Reminders again. This is the last week of the special offer on small exhibition-quality prints from my 107 Drive-in Theaters Collection (a subset of my much larger American Drive-in Theater project). Details for browsing the collection and ordering prints are in the link over in the sidebar on the right of this page. Also, I'm having some fun with a series of brand-new pictures on the theme of, "building portraits," at the WPII blog, which you can get to by clicking on the picture-link directly below the print offer link.
A couple reminders. There's a print sale Special Offer here during the month of February. Small exhibition quality prints from the "107 Drive-ins" subset of my American Drive-in Theater project at much less than standard gallery price. Just click the link at the top of the sidebar on the right of this page to find out more.
Second, if you click the link below that one, you'll be taken to my other blog, which has been dormant for a while, but I've revived it now to show a series of pictures that are a subset of my current shooting. An interesting discussion has begun in the comments there, about preparing digital image files for the web vs preparing them to output exhibition quality prints. I try to keep this blog centered on pictures rather than technique or gear, but one of the possible uses of WPII might be to engage a bit more in those technical issues if anyone is interested.
If you click on any picture on this blog, you'll be taken to another version. If you are using a small device, that won't change much. If you are viewing a medium to large monitor, you'll get a substantially larger and more legible version. Still nothing like a print, but a little bit better look at what's going on in the photograph.
Speaking of which, there's a month-long special offer for small exhibition-quality prints from my 107 Drive-in Theaters Gallery. (A clarification here because questions have been asked—this gallery presents only one picture each from the 107 theaters I reached on my two-part road trip in 2012. The number of theaters in the project as a whole, which dates back to 1998 and continued with a small New England trip in 2013, includes more than twice that many theaters and the number of photographs...well let's not even go there.)
Also, I found that I was making a different subset of pictures on my recent walkabouts. The reason is both aesthetic and technical, and the details of that process will be revealed in good time over at my long-dormant but now revived second blog, WPII, linked in the sidebar at the right of this page.
You have to wonder how many businesses have occupied this storefront in the past nearly eighty years.
Willimantic is a village within the town of Windham—which only makes sense in the weird deep-time demographics of New England. This 'village' has a larger downtown than some Connecticut municipalities incorporated as cities, while the larger entity of Windham has no discernible downtown, or town. Just confirmed this calling up a hybrid/satellite map. Some of its 19th Century manufacturing complexes have been turned into historical sites, others into condos, and others are deteriorating and being pulled down. This former industrial area—not the associated town, just the manufacturing campus—(I'm sure they didn't use that term back then) would dwarf the town center of most suburban Connecticut bedroom communities.
Four of them, two at either end of a state highway bridge in Willimantic. This seems to be the most authoritative background account of the frog legend. The strange pedestals represent spools of thread. Because of its manufacturing past, this is also known as "the thread city." Depending on your monitor size and resolution, the much-reduced jpg file will probably show moiré in the "thread," which isn't a problem at high rez.
This is now a pedestrian walkway, under a railroad. The town appears to have once been a central Connecticut rail hub, with many tracks running parallel to the river. Most of them don't appear to be currently used.
After interference from ridiculous weather and other issues I finally got to finish tweaking the files and outputting some prints for the February Special Print Offer. Details available in the sidebar at upper right of this page. But now it's time to take Tina out to lunch for her birthday. A new Thai place we haven't tried before.
The East side of Main Street is lined with old, maybe turn of 19th/20th century, 2-4 story brick commercial buildings. Most of them are occupied and in quite good condition. The West side of the street has a fairly large park, some more modern (mid/late 20th century) convenience stores and a large library that looks to be of the same vintage, as well as a fairly modern block of commercial buildings that are almost completely vacant. Behind those older buildings that run for a good half mile along Main, there are enormous parking areas. I find back alleys interesting, but they are usually cramped and small. The similar-size city of Newberry, South Carolina, where I did a fairly long photo walkabout on my way through back in 2012, was laid out in a similar way, as were some other Southern towns I saw on that trip. The layout surprised me then, but even more so to see it here in Southern New England, where it strikes me as very unusual.
I don't know trees well enough to identify this one offhand, but I expect that it may put on an impressive flowering display, come Spring.
I've recently made two trips to shoot in several towns in Central/Eastern Connecticut. It's fascinating how different everything is from the "Northwest Corner" of the state where I live. The land is flat, the commercial and residential architecture is very different, the whole feel of the area is surprisingly different considering the distance is only about a third of the way across a very small state.
Since it serves a relatively small community, the Woodbury Library is quite a wonder. Its New Releases area has something for everyone (though I may volunteer to get on some committee or other at some point to influence their choices in the SF genre). There's an another part of the building where they keep the latest best sellers, but this New Release twenty-foot length of shelves always holds a wide range of current large print fiction, SF, non-fiction, and biography. It ranges from the best in journalism and scholarship, like the Lawrence in Arabia that I was returning today (what you didn't learn about WWI and the Middle East if, like me, you studied it fifty years ago in high school, and I expect the textbooks haven't gotten any more truthful since) to faux-news/history rendered into print, as seen above, center.
It seems to me that it is entirely appropriate for a library to present a book by a media whore like O'Reilly on the same shelves as popular works by a scholar like Joseph Stieglitz. Sure, it seems like a terrible waste of the library's acquisition funds. But there's the slight chance that someone returning this turd might, somehow, find it interesting to take out Countdown, by Alan Weisman, which was my trade-in/take-out. The crossover isn't likely, but I think it's much more likely to happen at the library, than it might online, in a social media context.
The Armory in Torrington has been remodeled into a community center, with a beautifully finished gym with big tournament size basketball court. Seniors also use the perimeter of the court as an indoor walking rink on weekdays. It seems as though some sort of ROTC element of the Civil Air Patrol also uses the facility, which I guess keeps up the original purpose. I want to look into that some more.
The Working Pictures February print offer, from the 107 Drive-ins Collection is ongoing. More info from the link in the sidebar on the right. Finally, there may be a break in posting (and work on the print offer) because once I finish getting the snow out of the driveway tomorrow morning I go in for oral surgery. Maybe a simple extraction, maybe with complications—they won't know until they start.