Greetings on this beautiful Labor Day weekend! The sun is shining beautifully here this morning, and a slight breeze moves across the surface of Shovel Shop Pond, creating pinpoint "diamonds of light" as the water gently ripples from the movement of the air just above it.
Water can give us some of our most extraordinary photos, and capturing the motion of water is something that has attracted photographers since the invention of photography. Our two photos today from the Belcher album demonstrate experiments with water in motion, and hint at the talent of the man behind the lens. Keep in mind the late 19th century equipment and photographic plates that were in use at the time, and you will appreciate our Mr. Belcher's ability to capture both the beauty and the power of water.
The first image is rather pastoral in nature. A peaceful and still body of water is interrupted by two sets of ripples, undoubtedly radiating out from the impact of two small stones that were tossed from the photographer's hand. At just the right moment, those ripples are captured in time for us to view almost 125 years later. I think that this location may be a small pool of water behind the Heath Farm, probably Gallows Brook which is a tributary of Black Brook.
The second image is just the opposite of the first. Here, the photographer uses his skill to capture a wave crashing into a ledge. He times the exposure to the very moment that the water, flowing quickly and powerfully, violently rises as it meets the immovable rock, leaving us with an indelible image. I sure wish I knew how this photo was timed, photographed, and how long it took (or how many tries!) to get this particular shot in the days before high speed film and high speed cameras were commonplace. I believe this image may have been taken in the Brant Rock area of Massachusetts.
I have a few more photos to share in the next two weeks from this album before moving onto other things. Please stay healthy, and until next week,
Frank T. Meninno
Curator, Easton Historical Society and Museum 508-238-7774