Abita Mystery House

Saturday was probably the last Lomographers of Acadiana meetup. As mentioned, not enough people have been showing up in the past year to make it worth the nearly $200 a year I pay in organizer dues. The dues expire on Saturday; the other members will have 2 weeks to take over the group, and if no one does it will dissolve. It would be nice if someone took it over, but only if they actually keep the meaning of the group intact. Digital photographers were for some reason constantly trying to join the group, even though the fact that it was a group FOR FILM SHOOTERS was laid out in no uncertain terms, at several points in the joining process. If someone takes it over and decides they don’t care what anyone is shooting, I don’t really see the point. There are already a dozen meetup groups for digital photography in Louisiana. But obviously I’m not going to have any control over what happens to the group once I’m no longer in charge of it, so I’m just going to let it go.

Anyway, it was at the Abita Mystery House (and yes, one other person showed up!) in Abita Springs. It’s an homage to the classic roadside attractions that littered American highways before the Interstate Highway System was built in the 1950s. It’s full of dioramas, folk art, collections, weird signage, and things that defy easy description. If you’re a fan of the show American Pickers, you may recognize it.

These are just some cell phone shots; I also shot some Fuji Superia in the Yashica, but I didn’t finish the roll.

Abita Mystery House

Air-Conditioned

Grand Isle Fish

Horrifying alligator-skull thing

Alligator-horse on a bicycle

Hot Sauce House

Googly-eyes President Washington

That's not how you spell patio

Bottle cap door

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St. Charles Borromeo Church & Cemetery

Memorial Day weekend was mostly rainy, but on Monday it stopped long enough to drive up to Grand Coteau in St. Landry Parish and take some photos. I finished the roll I had in my Smena 8M but I haven’t gotten that developed yet.

Stained glass

Those are some evil looking cherubs.

Church & clergy cemetery

Metal cross

Cemetery

Milagrosa

I’m not a fan of tattoos (for myself, I mean; I am not your mommy and what you choose to do with your own body is none of my business), but I kind of think this would be a great design for one.

Cemetery

Cemetery

Cemetery

I usually take a weekend trip somewhere at the end of May, sort of one last hurrah before summer shuts me down until September, but I’m still trying to save for that car. Too bad, I really wanted to go back to Mississippi–I want to go to Union Church, which is the first place in Mississippi that my paternal ancestors lived. Before that, I think they lived in North Carolina (my oldest brother is the family’s genealogist). Guess it will have to wait, maybe this winter I can swing it. In the fall I’m planning a trip to Missouri; that was supposed to happen this spring, but–car. I’d like to go early fall, maybe the end of September, because on All Saint’s Day (November 1st) I want to find a cemetery that still does grave-lighting and see if I can take some photos. That will most likely require spending the night somewhere, possibly New Orleans.

Tomorrow is my Lomographers of Acadiana meetup and it’s probably going to be the last one; I’ve about made up my mind to let my dues expire. It’s just too much hassle and expense when almost no one who belongs to the group ever bothers to show up.

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New additions to my Brownie collection

The spring thunderstorms returned last week after a brief hiatus, so no photography for me this weekend. That’s okay, I had several boring errands that I’d been putting off, and the car was overdue for an oil change.

I found myself clicking around the backwoods of eBay while I binge-watched the 3rd season of House of Cards on Saturday afternoon. See, I think I neglected to mention this in my blog entry about my trip out to Tickfaw last weekend, but on my way back home I swung through Baton Rouge to stop at Circa 1857, one of my favorite antique stores. And lo and behold, I found one of my most-desired Kodak Brownies, a Target, for just $25. (Using metrics that are a complete mystery to almost everyone who collects cameras, the market value of this camera has been determined at $6. You will never, ever, EVER find one for that cheap, anywhere. I consider $25 to be a bargain.)

target

That got me thinking of another Brownie I’ve long been on the trail of, the Jiffy, a model which slightly preceded the Target, although later models of the Jiffy and earlier models of the Target were sold at the same time. So that’s how I came to be on eBay. Normally I prefer to buy my cameras in stores, partly so I can make sure the shutter works, but also because it feels more “earned” when I find my cameras IRL. I’m readier to part with money because what are the odds I’ll ever find one again? However, vintage cameras are gaining in popularity, making them rarer finds (especially in good condition) and driving up the prices in stores.

jiffy

So anyway, long story short, I found one I liked, no one else bid on it and I got it for the starting bid of $19.99 and $5 shipping. The seller says the shutter works and they have 100% positive feedback so I suppose they’re trustworthy. Although it doesn’t matter so much, as I primarily want these cameras for their collectibility and Art Deco faceplates. But I like to know I could use all of the cameras I collect, even if I’m unlikely to in some cases.

Now I just need a Beau, and I will have the trifecta of Art Deco Brownies. That one’s gonna be hard though, that model was only made from 1930-1933–the colored ones (blue, green, rose) only until 1931.

beau

Help me pick which print will go on sale in my Etsy shop

I got the first roll of Neopan (or any black and white film) that I ever shot in the Ultra Wide & Slim developed, and WOW. I LOVE how it looks! My favorite shots are the Stations of the Cross that I photographed on the Catahoula Highway in St. Martin Parish a few weeks ago; I want to put one of them for sale in my Etsy shop but I love them all so much that I can’t pick. That’s where you come in: poll time! If you had $20 to buy one of these prints, which one would you choose?

A.
Stations of the Cross

B.
Stations of the Cross

C.
Stations of the Cross

D.
Stations of the Cross

E.
Stations of the Cross

I was going to add a poll, but the WordPress overlords, in their infinite wisdom, apparently decided to remove the button when they changed the dashboard. So please help me out by leaving your pick in the comments; feel free to elaborate on why you chose the one you did, if you wish.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help me make more of it, please consider supporting me on Patreon.

Latest roll in the Diana F+

I didn’t use this camera much in 2014 and lately I’ve been re-discovering my love of it. I want to start using my Holga again as well; since I got the instant back for it that’s all I’ve done with it, but it was meant for medium format film and it takes great photos with it.

Valcour Aime family tomb

Maison de Reprise

Stations of the Cross

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Our Lady of Tickfaw, Tangipahoa Parish

This is something I read about in Weird Louisiana, although I made sure to Google it first because a lot of the information in that book is outdated. (Or just plain wrong, like that old chestnut about St. Expedite getting his name because the nuns mistook the word expidite for a name.) The most recent mention I found online was from last November; photos showed it to be neglected and overgrown but mostly still standing. Whoever owns the land has apparently sold off part of it though, because the back part of the field was fenced off with some pretty strongly worded No Trespassing signs. Too bad, because I could see more statuary and a little chapel back in the trees. Kind of a dick move to buy that, leave it up and not do anything with the land, but cut it off from the public.

These are just a few cell phone shots; I hope the film I shot turns out because it was more overcast than predicted and I was shooting all fairly low speed film. I finished the roll of Velvia in the Ultra Wide & Slim–I think I’m going to get that processed as slide rather than cross-processed. Like multi-lens cameras, cross-processing is a gimmick that I feel like I’ve just grown out of. I also shot some Ektar in the Smena 8M, and took a few Neopan shots in the Blackbird fly.

Our Lady of Tickfaw

Our Lady of Tickfaw

Our Lady of Tickfaw

You know, so much of the photos I’ve shot for the Saints of Louisiana project have been privately built devotional spaces not owned by or officially connected with any church, I wonder if that shouldn’t be the focus of the project? I have a lot of photography/coffee table books about Louisiana, and while religious subjects are often covered, I don’t think a focus on these kinds of chapels/shrines has ever been done before. You could even argue that Marie Laveau’s tomb falls under that category, because while it’s in a graveyard owned by the diocese, it was the actions of private worshipers who turned it into a shrine.

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Laura Plantation, Vacherie, LA

I went to this plantation a few years ago, before I moved to Louisiana and was just visiting my parents during the holidays. But I didn’t bring any film cameras with me, just my old clamshell Olympus digital, and only took a few photos of the inside of the house. So I always meant to go back. These are just some shots I took with my cell phone, but I also shot some slide in my Ultra Wide & Slim—I haven’t decided whether I’m going to cross-process that or have it processed as slide—and a few Neopan shots in my Blackbird.

Maison de Reprise

Slave/sharecropper cabin

Maison de Reprise

Pantry

Basement

Laura Plantation

Shout-out to Mary Kirwin, my first patron on Patreon!

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