Monday, May 10, 2010


Spring is officially here. The leaves are out, it's getting warmer and I'm noticing more limos everywhere... Proms are here. 

I thought I would post this photograph in honor of all the high school students out there who are attending proms in the up coming weeks. 

This photo was taken of Chuck in 1961 getting ready for what only could have been Prom. Judging by the box in his hand, he must have been brining a corsage to a date. Unfortunately there was no photo of them together.  

While Chuck is awkwardly frozen in time (thinking Mom, please put the camera away, and Dad, where are the car keys) - time and technology has changed the way teenage guys everywhere are asking girls to prom. 
Check out this story on abc news

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

... back to blogging

During the past year, while my blog has sat inactive I have been finishing graduate school, trying to squeeze in some adventure and keeping up with my collecting of places, photographs, stories and dirt! As a result I have a stockpile of these that I am interested in investigating more in depth. With that in mind I am going to attempt to blog at least twice a month (ideally once a week). The hope being that this will keep me from watching more tv then my brain can handle AND read more… out of school I’m finding while there are tons of books I want to read and photographs I want to make, but I tend to just look at the pile of books on my coffee table and my cameras are beginning to gather dust. It’s time to brush of the dust and get things going again. 

 So here goes…

 In Memoriam of Lois the Oldsmobile

 The last six years have been filled with the sounds of my car tires on the pavement and Casey Kasem spilling out of the speakers as my eyes rapidly follow the passing landscape. The Oldsmobile 88LS was a gift from my Grandfather and dubbed Lois in the summer of 2004. To me Lois had a bit of a duel life the one in the summer with people piled in as we set off on weekend adventures away from camp, and they were always Grand Adventures. To beaches, parks, tattoo parlors, malls and movie theaters, dance music turned way up to sing along with. She once even journeyed out to Oklahoma and Kansas and back to visit dear friends.

 However during the fall, winter and spring she was quiet company all though my undergraduate years – a companion in hunting photographs. Comfortable and warm, filled with empty hot cocoa cups, sketchbooks with address jotted down and contact prints. Her back seat the perfect cradle for my 4 x 5 on the tri pod, her low to the road vantage point great for scanning out all the windows as I wobbled along back roads, often driving in circles until I found just the right spot. She made countless trips around Connecticut and had a long stay in Maine in the winter of 2004 visiting relatives, old family homes, lobsterman and frozen bays. 

 I knew her every sound, when there was this low sort of repetitive hum, I had to take my foot of the gas for second before putting it back on. When Cds started to skip, I had to take them out and find a way to cool them down (which was often holding them out the window). She had personality and character that only comes from knowing a car for a long time.

 Lois met her tragic demise a couple of months ago on a dark snowy road early in the morning, when she collided with a large deer. Her interior brought comfort on days that were long and joyless, and was a place of celebration on ones that worth the fuss. There will be more photographs, many more adventures, and eventually a new car, but no car could fill the void Lois has left on the back roads, and driveways of friends. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Grandma's Window

This Polaroid is from about a year ago. The light just reminded me of the lovely weather we've been having so I thought it was appropriate to post it today. 
Grandma's Window © Amanda Kilton 2008 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Chuck and Bill at Palisade Park

Here is the long awaited return of my other family! This slide is from the their 1955 visit to Palisade Park New Jersey. This photo of brothers Chuck (age 11) and Bill I believe was taken by their father EJR, a family tree and what I have been able to figure out about their past can be seen in these  older posts. 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"... ceases to grow and, with us, heads toward oblivion"

I Recently was reading a wonderful article about the demise of Polaroid to digital photography in The New York Times that got to the root of what many of us love about Polaroid so much. You can read it in it's entirety here. I especially enjoy this quote, "... that was part of the beauty of the Polaroid. Mystery clung to each impending image as it took shape, the camera conjuring up pictures of what was right before one's eyes, right before one's eye. The miracle of photography, which Polaroids instantly exposed, never lost its primitive magic. And what resulted, as so many sentimentalists today lament, was a memory coming into focus on a small rectangle of film." 

This past fall I was on a mini adventure to Cape Cod when we pulled off the road to make a photograph of two wonderful plastic chairs in a stand of trees. After I snapped a few and was getting ready to head back to the car I spotted this jaw bone stuck in one of trees. It clearly had been placed there by someone, very carefully wedged in. I really enjoy the way that people interact with their landscape creating markers of their home. The human interruption of nature, when their touch is connected and calculated, that is what makes it so wonderful. 

Jaw Tree © Amanda Kilton 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Melainotype, Ferrotype or Tintype?

Actually all three names describe the same process. I picked up this tintype at the flea market last summer. The tintype is a wet plate photographic process, in which a piece black enameled or varnished tin (in some cases iron) is coated in a liquid collodion to make an exposure. The image is technically a negative but because of the dark background it appears to be a positive. This technique for image making was first described in France in 1853 and patented in the United States in 1856, however with the development of the amateure camera it began fading in popularity by the end of the 19th century.
Further information on the tintype can be found on this web page.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Endless Landscape

Just after Thanksgiving when I returned to Boston I was passing time in Coolidge Corner at Eureka . It's a tiny little shop fantastically packed full of all kinds of puzzles and board games. I had been in there before under similar circumstances of just waiting for another store to open. So I went in thinking I was just going to tinker around when I spotted this tiny box on a table in the center of the store. 

Obviously my attention was grabbed by the the title! What a treasure I can now create an endless number of landscapes in my house, at my desk or on my coffee table seeing all kinds of wonderful history in the land and people with out ever going out side! I purchased them with out much thought. 

When I got it back to my apartment and started to play around with the tiny cards, shuffling them about, I wanted to know more about them. So I turned to the trusty google and Wikipedia. As it turns out these little cards have quite the history. The Endless Landscape is also known as a polyorama or myriorama which means multi view, and was a popular 18th and 19th century storytelling game. They are made of a series of paintings that are pieces of a panorama and can be rearranged over and over again because the edge of each card has a horizon and a landscape element that will match up with any other card in the set. 
According to Wikipedia the creation of the endless landscape games was "... all part of a wider interest in viewing landscape as panorama, and in new ways presenting 'spectacular' scenes."
Wikipedia also describes the early card sets as being made up of "people, buildings and other compatible backgrounds" that could be laid out in many different arrangements "allowing a child to create a variety of imaginary landscapes." Some early ones that the cite specifically depicted English and Italian landscapes. 
Here is one example of the many landscapes I created over the last few weeks.