Mulatto Bend Cemetery: West Baton Rouge Parish, LA

Mulatto Bend Cemetery

Mulatto Bend Cemetery

Mulatto Bend Cemetery

Mulatto Bend Cemetery

Mulatto Bend Cemetery

Kodak Ektar in the Smena 8M

Sabine Pass Light

Lafourche Parish

Grand Isle

Cheniere Caminada Cemetery

Cemetery

Town of Spectre – B&W, wide angle

Town of Spectre

Town of Spectre

Town of Spectre

Sabine Pass Light (wide angle, B&W)

Sabine Pass Lighthouse

Sabine Pass Lighthouse

Sabine Pass Lighthouse

Town of Spectre: Holga

I went on vacation at the end of October/beginning of November, and I spent part of the time at my parent’s condo on Dauphin Island, a barrier island in Mobile Bay. I had with me a shiny new Holga; I had a Holga before, but for some stupid reason decided I didn’t need a Holga and a Diana, and since the Diana was literally the first lo-fi camera I bought since re-discovering film, I felt loyal to it.

Well, that was the wrong decision–not to keep the Diana, but to sell the Holga. And then they quit making Holgas, and I felt like that was probably that. Except nothing is ever that in the analogue film community, and of course another plastics factory bought the molds and started cranking them out barely a year later.

Anyway, this may look familiar to you if you’re a Tim Burton fan, it’s the abandoned “Town of Spectre” movie sets from Big Fish. They were built on Jackson Lake Island near Montgomery, AL, and because it’s privately owned land, the owner just left them. You can get onto the island for a $3 ($10 for overnight camping) fee.

Town of Spectre

Town of Spectre

Town of Spectre

The tree is fake, too–it’s made of styrofoam, and you can see where the brown paint has rubbed off.

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Black & white, various locations

Train depot at Lettsworth:

Lettsworth train depot

Flooded cemetery in Grand Isle:

Flooded cemetery

East Louisiana State Hospital in Jackson:

East Louisiana State Hospital

Same location:

East Louisiana State Hospital

Abandoned church near Jackson:

Abandoned church

Lettsworth:

Lettsworth

Also Lettsworth (there are a lot of abandoned buildings there):

Lettsworth

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Sabine Pass Light (Diana F+)

So, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that abandoned lighthouses (at least in Louisiana) are my photography white whale. They are very hard to get close enough to to take a good photograph, because since the Gulf coast is always changing, they tend to very quickly become cut off from land access. I’ve tried to photograph this particular lighthouse, which is right on the southwest Louisiana/southeast Texas border, a couple of times.

Well, a couple of months ago I found out by chance—from a Yelp review, of all things—that Cheniere Energy, which owns the land that the lighthouse is on, has made their “road” (really just a pair of tire ruts) out to it open to the public. I checked in with the security shack at the entrance, showed a photo ID, and was escorted to the gate at the start of the road. I was told not to photograph the energy facility and to be sure I checked with security when I left, but allowed to proceed down the road unaccompanied.

I took a lot of photos from a distance, because I kept thinking this road is going to run out, this is probably the closest I’ll get; then I’d get back in my car and keep going. Turns out I was able to drive pretty close, to about ¼ of a mile away from the lighthouse, then I was able to walk most of the rest of the way. There’s water surrounding it and you can’t get close enough to touch it, but I was able to take photos from close enough that it filled the frame.

I had really good weather for it, it was warm but not hot that day, and not too humid. A member of the Facebook group that I help mod (Abandoned Louisiana) went the next weekend and said they were eaten alive by mosquitoes, but I made it out with just a couple of bites. Also it hadn’t rained in a few weeks, so I was able to drive my Nissan (which does NOT have four wheel drive) down a dirt track without risk of getting mired. So yay, that’s one more thing I can cross off my photography bucket list!

Sabine Pass Light

Sabine Pass Light

Sabine Pass Light

Sabine Pass Light

Sabine Pass Light

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Midori Traveler’s Notebook (Part 2)

So a while back I wrote about this planner/journal system and how my introduction to it was a cheap knock-off from Michael’s. Yeah, I went a little bonkers with that. A couple of weeks later I decided to upgrade a bit to a fabric cover that I bought on Etsy, then I discovered that a lot of people make covers in Fields Notes size (I am already a committed Field Notes junkie), then I started adding charms and folders and bookmarks and more inserts… long story short, I am now the owner of 5 TNs total: one standard size, one passport, and three FN-size. I use them all, although of course I don’t carry them all around with me. I’d have to be She-Hulk to manage that.

Last week I saw a post in a Facebook group for buying/selling TN gear where someone was selling a TN brand Airport Edition, the cover that is only sold at the Traveler’s Factory stores in Japanese airports (as far as I know, just Narita and Tokyo). Apparently I thought WELP I GUESS I HAVEN’T BLOWN ENOUGH MONEY ON THIS HOBBY YET, because I wound up buying it, although I did get her to knock $20 off her asking price and include the shipping. BEHOLD:

2016-06-07_10-16-04

The charm is a hamsa, that I added myself.

2016-06-07_10-11-52

It came with this insert. The other is my lightweight paper insert; I’ve taken to covering the boring covers with craft paper.

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More covered inserts.

2016-06-07_10-13-51

I found these vintage camera magnet bookmarks at Barnes and Noble and of course as soon as I did there was a 100% chance they were coming home with me.

2016-06-07_10-14-17

I use the weekly planner to keep notes about photo shoots: what/where/when, weather/light conditions, films/cameras used, etc.

2016-06-07_10-15-09

The kraft paper insert with some stuff from my recent Virginia trip.

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The folder (from Analog Stationers) holds tourism brochures as well as loose items that haven’t made it into the kraft insert yet.

OKAY I’M PRETTY SURE I HAVE NOW REACHED TRAVELER’S NOTEBOOK NIRVANA

In which I find fame and glory at last: Lagniappe Magazine

So I got some interesting news a couple of months ago that I’ve been kind of sitting on: I was contacted by the editor of Lagniappe Magazine, he came across my blog and wanted to do a story about my photography of abandoned stuff. Lagniappe is a local arts & culture magazine based out of Lake Charles. I said yes, of course.

I got a PDF of the story this morning; I’m mostly pleased with the result, and it seems like he dug pretty deep into the blog archives. He emphasized my political leanings more than I would have in a story about my photography. I guess I tend to think of Sarah the Photographer and Sarah the Wild-Eyed Marxist Bomb-Thrower as different people. (He also makes it sound like I’m against the Keystone Pipeline and I’m not, really. I’m not crazy about it, but it feels pretty inevitable and it’s not like hauling crude oil around by rail is much safer. Say rather that I’m against Big Oil and their stranglehold on our energy infrastructure.)

Anyway, enough of my yap-yappin’, here just read it:

Capturing Louisiana’s Mysterious Places

Upon further reflection, it was perhaps not very nice to say that Holly Beach looks like a “Central American barrio”. Sometimes I forget that people actually read this thing. Mea culpa.

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Another weekend on the River Road

Specifically, LA-44.

In my never-ending quest to go to all of the festivals in Louisiana at least once (or at least, the ones that I think sound interesting), on Saturday I went to Frisco Fest, at the San Francisco Plantation in Garyville. I’ve been to the plantation before; in fact, a photo that I took of it is the header image I use for my Facebook page. Frisco Fest is a local arts and crafts festival, and I always like to what my fellow artists are making. I left with 3 bottles of fruit wine (made in Independence, LA), a set of embroidered flour sack dishcloths (made in Metairie, LA), and a pottery ikebana vase (made in Gonzales, LA). I was so impressed with the quality of the goods being sold that I talked Mom into going on Sunday.

Then I drove a little ways down the road to the remains of Tezcuco Plantation, built in 1855 and destroyed by fire in 2002. These are just cell shots but I also took some film shots.

Tezcuco Plantation

Okay yeah, I totally hopped the fence. It’s like knee-high and there are 2-foot gaps around several trees, how could I resist?

Tezcuco Plantation

Tezcuco Plantation

Tezcuco Plantation

Tezcuco Plantation

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