That's it for the Laurel Festival series from last June. WP heads back into winter full time now, with the temperature at 7:00 this morning 5°F. There's another major winter storm projected to arrive mid-week.
Out in the countryside the snow, despite the nuisance, is really pretty. But in town it turns into a nasty mess very quickly.
Also, over at my web site, I've added two "new" links at my page of online galleries. One is to a set of photographs from the small town of Lenni, in southeastern Pennsylvania, made back in 1974. The other gallery has color photographs made at a carnival that traveled New England and rural New York state, back in the 1980s.
For those curious about technical details, Lenni was shot with Nikon F2 and Leica M4 cameras with Leitz and Nikkor lenses ranging from 28mm to 200mm, on Tri-X film. These files were scanned directly from the negatives, then adjusted to resemble as closely as possible on screen a set of vintage prints from 1974. The Carnival Color series was shot on Kodachrome 64 using a Nikon F3 and 24mm f/2 Nikkor lens. Shooting relatively slow color transparency film at night required, in most cases, fill flash. Because most of the ambient white light was fluorescent, most of the pictures were made with a corrective magenta filter on the lens (reducing the effective film speed to ISO 25) and a complementary green filter-pack on the flash. The digital prints I can make from these files today are vastly superior to "vintage" C-prints made from 4x5" internegatives.
I think I've mentioned here before that there's an absolutely magical quality to the light you get when there's a full overcast, but it's thin enough that you can clearly see where the sun is hiding. When the sun "comes out" all the way the light is harsh and uninteresting, when the overcast thickens enough that you can't find the sun's position, the light gets flat and dull. That in-between point really is magical, and a thick coating of snow on everything just makes it better still.
I spent a couple of hours out wandering around two small cities today. This amount of snow "in town" is really weird, stranger even than seeing it piled up along the margin of country roads. It's treacherous, too. Barely half of the sidewalks have been cleared (the towns could raise quite a bit of revenue by handing out summonses to delinquent property owners). The situation is dangerous as well. I felt very insecure several times walking in a narrow side street, because the sidewalk wasn't clear, with cars trying to get through. I hear there have been quite a few incidents of pedestrians hit by motorists.
As always you can get a larger version of the pictures posted here by clicking in the picture area. Use your browser's back button to return. The next shot shows where a dutiful citizen (a wholesale foods distributor) has carefully cleared the sidewalk at the edge of their property, near an exit ramp for I-84.
Quarter after three, and it's snowing again. Local TV says that we've already passed the all-time record here for snowfall in a single month, with eight inches on the way another snowfall likely Friday/Saturday.
It's getting to the point around here that about the only thing to photograph is the weather itself. Which is getting a little bit old already. Luckily, I have some pictures that I secreted away last June. I was still buried in the TOP Platinum Print Offer fulfillment, but I sneaked away from the darkroom one Sunday to photograph the beauty pageant/parade part of the Winsted, CT, Laurel Festival. If you've been stopping by this daily blog for a while, or its occasional companion WPII, you might remember pictures from previous Laurel Festivals.
June 13th was a chilly, drizzling day which made things a bit miserable for the young ladies involved, but the quality of the light was actually quite wonderful. I took a quick look at the pictures when I got home, but was too completely buried in the print offer work to do a serious edit of a large take. So the folder has been sitting around in my archives, waiting for weather like this for me to edit the shoot and work on the captures. The results can feed this blog for the next few days, as well.
This former gas station and convenience store would seem to have an ideal location. It's half a mile out of town on Main Street, next to a large park that was greatly upgraded in the past year with lots of new facilities. But it's been vacant for years, with no takers.
My HP Z3200 printer has been performing almost flawlessly. That almost has been just a few times that the always-on cooling fan started making distressed sounds, like an electric motor not getting enough power. Restarting the printer brought it back to normal four or five times over ten months. But recently it did it more often, resulting in online support contact with HP. It sounded to me like a failing power source, and I realized I didn't have that much more time left on my warranty.
The phone interface you have to go through to get to an actual service tech is a nightmare, and the online interface—purpose of which is to make that easier—is even worse. But once you get to the service techs for the pro-level equipment they are very good. Yesterday a tech and I did a diagnostic on the machine. I had a phone in my left hand, and at times three fingers on different keys on the printer's front panel to access arcane diagnostic features. Then I had to read out various results. At the end he determined that the cooling fan/power source unit needed to be replaced so an onsite service was needed. Good thing it's still under warranty.
This afternoon Dave arrived, managed to get up the icy driveway, came in with the needed replacement part and commenced to dissect the entire left side of the machine.
It seems there is a small fan that cools the power supply itself, then the main fan that cools all the electronics of the machine, and the power supply, all in one complex box of machinery...
as you can see here. But he got it all back together fine, and once again the printer made the familiar high clean note of the high-speed, always-on fan. Loaded a roll of paper back in and Dave asked for a test file. I pulled up a 20" wide print file, quickly sliced out a 6" horizontal strip and sent it to the printer. A few minutes later it was clear that the printer was working again, and with no ill effects to the heads or anything else that might affect print quality. So we're ready to rock.
This is a narrow alleyway between two brick buildings. It looks as though a snow blower, not a plow, was used to clear the alley and lots of snow got thrown up against the wall, slowly sagging into these shapes over a couple of days.
The temperatures have stayed below freezing for days, so little of the snow has melted. In the small city of Bristol, which is in a valley surrounded by steep hills, the wind had made some interesting patterns in the snow as of my walk around there Sunday. The forecast Monday night is for a significant snowfall, turning to freezing rain and then warmer rain. That could be real trouble not just for travel, but for trees and power lines because of the potential weight buildup as the rain saturates the snow. Could also make for rapid water level rise in streams if there's a combination of new rain that can't get to the ground combined with older snow melting to join the flow.