Several years ago my wife and I started visiting the New Hampshire White Mountains area with accomplished Large Format photographer Tim Jones and his wife Darlene. I have long considered them family and just recently learned Darlene and I are distant cousins so it seems I may have known something all along. Tim and I broke into professional photography in 1981 through the Connecticut area chapter and have shared many Large Format trips together as well as family functions over the 35 years we’ve known each other.
For the last 3 or 4 years we have spent the first weekend in December in the White Mountain area together. In fact, this December 1st we will again leave for a long weekend in the White Mountains where less than 13 miles and looking directly at the summit of Mt. Washington Tim and Darlene now own a wonderful vacation home whose property abuts a 2 acre parcel owned by the maker of this month’s Story Behind Every Photograph. Each year we visit the Bethlehem Post Office where we each bring our Holiday Cards to have them post marked with the Bethlehem mark, and then continue on to enjoy the Holiday festivities the town organizes.
In 2014 the husbands and wives arrived at the historic Mount Washington Hotel in a gently falling snow reminiscent of a favorite Holiday movie classic. It was the start to a magical weekend, the thick falling snow kept us hotel bound enjoying the incredible decorations seen in this photograph in a hotel lobby unlike anything I’d ever seen. There was a Bourbon or two shared in front of the huge fireplace followed by a late dinner in the 4 star dining room at the Mt. Washington hotel, from which an exchange with our young waiter will only grow in legend amongst mutual friends ! The room accommodations were no less impressive with huge ceilings, antique furniture, open faced fireplace and modern cast iron radiators !
Sunday morning was every bit as memorable, Tim and I woke early in the hopes of making an image in the hotel lobby before any creatures would begin stirring. We came down around 6 am and asked the desk attendants if we could take a photograph of the lobby and it’s Christmas decorations, they said “of course, whatever you like”. Whether they we expecting my 5×7 Deardorff or Tim’s 8×10 Deardorff to be the instruments of capture they never said and we went about our business for the next hour or so. The above image was made on 5×7 Ilford film using a 110mm Super Schneider wide angle lens, exposure was f 32 for 5 minutes. Preserving the tonalities of the interior balanced with outside light seen in the window to the extreme right is no easy task and requires special compensating film development in a Pyro chemistry to preserve the delicate values throughout the print. Final Silver image is printed using a Split Contrast technique of Silver Gelatin print making.
As snowy and stormy as Saturday was, Sunday was cold with mostly clear weather, rich blue skies and the wonderful snow covered Mount Washington appearing off the veranda on the rear side of the hotel. Decorations around the exterior of the hotel were every bit the season as the interior. I have included a few cell phone snaps at the end of this month’s Story Behind Every Photograph. I heartily encourage everyone to see this hotel and it’s lobby during the Christmas season, and a special thanks to each and everyone for embracing my photography journey this past year.
Wishing each of you a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season and Good Light to all !! Ho Ho Ho