Friday, November 19, 2010

Fort Defiance Red Hook Brooklyn

View of park entrance
“situated in such a manner as to command the harbor entirely"
Fort Defiance Red Hook or Louis Valentino, Jr. Park and Pier.
I had a chance to get some pinhole photographs of the Louis Valentino, Jr. Park and Pier. For this shoot I experimented with using a polarizing filter & a red no#25 filter with my Holga WPC 120. The filters don’t quite fit so I had to tape them in place. Some shots have a curved frame that resulted from the filter sticking into the area of view. The exposure worked out OK. I just held it open for a 15 count or so. It was late in the day facing into the setting sun visible through heavy clouds.
With this roll I also left out the interior-masking frame in the camera. I wanted to see what the fall off was like around the edges. However I found that I need to off set the winding of the film to compensate of the longer frame. Currently with the interior-masking frame in place, I advance the film to the odd frame numbers for each shot. Skipping over the even ones. Creating a negative that is two frames wide. With the masking out I would need to crank the film a little past the odd number so the image bleeds side ways farther. Other wise the pictures over lap side to side.
I had a hard time rolling this roll on the reel for developing. I tried over and over. I was so worried that the film was touching & would not properly develope. As it ended up some of the frames are creased and the last fame is scratched and torn.

During the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776, Fort Defiance was located about two blocks to the east from the current park, around the modern intersection of Coffey & Conover Streets. As with much of the low areas of Red Hook & the Gowanus the marsh land has been filled in. Changing the shape of the cost line.
From a contemporary account in the Gallagher book "The Battle of Brooklyn 1776" a Major Shaw noted-
“situated in such a manner as to command the harbor entirely. We have a fort with four 18-pounders, to fire en barbette. That is over the top of the works, which is vastly better than firing through embrasures, as we can now bring all our guns to bear on the same object at once. The fort is named Defiance.”
During the morning action on the 27th of August 1776. The redoubt opened fire on the HMS Roebuck. The Roebuck was trying to trying to force it’s way past the fort and returned fire. From the “Heroes of the American Revolution” by Henry Whittemore Page 20 states that "it’s unknown if any damage was inflicted on the Roebuck but she participated in the invasion bombardment of Manhattan at Kips Bay days later". The fort however was damaged in battle. Colonels Mifflin and Grayson visited the fort the next day found it “greatly damaged.

With red & polarising filter
without filter
Today the pier looks out over the upper harbor towards the Statue of Liberty. The small object on the horizon in the center of the frame.

"The modern park was named in honor of firefighter and Parks lifeguard Louis J. Valentino, Jr. (1958 – 1996). Over the years, Valentino lived and studied in a number of Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Sacred Heart St. Stephens in Red Hook, Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge, and St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. He then fulfilled his lifelong aspiration to become a firefighter, joining the New York City Fire Department in 1984. Valentino first served with Engine Company 281, where he battled fires for two years. He then moved on to Ladder Company 147, where he served until 1993, when he was accepted to the elite Rescue Company 2 in Crown Heights—joining the ranks of the city’s most experienced and versatile firefighters. Valentino was twice cited for his bravery, in 1987 and 1990.

On February 5, 1996, Valentino lost his life while searching for wounded firefighters in a three-alarm blaze in an illegal Flatlands garage. Louis Valentino, Jr. Park and Pier preserves the memory of a man who demonstrated selfless devotion to fighting fires and saving lives."

Above from the New York Parks web site-

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pin Hole photographs of Fredricksburg battlefield

View looking down the wall at Mary's Hights
 Here are some pin hole photographs that I took over the past summer.
View of the old wall

The Innis House

View looking up Mercer St. toward the wall at Mary's Hight's. This is the approximate location of a small ditch that attacking Union troops sheltered in. The slight dip in the roadway is more apparent when you look down from the former Confedrate lines. This perspective gives you some idea of the distances involved.