Monday, January 21, 2008

Ferro through the fish-eye lens

photo by Rick Rosen

This image has been among my favorites for years.

It was taken by one of my very favorite photographers - Rick Rosen.

Rick is one of the most impressive and versatile photographers in Southern California, and for good reason, he actually taught under Ansel Adams.

This shot was taken in January of 2000 during the restoration of the Curci Gondola - a privately owned gondola here in Newport Beach. I had the honor of handling all of the metal elements on this stately wedding gondola that had been built in the early 60's.

The Curci Gondola has a classic aluminum ferro, complete with the three decorative pieces between the six fingers.

The ferro was heavily pitted from decades of oxidation.

I brought it to an old man named Paul Blyth. Paul is still alive but he recently retired. He did an awesome job, and was always there whenever I had something that needed to shine. But Paul was way too old for that kind of work, the only things older than Paul were the machines he used. It was neat to watch him work, and I'm not sure what to do now that he's retired.

Over the years I brought at least 12 or 13 ferros to Paul, the Curci ferro was definitely the oldest and most pitted, but he brought it back to life with character.

I spent many days working on the brass trim of the gondola. Each piece had to be removed, marked, charted, polished, clea-coated and then re-installed using the chart, markings and period-correct fasteners. Rick Rosen had expressed an interest in seeing the operation, so when the ferro came back from Paul Blyth, I brought him to the yard, knowing that the installation of the ferro would produce some dramatic photos.

Rick shot a number of different kinds of photos, with several different lenses, but the fish-eye was my favorite.

To see more of Rick's images, take a look at:

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