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Holyoke Unplugged

September 20, 2010

Today the canals went dry.

Holyoke drained their canals today. The water crew said they will be drained for the week. Personally, I love seeing the canals empty for a few days every spring and fall. It gives me a chance to see what has been underwater for the season. Mostly there are discarded shopping carts, bicycles and baby carriages.

Bike on canal bottom.

I photographed in the bright sun this afternoon and was interested in how the open shade and the open sun altered the color of the pictures. Both photos above are color pictures.

Last Friday I photographed a moderately full canal.

80 Race Street from the canal.

I am in a group photography show at 80 Race Street that opens on Friday evening, October 8th. It should be a good show with work by my pinhole hero Sarah Holbrook, and superb landscape photographers Michael Zide and Bob Horowitz. The Prince of Pixels Dan Chiamis will also be showing along with Steve Schmidt and a half dozen other artists that I have not yet met. I believe there will be lots of other exhibitions opening that evening. It should be a nice night for a canal walk. The canals will be filled by then.

Holyoke Street School, now defunct.

I’ve been walking around photographing the striking architecture . All my classes are in the process of being cleared for permission to photograph in places around town, from studios to construction sites. I’ve been talking to Holyoke’s new wave of artists and landowners. Our aim is to get out of the “ruin porn” rut that has plagued many photography projects in our disintegrating cities. There’s life in them there buildings. And there are artists and artisans making beautiful things. I talked to Quantum Properties about photographing their 16 acres of factories and mills as autumn progresses. There’s beauty and grace in Holyoke. Bruce at Quantum even told me that there is a yoga class that meets in one of their factory fields.

Window of Holyoke Street School

On the down side, our transportation coordinator is on vacation for the next couple of weeks. I can’t schedule any new fieldtrips until after she returns. That means that students should get down to the canals on their own. We’ll begin class visits in early October.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 25, 2010 9:21 pm

    I went down there with rob today, but never got the chance to shoot the canal itself.. hoping to do that tomorrow morning!

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