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Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 6 - The Road Less Traveled - to Allentown.

I gotta tell ya. I was tired. After a huge day hoofing it 'round New York, these legs of mine were feeling it. Glynn felt a bit the same. We felt like two satisfied veterans as we got packed and ready to leave Newark for the drive south into Pennsylvania. We had breakfast, checked out and picked up the rental. 
Our first port of call would be Harlem. We both felt the need to check it out. Driving through Harlem was certainly interesting, and we found ourselves asking whether it was safer to take our Lowe Pro ProRollers out of the car and bring them with us, or leave them in the car. We opted to bring our gear with us, even though, to be quite honest, I wasn't in the zone. Perhaps what I needed was a day off...like, really...off. Today was going to be that day.
As we walked through Harlem, we were approached by a local. He told us that he knew that we were "location scouts" for Hollywood, looking for places to film. We replied with firm "G'day mate' and let him know we were just two Aussie photographers. He showed us around a little, told us where all the movies had been shot in that street and gave us the heads up on where the best food is. And of course we took his picture. Not inclined to reveal the nature of our LowePro cases, we just opted for using our Ricoh GRD III's. I love that little beastie. Have I told you that yet?
Two tired dudes leave New York behind...
The drive to Pennsylvania from there is pretty easy - if you want to just settle for taking the Pennsylvania TurnPike. To some degree you have little option. But where possible we would get off that thing and grab a back road. The lady in the little box who kept giving us directions was very patient with us. All she kept saying was "recalculating" and trying to get us out of wherever the hell it was that we were. She never once got angry or annoyed. 
Even though it was raining and there wasn't much chance for photography it was still a beautiful drive, especially if you take the road less traveled. The forests in New York and Pennsylvania are verdant and lush, even in some of the outer suburban areas. It is punctuated with abandoned mills and buildings that date back to the War of Independence. It is quite fascinating and in some parts it is absolutely beautiful. I think I could very happily find a place in that part of the world and enjoy being there for quite some time. But for now, we were headed for Allentown. Yes, its the Allentown Billy Joel wrote that song about. Technically, Allentown never had any real steel mills. Nearby Bethlehem did. But there is one thing Allentown does have that Bethlehem doesn't. Dan's Camera City. Glynn and I were booked in there to run three days of workshops. 
Dan's Camera City is similar to Paul's Photo in LA with regard to one very important aspect of photo retail that only a few understand - their customers want to learn and they want to shoot something! If photo retailers supply both of those things they will have a better chance of surviving while still holding on to their bricks and mortar. Over the next few days Glynn and I would add our unique brand of Australian photo workshops to their rather conservative mix. I will be back...

Shelton Muller







1 comment:

Paul Dymond said...

It's great to see the US through the eyes of a couple of great Aussie photographers. And great to see you guys taking your wonderful teaching style to the big, wide world. Thanks for sharing with us, it's great to be along for the ride.

The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

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