Friday, December 28, 2018



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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Lesson 1 - 3 Ingredients Named

Dear Visitor

I'm in the process of revamping my blog so that I might share what I do, how I do it, and why I do what I do. It's my intention that this information would benefit those of you interested in Black and White film photography; no color, no digital. I own a Canon digital camera which only captures in color but it's not used for my fine art b&w work. 

My story started more than 60 years ago when my Dad let me use his Burleigh Brooks folding 6x9 film camera. Several years later, I was allowed to work in Dad's darkroom and was captivated by the entire process of developing film and printing the final photograph.

A portion of my work is on the Internet at to which I add additional postings on a regular basis. Therefore, it's not likely more images will be posted to this blog. I'd like the blog to be more of an interactive educational forum. Let's see how it goes.

LESSON 1 - An Image or Just a Snapshot?

As I see it, we all have the ability to capture the moment should we choose to do so. Even more since we now have cameras that have a phone attached to them. More snapshots are done using a cell phone than by use of any other type of camera. They're very handy and quite useful. However, most fine art images are created via a more conventional camera be it film or digital. Needless to say, some photographers have had great success with unique cell phone pictures.  

Our discussion of fine art photography, as I see it, will not include cell phones.

My definition of a snapshot is an event, a moment, a site, etc that's caught quickly with little thought to the rules of great photography. Often done to support the old saying, "Well it's better than nothing." Be it true or not, that's my take. 

An image, on the other hand, needs at least three "ingredients" to make it great:

  • Subject - What is the picture all about? Will others recognize it?
  • Attention - Have you focused attention on the subject?
  • Simplicity - Have you eliminated distractions from the subject?
We'll discuss each in detail on the next blog. Please leave your comments. Thanks! 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Beseler 23C Enlarger

Sorry for the above print size but blogger would not let me make it any larger. I tried to make it bigger but to no avail. Hopefully you'll be able to read it.

Perhaps one of the best known pieces of darkroom equipment is the Beseler 23C enlarger. Yes, there are others available but this particular model appears to be more of the well rounded units suitable for a number of negative sizes and types of projection.

THe 23C is heavy but also very steady and stable. There's no vibration which would yield poor negative printing. The elevation handle (10) is well geared so that once you crank it and then stop, it stops with no further travel. There's a measuring rule on the right side of the frame, where the handle is located, so that you can take note of the negative/cropping height for each print. Very convenient for me. The baseboard is large enough so that you can easily move an 11 x 14 easel into position as you seek the print crop you desire.

There are a number of negative sizes which the 23C can handle:
  • 8 mm - 16mm and 110
  • 35mm - 126
  • 2 1/4 x 2 1/4
  • 6 x 4.5
  • 6 x 7
  • 2 1/4 x 3 1/4
Each of these sizes requires a negative carrier specific for that size negative. They're well designed and easy to use. You simply put the negative into its carrier and then insert the carrier into the negative stage (6). Once in place you're free to rotate it any way you wish in order to get the crop/print you're looking for. 

Another great feature of this enlarger is that you don't have to change the condenser with each change of negative size. There is a condenser stage guide (13) built into the unit and all you need do is turn the condenser stage adjustment knob (12) to the correct marking on the guide that reflects your appropriate negative size. Simply raise or lower the condenser stage so that it rests at the correct point. This point is the one that provides complete light coverage of the negative area, with the proper flatness of field and the avoidance of "hot spots".

The 23C has a bracket which will hold contrast filters that swings under the lense so that you can make variations to your final print. I use Ilford MultiGrade IV RC paper and always start with a Beseler #3 filter. Multigrade IV is a warm tone paper so the #3 filter helps me achieve stronger blacks. For me, it's a good place to start on my way to a completed print.

Printing with the 23C has always been a pleasure. With my darkroom timer, I have 3 easy settings. The first is focus which I use to crop my neg and then get it into focus with a grain focuser. Next is the safelight setting which allows me to take my paper from the light safe and put it into my easel. Lastly, the print setting turns on the enlarger bulb and turns off the safelight. Then it's time to put that paper in the developer and watch the "magic", something that still fascinates me after all these years.

My 23C was purchased back in the late 1970's from a retailer in NYC. The package included the enlarger, the frame, the baseboard, 3 lenses, 3 lens boards, 3 negative carriers, and a box of contrast filters. The reason I remember so well is that the "package" cost me $333.00. Forty years have gone by and so have these prices.  

Obviously, I'm not qualified to comment on your darkroom budget but if you want quality equipment that will stand the test of time than the Beseler 23C deserves your consideration.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Mamiya 645 Medium Format Camera

Of all the film formats I've used over the years, I tend to enjoy the medium format 645 size the best. It offers me both portrait and landscape orientations as you would find in any 35mm SLR camera. The 645 negative is about 3 times larger than a 35mm negative which works well for me in my darkroom using a Beseler 23C enlarger. There are also many choices of film in the 120 format so I can pretty well photograph with whatever I like. Needless to say, all my film work is done in Black & White.

My current camera choice is a Mamiya 645 first introduced in 1975 and discontinued in 1987. Unlike later models, mine does not have removable film backs. That's ok since I'm not shooting weddings where the demand for film was constant. It's really not that much larger or heavier then some of the 35 mm work-horse cameras of today. With a handle grip attached to the body, it's as comfortable for me as is any other camera. Another benefit is that my camera repair pro says that there are still repair parts available, at least for now anyway.

Some of the features that I enjoy about my Mamiya 645 are:

  • Large negative quality
  • Compact design
  • Bright viewfinder
  • Flat film plane
  • Available lenses
  • Multiple exposure provision
  • Mirror lock up switch
  • Two shutter release buttons-conveniently placed
  • Metered prism
  • X sync connection for external Flash
When all is said and done, whatever camera you choose, film or digital, just go have fun and enjoy your type of photography!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Gossen Digisix Light Meter

In my search for a lighter and smaller light meter, I found the Gossen Digisix to be my answer. It's 2 1/5" top to bottom and 2" left to right. Easily fits into a shirt pocket. Equipped with a neck strap, it can be worn all day with no fatigue whatsoever. The Digisix uses a CR-2032 battery which is readily and the unit only weighs 40g including the battery.

The Gossen Digisix is an ambient light meter set up to take both incident and reflected light readings. The diffuser is conveniently mounted at the top of the unit making it easy to move as needed for either of the two types of light readings.

There are 6 functions built into the Digisix. They are:

  1. Film Speed
  2. Exposure Reading
  3. Timer
  4. Watch
  5. Alarm Clock
  6. Temperature
Admittedly, I only use the first two functions but the others are nice to have nonetheless. Once I set my ISO value, taking a reading is easy and quite expansive. The exposure dial that you rotate to match the meter's EV reading then shows you every possible F stop/shutter speed combination for that EV reading. I like that since I may make a judgement call as to under/over exposure. May also want to think about depth of field. A single glance at the Digisix makes all the variables obvious to me. No doubt other meters do the same but I like the compact size and accuracy of this particular meter. It's just light weight, handy, and quick.

The following are some of the Gossen Digisix specs:

  • Shutter Speeds - 1/2000 sec to 4 min
  • Apertures (F stops) - 1 to 32
  • Film Speeds - ISO 6 to 3200 - 1/3 incriments
Retail price for the Gossen Digisix is around $175.

Any comments, questions, or suggestions please post as you wish.  


Saturday, September 8, 2018


Why infrared film? Why Ilford SFX 200?

The use of infrared film has always fascinated me since I first "discovered" it back in the 1980's. It can be quite unpredictable to work with because it's effected by heat, humidity and whatever exposure you choose as with any other film. Nonetheless, when I get it right, I truly enjoy the results. Kind of like a box of Cracker Jacks; you never know exactly what you'll get. Then again, that's what keeps me coming back for more. 

At one time, there were several IR films to choose from among which were Kodak HIE (perhaps most popular) and Konica 750. To my knowledge, neither are still in production. HIE was only available in 35 mm format while 750 was produced both in 35 mm and medium format. "Overhang" was created years ago using my 35 mm Minolta SRT 201 camera loaded with HIE, fixed with a 25 red filter and exposed at "whatever", I honestly don't recall. A minimum of 3 frames would generally yield a printable negative. The results are stunning; deep blacks and brilliant whites. Borders on Twilight Zone if you will. The 2 unique characteristics of IR films are blue skies turned into rich blacks and green foliage that prints as bright white. I love the contrast and often eerie appearance of the final photograph. All film processing and printing is done in my own darkroom which allows me even more print enhancement via enlarger contrast filters if I so choose.

Today, I use Ilford's SFX 200 which is available in 35 mm and medium format. Another choice is Rollei Infrared 400 film. This I haven't tried as of yet. My personal choice is medium format because I find it easier to handle those size negatives rather than 35 mm. SFX is rated at 200 ISO by Ilford but I prefer exposures created at 12 ISO when using an R72 infrared filter because of the filter factor of 16. I'd rather have a darker, stronger negative than one that's underexposed. I always carry 2 meters with me when shooting. One is in the metered Prism of my Mamiya 645 (lowest ISO choice is 25) and the other is a mini-hand held Gossen Digisix meter (lowest ISO is 6). The 645 meter is a reflected type unit while the Gossen has the capability of both reflected and incident light readings. As you may know, reflected light readings are taken at the camera with the meter pointing towards the subject. Incident readings are taken at the subject with the meter reading the actual light falling on the subject. Incident readings tend to be more accurate than a reflected light reading but they are not necessarily practical for say, architecture or landscape photography.

I'll take a reading and quite often will get 2 different answers. Then I'll expose for the 645 though TTL meters do tend to underexpose with an R72 filter attached. Still it's a reference point, Next I'll read the Gossen, and finally a exposure based on my own judgment. Might not be the most prudent procedure but out of 3 negatives I'll get the one I want to print. Recently, I've taken a reading and exposed for 3 stops of overexposure. It's been said that overexposure further enhances the infrared effect. For example, let's say the meter reads F5.6 @ 1/30 in bright sunlight (Ilford's suggested exposure), then I'd leave the aperture at F5.6, trip the shutter and then set the shutter to 1/4. It takes a certain amount of experimentation to arrive at the results you want. When creating these types of images, my 645 is tripod mounted, using a cable release and the mirror lock-up function to avoid any excess vibration.

SFX 200 works quite well as a standard panchromatic film when not using any filters. This is easy and economical for me; one film, two results. SFX yields an acceptable B&W print with no filters at all or, with filters, allows for infrared images. Works for me!

Just recently I broke my right leg and don't have access to my darkroom currently. However, prior to my incident, I did process a roll of SFX-120 format and noticed that the overexposed negatives looked good, at least on the light table. Needless to say, the proof is in the final print; soon!  

Any comments, questions, or suggestions please post as you wish. Thanks!
Respectfully - Hank

Friday, August 31, 2018

A New Website Finally
GoDaddy Website Builder

After shopping around for a website builder/platform, I chose GoDaddy as the place within which I'd design and build my photography website. It proved to be a wise decision for me.

I'm not a computer expert so I wanted a builder that would work for my level of expertise. The templates and add-ons in GoDaddy were easy for me to navigate and edit to my liking for a Black & White photography website. The son of a friend of mine got me started and with that "push", I was into the digital world of graphics and text. One of the hardest decisions was to pick a template and then edit it the way it would best display my photography. This got easier as I moved along.

The design characteristics of the platform allows me room to add, delete, and update at will. I knew from the beginning that I wanted different galleries for my varied types of images. There are 9 different and distinct galleries within the website each with its own titles, sizes, and pricing. All constructed with relative ease. Uploading images to the site is just as easy. I can go back at any time I wish and change any gallery or any other portion of the site. Promos and special offers are handled the same way. I'm in complete control as opposed to a webmaster that does whatever you wish but at a price you might not wish, Or worse, no getting things done when you wish.

In addition to the "parts" of the website/builder, there a number of services available, such as:
  • email marketing
  • SEO service
  • Facebook link
  • Blog link (external or internal)
  • Sales reports
  • Unlimited product offerings ( I have over 100)
  • Easy payment options
  • Competitive shipping rates
  • Text notifications of sales booked
  • Abandoned cart recovery (notifies me of prospect/customer that didn't complete a sale)
  • Option for customers to write a review
To complete the list, GoDaddy has exceptional customer service available 24/7!

Hope this info may be helpful to any one searching to build their own website.

Any questions, comments, or suggestions please post as you wish. 


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Additionals Album

Wall Art Prints

Two Tulips

It never ceases to amaze me as to what you can find in your own backyard. These two tulips were actually in my front yard. I went outside just to find a new subject and there they were. The lighting was perfect (late afternoon) and the composition suited me completely. The flowing line of the near stem leans into the image and points its way to the background tulip. To me, it proved to be a very pleasing study better enhanced in Black & White, captured on film.


The P-40 war hawk was quite an impressive fighter plane in WWII. As I recall, it first saw duty in the battle against the Japs in the China conflicts early in the forties. The same unit was deployed elsewhere as needed. I was fortunate to create this image as the "Hawk" was at rest during the WWII reenactment program at the Reading, PA airport.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Landscape Album
Wall Art Prints 


The repetition of the trees on both sides of the "walkway" was the source for the title. Apparently, some time in the past, this was a pathway of some kind that was necessary to the farm that previously occupied the land. Today, it exists as a unique country landmark.


While on yet another tour of Warren County, NJ, I came upon the Musconetcong River as it winds through the county. Here, the reflection of the trees on the opposite bank of the river posed an interesting image for me. Needles to say, I'm not Salvador Dali but the ripples of the trees in the water brought him to mind.

 Rum Drums

These drums reside at the Mystic Seaport Museum but this day they became an image for me that speaks of sailing days gone-by. Were these drums part of a freight shipment aboard a Yankee Clipper ship? Were those ropes handled by clipper deck hand? We'll never know for sure. 

 Shadow Creek

I created "Shadow Creek" while visiting Belvidere, NJ. The image was taken just as I approched the river bridge over the Delaware. There was a small parking spot off to the side of the road from where I took the photograph. The sun was low in the sky at the time which highlighted the ripples, accented the dark shadows, and provided a means to see the rocks at the bottom of the creek (hard to see on a computer screen). I had not seen such a site in my travels through the county before.

Wyte Knytes

I had passed this way along the Delaware River any number of tmes while working at the steam locomotive shop. Never paid it much attention until one day when I noticed the intriguing afternoon lightitng. It was about 4:30 pm and I clearly noticed the setting sun illuminating the tress but not the background surrounding them. With film and camera in hand, I captured the "Wyte Knytes".

Palms Away

South Beach Miami - Summer 2017 BI (before Irma)

Motorcycle Album
Wall Art Prints

 Burnin' Chrome

The highly stylized casting of the flames in this air filter cover really stood out to me. It expresses the very soul of the bike itself. There's all kinds of fire within the HD engine that makes the bike perform as it does. And perform they do!

 Fender Flames

There is just no more room on this fender for another flame. The art work is extremely well done to say the least. The repetitive shapes are very articulate; the painter is to be complimented on a job that's over the top in my opinion. There's no escaping the attraction of the flames if that's your thing.

 Heavy Harley

The name on the air filter says it all. A heavier Harley for a rider who wants to enjoy the feel of the extra weight of a larger bike than say a Sportster. I ride a Heritage Softail Classic and I'm pleased to say, I too, enjoy the extra weight. My first Harley was a Sportster.


One of my popular selling images, "Peepers" captures a view that many might overlook. The symetry of the 5 lights appealed to me as a well thought out design. Not only are the lights in proper relation to one another but they certainly generate a good amount of light.

 Stripes Alive

Talk about a striking design, this one is an eye-catcher. Here the artist separated each stripe and then had the whole design come together to flow from the HD insignia to the rear of the gas tank. The entire presentation is quite attractive very appealing.

Long Look

I found the design of the pipes, looking left to right, drew me into this image and gave it a long look. All of us view images from left to right; that's just how it is. Once I was captivated by the exhaust pipes and studying the entire image, I did in fact take a long look before triggering the shutter.

Architecture Album
Wall Art Prints
New York Botanical Gardens Dome

Interior photograph created from the hall interior of the main building. The connection of the two spheres, the glass dome and the glass globe, appealed to me as a study in the unique architecture of the building itself.

Jeet Yet?

No, d'yoo? A common but funny question we've all heard at on time or another. This night shot was fun to compose as I waited for customers to be both inside and out. Glad I got the image when I did since the building has been torn down several years ago.

Lookin' Up - 1988

It's only by the grace of the Good Lord that this tragedy was not larger than it was. Still, it was a tremendous loss. However, looking back on better days, I captured the Twin Towers as I knew them then. Unfortunately, this is an image I can no longer duplicate.

White Light

Mystic Seaport was the location for this photograph. My wife and I took a New England vacation one late spring. This little light house was such a bright subject in the summer sun that I couldn't resist capturing it on film. It was almost blinding but I managed to get the exposure just right in spite of the contrast. 

Wings - WTC in NYC

One loss has brought us Americans another gain. This new structure in the area of the original Twin Towers give proof to our ability to move on from pain to promise. Never forgetting the past but rather moving forward to our future! 

Infrared Photograph Album
Wall Art Prints 

Infrared film, my favorite, has always fascinated me since your results are never quite alike. The film can be extremely sensitive to heat, cold, humidity and, of course, light. It must be handled in subdued light when loading/unloading your camera. However, once exposed, the fun begins. The intense whites and blacks are far different than any other B&W film.

 Over Hang

When my wife and I visited our younger daughter in New England, we spent one day just riding around and sightseeing. It was great fun just to see another environment and culture relative to our own. 

While walking through a quaint village, my eye caught this beautiful tree doing its best to grow away from the house that bordered it on one side. I couldn't resist so I captured the image using one of my most favorite black and white films; infrared.
The tree is stunning with the majesty of the white leaves. The white leaves are that much more impressive with the blue sky turned back, a trait of infrared film.

Baer Aspens

The name for this image is derived from its location. As often as I can, I volunteer to help operate our steam train excursions in town. The locomotive shop is settled in a local quarry know as Baer Aggregates. The owner is very gracious to allow us access to a "shop" that's out of the way from the general public. These aspens caught my attention one day during lunch break and I decided it was time to photograph them. 

Brite Barn

This infrared image is centered around an antique barn that's surrounded by beautiful and towering trees. I'm told the structure dates back several centuries yet it still looks to be somewhat stable.

My eye caught the stark contrast between the deep dark of the first floor of the barn and the bright green of the tree leaves. This is, of course, the appeal of infrared film which I enjoy using over and over again. Shot with a 10 year old roll of Konica 750 film, no longer available, I adjusted my exposure to get the whitest whites and the strongest blacks. This is one of the major characteristics of any infrared film. Some films are prone to a distinct range between the blacks and whites while others are more subdued. Sadly, there aren't as many film choices today compared to the different brands marketed in the past.

Brite Beach

This is another New England image created on another visit to my younger daughter Tiffany. She guided my wife and I around to neat little towns and villages not far from where she used to live in Massachusetts. When I saw this scene, it was obvious to me that I needed to record it on infrared film. 

It almost appears that the beach house is suspended in black space. Another unique feature of the film. The dead give-away to reality is, of course, the reflection of the house in the water it faces. 

For those of you "beach combers", this would be a distinct addition to your wall.

Down the Alley

The compopsition that caught my eye was the "imitation" alley created by the barn side on the left and the foliage on the right. Each helps frame the boats below. The stark contrast of the black & white infrared effects adds impact to the image.

Down River

While "prospecting" for another image, I came upon this river view in Stewartsville, NJ. The sunlight was just right and my medium format camera was loaded with my favorite film, infrared. The white reflection in the river drew me in to the total image. It was fortunate for me that I took the prospecting ride. Looking forward to my next trip through the country.

Barn So Noble

While traveling through Warren County, NJ one sunny day, I came upon this abandoned barn. The lighting was just right for me to use my favorite film, B&W infrared. Subsequent visits to the barm proved less satisfactory since it was torn down for the value of the siding. Glad I got there when I did!

Pretty Ladies

This infrared image was created while my wife and I visited an arboretum in Hunterdon County, NJ. It reminded me of some of the lyrics to an Eagles song I had heard years ago. Funny how time and visions can bring back to mind things we've long since forgotten.

The position of the trees and the multitude of leaves all lend themselves to a portrait that would not be the same captured in standard B&W film. Again, my favorite film is infrared B&W. It reveals more in a scene then is actually there and can take you places in your imagination that you would not otherwise see. 

Frost of July

An obvious play on words, the Frost of July only exists in this image. My active interest in steam railroading keeps me searching for subjects that please me. This abandoned bridge reveals the substantial railroad architecture of a 100 years ago. It made me think of the old structure now engulfed in new foliage. Again, the stark B&W contrast of the infrared film further accentuates the difference.  

 Layer & Layers

This images is an infrared impression of Merril Creek, Warren County, NJ. The bright lit sky with the "layers" of clouds made for a perfect image showing the unique qualities of infrared film and why I so enjoy using it whenever possible.

Summer Snow

I don't recall ever experiencing snow at any time in the summer. However, I couldn't resist creating this image in Lake Benson park which is in Garner, NC. The "snowy" path is bordered by the trees and the small creek. The abundance of green foliage contributed to the winter effect of the overall image. 

Horizon Cove

This name only exists in my imagination. I don't recall the location other than it was in New England. Another "gift" from visiting our younger daughter when she lived there years ago. Quite frankly, it could be anywhere since my image was neither historical nor geographical. It was purely the pleasure of using infrared B&W film once again to capture a scene that appealed to me.

I'm pleased to say that infrared B&W film is still available, manufactured by Ilford in England. They call it SFX 200 with an ISO rating of the same number. Not quite as dramatic as Kodak's HIE from days of old but still available last I checked. 

Sunlit Willow

While taking a "prospecting" drive through Warren County, searching for images, my travels found me in the Milford area. It always makes sense to turn down a road never before ridden on by me. So it was as I ventured on to a small pike that spans a small creek and/or small river. My concern was not aquatic but rather centered on the very impressive willow I found. Never ceases to amaze me how The Lord has a surprise already there; all I need to do is look.

I came back another day when the afternoon sun was more focused on the willow. This proved to be the answer for another ideal B&W infrared image. My most favorite film still fascinates me after all these years. You just don't know exactly what you'll get until you get to the darkroom. Since I enjoy being there also, it's a perfect combination for me. Live is lovely!

Steamy Silo

Sadly, both the silo and the barn have been torn down. Another drive through Warren County, NJ led me to this farm location. Perhaps the land will be used for some other purpose. It's been a while since I drove down this country road so I can't speak to the ultimate outcome. My ride was timely at best for which I'm grateful.

A White House

This image appealed to me because I was intrigued by the vertical repetition of the lamp post, the house tower, and the chimneys. The fun of it all was creating the image using Kodak's HIE infrared film, no longer availble. This type of film is rather unpredicable as to the final results that you get. However, there are variables in both the camera and the darkroom that allow you flexibility to create the final print.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Steam Locomotives
Wall Art Prints

 20th Century Limited

Here is a broad-side image of engine 5451 which is also shown as an Art Deco engine elsewhere within my blog. Quite a well designed streamlined casing for an otherwise common locomotive.

 Comet at Rest

The Blue Comet was the Central Railroad of New Jersey's answer to luxury passenger service in the 1930's. The engine and train were painted a shade of blue, darker then sky but lighter than navy. Very unusual since most locomotives were painted black for obvious reasons. Service from Jersey City to Atlantic City, NJ started in February 1929 and ended in 1941.  

 Hot Rods

Since I've been involved in steam locomotive operations going back to the 1960's, I thought I'd finally commit to film some of the parts that make a steam engine do what it does. "Hot Rods" is a play on words since you don't want these rods to experience excessive heat. They provide a means to run the locomotive either forward or reverse. A crude analogy would be they perform the same function as the transmission in your car. This image won an award from the American Society of Media Photographers.

 Man & Machine

My Dad created this typical railroad portrait, from the mid 1930's, of days gone by. Back then many railroads would assign a particular engineer to a particular engine. Somewhat like the captain of a ship, if you will. He and his assigned fireman were responsible for the safe and efficient operation of both the locomotive and the train it pulled over the right of way.

Their work day would begin several hours before departure time so as to make sure all was in good order for their day. They worked together to make sure the run was a safe and timely one. Good jobs were hard to find in the Great Depression.

As Dad told me, "Smiley" Jackson got his nickname from his fellow workers since seeing him smile was a rarity. He faced an unfortunate death from a bridge accident in the mid 1950's, so I'm told. 

Nevertheless, "Smiley" lives on in this unique portrait. 

Indigo and Iron

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad provided competition for the luxury streamline passenger business with its creation called The Royal Blue. This banner was given to the B & O's new, redesigned express train running between Jersey City and Washington, DC. New, that is, in the year 1937, the era of the Art-Deco train.

The Blue Comet

Central Railroad of New Jersey's plush luxury train is seen leaving Jersey City via the Communipaw lead track out on to the main line. In blue and cream splendor, it's bound for Atlantic City as the world's greatest seashore train. The engineer has the throttle open, the exhaust is high, and the fireman is leaning out of the cab donning his white hat. A site to behold in 1938 as my Dad created this popular image 

 "Nite Sites" Album

All original negatives created by my Dad on September 11, 1940

1939 New York Worlds Fair plus Art Deco Engines


 United States Pavilion and Fountain with Reflecting Pool

This image was captured in front of the United States Federal Building designed by architect Howard L. Chaney.


Trylon and Perisphere: Henry Dreyfuss, designer; Harrison& Fouilhoux, architects. George Washington statue by James Earle Fraser and John Quincy Ward.

This iconic image captures the centerpieces of the Fair with its 700-foot-tall Trylon and 200-foot-diameter hollow Perisphere, designed by pioneering designer Henry Dreyfuss and built by architects Harrison & Fouilhoux. (Harrison was later the lead architect for the United Nations Headquarters.) The Perisphere housed Democracity, a diorama of a Utopian “city of tomorrow”. In keeping with the Fair’s theme, this view shows the back of a nearly sixty-foot statue of George Washington as he faces the future.

White Water

The 1939 New York World's Fair  Fountain  

Two silhouetted visitors sit and stand along the left wall of this water-lit fountain. One of many at the Fair, my Dad was intrigued by this one and took his time to compose the image .

Big Yellow

1939 New York World's Fair  Kodak Pavilion  

This image was created from the side of the pavilion that my Dad felt would give him the representation of the entire building. Semicircular in form, with an irregular wedge-shaped wing that extended to the east and south, the Eastman Kodak Exhibit, on Lincoln square, emphasized the scientific advances within the photographic industry. These advances made possible today's photography and its tremendous influences on modern life. 

The main features of the Exhibit were the Great Hall of Color where the world's most spectacular show of color photography was projected on a panorama of enormous screens. Next the Hall of Light showcased the practice and results of amateur, professional and commercial photography. Lastly, the Tennessee Eastman Corporation's display consisted of their cellulose acetate products of Tenite plastic rayon fabric. The next great part of the overall exhibit was the Photo-Garden where you could take souvenir pictures in strikingly unusual settings. Competent instructors were in attendance to render advice on posing, lighting, and a wide range of picture-taking techniques.

Eerie Orb

September 11, 1940. My Dad created this image after closing time at the New York Worlds Fair. It depicts the 18 story high Perisphere, the massive sundial, Greek statues, and a reflecting pool.

Dad was a volunteer for the two year span of the Fair. He had access to a number of exhibits and he took his time to capture what appealed to him. I'm forever thankful that he gladly gave me his negative collection long before his death in August 2001.

Theme City

1939 World's Fair  Theme City

This image shows the reverse side of of the Trylon and Perisphere that are highlighted in the image shown in "Nite Sites" labeled Trademarks. The four illuminated 65 foot pylons represented the four elements in the Plaza of Light section of the Fair. 


1939 New York World's Fair  Nightly Fireworks  

Fireworks displays were a weather-permitting nightly feature of the Fair. Using his tripod, my Dad took a long-time exposure with his lens cap protecting the film between the several bursts it took to complete this image. The structures in the background, from left to right, are the pavilions of Florida, Firestone Tire, and Westinghouse which provide a unique background.

Night Rider

The Cyclone Roller Coaster, located in the Amusement Zone, was 70 feet high and 3,000 feet long. A thrill to ride any time of day. The Zone covered 280 acres filled with attractions of all kinds including the Parachute Jump which is now defunct at Coney Island.

Jello Mold

One of many show fountains that were placed within the fair grounds.

A close-up shot of the Jell-O shaped fountain seen, perhaps, in the Theme Center area. There were additional fountains throughout the Fair, this being one of them. This same fountain, if photographed during the day, would not yield the striking effect as a night image.

I chose “Jell-O Mold” for obvious reasons. Ever since my Dad shared the negative with me years ago, this title seemed most appropriate. Unlike a named exhibit, this unique “structure” reminded me of a unique dessert design which I've always enjoyed.

 Glass House

On the Avenue of Pioneers, a tower of plate glass and brick illuminated the night and surmounted the Glass Center. In the Great Rotunda, where decorated panels depicted the history of industry, the main exhibit also featured a furnance containing molten glass which was continually manned by a crew of skilled glass blowers. It was in this pavilion of the Fair that four corporation had their exhibits: Corning Glass Works; The Owens-Illionis Glass Company; The Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company; and Owens Corning Fiberglass. 

Moon Shot

This building was a great blue stainless hemisphere turned inside out. The framing trusses were on the outside and at night were outlined by glowing blue lights. 

On the first floor were animated dioramas on steel making described by experienced salesmen. A graph made of steel parts showed the increasing use of iron and steel over the last 100 years and an unusual mural made of blue and polished thin steel sheets illuminated the wide uses of steel. In the Hall of Research, actual laboratory demonstrations pointed out the important part research plays in the process of modern steel manufacturing.

On the second floor a series of dioramas showed the houses made of steel girding and sheeting to which new rooms could have been added at will; a hydrophonic farm (where everything from irrigation to reaping was controlled by radio) ; lastly a city of the future where all traffic would run smoothly when regulated by central grouping.


                         Replica of Independence Hall                          

My Dad chose this vantage point to create this image for obvious reasons. The absence of patrons and the stillness of the reflecting pool both lend to enhancing a striking night portrait. Again, a tripod mounted camera, a stopped down lens aperture, a long uninhibited exposure, and proper processing produced a high quality negative that has survived more than 70 years.

Tower of Light

The Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing pavilion was horseshoe-shaped with an imposing 120 foot "Tower of Light"that contained a waterfall and was flanked on either side by huge glass-enclosed structures - the Hall of Electrical Power and the Hall of Electric Living. Part of the pavilion's draw was a robot named Elektro and a time capsule scheduled for opening in the year 6939.

Nite Lab

Industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague was a member of the Board of Design and played a prominent role in designing many of the exhibits including those for E.I. DuPont. Ford Motor Company, Eastman Kodak, and the National Cash Register. For DuPont's "World of Chemistry", Teague's design included a spectacular 105 foot, test tube-shaped tower which was meant to simulate bubbling chemicals when lit at night. Among DuPont's many innovative displays, arguably the most important was the debut of nylon; knitting machines at the Fair produced nylon pantyhose with which female models played a tug-of-war to demonstrate the fiber's unique strength and amazing flexibility. 

White Lightning

GE's copper-paneled structure was designed by the preeminent architectural firm Voorhees, Walker, Smith and Foley known for Art Deco landmarks such as 1 Wall Street and 32 Avenue of the Americas. A huge stainless steel lightning bolt distinguished the pavilion which contained a 10-million-volt lightning display; a complete television studio; a model electric appliance store; and an x-ray exhibit where visitors could view an assortment of mummy skeletons.


Art Deco Engines

A number of engines built in the 1930's and 40's were streamlined in keeping with the Art Deco influence. Some were rather radical, others quite subtle. Steam locomotives and other engines were manufactured by "form follows function"; streamlining gave them more of a public appeal. A few are remembered here.


 NYC 5451

Number 5451 was among a group of Hudson-type locomotives that The New York Central Railroad used for express passenger service in the 1930's. This engine and several others were streamlined, according to a Henry Dreyfuss design, for the NYC's 20th Century Limited which provided high speed rail service from New York City to Chicago. Any one who was any one rode "The Century" at one time or another back in the day!


The Pennsylvania Railroad wanted to make a statement about steam locomotive design and construction in the 1930's so they created the one and only S-1 designed by Raymond Loewy. It was the largest engine ever built measuring more than 140 foot in length long with thousands of horse power and the ability to run at high speeds all day long. Unfortunately, it was scrapped not long after the Fair due to its size (could only operate on certain lines) and its heavy duty maintenance requirements. 

PRR 3768

With the 3768, the Pennsylvania Railroad created a competitor to the NYC's 20th Century Limited in terms of styling. Their Broadway Limited provided the same first class service from New York City to Chicago. However, the PRR investment in Art Deco streamling was no where near as expansive of what the NYC achieved but was well received nonetheless.