Red Chowder

Red Chowder
One of the things that I enjoy most about working with the Google Agency, Instant 360, www.instant360.com is the interesting places I am assigned to photograph. Early in May I received an email and a photo assignment appeared on my Google calendar.  I was assigned to do a Google virtual tour in Warwick RI at the Governor Francis Inn http://www.governorfrancisinn.com/

When I arrived, I met with Craig who has been the owner of the Inn for over twenty years. Craig took me on a tour of the restaurant and kitchen; including the walk-in refrigerator. I never realized how much food preparation space is needed to support a large seafood restaurant. 


I wouldn’t describe the place as fancy. It is more of a comfortable, family style restaurant, with great seafood and chowder. A waitress I talked with explained that the restaurant caters to an older crowd, which keeps them very busy year-round.  What really caught my eye when I was on the kitchen tour, was a batch of “red chowder”. This is also known as Manhattan style clam chowder, which I really like. It is rarely found in New England. I only get to enjoy it once a year on my annual August visit to see the horses run, at Saratoga, NY Racecourse.


After I completed taking the Google 360 images of the dinning room and the bar, https://goo.gl/maps/EV4nV5CfMeGYWyK87  Craig invited me to have lunch. I said yes and asked for a bowl of the red chowder. It is the best chowder I have ever tasted. Craig also offered me a shrimp cocktail; which was delicious. Before I could finish, I was asked if I would like to take some chowder home. I immediately agreed and said, "this is like gold to me.” I drove back home to Manchester, CT, a happy guy with a half-gallon of chowder and a bunch of oyster crackers. Some days you just get lucky!

A Day at the Connecticut Science Center

A Day at the Connecticut Science Center
In September of 2017 I was asked by Google Agency, Mass Interact https://www.massinteract.com/ , to photograph the Connecticut Science Center. The project called for still photography and 75 panoramic images. This turned out to be one of the biggest Google virtual tours I had ever done. I started in the lobby on a Monday, which is the one day that the museum is closed. The project turned out to be much more than I ever imagined. 


The museum is on four levels and includes a theater, a restaurant, a gift shop, 11 exhibit areas, and a rooftop garden. By about one in the afternoon, I had completed the 75 panoramas and had two more floors to go. Apparently, the Google agency had underestimated the size of the project. The Science Center marketing director was concerned that I may not be able to complete photographing all the floors. I told her that I had completed my contract. She told me the she had a contract too, that included all floors.


We decided to both call the photo agency and discuss the situation. Thankfully, my contract was extended;  and I kept photographing. When I was done after 4 PM, I loaded over 1400 images totaling 7.56 GB, that were edited into a 4-level tour, with more than 120 panoramas and 24 still images. You can access the virtual tour here: https://goo.gl/maps/yuk9jquXUmG2 . You can change floors by using the "elevator buttons" on the right side of the Google virtual tour panel. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to handle this assignment, and I'm very pleased that this wonderful educational resource is in Hartford. The Connecticut Science Center Mission Statement is below:

The Connecticut Science Center https://ctsciencecenter.org/ is dedicated to inspiring lifelong learning through interactive and innovative experiences that explore our changing world through science.
We strive to create an engaging and sustainable science center that serves families and schools and has a significant impact on student and adult learning in Connecticut. We seek to develop the minds of future thinkers and inventors who will compete in the ever-expanding global marketplace for technology and innovation. And we endeavor to create a Connecticut workforce that meets the projected growth of jobs in science-related hands-on exhibits.

Tim Becker
Creative Images Photography
901 Main St.
Manchester, CT 06040
tim@cimages.com

Fighting Zombies

Fighting Zombies



Have you ever wanted to defend your spaceship from attacking drones and robots, find a treasure in a lost temple, figure out an escape room, or fight your way through a zombie apocalypse; in the safety of a virtual reality experience? 

How about driving an expensive virtual sports car around a racetrack and experiencing all the bumps and turns that a professional driver feels, while your friends relax with snacks and beverages and watch what you are seeing on a big screen? This is your opportunity to drive a $675,000 Lamborghini at high speeds. 

...you can RACE a car!
Photo courtesy of Spark VR

It sounds like the entertainment of the future, but it is here now at Spark VR in Vernon, Connecticut https://www.sparkvirtualreality.com/

I had the privilege of producing a Google virtual tour of the facility, which has made virtual reality a spectator sport. You can view the 360 degree images I took, here: https://goo.gl/maps/QErgGghbyzM2  The Spark VR staff will assist you to get started, since about half their customers have never done virtual reality before. You can reserve a virtual reality gaming bay for 55-minute intervals and choose your adventure. Race cars are walk-in only and run at 20-minute intervals.  Choose your race car and your race track. You better buckle up.

One more thing about this futuristic business: it’s cashless!

Tim Becker
Creative Images Photography
901 Main St.
Manchester, CT 06040
860-528-7818
tim@cimages.com
1518127659643_PastedImage

Interesting Places

Interesting Places
During my years as a commercial photographer, I have photographed some very interesting and unusual places.
I documented the progress of the "mole machine" that bored a massive tunnel under the City of Hartford, CT, burying the Park River. At the start of the project, when I reported to the work site, I was told to "go get in the bucket". The bucket was attached to a crane cable that lifted me and then slowly lowered me down a long shaft to the tunnel floor. Eventually an elevator was installed.  My walk through the tunnel became longer and longer each month, as I documented the progress. The tunnel started along the Connecticut River near the Charter Oak Bridge and ended off of Park St. near Sigourney St. The Army Corps of Engineers managed the project that provided flood protection for the city.

Then there was the contract to photograph the construction of the super-max prison; called the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, CT. I started by photographing an empty lot and each month I documented the progress. As I saw the "pods" taking shape, where prisoners spend 23 hours each day, the job began to make me feel uncomfortable, and I was glad when the project was completed.

On another assignment, I was asked to photograph in a drainage tunnel under the city of Hartford, CT for the Metropolitan District Commission, which is the local water and sewage authority. They were planning an information campaign, explaining a major upgrade project, to their customers. The photos from the first tunnel (above) that I photographed were rejected because the tunnel didn't look old enough. The next tunnel I photographed was under Franklin Avenue, over a hundred years old, and made of brick. The iron ladder rungs in the man hole had rotted off, so I had to wear a harness and be lowered down on a cable by a winch. I held a flash in my left hand as I photographed an inspector a few feet away.  This shot was used as the cover of a brochure. 

I could go on about the times I had to photograph from the roofs of skyscrapers, despite my fear of heights, but I'll save that for another post. Meanwhile, I welcome unusual assignments. I am ready to go; with my own hard hat, steel toed boots, and dayglo safety vest !

Tim Becker
Creative Images Photography
901 Main Street
Manchester, CT 06040
tim@2cimages.com



Antiques Anyone?

Antiques Anyone?
I had the privilege last month to photograph the most amazing antique store I have ever seen; Greenwich Living Antiques and Design Centre http://greenwichlivingantique.com. In addition to still photographs, I took 63 panoramas to form a 360 degree, Google virtual tour, that enables potential customers the ability to "walk through" the store from their smartphone from anywhere in the world. Thanks to my Google digital marketing agency Instant360.com, I was assigned to this project, which kept me busy photographing for an entire day.
According to their website, Greenwich Living Antiques and Design Centre has provided furnishings to Tommy Hilfiger, Regis Philbin, Judge Judy, Katherine Zeta Jones, Anne Hathaway, and Beyoncé, and their furniture offerings include extensive pieces of Maison Jansen, Ralph Lauren, and other high-end decor, as well as Hollywood Regency, Louis XV and XVI, Russian Neoclassical and Formal French, English and Continental merchandise. 
You can take the virtual tour starting here https://goo.gl/maps/5b9BXpW9xGF2  or visit in person at 481 Canal St., Stamford, CT. I suggest you allow an hour or two to see it all.

Tim Becker - Google Trusted Photographer
Creative Images Photography
901 Main St.
Manchester, CT 06040
860-528-7818
www.2cimages.com
 
Read Older Updates