Week 8 took me out of Cleveland and up to Erie, PA to visit with my girlfriend’s family and friends. Erie is one of those places I have been going to as far back as I can remember. My family used to go there at least once a year when I was a kid to camp, swim and go to the water slides. Outside of the nostalgic, unchanged amusement park known as Waldameer, one of my favorite places in Erie has always been Presque Isle State Park. Lined with family friendly beaches, scenic trails, a couple of lighthouses and tons of pavilions and picnic areas, Presque Isle is a beautifully picturesque location year round – even when covered in ice and snow (some would say especially when covered in ice and snow).
These photos were all taken on an extremely cold and windy February morning in the vicinity of the two different Presque Isle lighthouses using my Mamiya 645 and a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400. While I’ve taken photos around both of these lighthouses before, this is the first time I’ve shot them in the winter. As you can see in the photo above, there was still a good deal of ice floating on Lake Erie at the time and in the silence of that morning (since I was the only one crazy enough to be standing around on the beach at the time) it ended up sounding like a thousand little wind chimes tinkling together as the water pushed up towards the shore.
Unfortunately, this roll of film has fewer images to share than most. I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently added a metered PD prism to my Mamiya set up and, upon this trip, found that there’s a bit of free play between the meter and the camera’s electronic sensors. Long story short, because the meter takes over the shutter speed settings of the camera, when those sensors don’t touch, the shutter fires and remains open as if in bulb exposure waiting for the prism to signal the end of the exposure thus closing the shutter. Needless to say, when that happens you get nothing but an overexposed (often completely blown) photo… which happened a number of times throughout this roll as I tilted the camera forward or backward at too extreme of an angle. Luckily, I think I’ve since remedied this problem with a women’s hair tie which now holds the prism snuggly agains the camera body no matter what angle I am shooting at.
I must say… withholding my favorite image from each roll week after week might very well be the most difficult part of this project for me. Of course I must, but, anyone who’s ever been to Presque Isle and has driven around enough will be familiar with my final image of the little fisherman’s houseboats that exist on a tiny inlet from the lake. Frozen and isolated that morning, they made for a very serene looking scene…