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History In Horseheads – Little League Under The Lights! 05-13-17

The scene from tonight’s very first “Night Game” at the Just Installed, Newly Illuminated Horseheads Little League Complex.
First Wrigley Field…..Now Horseheads….What’s Next???|How Cool!
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Rest Peacefully My Friend

One thing that I can say for sure, after Shooting Full Time for over Eighteen Years now, is that I get to meet a heck of a lot of people, see a lot of things that I wouldn’t normally have seen, and get to be a part of many, many events. Some Happy, Some Sad, Some Trivial, and Some that are just Kinda Special. This is one of those Special Ones…
Enter Mr. Bill Shaw…
I never knew Bill, till that big Knitting Mills Fire in Elmira Heights in January 2016. That night I laughed so hard after hearing what this Lifetime Heights Fireman said that night….He was in the Elmira Heights FD for over Seventy Years….some of those years even as Chief. But it seems that Bill always had something on his mind regarding that massive, old brick structure……and that night it was reported that 90 year old Bill uttered over & over the profound statement “I’ve been waiting Seventy Years for this S.O.B. to Burn!”…..and since no one was injured during the blaze, and it was an unusually warm & comfortable night for January 30, I just thought his quip was totally hilarious! This Old Boy is Pretty Cool I thought to myself! Sounds EXACTLY like something I would say!!!
Well, this January 2017 I had the Pleasure to Personally Meet The Legend…when he graced my 211 Studios while coming in for his Formal E.H.F.D. Portrait. His F.D. Buddy Brad Nicholson came along with him, and we all joked and clowned around while capturing a little bit of Bill for Eternity.
Little did we know, but Bill wasn’t going to be with us much longer, and sadly, he passed away this Monday, May 8th.
I only spent 20 minutes with him that Winter Morning, but I’m very glad I had the chance to share those moments with him.
Today I chatted with Heights Fire Chief Mike Cadek here at the Studio, and he quipped that I probably had a Wedding to shoot on Saturday, but I told him actually No, I didn’t have anything going on Saturday….till then that is…. because Mike asked me if I could be there for Bill’s Final Farewell & do the Photographic Coverage as Bill is Laid To Rest. It will once again be my honor to document this very special farewell to a Local Firefighting Legend.
I’m getting pretty practiced & familiar at shooting these things……as Bill will be Number 4 for me…. Dickie Sullivan – HFD, Ryan Barker – HFD & WHVFD, Tommy Lynch – HFD.
So Bill…..one more time……SMILE!
R.I.P. My Friend….

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211 Studio Rivets & Rust

For years I’ve always loved the great look of ancient, old  Rusted Iron Railroad Bridges. That Rust combined with Millions of Hand Set Rivets, Pounded into place well over 100 years ago. I’ve used my favorite bridge for numerous photo shoots (first 2 pics), and recently I’ve noticed on the newly renovated MSNBC Studios Set, where they now have exposed some of the very same structural Beams & Girders, and you now frequently  see them in the background of the  newsroom. That gave me an idea…. I always like to try to push & expand my artistic abilities, so here’s the latest in my ongoing Studio Personalization.
This is my Client Lounge, where I meet with Clients & chat about their Weddings or Portrait Shoots. What was once just a plain wallboard separation between these two sections of the room, they are now part of my very own rusty old tribute to these great old structures.
I then thought….whats an old beat up bridge in the middle of nowhere, without some Graffiti? So I thought for a bit and added a few select, important, recognizable  symbols & lettering that were common & meaningful during my lifetime, and THAT really brought this thing to life!  Pretty cool, isn’t it??? GET OFF THE TRACKS! HERE COMES THE TRAIN!”

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Our Attention is….Riveted

I always love the look of this old Railroad Bridge, and what’s cool too is knowing that my Grand Dad worked for the very same D. L. & W. Railroad that built & used this bridge.
Soft & Pretty + Old, Iron & Rusty = Always a Winner!
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Welcome to Horseheads – “Zim” Style Reborn!

A Big Shout-Out to Cassie Cavanaugh for the GREAT job that she did in adding/painting native Horseheads Artist Eugene “Zim” Zimmerman’s Iconic Three Horses Welcome Sign onto the North/East Wall of my 211 Studio Building on North Main Street. Cassie’s Art Class at HHS recently completed re-creating this sign that now hangs on the Horseheads Historical Society Museum RR Station/Building, and after I saw it there, I knew that I wanted one on my Studio! It just works so perfectly, as you see this neat welcome sign as you approach the Historic Hanover Square Business District from the North. Great Job Cassie! And THANK YOU So Much for your Time & Talent Cassie!

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Sixteen Candles

So, early (for me at least) Thursday morning, once again we gathered this seasons installment of our hometown Elmira Jackals Professional Ice Hockey Club out onto the Center Ice Circle of the First Arena Pond, and for the Sixteenth Time in this organizations existence, I staged & shot the Official Team Portrait for 2015-2016. I told the Boys after we finished up with the last image, that I hope to be back here doing the same thing in about two months time, only this time with the addition of a shiny Kelly Cup in the center of us all. So let’s see what unfolds this Spring!

Our Town-Our Team-Our Goal
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“Summer of ’41”

On this February evening, with temperatures already plunging well below zero, let’s imagine a hot & humid August 2, 1941 afternoon a long, long time ago. It’s that lazy & carefree time, just months before the U.S. entered W.W.II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. We’re just across the busy main line of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad at Eldridge Park in Elmira, NY, on a Sunny Saturday afternoon enjoying our Annual Outing as an employee of the Elmira Knitting Mills, who’s former building was just burned to the ground in a massive, multiple alarm warehouse fire on January 31, 2016.
Here is my Photographic Composite & Photoshop rendering of the Official Outing Photograph, shot 75 years ago, by Personius Studio of Elmira, and the Photoshop re-rendering by me. The print is so wide that in order to capture all of the original detail I had to shoot it in 7 different sections, which I then had to seamlessly paste & blend together.

Take a close look at all of these ghostly faces. The Big Boss in his woolen three piece suit complete with pocket watch & chain, with all of his underling “Yes-Men” sitting close-by. Then, the ladies, with their bobby socks & saddle shoes, and those ’40’s dresses & hair styles (just like my mom wore!) Then there are the young men captured here. How many of these young boys would soon be fighting in Europe or the South Pacific?  If any of these people are still alive, even the young children seen in this picture, they would be at least 80-85 years old today. And then look deeper into the park background…..after spending nearly every single Sunday afternoon at the park myself as a young boy growing up in the ’60’s I still vaguely remember those outing buildings, and that yellow, cinder block restroom building up on a hill, poised above the rest of the parks amusements.  Then there are all of those long gone, mighty trees that covered this area of the park with a dark, cool blanket of shade on these brilliant afternoons. I can almost smell the steamed clams, hot dogs, and beers in the air!
Let me know if you recognize or know any of the faces seen here….I’d love to know! I already had a childhood friend identify his Mom as one of the ladies sewing in one of my earlier images of activity at the mill.
*Make certain that you click on the picture a couple of times to pop it open to full size, and then use the slider at the bottom of the page to view the entire length of this massive print! It’s over 72 INCHES LONG!!!

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“Run of the Mill”

Last week I shot the images of the Elmira Knitting Mill as unforgiving fire roared through it’s long dormant shell.
Tonight, I shot these images of the very same location for the Heights Historical Society. Lets go back to the early 1940’s, while World War II was roaring, The Knitting Mill was humming with activity. How cool would it be, to go back in time and be able to walk though this place during it’s prime.
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Employment Application

Employment Application

Sewing Department - Pants & Polo Shirts

Sewing Department – Pants & Polo Shirts

Cloth Finishing Department

Cloth Finishing Department

Sewing Department - Infants Wear

Sewing Department – Infants Wear

Spring Needle Knitting Department

Spring Needle Knitting Department

Latch Needle Knitting Department

Latch Needle Knitting Department

Order Filling Department

Order Filling Department

The Shipping Department

The Shipping Department

11/14/15 Honor Vets Flight – Washington D.C.

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The Wall…

I’ve shot it many times….this Cold, Black Stone Sentinel of Solemn Honor. For men my age, it always takes our breath away. Because if not for the Grace of God and the lucky timing of the stroke of Nixon’s 1973 Vietnam War ending pen, my name could very easily now, have been etched on the inside of this wall, looking out at a life that could have been. So I wanted to do something different this time. So rather than trying to battle the crowds, the distractions, the sheer overwhelming number of endless names on each panel, as I have done in the past,  I decided to simplify this shoot to it’s most basic form.
Alpha & Omega. The Beginning & The End.
I simply focused on the very first name on the Wall, and the very last name on the Wall. Each name placed there pretty much in the very order in which each soldier died during this God Awful Atrocity of War.

John H. Anderson Jr.
Jessie C. Alba

You made the Ultimate Sacrifice for Our Country – Thank You, & May You Rest In Peace.
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