Ridout Photography » Blogging From The Edge

Tommy Boy – Shootin’ With Burke & James

The only reason I would ever shoot film again would be to hear the shutter from my Hassleblad or better yet photograph with my “older” brothers camera.  Looks like I may have to take a road trip with him 🙂

The camera is a Burke and James ‘Orbitar’, circa late 1950’s

65mm f/8 Schneider Kreuznach Super- Angulon lens, same era

1 second exposure / f 22 (around there), UV filter
Adox Art 25 B&W film / Rodinal developer
photographed  July 26/09    Michigan Central Station
michigan-terminal

This is a crop from the file he sent me and really it still doesn’t do justice to the pin sharp neg.

michigan-terminal

michigan-terminal-corner-cropped

Opened in 1913, the building is of the Beaux-Arts Classical style of architecture, designed by the Warren & Wetmore and Reed and Stem firms who also designed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal.  The price tag for this 500,000-square-foot (46,000 m2) building was $15 million when it was built.

The building is composed of two distinct parts: the train station itself and the 18-storey tower. The roof height is 230 feet (70 m). Ideas as to what the tower was originally designed for include a hotel, offices for the rail company, or a combination of both. In reality, the tower was only used for office space by the Michigan Central Railroad and subsequent owners of the building. The interiors of at least the top floor were completed and served no function.

The main waiting room on the main floor was modeled after an ancient Roman bathhouse with walls of marble. The building also housed a large hall adorned with Doric columns and contained the ticket office and arcade shops. Beyond the arcade was the concourse, which had brick walls and a large copper skylight. From here, passengers would walk down a ramp to the departing train platforms, 11 tracks in all. Below the tracks and building is a large area for baggage, mail, and other office building functions.

The building has been stripped of most valuable items including brass fixtures. It has also been the victim of extensive vandalism.

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David - Fantastic photographs. That is some seriously lovely detail.
I would love to see the camera. I found one years ago, but the person I bought it from packed it poorly and it’s in need of some serious repair. Mine is just a flat box, about an inch thick, with a ground glass spring back and an engraved plate on the front with “Orbitar / 4×5 Wide Angle / Manufactured by / Burke & James, Inc., Chicago, Ill, U.S.A.

D'Arcy - Nothing comes close to being as sexy as Black and White film. Mark, we have to take the “Blads” out for a walk one day! Cheers! D’Arcy

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