I drove to Oberlin to take photos of the college buildings and then stayed the night just outside Youngstown, OH. Next day I went to State College, where one of Jill’s former choir directors teaches at State Penn – after lunch with him and his wife I took photos of the college buildings and then stayed the night in Harrisburg. Tuesday I went into Philadelphia to go round the AIIM Show (the main impetus for the timing of the trip) and have dinner with an old document management friend, and stayed the night just outside Atlantic City. Big water! hooray – no wait, there’s a million miles of marshes, and you can’t see the water.
Wednesday night I picked Jill up from the Philadelphia airport and we stayed in a nice hotel downtown. Thursday we went round the Cezanne exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Friday we went round the Barnes Foundation (a train ride to the suburbs, a huge collection of Impressionists). Saturday we took the Megabus to New York (only $7 each!), staying at a nice hotel near the United Nations and having dinner with a friend who had moved from Ann Arbor to Brooklyn. Sunday we went round the Bonnard exhibition at the Met and met an old college friend of Jills. Jill flew back to Ann Arbor and I took the train back to Philadelphia and drove into the Pocono Mountains.
The weather forecast turned unexpectedly bad (maybe lots of snow coming) (not that the weather had been that great the week before) so I raced on to Ithaca to hole up there and visit with some old friends of Jills (he had worked for her dad for a while (while a graduate student) but was really a Professor of Medieval Studies at Cornell). As well as taking photos of the college buildings, I visited some of the many gorges and waterfalls (in town!). Eventually, Thursday the weather was good enough to leave Ithaca and I went up to Amherst (just outside Buffalo) and took photos of the college buildings. Friday I zipped across Canada (well, Niagara to Sarnia) and home.
Just over 1750 miles.
So that’s the where and when, what about the what and how.
My new lens combination, 35mm, 85mm and 180mm was great. Always had a lens for the photo I saw. The 85mm stayed on the camera most of the time, and I think I more often switched to the 180mm (since it worked for both scenic and building) and I think I rarely if ever used the 35mm and the 180mm in the same location, but did make use of the 35mm, particularly in more urban situations.
The new tripod worked great. So easy to put up and take down, light, just the right height. I know, I’ve said that before, but I’m still blown away by it. And after studying for months and finding nothing new, the bags I took with me also worked great. Since I was in the car, I had my big backpack with me but as I never went on a long hike, I never needed it. I had my small backpack, with my spare lenses and rain gear etc on my back, then I put on my old “celtic” shoulder bag over one shoulder, and then the tripod case strap over the other (so that the bag and case straps crossed on my chest). With this arrangement, I felt little weight, didn’t feel (that) conspicuous when walking around (college) but when I wanted to take a photo, it was a simple process to get my camera out my bag to preview, back in, get my tripod out and set up, and get my camera back out and on the tripod. If I was happy with the lens I had, that was it, I never had to put a bag or anything down. A little more complicated if I wanted to use a different lens, as then everything had to come off and get set down. But unlike before, say with the Silvestri, the prospect of getting a lens out never felt a huge hassle (whereas before, it was enough sometimes to deter actually taking the photo). I had bought a couple of (large) Zing pouches to hold the lenses – they worked well, the only problem is the 85mm is just a little too big to go in one, so I was still using a Domke wrap for when I had that off the camera. I do still need a new bag, as the celtic bag is not waterproof, and to have this sort of setup on a hike in the hills, it would be better if it was (though certainly with last week’s load, in such an emergency I could put the celtic bag in my backpack, so no hurry).
The not so good:
I think every film has at least one instance where I forgot to close the aperture on the lens (that’s with the 35mm and the 85mm) and there’s probably a few that have more than one – and since I would typically bracket and then notice, we are talking quite a few wasted frames.
I started this note in New York, hence the subject line, but couldn’t make any progress until I got home. Every day was very full. This photo was taken with my LX2 as the Megabus slowly wound its way down to the Lincoln Tunnel to get over into Manhattan.