Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Changing Seasons: Fall in New York

LL Bean buck over Colby's campus in fall 2008, a few weeks after starting A Restless Transplants and buying my first camera.

An over ambitious sip of Joe's coffee scalded my tongue. Sucking and blowing repeatedly in attempt to ventilate my mouth, my breath hung on the cool mornings air as I sat on a rock outcropping in Central Park. Rising over Midtown, the morning's light cast long shadows over the lake and through the autumn foliage.

Canvas Sneaker over Colby's Quad in January of 2009.

As June quickly slid into September, the reality that I wasn't returning to Maine for another winter slowly took shape. Each changing shade of foliage and brisk morning helped confirm my permanent acclimation to my new life in New York. Three times in the last few weeks, I packed my REI backpack with my 5D Mark II and lenses and headed towards the rock peninsula near 79th street and Central Park West with the hope of capturing the changing season with a shoe. Despite successfully avoiding joggers, tourists and leashed French bulldogs, my shots failed to turn out.

Common Projects sneaker over Cobly's Quad in March of 2009.

Last Sunday morning, I woke early and dug through my pile of shoes. Perhaps as homage to my time spent in Maine or their relevance in the frequent mud puddles familiar with fall in New York, I grabbed my eight-inch Bean boot and headed towards door.

Van's Authentic over Colby's Quad in August of 2009

Ralph Lauren Wingtip over Colby's quad in October of 2009

The morning's light bounced the buildings of the Upper West Side as I grabbed a cup of coffee at Joe's and headed towards Central Park's lake intent on waiting for the sun to rise above the buildings of midtown. Patiently, I sat facing south towards Manhattan's skyline. Periodically testing my coffee, I tuned out tourists' conversations and turned an occasional glance at a group of forty-somethings performing a lost east Asian ritual associated with Subarus and merino wool socks.

Danner Mountain Light II over Colby's quad in December of 2009.

Checking my watch, I realized that fifteen minutes had marched past and I reclaimed my camera from my drawstring backpack. I removed my left Bean boot, set the frame and tossed my shoe in the air.

British Walker Buck over Colby's Quad in April of 2010.

Taking a sip of my now tepid coffee, I picked the boot off the exposed bedrock and tossed it up in the air for another countless shot. Reflecting off the glassy water, the morning's light warmed the chain-link sole as I fired the shutter near the height of the boots arc. Looking down at the preview screen, I couldn't help but smile. I like calling a new place home.

Here are some more links,
Changing Seasons (Picasa),
Changing Seasons (ART).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Window with Ice Shanties

I slid across the ice. Accidentally at first, and then as my comfort grew, I evolved my technique from a means of avoiding a broken tailbone to a proper, Risky Business-esque maneuver. Building a head of steam, I scurried across the frozen lake aiming squarely at a wind-swept portion of ice. A few feet before the snow stopped, exposing the glassy surface, I hopped, landing squarely with the toe of my right foot touching the back of my left Danner Mountain Lights. For twenty feet, I slid. Across the lake, in a protected cove, a group of colorful ice shanties broke up the green and white horizon. Marching across the frozen landscape one slide at a time, I made my way towards them, camera in hand.

Months ago, I searched through flea markets and antique malls looking for windows. My interest in old windows as picture frames and not economic replacements was bewildering to most Mainers at local flea markets. After turning over many rocks, I eventually found some windows that were both aesthetically pleasing and practical as frames. Working with Tucker, we stripped the excess paint and applied a few coats of sealant to protect the frames.

Looking through my Picasa page for groups of photos, I quickly settled on my images of ice shanties. Drawn to the bright colors contrasting the bleak landscapes and the idea of being in a place you shouldn't, protected from cold and wind, I selected my 12 favorite and ordered them in 9"x7" archive-quality prints

Throughout the summer as I transitioned into my new life in New York, Tucker put the finishing touches on the window frame.

Red and White.

Outside of Skowhegan, Maine, one of my favorite shots.

Near US Route 1 on the mid Maine Coast.

Anchored to the ice near Canaan, Maine

Built on the concept that each frame and group of images will be unique, the finished window tells a story more complex and evolved that a singular image mounted on the wall.

The finished window is 40" high by 25" wide and has 12 9" by 7" color prints.

A lonely shanty Down East.

Frozen footsteps captured by thaws and freezes.

The Ice Shanty Window is the first of a series of my favorite images partnered with antique windows.

The shanties complement each other and providing context through repetition.

Offering a view to a distant world, my window with its twelve images hangs over my living room for the time being. If you are interested in owning the Ice Shanty window, or one of the following ones, please send me an email at foster.huntington(at)gmail.com.

Here are some more links,
Windows (ART),
Ice Fishing (ART).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Out of Reception: Summer Begone

The storm broke overnight. I awoke with a jump to the brisk morning air typical of early October. Attempting to prolong my rest and fend off the cold, I covered my head with my comforter and waited for my alarm. After twenty minutes of minor discomfort, I preempted my phone's obnoxious sounds and climbed out of bed. On my way to the shower I vengefully closed my window. For the first time in months, I ordered my large Americana sans ice from the friendly woman at Joe's. Steam escaped from my cup on my morning walk to work, and I paused for an instant pulling my iPhone from my pocket to change the song and snap a photo of the season's first steam.

Since adopting a professional schedule somewhat resembling a 9 to 5 but striking a closer resemblance to an 8 to 7:30, I rarely take my 5D Mark II with me on my commute and rompings around New York. Instead, I rely on my iPhone to capture moments around me. Along with maintaining a general level of overall ineffectiveness when making calls, my phone continues to produce some of my favorite images. Here are a few from the last four months.

A sunset in July.

Twilight in mid July.

A foggy sunrise at Popham Beach, Maine in late July.

Green in Central park in early August.

A view of Central Park on Forth of July Weekend.

Sunset on the Jaquelin Kennedy reservoir in mid June.

A view from the roll bar of a 1957 Willy's Jeep in Moiser, Oregon during Labor Day weekend.

The last rays of a mid September evening on the Upper West Side.

My two cameras in Early September.

A hazy September morning on my walk to work.

Jarad Hadi in Southeast Portland in early September.

An Indian Summer evening after work in Midtown.

A Saturday skateboarding at the Chelsea pier.

Tapping on the screen between sips of my tongue-burning coffee, I eventually settled on "Cortez the Killer." Turning up the volume, I shifted the tiny lens of my iPhone towards my coffee cup and fired away. Unfortunately, the image didn't turn out the way I envisioned, and I continued on my walk enticed by the steam of my beverage and the comfort of my Filson Jacket.

Here are some more links,
Out of Reception: Early Summer (Picasa),
Out of Reception: Life Changes Fast (Picasa),
Out of Reception: Last of Summer (Picasa),
Out of Reception (A.R.T.)