Monday, November 9, 2009

Inspirations #19: George Tice & White Castle

White Castle, Route #1, Rahway, NJ, 1973 by George A. Tice

OK, I have to admit... coming from Jersey I am a BIG White Castle junkie. I can remember my parents taking us to the Castle as children, when they still had car-side service and the burgers were a nickel. In 1982 at college (Rutgers) we used to have "Castle Runs" during study breaks. The Castle was about 10 miles away so whoever had the fastest run for the week got free burgers on Saturday night. I actually made a video of this for a class I took as a Senior. The video was called "Castle Run" and was loosely based on the movie "Cannonball Run". "Video" in those days was Sony Beta 3/4" tape. The camera was huge. Because the camera had to be connected to the actual tape recorder we couldn't take it with us on the run... so we were only able to tape the preamble (ordering) and the actual carnage (eating) after the burgers had arrived. I thought it was missing an external microphone, so I told my roommates that they could say whatever they wanted. Imagine my horror when my teacher said to turn the volume up for my final presentation - it had an internal microphone. At least he had a sense of humor and I got an A. Fast forward and castles became a rare treat. I knew my girlfriend (now wife) loved me when she went to Passaic, NJ to get me a "sack" for my birthday. After marriage we moved to Jackson, NJ and the nearest Castle was 50 miles away. My prayers were answered, but too late, when they built a Castle a few miles from our home just a year before we moved to Arizona. Now, I make my own Castles for Super Bowl every year... but we use filet mignon sliced 1/4" thick, steamed over a bed of carmelized shallots, with Tillamook Cheddar and thinly sliced sweet baby gherkins, on a potato roll. I call them "Chateau Blancs!" Uuu-uum good!

Ah, long live the good old days... it's too bad that everything has to be modernized nowadays. These old White Castles were really interesting architecturally. They are all boring, plain vanilla today.

Anyway, back to photography. If I could add just one photograph to my collection it would be "White Castle" by George Tice from 1973. Aside from the food connection, this is a beautiful example of night photography and the print is luminous. If you ever want to see what a print from a master printer looks like... see a George Tice exhibit.

Chicago Hamburger Company, Phoenix, AZ, 2009 by Richard M. Coda

This was the first night photograph I had taken in almost 30 years. I did pick this particular image as my first due to my fondness for Mr. Tice's image. As did Mr. Tice, I used an 8x10" camera for this. With TMax 400 film the exposure was 27 seconds at f/45-2/3.

This week, my night photography subject will be a Taco stand in color on the 8x10" I can't wait!

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