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Project 52Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

The goal of Project 52 is to take a photo a week. This is an easier pace than the Project 365.
- Start a thread with your name such as, "MyName's 52" or "MyName's Photo-a-Week Project" so other members can easily track your project. Some Posts May Be NSFW. If you intend to post any questionable images, please include NSFW in the title
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Duck
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Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby Duck » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:36 pm

I have always admired photographers who have found ongoing projects with a cohesive theme, like Minnie's Dam Birds project or Ernst's various projects including his Yank Them Off The Street series. For me to get into a project, though, it needs to have enough content to hold my attention. I need to not only be captivated by the subject matter but also feel as if I'm both growing as an artist and contributing something of worth. The Dam Birds project is a perfect example as it brought environmental awareness within the bird's community to the plight of their habitat. That is fantastic. What's even better is the understanding that was not the overt intention of the series but rather something that evolved organically from the images. That's something to be proud of.

I live in a small but growing town with a lot of history, but then, most towns have a good deal of history. Unfortunately the town has seen an explosion of growth over the past decade and some of the older building are being lost in the current redevelopment. My studio is in a building that's over 100 years old. It has a lot of history and a lot of character that is interconnected with the rest of the community. Every time I have clients or guests I am always pointing out some small feature about the building, something that would otherwise go unnoticed because it's not a readily visible feature. This morning I had a wonderful idea, start documenting the town, not by it's large and obvious landmarks but it's smaller, less visible details. The trick will be to show that detail yet somehow let the viewer understand it's a part of a larger recognizable landmark. Of course this will rely heavily on the viewer having a familiarity with that landmark to begin with.

While I am not looking to do this as a 'project 52', per se, I thought since it is a 'project' of its own this would be the most appropriate home for it. I'll post images as they become available.
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Re: Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby Duck » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:39 am

Unitas_Photography-9900.jpg


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Built in 1895, the Plumb Memorial Library, named after it's posthumous founder David Wells Plumb, opened it's doors in the small industrial community of Shelton, Connecticut. The exterior is constructed of yellow brick and terracotta with slate roof tiles. The interior is decorated and lined with oak wood panels and shelves crafted in the manner of the time. in other words, beautiful woodwork everywhere.

In 1974 a steel and brick addition was added which quadrupled the square footage of the library. With the new addition, the original structure was turned into the periodicals room and a reading room where the original building's fireplace sits. Recently some antique stained glass windows were dug out of storage and renovated by a friend of mine, a talented artist in his own right, Michael Skrtic of The Glass Source.

The first image is the top section of a double mantle over the fireplace in what used to be the library director's office and now houses the library's special books collection. Sitting on the mantle is a framed lithograph of what the original building looked like before the addition. For the "up close" part of the image we can see hand worked details in the original woodwork with the original oval mirror on which the frame with the lithograph leans against. For context I have included the stacks of magazines and a reflection of the glass cased shelves lining the far wall.

The second image Is a detail of the swan shaped andirons in the fireplace in the reading room. In the background you can see one of the renovated stained glass panels. For context I included the leather lounge chairs in front of the fireplace. An accidental touch of good fortune is the head of the nearest andiron lines up perfectly with the body of the farther andiron, giving a glimpse of what the whole thing looks like.

The last image is a closeup of a hand carved decoration on one of the original book shelves in the collections room. For context I have the opposing bookcase in view but subdued so as not to take away from the detail.
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Re: Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby Matt Quinn » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:58 am

Duck wrote:I have always admired photographers who have found ongoing projects with a cohesive theme, like Minnie's Dam Birds project or Ernst's various projects including his Yank Them Off The Street series. For me to get into a project, though, it needs to have enough content to hold my attention. I need to not only be captivated by the subject matter but also feel as if I'm both growing as an artist and contributing something of worth. The Dam Birds project is a perfect example as it brought environmental awareness within the bird's community to the plight of their habitat. That is fantastic. What's even better is the understanding that was not the overt intention of the series but rather something that evolved organically from the images. That's something to be proud of.

I live in a small but growing town with a lot of history, but then, most towns have a good deal of history. Unfortunately the town has seen an explosion of growth over the past decade and some of the older building are being lost in the current redevelopment. My studio is in a building that's over 100 years old. It has a lot of history and a lot of character that is interconnected with the rest of the community. Every time I have clients or guests I am always pointing out some small feature about the building, something that would otherwise go unnoticed because it's not a readily visible feature. This morning I had a wonderful idea, start documenting the town, not by it's large and obvious landmarks but it's smaller, less visible details. The trick will be to show that detail yet somehow let the viewer understand it's a part of a larger recognizable landmark. Of course this will rely heavily on the viewer having a familiarity with that landmark to begin with.

While I am not looking to do this as a 'project 52', per se, I thought since it is a 'project' of its own this would be the most appropriate home for it. I'll post images as they become available.


Duck, I will follow this. In my 52, I have been a wanderer; Minnie's, Ernst's and your efforts may move me onto this approach after I finish. Do you plan to indicate what the photos show? In the first series, you provide no text. I would like to see some. Matt
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Re: Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby Duck » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:17 am

The final goal for the images I post here are to have a gallery showing in my home town. The images will all center around well known landmarks, buildings and locations in my home town, but with a twist. Instead of showing a typical view I want to highlight some small, often overlooked, detail but have it in context to the location so people who know the location can have a small "aha!" moment.

I have not made a decision as to whether any of the images will have any titles or location data when I show them, relying instead on the viewer's deductive abilities and possible exploratory nature to figure out where in their home town each image was taken. Kind of like a home-based "where's Waldo" game. For the sake of everyone here, though, I will add a little background information.
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Re: Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby minniev » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:38 pm

I'm already enjoying your project Duck, and looking forward to watching it grow and develop. The library might be a nice place to show your exhibit once you're done with it. I'm glad you'll let us in on some info about the things you're photographing, but I like your idea of letting your local folk explore and identify the familiar scenes on their own.

On your first set, the detail in the woodwork and the swans is lovely.

One idea: Try the swan shot with the florescent lights off (I'm sure they'll let you do it) You might still prefer the one with them on, but it's worth an experiment to see which feels best.
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Re: Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby Ernst-Ulrich Schafer » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:21 pm

Fun project Duck. Looking forward to seeing more. As you know I love adding to my personal projects. Matter of fact the next four days here in Port Angeles will be epic for me, at least I hope so.
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Re: Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby Charles Haacker » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:06 pm

Just plain terrific! Great images, great project, and it will do good I believe. Folks often fail to realize what they have until it's gone. Hope this will lead to preservation! :thumbup: :yay:
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(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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Re: Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby Duck » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:52 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, folks.

Minnie, I was allowed to take as many photos as I wanted so long as I did not disturb other guests or take photos of them. I got there about 4:30pm, which at this time of year in New England it starts getting dark. I do want to return during the day (and with a tripod) to see if I can get better images.
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Re: Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby Matt Quinn » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:26 pm

Duck wrote:The final goal for the images I post here are to have a gallery showing in my home town. The images will all center around well known landmarks, buildings and locations in my home town, but with a twist. Instead of showing a typical view I want to highlight some small, often overlooked, detail but have it in context to the location so people who know the location can have a small "aha!" moment.

I have not made a decision as to whether any of the images will have any titles or location data when I show them, relying instead on the viewer's deductive abilities and possible exploratory nature to figure out where in their home town each image was taken. Kind of like a home-based "where's Waldo" game. For the sake of everyone here, though, I will add a little background information.


Thanks Duck. I vote for no text for the exhibit; great conversation starter at the opening night. Matt
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Re: Shelton up close - a new project by Duck

Postby St3v3M » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:54 am

Duck wrote:... This morning I had a wonderful idea, start documenting the town, not by it's large and obvious landmarks but it's smaller, less visible details. ...

I love the idea of a personal project but love that you're making this into something more. I'm excited to see more! S-
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