been able to shoot the old building in its “classic” form. So, Thanks, Pete!

For a few other images from the location that have been published over the years, please visit, or hover over, the following links:

They Never Call

Limmer’s Workbench

The Bootmaker


	

Cabin in the Cradle   7 comments


Cabin in the Cradle

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During our recent trip to the Pisgah National Forest, our travels were hobbled by the so-called “government shutdown.” While we were free to travel the roads within the forest – really, how do you close a forest – signs of the shutdown were visible. In some cases, literally signs, such as “Campground Closed.” In other spots near attractions, garbage cans were overflowing with trash, barriers were set up, and restrooms and picnic areas were locked. Utterly ridiculous.

We had to find whatever we could, despite the circumstances, in order to salvage the trip.

Near the Cradle of Forestry location, we found this nice pair of cabins just off the road, set up as an example of early life in this area. Yup… Closed. That didn’t stop us from standing just outside the fence to frame up a photo opportunity.

Given the old nature of the scene, I decided to go with a Wet Plate look (collodion process) after merging and basic processing. Switching back and forth between this and the standard color version, this idea stood above all other attempts, although the color version was compelling in its own right.

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She Always Wanted to Live in a Castle   6 comments


She Always Wanted to Live in a Castle
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The other day, we were strolling around our historical town in North Carolina. One building had a plaque proclaiming that it was built in 1828, or thereabouts. We call that ‘history’ here in the States, and while interesting to some, it just doesn’t seem very old when you compare it to a place like Burg Blankenstein.

Climbing up the steps and through the stone passageways of this medieval castle in Hattingen, Germany, I ran my hand along the rough wall, feeling the natural textures, the divots, and the roughness brought on by centuries of wear and use. I had to wonder how many people passed this way over the ages, how they dressed, what their lives must have been like.

From the top of the tower, there is a commanding view over the valley of the Ruhr River to the hills and fields beyond. It must have been a great place to watch for interlopers. We spent some time at the top, watching a shepherd in the field far below, moving his flock along the greenway aided by some hyperkinetic, overachieving border collies. I could imagine Lords and Nobles standing atop the tower in the morning mist, enjoying a cappuccino and playing “Master of All I Survey.”

Construction of Burg Blankenstein began in 1227. The castle was ready in 1243, but was finished over the course of 200 years by the Counts of the Mark. In 1425, Blankenstein was one of the most important castles in the county. In 1614, shortly before the Thirty Years’ War, it was occupied by Spanish troops. Over the years since then, the castle fell into disrepair, was ordered to be demolished, became a factory, and now houses a restaurant and reception hall.

You run your hands along the stone walls. You can feel century upon century under your fingertips. Ancient history.

Yeah, we could live there. Beautiful place.

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Sony NEX 7, handheld at 18mm, three exposures +/-2 EV processed in PS CC, OnOne, and Nik Collection.

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Not So Fast   10 comments


Not So Fast

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Rainy days while on vacation aren’t always bad. If the weather keeps you from hiking, you can always drive around and look for good photo opportunities, knowing that the midday sun won’t be a problem. (I say that just to cheer myself up.)

On a road that used to be a well-kept secret lies the Swift River Bridge, built in 1869, which would make it 142 years old. (I say that just to demonstrate my limited math skills.)

Originally built in 1850, it stood until 1869. At that time, heavy rains swelled the river, lifting the bridge from its foundation, turning it around, and sending it downstream into the Saco River Covered Bridge, which was knocked off its moorings. Both damaged structures broke up and came to rest two miles downstream. In a demonstration of Yankee thrift, much of the lumber salvaged from these two bridges was used in the building of the new Swift River Covered Bridge constructed by Jacob Berry and his son Jacob Jr. The current bridge was bypassed when a new concrete and steel bridge was built nearby in 1974.

I was heartbroken when I heard about a number of covered bridges in Vermont being washed away in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Some bridges were 250 years old. As before, perhaps they’ll be replaced with new bridges, but there’s nothing like seeing one of these old beauties standing the test of time.

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Oh, No… I’m Getting Happy Feet!   12 comments


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Oh, No... I'm Getting Happy Feet!
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With apologies to Steve Martin for the comedic reference…

On our 2010 trip to New Hampshire, I finally bought a long-desired pair of Limmer hiking boots. Peter Limmer & Sons are fifth generation Austrian bootmakers, and a pair of custom Limmers are pretty much the Holy Grail of footwear for hikers.

Based on the popularity of last year’s images “The Bootmaker”, “They Never Call”, and “Homeless”, Peter once again kindly allowed me to bring my camera and tripod into the shop, but this time, he pointed me to the attic of the old barn building that houses the business. (With customers in the shop, maybe he wanted me out from underfoot, or was trying to figure out just how creeped out I could get…)

Built in 1758, the barn was once used as a dance hall. Geez… That’s over 250 years old! Today, the outer wings and attic of the barn are used mainly for storage, and in this case, for storage of old lasts used in the bootmaking process. Peter assures me that there’s no real system to the arrangement, although they are sorted by size, and are sometimes used as firewood.

I spent about an hour up in the attic. Susan, for some reason, chose to stay downstairs most of the time, chatting with some of the customers.

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