Monday, 30 December 2013

Shot one ghost sign… found another!

Yes, I am now the proud owner of the new Nikon Df camera.  This is the camera that feels like a retro Nikon F film camera, but has the processing power and acumen of Nikon’s top-of-the-line D4 camera.  And, it’s the first camera in Nikon’s history to be backwards-compatible with EVERY Nikon lens ever made, including those that have not been modified to handle automatic indexing.

So after charging up its battery and purchasing a 32-gig SD card (my previous Nikon digitals took larger CompactFlash cards), I took the camera out yesterday for a simple photo walk.  Nothing major, nothing out of the ordinary.  Just a test to see what the Df could do out of the box.

Hey, look, here’s a ghost sign in Waterford.  Apparently this building in downtown Waterford was once a general store of some sort, and they sold ice cream from Wagar’s of Troy.

We Serve Wagar

We Serve Wagar’s Ice Cream, Waterford, N.Y.. Nikon Df camera, 50mm f/1.8 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Nice detail in the brickface. Officially, #chuckishappy with the new Df. Or “Deef.” Or “Digital Fusion.” Or – I don’t know, I’ll think of a nickname for this camera at some point.  I usually don’t nickname my cameras, and I’ve only nicknamed one lens – my vintage telephoto “Rachel” lens.  We’ll see how things progress.

As I looked for another angle to shoot the sign, I happened to glance up. And… is that a … No, it can’t be.

It’s a freakin’ Coca-Cola brickface ghost sign advertisement. It’s obscured by most of the buildings around it, but hokey smokes it’s a vintage Coke ad.

I tried to get a better angle to capture the image. There was a tiny alleyway behind Waterford City Hall. This is what I was able to snag while shooting in the alleyway.

Coca-Cola Ghost Sign in Waterford, N.Y.

“-Cola” ghost sign in Waterford. Nikon Df camera, 50mm f/1.8 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Well, what do you know…  I wonder if this sign was painted by the same walldogs that did the Coca-Cola sign on Broadway in Schenectady.  It’s got the same flowing logotype as the one in Schenectady, it doesn’t have the dynamic ribbon device of a modern Coke ad…


I looked to my right. And saw a Waterford police officer motioning at me to get out of the alley.

“What are you doing?” he asked me.

“I’m just taking pictures of the ghost sign on top of this building,” I replied. “Did you know there’s a Coca-Cola sign up there?”

I quickly showed the officer the photos I had taken, just to prove that I wasn’t doing something nefarious.

“Nice picture,” he said. “I just have to ask whenever I see someone photographing near City Hall.”

“Yeah, I understand. I can’t get a decent shot from this angle, there’s too many buildings in the way. That’s why I tried to get a photo from the alley.”

“Try taking the picture from Third Street,” he replied. “I’m sure you can get a better shot from that angle.”

Kids… always listen to the police officer.

I walked over to Third Street, and took some more photos. I wasn’t able to get the entire sign, but I still captured the “Cola” artwork.

Coca-Cola Ghost Sign in Waterford, N.Y.

“-Cola” Ghost Sign in Waterford. Nikon Df camera, 50mm f/1.8 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

But I think the only true way to get the entire ghost sign is to stand on the roof of one of the buildings along Third Street. Maybe some day I’ll get that chance. Heck, I’ve stood on the roofs of buildings before and gotten halfway decent photos because of it.

No reason to not think I couldn’t do it again someday.

Especially with this new waycool weapon in my photography arsenal.

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