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Gloucester, 24 June 2019

I'm going for The Amazing Day. I have three sets of infrared photos of Gloucester, Massachusetts from the last month and have been turning over how I might organize and display them. At the end of the page I'll explain why I zero'd in on this set.


Infrared Photo of Two Men on a Park Bench Overlooking the Outer Harbor of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Outer Harbor View, Gloucester   What a beautiful day to be sitting on Western Drive with a friend looking out at Gloucester's Outer Harbor! This is a little to the north of the famous Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial. These two are not as alone as they look, but I thought the version of this picture without the passers by to be the strongest.


Infrared Photo of Garden Ground Cover and Granite Curbstone.
Untitled, Gloucester   Many Gloucester properties predate the American style of stand alone houses with a front yard and a back yard. Houses are very close together and close to the street. Gardens are often a little strip between the house and the sidewalk. This is one of those. Still life is hard in infrared, but I'm happy with this one.


Infrared Photo of New England Street Running Down to a Harbor on a Sunny Day.
Centenial Avenue, Gloucester   Gloucester, coming up to four hundred years old, is a rather organic little city. Centenial parallels Washington Street, the main drag into town, but not in a strictly geometric sense. It's a pleasant route to walk to the waterfront, since it doesn't get the traffic that Washington does. This is a two frame stitched panorama.


Inrared Architectural Photo of Wooden Sided New England Building..
American Legion Building, Gloucester    One of many iconic buildings in Gloucester. This isn't the grand colonaded front that faces Washington Street, but the side of the building facing the alley off of Middle Street. Midday sun! It's a four frame vertical panorama.


Infrared Photo of New England House in Downtown Gloucester.
Mason Court   Typical Gloucester...


Infrared Photo of New England House in Downtown Gloucester.
William C.   Typical Gloucester... But Downtown on Main Street. Right after I took this picture a man on a bicycle skiddered to a halt in front of me and asked me what I was shooting. I told him infrared, and showed him the big Canon lunk of a camera, saying that you couldn't tell it shot infrared (all the modifications being on the inside) and then it got interesting, as he was shooting infrared, but film infrared, with an old Leica III and a 50mm and 90mm Elmar lenses. We ended up sitting on the bench in front of the police station for an hour, talking photography and infrared photography in particular. We had a lot to share! I gave him my card hoping for a call or a note, but haven't heard from him.


Infrared Photo of Shaded Entrance to Old Cemetery.
To the First Parish Burial Ground   I had noticed that Gloucester has a number of cemeteries of different ages and presentations scattered around. To start, I live across the street from one of the more prominent ones, the Oak View Cemetery, on Washington Street on the left as you drive into town. This one I'd seen from the Boston train just as one leaves or approaches the station, but I'd had no idea it was so immediately there if one turned left at the door to George's diner. As you can see it has a historical plaque, as this is the original burial ground for Gloucester, "settled" in the 1640s. The First Parish Burial Ground is also know as the Bridge Street Cemetery or the Old Bridge Street Burial Ground.


Infrared Photographic Panorama of Old Cemetery.
First Parish Burial Ground 1   You can see the Oval Playground, a public park, in the background beyond the chain link fence. This is a three frame stitched panorama.


Infrared Panonramic Photo of Tree Amongst Old Headstones.
First Parish Burial Ground 2   A five frame stitched panorama.


Infrared Panoramic Photo of New England Burial Ground, Backlit.
First Parish Burial Ground 3   A five frame stitched panorama.


Infrared Photo of Small Burial Ground, Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Prospect Street Cemetery   Also known as the High Street Cemetery. This a relatively new burial ground, established in 1837. After I'd processed this picture Julee sent me this link and asked if Edward Hopper had sketched the same cemetery in the 1920s. It's certainly possible, as it's a short walk from his Dale Street address in Gloucester, and the Prospect Street Cemetery does have the stone wall (as does the Oak View Cemetery across from my house). But one of the comments on the Hopper post says that it's the Oak Hill Cemetery on Poplar Street. That seems likliest to me, as the Hopper cemetery rises, and mine is flat. I'll check out Oak View when I'm next in Gloucester.

According to the enthusiast web site Find a Grave there are twenty six cemeteries in Gloucester. Mind, one of them has exactly one grave (Hammond Castle, kitschy home of the odd inventer John Hays Hammond, Jr.) and others are no doubt on the mainland, as a good part of the territory of the City of Gloucester is off the island of Cape Ann. Still, in the urban area where I live they are an obvious part of the landscape, and provide some welcome open space where people can walk and run their dogs.


Infrared Photo of Old New England House.
Weathered House, Gloucester, Massachusetts   This house is on a different segment of Prospect Street, a mostly commercial strip dominated by the train platform and a big supermarket with attached parking lot. Pretty much all of the paint has weathered off of it, yet it still stands, straight and proud. I'm of two minds. One that the owners shoud do the prep repairs, prep, and paint it, so that it will stand another century or two. The other that it actually looks very good and photogenic this way!



The Amazing Day! With one or two crazy exceptions, even the best photographers don't expect a successful image from every exposure, and I think most run with the numbers I ran with when I was shooting film, where, if I got one good picture off of a roll of thirty five frames I felt I was doing very well. Journalistic, event, and advertising professionals tended to shoot a lot of film to tilt the stats in their favor. Nowadays, digital "film" is as close to free as matters, and the concept of a fixed length roll is an antique memory, but the numbers game still plays out. I try to make every shot count, but it's still a very good day when I bring in a single photograph worth a second look. Imagine how I felt when two walks on a sunny day and a hundred and forty three exposures (including a number of sets of panorama segments) brought me twenty seven pictures worth a serious second look. Twelve of them made it on to this web page. I don't know that I've ever had a day that good in terms of numbers. I'm still chuffed... I feel the pictures belong together, and other infrared photos taken on good (but not Amazing) days the weeks following will wait.