Monday, September 8, 2014


Herschell Spillman sign on carousel
Carousel Builders, copyright 2014, Stephanie Maatta
Long past time for another post. This past weekend I was able to spend time at Greenfield Village enjoying the Old Car Festival. It was a gorgeous day and the vehicles were spectacular. While I made photographs of the old cars -- fronts, backs and details -- the Herschell Spillman carousel offered some challenges in low light photography.

The carousel is housed in a covered pavilion to protect it from the weather. It was built in 1913 by the Herschell Spillman Company in New York, and is celebrating its 101st birthday this year.

The ride requires vigilant care and ongoing restoration to maintain its beauty and function. Each of the animals and benches is hand-carved, hand-painted wood, and the tails on the horses are made from real horse hair.

Carousel Carving, copyright 2014, Stephanie Maatta
All the way around the top of the carousel is a series of hand-carved, and brightly painted faces. Each one is different -- some happy, some scary -- but replete with intricate detail.

Fiery Beast, copyright 2014, Stephanie Maatta
One of my favorite pieces is the dragon seat featuring an aqua and lavender beast. The lines and colors swirl and flow around him. He appears quite intent.

On my next visit to village it will be time to attempt photographing the carousel in motion. Perhaps a bit of reading and research are in order to gain an understanding of the best camera settings.

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