Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in BlogBog, Design in daily life, Traveloddities
The Rod Serling Barber Shop, Two Rivers WI

The Rod Serling Barber Shop, Two Rivers WI

It was just a week ago I attended Wayzgoose 2014 at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. What a fair feast for type geeks and font hogs alike! The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum (I know of) dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. This worthy collection holds over 1.5 million pieces of antique wood type. Each year wood type enthusiasts of all weights and strokes descend upon the quiet lakeside town of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, to discuss, review, exchange, interpret, and print wood type. A lusty type of time was had by all! You can read more about the museum and Wayzgoose here.

As it happens, I am not type geek enough to appreciate the charms of antique wood type. I attended Wayzgoose to learn more about the hand printing process, as I’ve always dreamed of owning my own press. But I regret I’m only one-quarter font hog, and three-quarters cheese whore. Therefore, my enthusiasm for local cheddar trumped hand-wrought alphabets by a long Wisconsin mile. As the festivities were winding down the second evening, I searched the conference buffet for a piquant local cheddar preferably two years or more in age. Finding none, and unable to rest, I extended my search by taking to the avenues of Two Rivers. Then ran back to the hotel to grab my camera.

Service Station

Service Station, Two Rivers WI

While I am often blinded by my desire for cheese, I can still manage to use a camera. As I hunted the byways for the ideal wheel of cheddar, a stark beauty became apparent. Although not a cheese product, the town of Two Rivers began to draw me in with its straight, bare, mid-western streets and century-old brick buildings. As darkness fell, the character of the place changed. I began to notice contrast and lines I hadn’t seen in the daylight. Which brings me to the point of this post: practice honing your black and white skills with night photography.

As I mentioned in a previous post, our eyes see contrast remarkably well, as do our brains. So give those cones a rest, and give those rods a workout (I am speaking on the photoreceptor celluarl level, read more about rods and cones here) and see how much contrast you can find in your neighborhood at night. Since night photography takes color out of the equation, contrast becomes more important when composing an image. I love a subject that is disjointed, or in some way anachronistic. One that feels as if Rod Serling has just caught the last express bus to the Twilight Zone.

Hotel Pool at Night

If you like Pina Coladas: Hotel Pool, Two Rivers, WI

As a small woman with a large camera, I am always wise about walking around strange places after dark. I spend a lot of time just looking, keeping my camera at my side, moving briskly. Along with my fading NY accent, this is a vestige of my Yonkers upbringing. Perhaps this why most of my images are of buildings. I’ve posted a few of my favorite images from my trip: A lonely barber shop, a friendless hotel pool, and a service station lost in time.

Rudy's Lanes

Rudy’s Lanes, Two Rivers WI

One of the benefits of being new to a place is you never again see it with the same freshness. It’s hard to say exactly when a place becomes familiar. I think maybe it’s when the Miller High Life “Welcome Hunters” banner above the liquor store becomes a call to action. Now I know why they call it the Badger State. I’m going to Vermont. Happy Snapping!