The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Peek. A bit of an interesting theme, as it allows us to take it into many directions.
After yesterday’s historic locale in our peek in to the Forum, I thought that today it might be a great moment for something more mundane. Fairgrounds are dotted across the United States, where they are both used for their original purpose of shows, as well as a gathering place for a variety of events. When I took today’s photo, I was photographing a dog agility event at the Fairground in Chester, Connecticut.
This is what I happened upon early in the morning…
Between the lines and the light, this scene needed to be photographed. I did get an unusual look from a person who came to hang a placard, as I had a tripod set up for this shot, but that didn’t bother me much 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this sanitary expedition and have a wonderful day!
As a transplant from the Netherlands, I have a slightly different take on what those folks who grew up in the United States take as every day components of their environment. This does provide me the opportunity to capture some images that translate this alternate perspective. These are part of my series that I have loosely termed: Americana.
Today’s image is probably the one that started it all for this series. I happened upon this scene during a weekend that had me photographing a dog agility competition in Chester, Connecticut. The location is a small fairground, one of many around New England. Upon entering this bathroom, I was struck by both the light and the lines that were presented to me.
I did get an odd look from one of the fairground workers, who came to post some notices in the bathroom. It wasn’t every day that they saw a photographer with a camera on a tripod in their bathrooms…
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D MkIII using an EF 17-40mm f4/L lens. This was shot as a series of 5 exposures with exposure values at -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 EV around the metered exposure. The shots were combined and process using HDRSoft’s Photomatix Pro.
Americana refers to artifacts, or a collection of artifacts, related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States. Many kinds of material fall within the definition of Americana: paintings, prints and drawings; license plates or entire vehicles, household objects, tools and weapons; flags, plaques and statues, and so on. Patriotism and nostalgia play defining roles in the subject. The things involved need not be old, but need to have the appropriate associations.
The Atlantic described the term as “slang for the comforting, middle-class ephemera at your average antique store—things like needle-pointed pillows, Civil War daguerreotypes, and engraved silverware sets.” The term may be used to describe the theme of a museum or collection, or of goods for sale
I think that few would argue that the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air is a classic piece of Americana in its design and reflection on what some might call the golden age of automobiles.
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
For 1955, Chevrolet’s full-size model received all new styling and power. The 1955 Bel Air was 3,456 lb (1,568 kg) and 15 ft (4.6 m) long. It was called the “Hot One” in GM’s advertising campaign. Chevrolet’s styling was crisp, clean and incorporated a Ferrari-inspired grille. Bel Airs came with features found on cars in the lower models ranges plus interior carpet, chrome headliner bands on hardtops, chrome spears on front fenders, stainless steel window moldings, and full wheel covers.
Models were further distinguished by the Bel Air name script in gold lettering later in the year. For 1955 Chevrolets gained a V8 engine option and the option of the 2 speed Powerglide automatic, or a standard three speed Synchro-Mesh manual transmission with optional overdrive.
The new 265 cu in (4,340 cc) V8 featured a modern, overhead valve high compression, short stroke design that was so good that it remained in production in various displacements for many decades. The base V8 had a two-barrel carburetor and was rated at 162 hp (121 kW), and the “Power Pack” option featured a four-barrel carburetor and other upgrades yielding 180 bhp (130 kW). Later in the year, a “Super Power Pack” option added high-compression and a further 15 bhp (11 kW). “Idiot” lights replaced gauges for the generator and oil pressure.
This was not the first Chevrolet to be installed with a V8 engine. The first Chevrolet with a V8 engine was introduced in 1917 called the Series D which was built for two years, and was manufactured before Chevrolet joined General Motors.
Motor Trend magazine gave the Bel Air top marks for handling. Popular Mechanics reported acceleration for a V8 Bel Air with Powerglide as being 0-60 mph in 12.9 seconds, plus a comfortable ride, and good visibility. On the other hand, the horn ring blocked some of the speedometer, regular gasoline made the engine knock, and the first V8 engines off the line burned too much oil. Front legroom was 43.1″. Brakes were 11″ drums.
A new option for V8-equipped 1955 models was air conditioning, with outlets on each side of the dashboard; a heavy-duty generator was included on cars equipped with this option; in 1955 and 1956, air conditioning could be installed on cars ordered with the standard three-speed manual transmission, overdrive or Powerglide, but from 1957 onward, an automatic transmission (or minus that, 4-speed manual transmission) was a pre-requisite option.
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens. Exposure settings were at 1/160 second, f/10 and 400 ISO.