Sunday, June 4, 2017

Abandoned Buildings - Ellis Island

This blog post reminded me of our own Historic Fort Snelling field trip.

 
Last week's Photo Tour - A chance to explore the abandoned areas of Ellis Island
// Jeff Cable's Blog

Last week I was in New York for two presentations at B&H Photo (which should be posted on YouTube sometime in the next 2-3 weeks), and for a one-day photo tour of Ellis Island (in conjunction with Udesign photo tours). But this wasn't just any old photo tour of this historic location. We were wearing hard hats and going into the old abandoned areas that are not open to the general public. Come along and join me as I take you along on the journey. 



Here is a photo of the main building on Ellis Island. This is where most people go when they are on the island. This building houses the museum and has the information on the 12 million people who passed through Ellis Island as they entered the country.

After we got off the boat, we met up with our guide who instructed us on the do's and don'ts for the tour. 

(Photographer's note: As you can see, we had overcast weather. I was very happy about this, because it meant that we would not have to deal with harsh light on the exterior of the buildings and coming through the windows.)



The abandoned area of Ellis Island is located on the South side of the island. The New Ferry Building, which you see here, actually connects the North and South sides. What is interesting about this building is, there was supposed to be a clock at the top of the Art Deco clock tower, but there was no budget for the clock, so it was never installed.



We were going to spend the bulk of our time in the old hospitals, pictured here. At this point, we all had our hard hats on, and we were ready to roll. For this photo tour, I decided to keep it simple and rely strictly on my Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 28-300mm lens.


After walking down a long straight hallway, we came to the "Y". This is where each immigrant was inspected by the doctors. If they were deemed healthy, or only having minor injuries, they would turn to the right and head down this curved hallway to be cleared for entry.



If the doctors saw any signs of disease, the patient would be directed to the left to the Contagious and Infectious Diseases Hospital, where they could be treated for all kinds of bad stuff. Some people were even sent back on the boat they came in on. Can you imagine?


One of the first rooms we entered was the laundry room where we saw old washers and driers.  We all walked around this room and captured photos of the old artifacts. There was just a ton of character between these old decaying walls.


We walked inside and out, as we toured the large hospital.


I saw this old fire hydrant surrounded by grass and flowers and loved the scene.




This is the insane asylum of the hospital, made more obvious by the wire cage surrounding the facility. You will notice the artwork in the background. This is part of the UNFRAMED Ellis Island project by JR, with numerous art installations throughout the unrestored areas of the hospital. You will see more in this blog post.


As a photographer, I love seeing shapes and patterns through my lens. I was walking by this exterior wall, when I saw this window and old covering. I just love the shapes working together, and even included the broken ledge as part of the image.


This was one of my favorite images from the day. I think that this room strikes the perfect combination of disrepair and artwork. And we had just the right amount of sunlight entering the room through the windows. Not too harsh, but enough to give us some shadows from the old chairs. Love it!


It was fun to walk through the long hallways and peer into the individual hospital rooms, where patients were isolated from each other. Each room had it's own story to tell.


Much of the South side of Ellis Island was heavily damaged during Hurricane Sandy. I saw all of these broken windows and decided to shoot them through a nearby glassless window and JR's artwork. I took this photo at f/5 to have the distant windows in focus and blur the artwork. I think that this effect adds to the mystery of the scene.


We came upon this room and I could not figure out what I was seeing. It turns out that this is a sterilization chamber for the hospital mattresses. (Photographer's note: For this shot, I cranked up the ISO of my Canon 5D Mark IV to 3200 and turned down the exposure compensation to -0.7. You might wonder why I would darken an already dark scene. Well...I did this for two reasons. 1. I wanted to make sure not to blow out the bright area in the background of the image. 2. It helps buy me a faster shutter speed, since I am effectively telling the camera to let in less light. I am then able to pull out some of the shadows when I retouch the photo in Adobe Photoshop.


It was really surreal to walk into the old morgue. You can still see the overhead light, sink and vaults for the coffins. 


We were all walking around this room and shooting different details. I turned and saw many of the workshop attendees taking photos, and grabbed this frame. But I also thought that, since there were different levels, this would make a good place for a group shot.


We got everyone together and did a group shot here. What a good looking group, huh? :)


Anna was in the morgue, shooting through a window, and all I saw was the perfect light hitting her face. I took one shot and noticed that her face was being overexposed. I quickly rolled the exposure compensation of the camera to -1 and took this photo.


For another hour, we continued investigating different rooms of the hospital. There was so much about this room that spoke to me. I love the patterns of the old paint on the walls combined with the peeling wallboard. The old hanging lights, pipes and artifacts just added to the scene. 


I kept reminding the workshop attendees to look at, and photograph, the details.


At one point, I was all alone in this hallway and was transfixed by the light. I turned up the ISO to 4000, since it was pretty dark in this hallway, and took this shot at 1/100 sec. I really liked this shot as is, but thought that it would be even stronger converted to black and white using SilverEfex Pro (free software).


After converting the image to B&W, I definitely like it even better than the original color version.


Another room with the UNFRAMED artwork.


This room was a favorite for many of the workshop attendees. We all liked the sunlight entering the small opening of the window and hitting this one chair.


We entered the hospital kitchen and the first thing we noticed was the large stove hood. At first I was confused about the artwork, until I took this shot and turned the camera upside down. The artist, rightfully so, thought that the hood looked like the upside-down hull of a ship. So he created artwork to play off of that. Do you see that?


This was another favorite photo of mine from the day. I saw this light entering the room and washing across this old sink. Once again, I turned down the exposure compensation of my camera (-0.7) to accentuate the dark shadows in the image. 


I love the old patina of this sign.


It was towards the end of our photo tour and we walked away from the hospital building. As we crossed the grass, heading back towards the North part of the island, I turned and saw the Statue of Liberty just off to the left of the hospital. I took this photo since it shows the proximity of Ellis Island to Lady Liberty.


After eating lunch, we all walked around the public area of Ellis Island and explored some more. Unlike the last time I was at Ellis Island (with my wife and daughter), we did not have clear day for photographing the skyline of New York City. But, I still liked the scene with NY draped in clouds.


We were just getting ready to get back on the ferry and head back to the city when I saw this one lady looking for a name on the wall of immigrants. I was drawn to the single person and her repeating reflections on the metal wall. I thought it made a perfect ending shot to our awesome day.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Save the Date - Norris Camp Outing to Photograph Spring Flowers

When: June 3rd - 4th

Where: Norris Camp

What: Photographing Spring Orchids

Who: Interested intrepid travelers and photographers

We have tentatively scheduled accommodations at the Norris Camp for up to 10 individuals (and as many tenters and campers who want to go).  Saturday, we will travel 300 miles north (six hours) and probably arrive in time for a late afternoon shoot.  If the weather cooperates we might try some night time photography, star trails, light painting etc.   The next morning, we will be out early to capture the golden hour light.  Our primary goal will be to photograph wild spring orchids such as: 

Showy Lady's Slipper (MN State Flower)
Greater and Lesser Yellow Lady's Slipper
Pink Lady's Slipper (Moccasin Flower, Stemless Lady's Slipper)
Picture Plants

It might be too late to capture Calypsos and Ram's Head Orchids but maybe we will luck out.   

Additional details will be discussed at the May 6th meeting. 

Contact:  John@powderhorn.us

What to bring: 

Camera Gear:
  • camera
  • tripod,
  • remote trigger
  • extra memory cards and batteries
  • macro lens (flowers)
  • wide angle lens (landscape and night sky)
  • waterproof bag to protect camera
  • user manual
Other Gear:
  • waterproof/resistant jacket
  • waterproof/resistant pants
  • waterproof hiking boots for walking
  • water Bottle
  • headlamp/flashlight
  • snacks
  •  sun protection: lip balm, sunglasses
  • bug repellant, head net, bug shirt (Did I mention there might be mosquitoes, ticks and flies)
Bedding, pillow, towels, wash cloths, soap

Norris Camp Map




Thursday, March 30, 2017

March 2017 Meeting Notes

The March meeting was chaired by President Geri Fenton. 

A big Welcome! to:
  •       Baby Henry!!
  •       Luann – from East Bethel “found” by John Anderson.  Luann likes to photograph nature, landscape, birds, etc.  
  •       Jane – Mark’s wife.  Jane is big help to Mark’s photography because she is a good spotter and understands animal behaviors


March Presenter:  Judy’s friend, Steve Schmalowsky gave a lively, entertaining, and informative presentation and showed some great local nature images.  Steve tries to MAKE (vs take) pictures, getting it correct in camera because he’s not a big fan of post-processing.  He got into digital 6-7 years ago and loves that it is so much less expensive.  He relies on the histogram on the back of the camera to ensure good exposure in camera.  He usually shoots alone, and loves nothing better than a good landscape to photograph, especially if there is mist or fog present.  Steve shoots in jpg on manual settings.  For his lovely eagle images, he keeps the shutter speed at 1000 and then constantly adjusts the aperture.

Steve advised us to shoot the photograph we think we want, and then take a step to the left and then right to get a different perspective, which means a different image.  He also recommends going back to the same location several times in order to learn the best time of day for shooting – weather it is to get the best light or get the best animal activity.

Steve suggested several local sites for nature photos, including Moyer Park, Richardson Nature Center, Cedar Avenue Bridge, and Black Dog Road.  He showed many photos, including:
  •  Juvenile Bald Eagle and crow series with the crow steeling a fish
  •  Beautiful landscape scenes from Banff, Jasper, Glacier, Waterton, and the Grand Canyon.
  • A bull moose!
  • Eagles ad egrets in flight
  • Dew-covered spider web
  • Deer silhouette running in a field
  • White deer from Father Hennepin
Steve credits God for the beauty in nature that let’s Steve take such great images, and tries to keep out people or anything that would show a human touch. 

Challenge topic for February was “Current Cityscapes”.  Many great photos as well as several from the Broadway Bridge outing in February.  The April topic is “Step Out of your Comfort Zone” – any subject is fine, but make it something different than what you usually do.  To upload your photos to Google Photos albums, click on the link you received in your email, then click the box with the plus sign on the upper right side, then click "select from computer".  Please re-size files to 500kb or smaller before uploading.  There is a limit of 5 photos per person.

UPCOMING EVENTS
  •        Saturday, April 1st – monthly club meeting.  Janos will be showing us his photos from PERU!
  •        Saturday, May 6th – monthly club meeting.  Planning for Dave Anderson from National Camera to present on Macro.
  •        South Dakota Trip May 20th for 2 nights in Wall, then to Rapid City until you want to leave.
  •        TBD – Geri to tally up the next field trip survey responses and will let us know at the meeting.
  •        TBD July 2017 – Lake Shetek State Park.  See Geri’s review of the park on our blog.


Please use our blog!  If you weren’t aware, FSSPCC has a blog – see it here and take a look at some of the recent posts.  You are all invited to post photos or stories, especially flora, fauna or events from the park, club events, travelogues, or just nature in general.  The blog is easy to use, but you first need to be granted access by emailing the club (email address below).  You can set it so you automatically get notified whenever there is a new posting.  Meeting notes are posted on the blog, too.

Join our Facebook group page!  Search for FSSP Camera Club or click the link below.  Once you are approved to join the group, you are welcome to start posting!

-----
-Submitted by Patti Deters, FSSP Camera Club 2017 Secretary
----- 
2017 Executive Committee
-Geri Fenton – President
-Endel Kallas – Vice President
-Judy Collopy – Treasurer
-Rose Shea – Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs (TCACCC) Representative
-Patti Deters – Secretary
-John Plut – Event Planner
-Deb Johnson – Webmaster
-János McGhie – IT Guru / Help Desk



Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 2017 Meeting Notes

The February meeting was chaired by President Geri Fenton. 

A big Welcome! to:
·       Don - who found us on the Internet
·       Tanya – who is new to photography so pretty much likes to shoot everything.  She loves being outside and even captured an owl just 3 weeks ago!

Photo Requests
Current photos are needed to for social media posts - can be anything from a park or trail – cute animals, pretty scenery, and people having fun – be sure to include the name of the park or trail.
·       Minnesota State Parks and Trails – submit to Deborah.Locke@state.mn.us or post directly to their Facebook page. Be sure to include the location.
·       DNR – submit through Facebook.  Include specific park/forest/location.

Donations - We are happy to report that our club was able to donate an additional $15.55 to the park’s gift account!

Nature Notes from Krista Jensen – FSSP Lead Park Naturalist
How many turkeys did you see on your last visit to Fort Snelling State Park? Could you tell the difference between the males (adult males are called toms and juveniles are jakes) and the females (adults females are called hens and juveniles are jennies). It’s easy to tell which turkeys are male when they’re displaying (showing off their tail feathers) but when they’re not strutting around it can be a little more difficult. The males have very colorful pink and red bald heads while females are a muted greyish blue bald head. You can also look for a beard on the males! There beard is a plume of feathers hanging from their chests (it reminds me of a neck tie). So, look for these two characteristics the next time you’re in the park and you may start to notice some other differences between males and females too!
Volunteer Opportunities
Send me an email at Krista.Jensen@state.mn.us if you are interested, or what more information, about any of these opportunities.
·       Maple syrup training: Tuesday, February 14, 10 am- 12 pm
March is just around the corner and our attention will turn to the maple trees. Join us for a morning session and learn more about how you can assist park naturalists with our maple syrup programs. Tasks include weekend program assistance, sap collection (weekday and weekend opportunities), and sap cooking (weekday and weekend opportunities). RSVP to Krista at
 krista.jensen@state.mn.us or by calling 612-725-2731.
·       Minnesota Master Naturalist Big Woods Big Rivers course at Fort Snelling State Park
Wednesdays, March 15- April 29 (9 am- 2:30 pm).  Starting mid-March I will be co-teaching a course with National Park Service staff and U of M extension staff at Fort Snelling State Park. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a 
Master Naturalist here’s an opportunity to check out http://www.minnesotamasternaturalist.org/courses/register/?courseId=647

January Presenter:  Dave Johnson from National Camera Exchange gave a comprehensive talk on “What’s New and Photo Trends”.  We will be posting his presentation on our blog.  Dave is very knowledgeable and willing to answer any question – he even gave us his cell phone number – it is 612-759-3921.  Some tips from Dave include:
·       You can grab stills from 4k video and print up to a 16x20 print
·       Consider renting before buying, or renting instead of buying for the really expensive items
·       Use auto ISO for sports and wildlife, especially when outdoors going between shade and sun
·       For HDR, take 5 photos (1/2-1 stop difference) then choose just the best 3 or 4 to blend
·       Everyone should color calibrate their monitors

Dave also shared some good spots for shooting city skylines (our Challenge topic for March):
·       Broadway Bridge (not safe to go alone - go with friends)
·       High Bridge, morning best
·       Stone Arch Bridge
·       Indian mounds Park
·       West side of Lake Calhoun
·       Theodore Wirth Golf Couse, 3rd hole at sunset
·       Mendota Bridge
·       St. Anthony Falls, morning
·       Harriet Island
·       Franklin Avenue Bridge (not safe to go alone - go with friends)

Broadway Bridge Outing - February 18th.  Dave Johnson from National Camera Exchange agreed to host a field trip to the Broadway Bridge to capture the Minneapolis skyline!  We'll meet on the bridge around 5pm.  Park at Broadway Pizza (you can see the bridge from the parking lot) and we'll shoot until about 6:30pm, then have a pizza dinner.  Recommended gear: 35mm/full frame (50mm crop equivalent), tripod, cable release, flashlight, and warm clothes (it can be windy on the bridge).  

Challenge topic for February was “Close to Home”.  Check out the album to see all our fun photos.  The March topic is “Local Cityscapes” – city images and skylines from around the Twin Cities.  To upload your photos to Google Photos albums, click on the link you received in your email, then click the box with the plus sign on the upper right side, then click "select from computer".  Please re-size files to 500kb or smaller before uploading.  There is a limit of 5 photos per person.

Spring Break – This annual photo event put on by the Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs (TCACCC) will be held March 25 at the Rosemount Dakota County Technical College.  Cost is just $40 for all day.  Registration Includes: A Full Day of Programs, Lunch, Coffee Breaks, Photo Vendors, Special Events, and the 2017 Interclub Awards.  There will be 3-4 sessions to choose from – watch the TCACCC under upcoming events for updated info.  Members present at the January FSSPCC meeting voted not to submit photos as a group for the Spring Break competition.  Individuals are invited and encouraged to submit – details can be found at the TCACCC website under competitions.  Deadline to enter is Feb 5.

UPCOMING EVENTS
·       Saturday, February 18th at 5pm – Broadway Bridge Outing (see above)
·       Saturday, March 4th at 9:00am – Next FSSPCC meeting at TC Savage Visitor Center.
o   Challenge:  Local Cityscapes (see above)
·       Presentation:  Judy’s friend, Steve Schmalowsky – “Shoot and Move”
·       March 25 – Spring Break Event in Rosemount
·       South Dakota Trip May 20th for 2 nights in Wall, then to Rapid City until you want to leave.
·       TBD – Geri to tally up the next field trip survey responses and will let us know at the meeting.
·       TBD July 2017 – Lake Shetek State Park.  See Geri’s review of the park on our blog.

Please use our blog!  If you weren’t aware, FSSPCC has a blog – see it here and take a look at some of the recent posts.  You are all invited to post photos or stories, especially flora, fauna or events from the park, club events, travelogues, or just nature in general.  The blog is easy to use, but you first need to be granted access by emailing the club (email address below).  You can set it so you automatically get notified whenever there is a new posting.  Meeting notes are posted on the blog, too.

Join our Facebook group page!  Search for FSSP Camera Club or click the link below.  Once you are approved to join the group, you are welcome to start posting!

-----
-Submitted by Patti Deters, FSSP Camera Club 2017 Secretary
----- 
2017 Executive Committee
-Geri Fenton – President
-Endel Kallas – Vice President
-Judy Collopy – Treasurer
-Rose Shea – Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs (TCACCC) Representative
-Patti Deters – Secretary
-John Plut – Event Planner
-Deb Johnson – Webmaster
-János McGhie – IT Guru / Help Desk