Tag Archives: hasselblad

hasselblad: summer in MA and NH

Hasselblad Summer 2016

As always, you will find us on the beach in Boston and on the little strip of beach with friends in NH. These pictures are from last summer, because this summer, I’ve been far to busy to take a vacation. I take pictures for two theater companies: The New Century Theatre and The Chester Theatre. I also work for CISA, an organization that promotes local agriculture. That and weddings and Camp Elizabeth, otherwise known as Camp Mommy to my six year old, and there’s no time to take a vacation, even a weekend one. I will be missing the Irving Penn show at the Met. Still coming to terms with that. Maybe I’ll be able to take a little trip in August. Though school starts at the end of August. Shortest Summer ever.

We also picked blueberries, went hiking, and visited Paul in Cambridge. When in Cambridge, we also visited the Semetic Museum at Harvard.

When I am with friends and family, I give the digital cameras a rest and use my vintage cameras. These were taken with a Hasselblad 500C. It has since broken, in several places, and I spent about a year upset about the future of film cameras. I went a long time without the camera, and considered repairing it. I decided not to though, because the old parts are hard to find and the cameras are phasing out. Still though, it’s the most fun camera to use, and the camera I have used the longest in my career. I love everything about the camera, and especially the lenses and act of picture taking. Someone described it as a zen moment. They are right. As an aside, Hasselblad official on instagram continually posts images of the V-Series (old film cameras) and plays on our nostalgia, yet refuses to re-introduce them, despite their popularity.

Desperate, I spent months looking for a vintage Hasselblad on ebay. Finally, the dream came true. A retired couple cleaning their attic. He bought several cameras in the late 60s. New. Thought he might want to be a photographer as a second career. (Don’t know what his first career was.) According to his wife,¬† “never got into the Hasselblad.” I miraculously won the bid, and the camera, along with accessories in an original aluminum suitcase, came to me professionally packed from Eagle Idaho. I wept at the sight of it. It really was essentially new. I had to unwrap original packaging off certain accessories. That was a few months ago. I’ve been afraid to use it. I’ve run a few rolls through it but have been scared to process the film. Well, we also moved house and I haven’t unpacked my equipment for processing yet. So yes, dreams do come true. I’ll let you know how the film looks. And show you the pictures.

Sandy Hook NJ photo shoot

Sandy Hook, NJ is a place that I used to keep secret, but in recent years I’ve had a more generous spirit.

It was 7 years ago on August 8, 2008 that I took these photos at what I used to call my secret beach, which is actually Sandy Hook NJ. It’s a gorgeous spot, accessible by ferry from Manhattan, or by car. It was originally a military outpost, serving as a protectorate of New York City from Southern invasions. The northernmost tip of the Jersey Shore, and a natural barrier.

There is still a Coast Guard station off limits to the public, but most of the military remains are accessible. Crumbling gun platforms of the Proving Grounds, ghosts of mortar battery installations. Tall grass. Eerie quietness. Empty houses with rickety front porches. Surprising lack of tourism, or visiting, probably because of its scarcity of refreshment stands, and because you have to hike into most of the beaches (except for the one next to the big parking lot at the beginning of the peninsula.)
I went with my muse, Haley, on August 8 2008. It was the second time we’d been there. The first time, I lost a couple of rolls of film. So upsetting. This time, we borrowed a friend’s Mini Cooper and entered the park during a thunderstorm. We sat there in awe while the little car shook. I told her, “As soon as it stops, it will be amazing.” Sure enough, after the storm, the air cleared and the sky turned deep blue/purple, punctuated by puffy dense white clouds. The light was warm and soft, but so vivid. This created a surreal atmosphere that provided me with a magical setting for a photo shoot.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy beat the little peninsula something awful. I haven’t been there since, but I heard that the restaurant, The Seagull’s Nest, was destroyed. I’m not sure if they made any efforts to repair it since this article.
It was a place that sold cheap weak margaritas and beer in plastic cups. There was often Americana music. At sunset, each night in summer, everyone would turn their eyes to the horizon and honor vets and public servants by singing “God Bless America.”
The last time I visited Sandy Hook was via Seastreak,
on July 4, 2011, with the family.
There are a couple of token pictures of her in the city, at home, reading James Joyce.
I will always treasure the time in 2008 and prior,  that I was able to visit
the special little place in America, and enjoy the beauty of nature and our history, in a desolate peaceful place so close to the craziness of NYC. And I look back fondly at the time when I used my vintage Hasselblad camera, which created so many beautiful square images. Thank you storm, thank you Haley, thank you Sandy Hook Beach, and thank you camera!