This fourth of July weekend the town of Chesterfield New Hampshire celebrated its 250th Anniversary. It was actually in 1752 that the town was chartered as Chesterfield, but it wasn’t until November of 1761 that the first settlers traveled up the Connecticut River to build near where the current boat landing is located. It has been our privilege to live in Chesterfield for over other 30years and although the natives still consider us "flat-landers", they must acknowledge that our two children have their roots firmly planted in Chesterfield's rocky soil. Over the years we have felt a strong attachment to the town and our neighbors. We have participated in the uniquely American tradition of town meeting government and while Susan has served on the Budget Committee and School Board, I have been a member of the Conservation Committee for over 20 years. Last weekend's 250th Anniversary was a wonderful and well deserved celebration and I was honored to be asked by the Selectmen and the Historical Society to be their photographer. The festivities were held mostly on Saturday and included a parade, antique car show, historical skits, story telling, coronary artery clogging food and a ceremony honoring the town’s history. Descendants of the early families, many of whom still live in town, were recognized. The whole event was relaxed and low key, much like a big family picnic.
I have photographed a number of events in recent years including the Penguin Plunge and the Stonewall Farm Sap Gathering Contests. I think I am beginning to get a handle on how to approach the job, but every event has its own challenges and opportunities. The 250th party had the advantage of being in a small area, but I had to split my time between photography and taking my turn at the Conservation Commission table. As usual I especially enjoyed getting in close to the participants to get intimate portraits, but I always have to remind myself to get the broader establishing shots.
too much trouble, but the bright contrasty light imposed its own challenges, especially on portraits. Where possible I tried to move my subjects into the shade, but I was also able to get more experience with fill flash. By the end I had about 500 images to process. So far, I have over 100 workable photographs, but one things is certain. If I don’t show a picture of every town fire truck that rolled down the parade route, I may not get much of a response the next time my house is in flames.