Friday, August 30, 2013

On Hold...

  Well, it has finally happened - something went wrong with Gilli-the-35-year-old-Gillig... More about that later though, let's keep this post in a timeline order.

  After leaving Portland Maine I headed south and went pretty fast.  I was headed to see Matt Wronski again as he had come upon some interesting equipment that I wanted to check out for myself.  On my there I went down the coast of Massachusetts and stopped to make a few images.  First stop was in North Waymouth after I drove over a bridge, saw a WWII warship parked under it and thought it would make a neat shot.  While parked there I was approached by a local older gentleman who informed me that a while back the scene I was shooting was an active ship yard and his father worked there for 30 years and he himself worked there for seven.  Then it closed down and thousands of people lost their jobs.  Now it serves as a ferry port and the ship that I just pictured was a museum of sorts and for Halloween it was decorated for kids.  There was also lots of construction going on under the bridge so I decided to do a shot of that too - looks like a perfectly industrial American river...

  Next stop was at Hingham Harbor.  It looked very picturesque and I couldn't help myself to stop and make a couple of plates.  While washing the following images a lovely lady by the name of Laura rolled by in her small SUV and asked what I was doing.  Apparently she had a small business a while back (I didn't ask what kind), but it failed.  While doing some soul searching she came up with the idea of starting a motivational program called Ra Ra with Laura that was all about 'Less blah blah and more Ra Ra!'.  She said she came to this spot often to communicate with her inner self and with God and we had a wonderfully loose conversation about spirituality and channeling energy.  I was totally enamored with her deep Bostonian accent and she seemed impressed with my project.  While driving away she said that "all my dreams will come true in the next 30 days" - that's a tall order I must say... Does that mean I should wait for a phone call from Terry Gross?
  I got to say that the pouring job on the second shot here is probably the worst one I have ever done so far, but I kinda like it and at the very least I should put the image on here to illustrate that not all of plates turn out all neat and even and clean...

  Next on the map was Plymouth.  I'm sure that most of my American readers know this, but for those unfamiliar with the history of settlement of this continent I will say that Plymouth was the original site of settlement by pilgrims in 1600s and there is a famous rock there that is inscribed with the date 1620 on it.  I thought it would be rather interesting to make a tintype of that rock (even though the date would obviously be reversed).  When I drove up to the Pilgrim Park where the rock was supposedly located I found droves of tourists and no possible location to park within many blocks of the place.  Mind you that this photo project is a combination of perfect occurrence of "Inspiration, Composition, Lighting and Parking".  The first one strikes randomly, I can manipulate the second and deal with the third - the last aspect is entirely out of my hands...  Still I was not leaving this historic town without making an image of some sort.  So here I present to you my Plymouth Rock!

  I made it to Matt's place just in time - we still had a bit of light left and I made tintype portrait of him, his lovely wife and son in their back yard for them to keep.  The light was indeed going fast and so the 13 second exposure was barely enough, in retrospect 20 wold have been much better.  I don't have the copy of the image, so you'll have to use your imagination and picture two adults seated with the 14 year old son standing over them - the figures seem to be floating in complete darkness because the surrounding greenery was in the shade and so almost nothing from it recorded in the plate.  Looks kinda neat actually. 
  As I mentioned Matt has recently acquired a little camera collection and among them there were a few Magic Lantern artifacts - a few lanterns and a ton of old slides.  One of the lanterns is a 'side by side biunial' design and actually came with a pair of really sweet little Petzval lenses - not projection lenses, but actually ones meant to make images with.  Matt is thinking of making his money back by selling some of the cameras and keeping just a few of the more interesting pieces.  It took quite a little talk to convince him not to separate the lantern from the lenses.  In fact it was not until the next morning, after he placed a call to our mutual friend Luther in Ventura CA, that Matt said that indeed he's not going to split up the lenses from the lantern.  I was very relieved to hear that - there are few things that pain me more to see as a equipment-lover than seeing parts of equipment that have been together for over a century split up without a hope of ever finding their counterparts again...   
  Matt was not looking forward to dealing with the plethora of the dirty, separated slides that came with the collection and so agreed to sell me the whole lot along with a very odd looking lantern for a reasonable price.  Most of the slides are indeed of no particular interest and I'll have my hands full with putting them online to make my own money back when I come back to San Diego, but some of them will go very well with a new show that I'm developing and so I was happy.  Plus the lantern is a really odd piece - it looks like it's suppose to project an image on the ceiling - but what?  And is is missing a lens on top?  I'll have to fire it up and see...
Here is that odd Magic Lantern

A set of children's stories and some pretty funny cartoons

A shadow-drawing set was among the slides as well

  After leaving Matt's place in the morning I headed to Connecticut to pay another visit to Terry Borton - the man in charge of American Magic Lantern Theater in hopes that he will help me sort through my most recent find.  He and his lovely wife Barbara were glad to see me again and Terry did indeed help me out a lot by taking a brief look at the slides.  He didn't know what the lantern was exactly intended for though, so the search for it's function continues.

  I wasn't there long and left in early afternoon to be on my way to my New Jersey.  There I was looking forward to joining my friend's Justin's family for a nice relaxing weekend in the country.  That's when things went wrong...

  While driving west on 84 I noticed Gilli slipping from 4th gear into 3rd while going full speed (her full speed being 55).  It happened once... I thought it was a fluke.  It happened again...  I thought 'this is strange'...  and then is happened permanently and all of a sudden I was forced to go 40.  I knew something was awry and pule off the freeway at the next exit.  Never having experienced any real problems with the bus I didn't know what to do...  I sat at the parking lot adjacent to the freeway and prayed that this was just a glitch and that my baby was all right.  After smoking a cigarette and saying a quick prayer I got back on the freeway and this time it was evident that there is something majorly wrong here - Gilli wouldn't even go into third gear, forcing me to go about 30mi/hr to the next exit, where I got off again and weighed my options.  It was nearly 8pm on the east coast, so all the mechanics shops were closed.  Luckily I have a sticker in the darkroom from San Diego's Freightliner dealership and repair - I go to them when I'm home for routine maintenance and they are very kind and professional.  I called them up and described my symptoms.  They said that I'm in luck because they have an Allison transmission repair shop right next door to them.  This is when I told them that I'm in Connecticut.  They said "oh!"...  After some searching they came up with a few places that were not too far away from me and suggested that I call the after-hours numbers.  I called the local Freightliner shop and after describing the symptoms again was told that it was indeed the transmission that was acting up and that I should get myself to a shop in Middletown ASAP.  According to the GPS that shop was 37 miles away, but that was via the freeway and there was no way I was going back out on there and creating a hazard by driving 15 miles per hour in the dusk...  I decided to navigate the surface streets and take it at whatever speed Gilli was willing to go.  That speed apparently was about 12 miles per hour.  I coasted downhill in neutral and on those short stretches got up to 20 or 30, but most of the time I was crawling with my emergency blinkers on and pulling over for every car that caught up to me.  It took me over 3.5 hours to get to the shop and by that time it was nearly midnight and so I fell asleep in their parking lot.  I dreamed of mechanics messing up the walls of the bus and not being able to find the transmission...

  In the morning I was woken up by the arriving workers and directed to the service yard.  The folks who worked there were very nice and they were also highly recommended by not only the two places that I called before, but also by the customers that I met there.  Bob, the guy who handled my case, was apparently with the company for over 30 years and it took him no time at all to figure out that the whole transmission was shot.  With a sunken heart I asked him how long will it take to fix and how much should I prepare myself to spend.  He said that there is a chance that it could be done by Friday, but I should not hope to walk out of there without spending less than $4.000...  I was stunned, but proceeded to ask for them to get a real quote as soon as possible as I was really looking forward to the weekend in the country with Justin and his family.  The estimate didn't take long to come in.  Bob was spot on....

  I had really no other option but to bite the bullet and authorize the thing.  For this price I would get a whole new transmission and I would still be able to proceed to do all the things that I was scheduled to do next week.  Looking at the whole thing in a more positive light I realized that this could have been worse.  I could have broken down next Thursday and would have had to cancel a whole lot of workshops and other activities.  Or I could have broken down somewhere in the middle of the country, hundreds of miles away from the nearest big rig repair shop and would have had to pay thousands in towing costs (or take a hundred hours to crawl there through some desert).  So all in all this situation was not the worst thing that could have occurred.  In reality this is just going to push me further to work harder and sell more work, set up my Etsy shop, start setting up more events, get more organized and so on - in the end it's just money and I am sure that it will be found somewhere.  My commitment to this venture is complete and so I need to be prepared to do whatever need be to keep it going.

  As it happens the one and only customer that was present at the shop at the time I was there was a very nice big rig driver who parked his large purple 18-wheeler next to me around noon.  He had some power problems and was waiting for an estimate himself.  When the quote did come in he was shocked to find out that he is going to be out a whole $5K to fix his bread-winner.  He didn't have that kind of a cushion of cash and so decided to go slowly towards his home and to work for other people for a while while saving money to fix his truck.  I asked him which way exactly was he going and was delighted to hear that he was going to pass within a few miles of the farm that I was going to and was willing to give me a ride.  he said that he was still pondering what to do and was waiting on some details, so in the meantime I asked him if I could make a portrait of him and so here is Dickson the truck driver.

  While I was processing the image Bob came back with some rather discouraging news - apparently there was no way that the job was going to be done before the weekend, and this being the Labor Day weekend in all likeliness Gilli would only be ready for the road next Wednesday...  I had no other choice but to nod my head in acceptance and hope that it will indeed be done by then.  Before leaving the shop I was able to talk the guys into pulling Gilli into the garage and not leaving her there in the sun.  I explained that I have some chemistry that can not get hot and that in general this was not a 'rig' to me, but a life partner and so they were kind enough to open up a bay and let me park her indoors for the entire duration of the repairs.  Here is the shot of Gilli's current surroundings.  I hope she is safe and sound there...  From what I hear the transmission is already out...

  The 120 miles that Dickson took me went by quick over the conversations about life, religion and many other topics. Dickson is a great guy who has a wife and 4 boys, the oldest of which just moved out to go to college last week and the youngest is 5.  his wife stays home to take care of the kids, so he is the only bread-winner in the family and he was really concerned about what he was going to do now that his truck is going to be out of commission for a long time.  On the other hand he was not stressed - he believed wholeheartedly that the Lord will take care of him and provide a way out.  I admire that kind of conviction and pray that he got home safe and that everything will work out for him and his family.

  At a gas station in Port Jervis in New Jersey, where Dickson dropped me off, I was picked up by Justin's stepfather Hans, who took me to a beautiful 300 acre farm where I felt instantly accepted as part of their large wonderful family.  I am currently staying in a guest house where I have 4 rooms to myself, family members keep arriving all the time and there may be as many as 17 people at the height of the gathering.  Justin, myself and two of the kids took a really beautiful hike through the woods earlier today and so I am rather tired, but feel very good about having finished this blog.  

  By the way, while I was typing this up the blog received it's 400.000th view!  YAY!  I'm glad people are finding out about Gilli, following our adventures and I hope that some of them will be inspired by it.  

  Good Night!

Anton Orlov

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tintypes, more Maine and 100 year old negatives from Boston found

  I figure I should write another update before leaving the state of Maine later today.  I spent more time here than intended, but don't regret a second of it - I have come to love this place and hope to come back every opportunity that I get.

  As you may remember, the previous update was written from the town of Belfast.  After posting it I spent a quiet and uneventful night there and woke up rather early to make these two plates.

  After that I finally got myself to concentrate on something I should have done a bit ago and went to the post office to mail off postcards and prints that I owed to the supporters of the Indigogo funding campaign.  I am hugely grateful to all those who contributed as those funds came in really handy and provided diesel for the first 3.000 miles of this trip (by now I've done about 6.500 by the way).
  Shortly after that was done I got an email informing me that the trip has been written up by a popular blog called Ftoppers in a really nice little article for which I answered some questions via email earlier.  

  Driving out of Belfast to head farther north I stopped just before a town of Frankfort in their public boat launch site to make the two images below.  While I was making the second plate a really nice couple stopped by and said they had to turn around after seeing the bus and having read the article in Bangor Daily News.  I was happy to give them a tour and let them watch the creation of a tintype.

  After checking my email again I saw that a site called Film's Not Dead posted an article I wrote for them.  A little while back I was asked to be a featured writer for them and I thought that a perfect way to start was write about my personal history of involvement with analog photography and my love for it.  I think it turned out semi-coherent - you be the judge.  I look forward to writing more for that site in the near future (as soon as I can get some time off the road and can concentrate on writing).

  Next on the map was a town of Bangor and I got there too late to make any more exposures, so I went out to explore the town.  When I came back there was a lovely note stuck under the windshield wiper of the bus.  In it a woman by the name of Meg was saying that she read about the bus in Bangor Daily and expressed interest in learning more about it.  I went to sleep with a feeling that I should definitely call her in the morning.

  Upon waking I needed to go to the post office again as there were still more things to mail.  I called Meg and made plans for her to stop by the bus during lunch time.  Meanwhile I sent off the rest of what I had to mail and made the following tintypes right by the post office.

  Meg showed up soon afterward and brought a traditional Maine snack called 'whoopie-pie'  - an incredibly sugary treat consisting of a fluffy chocolaty dough with cream filling in the middle.  I was very grateful for that and devoured as much of it as my body could handle.

  Meg stuck me an intriguingly interesting person right off the bat.  She is a beautiful, well-spoken, world-traveling lady and we made plans for me to actually spend the night parked by her place in Orono.  I was to meet her there a bit later in the day as she had to go back to work and so I had time around Bangor before then to make these two plates happen.

  Later that evening I met up with Meg and we went out to a tiny little place right in Orono where a good band was playing some string instruments.  Here you can see Meg as she jumped in to sing some vocals in one of the songs.

  The party went into the street afterward and we had a great time singing along to Bob Dylan and many other favorites.  
  In the morning meg actually had to move to a new place, so I let her do that without any further distractions and headed back to Bangor after we made it a plan that she would come there in the evening for a dinner with me.
  In Bangor I again drove about town captured the following images.

  Megan (as is her full name) came by as the evening was descending upon the town and we went out for a really nice Thai meal and had a great time chatting.  Apparently we were in Nepal in 2007 at the exact same time!  What a small cool world it is!  Meg expressed interest in buying of my tintypes and I truly enjoyed her company and energy, so I asked if she would meet me in morning so I could make a tintype portrait of her.   She agreed and the next morning we held a little portrait session - I gave her one plate and kept this one.

  I must admit that I have not met anyone this intriguing to my heart in a long long time, so I plan to see her again as soon as humanly possible.  She is actually setting off to go travel in Laos in a little bit, so I wish her the very best on her trip and will keep all my fingers crossed in hopes of safe return and our speedy reunion thereafter.

  After we said our goodbyes I finally started to move back in the southern direction.  This truly marked the half-way point in this years cross-country adventure and gave me new inspiration and energy.  I was on my way back to Portland.  On the way stopped in towns of Newport and Augusta to make two plates at each location.

  I got to Portland as the sun was setting, which provided for some interesting contrast.

  The following morning I parked right on Congress street (the main street in Portland and waited for a couple of visitors to stop by.  I was expecting three people - Nathan (who contacted me after learning of my adventure and wanted to see the bus), Yuri (who happens to be on vaction here now, but normally lives in D.C. area and had set up quite a wonderful little tintype experience series there
for September) and Eric (who emailed me earlier saying that he had some glass plate negatives taken around Boston area that he wanted to get my opinion on).  Of course all three of them showed up at the exact same time and we had a nice little hangout.  Nathan was intrigued by the bus and enjoyed the short tour.  Yuri was kind enough to bring me some 4x5 sleeves and a negative storage box - I will use that to store the plates and hope they survive the journey back to San Diego.  Yuri was also one of the supporters of my indigogo campaign and he was one the two people who chose the level of contribution the reward for which was a tintype, so I gave him one of the anniversary shots of Gilli that you can see in the previous post.
  It was Eric who really had something special though.   Apparently Eric's family bought a house in 1955 and have not poked around the attic for many decades.  About 15 years ago though they went up there and did discover two boxes filled with over 100 5x7 glass negatives in original sleeves with captions indicating that they were done in the greater Boston area.  Eric said that the original sleeves were falling apart in his hands as the condition in the attic was nowhere near archival. Knowing that he was holding a small piece of history Eric was careful and attentive enough to place the negatives into new envelopes, transfer the captions and numbers on them and also to cut out the label from the original envelopes and keep them with the respective negatives as well.  The name of the photographer is still being investigated, but in the images there are a lot of shots of local parks, streets and individual houses.  From a few of the plates Eric was able to approximate the time period when they were made as being 1910s.  The quality of images is very high, but I must say that being in an attic for somewhere between 60 and 80 years did wreak havoc on their condition.  Some have emulsion damage and most all of them have traces of or full paper masks that the original photographer GLUED onto the EMULSION side in order to mask the negative for printing!  I don't think that was a standard practice of professionals...  When I saw them though I could not help but thinking that having them in my possession would open up a perfect opportunity for a short re-photographing project and that in-turn would serve as practice for the large project of the same nature that I am planning to do in 2017 using the Magic Lantern slides from Russia, a post about which is currently enjoying world-wide popularity.  After a long talk Eric did decide to sell me the negatives with the condition that I would send him some prints of them when I get home and get to my AZO paper.  Now I need to: contact some people with questions about conserving the plates and removing the dreaded paper from them,  get in touch with Boston area historians to find out where the locations are and save up some money for a trip there involving a 5x7 camera.  Here are 5 of the images - copied VERY poorly - the originals are very sharp (as one would expect from a 5x7 glass plate of course), but these were copied with no tripod and with a cheap point and shoot Samsung digital.  This low quality copying was done intentionally in order to save the uniqueness of real experience of viewing the images for later when, after the re-photographing project is complete, they will be either shown in a gallery or published in a book (or both if I'm lucky).

    This was all yesterday and in the evening I had plans to meet Katie.  She met me online via Troy R. Bennett and was one of his models.   After adding me as a friend she posted a double exposure of a man in a bottle and was wondering if someone knew how to do that and would create an image of her inside of a bottle given to her by her grandfather.  Knowing that I have that capability I responded and we made plans for me to spend the night at the apartment of her and her boyfriend.  We met about 4 and immediately started working on the shoot.  I must admit that other than the rarher random method of using multiple exposures for my Double Vision seies I have only done multiple camera work in studio before and those studios were well stocked with lights, backgrounds and all the props needed for a creation of a clean professional image.  This time I had o work outdoors and my only backdrop was to be a red sheet about 5x6.5 ft.  Needless to say that is not really enough to pose a fill-body portrait on AND to also have a still-life ready to go as well....  We did one test plate and then came up with the following two.  The first one I left with Katie and kept the second.  I think we did OK considering the circumstances.

  Katie and her boyfriend Ryan were a really great company for the evening and Katie did make some absolutely splendid pasta, for which I was very grateful.   
  While varnishing the plate I was to leave with her another very interesting occurrence took place.  A fellow by the name of David Gaines stopped by the bus and said that he remembered the bus from the time I was in Portland last year and that he had a nice print of Gilli that I may be interested in seeing.  I can't say no to such an offer and David went two houses down to his home to get it.  I must say that I have seen a lot of pictures of Gilli done all over the place, but it's rare that one actually truly impresses me and it's even more rare to see an actual hard copy print.  When David came back he carried with him a complete treat!  On the presentation table of the bus he laid a beautifully executed large print that was also very well matted.  I remember very being parked at that spot in front of the old library building, but was unaware how cool Gilli actually looked in combination with the architecture.  I'm very glad that David was more aware of it and captured this image.  The curtains being drawn indicate that this is taken relatively early in the morning and I am still peacefully asleep in there.
  I offered David a trade - that print for a tintype portrait of him to be done in the morning.  He agreed and now I'm a happy owner of this stunning image - it's going on the wall at home as soon as I get back!  Unfortunately in the morning David showed up to tell me that he has been called into work, so I'll have to mail him a plate from my travels as a trade.

  Now that we are all caught up I am going to take off farther south.  In a few days I'm meeting with my friend Justin at his mom's farm in New Jersey, but until then there are still plenty of images to be made!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2nd Anniversary Celebrated in Maine

  It's sunny with a warm breeze blowing in Belfast Maine and it's a splendid day and place to celebrate the second anniversary of me meeting Gilli-the-Gillig.

  On 7/20/2011 I pulled into the parking lot of a car dealership in Fresno California and, after seeing the beautiful mass of yellow and black towering above the grey concrete of the road, fell in love from first sight.  It wasn't long till I was behind the wheel in an open parking lot learning to drive my new baby.  She was about 4 times bigger than anything I have driven before and, needless to say, I was a bit intimidated.  Gilli handled wonderfully though and I felt at relative ease while driving her 160 miles to the hills above Santa Cruz, where she was to wait for another 6 months until the renovations began.  Since last spring we have been inseparable and the time has flown by in pure bliss and harmony.  Not a day goes by that I don't thank my stars for bringing us together and for the opportunities that this union had bestowed upon me.

  Last year on our first anniversary we had an amazing honor of having Rob McElroy make a daguerreotype image of Gilli and me in Buffalo NY (see the update from 2012).  This year I continued the tradition of anniversary photo shoots and of course wet plate was the medium of choice this time around.  Not having a long enough cable release I was unable to include myself in the shot, but I think Gilli came out rather well in these following images.

  So, since this update has started from today, let's go in revers timeline order to switch it up a bit.

  Here are the two images I made on the way to Belfast at a small coastal town of Lincolnville.  The nice beach seems to be the only thing they have there and the row of shops is tightly packed facing it.  People were enjoying the great weather and so I couldn't help but shoot that scene (had to turn around in a tight parking lot after I passed a location where I was to park for the shoot - it was worth it though).

  I started the day in Rockport Maine visiting the campus of Maine Media Workshops and College.  I had the history of photography display out and had a few visitors stop by to check it out.  Unfortunately this week all the classes there are in digital media, so I didn't have too many visitors.  I also neglected to give the folks there any notice of my arrival and so everyone was rather busy and didn't pay too much attention to the big yellow bus.  Nonetheless I did peek my head into the couple of darkrooms there and what I saw were adequate and clean facilities, which is what I like to see.
  I got to Maine Photo Workshops on Monday and after meeting a few of the faculty went downtown to shoot at the harbor with the following results.

  That night went to the lecture organized by them at the local opera house. The setting was rather marvelous, but it was the work of the first presenter that really made a lasting impression on me.  Connie Imboden has been exploring the human form using water and mirrors for the past 40 years and her images are truly striking, ranging from sensual to scary.  Being a largely documentary photographer in the 'straight' tradition I rarely see images of this nature that really resonate with me, but this was one of those exceptions. The lecture was wonderful and Connie's way of presenting was unpretentious and informative, which I enjoyed as much as the images.

  Prior to arriving at Rockport I took highway 1, which runs through a bunch of little towns that are overrun by tourists at this time of year.    They all seemed to be quite alike - quaint,  clean and culture-less - a perfect embodiment of vacation land that Maine claims to be.  I didn't make any stops knowing that there will be plenty of opportunities to capture that scene up the coast.
  I was coming from Portland, where I spent three days that were filled with adventures of various degrees of excitement.  My last night was spent parked in front of the house of Keith and Rosetta.  I met Keith last time I was in Portland and he bought one of my post cards.  This time, when we saw each other by the same exact parking spot where I was a year ago, it felt like a reunion of two good friends.  He's a fun guy and after a couple of beers and a lively conversation he invited me over for dinner saying that he'll make 'his specialty' - Philly Cheesestake.  Apparently not only is he originally from Philadelphia, but he also had a food cart and used to whip up this dish for pedestrians in various degrees of inebriation late into the night.   I think this was my first time having one of these famous subs and I must day they were delicious!  Not only that, but how many times can you say that a guy wearing a Viking horned helmet cooked one of those for you?  In the morning I actually made two plates of these lovely folks and left one with them as a memory of my visit.   

  Sunday was spent mainly on catching up on the emails and other neglected business, but I did happen to shoot these two plates before meeting with Troy R Bennett once more.  He was kind enough to sell me some more fixer as I am running out of it faster than I thought I would (more about Troy below)

  So Saturday was indeed the most productive and eventful day for me in Portland.  I woke up to a breakfast that Troy graciously bought for me at the local diner.  Troy says that in Portland, a city of 60.000+ there are only 4-5 places to have breakfast and the line was the evidence that he wasn't kidding, so those who want to open a diner - take note!  As I might have mentioned in the post about John Coffer's wet plate jamboree, I met Troy when I was in Portland last year.  Along with being a talented musician he works for Bangor Daily News and a photojournalist and does collodion photography as well.  This time, with ample notice, Troy was able to secure a reporter and so after breakfast we drove to a location by the water where Beth (the reporter) interviewed me for the Aticle in Bangor Daily News while Troy was busy shooting for it.  I think the piece turned out well, but I do have to remember to smile when being photographed even if the sun is right in my eyes and I'm concentrating on making a correct exposure.  Here are the images that I made at that location and then two more from a nit closer to the water.
This one is on glass and for some reason nasty black lines showed up all through it...

  It was not too long after that when Scott Anton (another wet plate photographer whom I have never met before) showed up with his lovely wife to pick up the 8x10 Century camera that I was transporting for him from Rhode Island home of Matt Wronski.  Scott is an excellent guy and apparently a super-baker.  He brought an apple/blackberry pie as part of the payment for the delivery and it was delicious!  I later shared it with Troy and we almost finished the whole thing, but I felt that it should be spread even farther, so a quarter of it was donated to the folks behind the counter of the coffee shop who let us consume outside food at their establishment.  Scott, his wife and I went out for a beer and dinner and had a nice time walking around and being bewildered by the nightlife of Portland.  Scott seemed surprised at the level of activity there.  He does live on a farm and the nearest town to him has population of 600, but to me, coming from San Diego, this was a normal drunken zoo.  After they left I went into a bar that had live music and listened to a cover band do everyone's favorites - they even did Mike's Song by Phish, so I couldn't help dancing then.  Here is Scott and his new camera.

And here is Troy later that day enjoying Scott's pie.

   The previous day I made the following plates after getting to Portland in late afternoon.
Double exposure of the observatory.
I made one last year on film and so it only seemed appropriate to do it again in tintype form.

  While I was walking around downtown someone had left flowers tucked into Gilli's mirror - what a lovely gesture! And people in general seemed to remember my previous visit.  I even found a note on my bench that was tossed through the window that was from someone I told last year about the sludge that's sitting at the bottom of my diesel tank and in the note there was a solution suggested.

   Before getting to Portland I passed through a few coastal towns and saw a neat little water park in Scarborough that seemed to ask to be photographed since it was pointing right at the road.

  Before that was a town of Alfred and it's historic church.  I can't remember the exact importance of it that was told to me by the lady who lives in the house pictured behind the tree in the image below, but I do remember her saying that one of the windows in the church is a stained glass Tiffany.
  It was a very pretty window indeed and I only wish I would have been able to see it from the inside, but, like every church in USA, the building was locked - if it's not Sunday then it's not time to visit a place of God....

  The day before (Thursday) I went through yet another Rochester - this time in Maine and made the following plates while showing the process to a few interested pedestrians who got drawn in by Gilli.

  I started the day by leaving my relatives in Boston and driving to a mall in Nashua Maine to consult Apple folks about how I can possibly run a PC program on my laptop.  I would like to figure out an easy and inexpensive way to do that so I would be able to pay tribute to my friend Kenneth who passed away last year and was very much into space exploration.  A group of his fiends are currently involved in a month-long project where citizens look for asteroids via the images provided to them by NASA.  Unfortunately that program doesn't run on Macs and so I am frantically looking for a solution that won't cost me $200, so I can help them out.  So far I have tried downloading a few programs, but can not seem to get them running...  I am an analog person! I would totally spend a month at NASA if they actually provided hard copies of those pictures...
 While waiting for my appointment I did make these two images - I think they embody the spirit of America no less than any other images I have made so far, maybe even more so.

  Well, this is the end to yet another update, which you, my dear reader, seemed to have finished reading.  I bid good night to all (day, morning or evening - whenever you might have stumbled upon this entry) and am off to try to find a nice quiet parking spot in Belfast where a man can rest overnight without being disturbed.  Tomorrow a lady from a nearby town who saw the article, talked about above, is meeting me here in the morning and is bringing over a few old photo items including some Spotone and Kodalith!  Don't know what Spotone and Kodalith are and why I put an exclamation point after them?  Well, too bad - you'll just have to ask me about it later!