Forgotten in a desk drawer film roll #1

There’s another one too, they’ve been sitting there since last spring. This one looks to have been shot during one of my trips along LA-82/TX-82 for what ultimately proved to be a futile attempt to photograph the Sabine Pass Light.

Grand Cheniere, LA

Grand Chenier, LA

Creole, LA

Creole, LA

Mouton Cove, LA

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LA-82, Vermilion & Cameron Parish, Louisiana

I really enjoy the drive on LA-82, which runs from my hometown of Abbeville for almost 150 miles to the Texas border (where it becomes TX-82). It’s very rural once you leave Abbeville, the largest town it runs through after that is Cameron, which has a population of about 2,000. I see something new every time I drive it.

These are just some digital shots from last weekend, I shot some film but didn’t finish the rolls so they’re still in the cameras.

Fishing cabin near Grand Chenier

This old cabin outside of Grand Chenier is famous. Seriously, everyone who drives on LA-82 stops to take a photo of it. A couple of months ago someone made an Etsy treasury inspired by True Detective, they used one of my photos of another subject, but they also used a photo of this cabin taken by someone else.

Our Lady Star of the Sea Cemetery, Cameron

It’s funny because it’s a dead end sign in front of a cemetery. Eh? Eh? This is the cemetery of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Cameron. (Incidentally one of the ocean goddesses I keep on my altar and a very important one to people who reside in hurricane-prone areas.)

Creole, LA

Of course one of the main attractions for me in Cameron Parish is, unfortunately, hurricane damage. (That overturned schoolbus I photographed several times was along LA-82 in the parish, but that seems to have finally been hauled away, I didn’t see it during the Sabine Pass trips.) This was the outskirts of Creole.

Old house between Abbeville and Mouton Cove

This is between Perry and Mouton Cove, not far from Abbeville. Last year when I passed by you could barely see the house for all the stuff growing around it, but someone seems to have decided to cut it back. Which is probably why I just this time was confused by the fact that there’s a fireplace on the OUTSIDE of the house.

Holly Beach

This was on the outskirts of Holly Beach, “the Cajun Riviera”. You couldn’t pay me to vacation there, it’s basically an acre of trailers and shacks crammed together on the beach. It looks like a Central American barrio. Apparently it was even worse before the hurricanes, which wiped the place off the map.

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Grand Chenier, Cameron Parish, Louisiana

Cameron Parish

Fire is one of those things I’ve learned to ignore since moving to south Louisiana. There’s always a column of smoke billowing into the sky somewhere on the horizon, and it’s always just someone torching a canefield or a pile of brush or a bunch of garbage. We have a semi-tropical environment, which means it’s never dry enough for fire in a rural area to get out of hand. Very different from my upbringing in California, where every summer some idiot’s improperly doused campfire winds up burning down half the state.

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Kodak Ektachrome: Grand Chenier & NOLA incinerator

Shot in my Yashica MG-1.

Ektachrome (the non-professional version was sold under the name Elite Chrome) was Kodak’s last slide film, until they ceased production this year. It was close to Kodachrome in look, and was often used when that look was desired but higher shutter speeds were needed, or it had to be developed in the field where access to the specialized Kodachrome equipment and chemicals weren’t available. I had one roll that I decided I should use before it expired more than it already was. Some of the NOLA shots looks weirdly sketched-in; I think that’s because I was shooting in overcast conditions. I don’t know why it should have given them that look, but I like it.


016_16A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

014_14A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

006_6A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

022_22A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

028_28A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

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LA Highway 82

(Just digital shots, but I’m sending 2 rolls of medium format out today.)

Whenever I go somewhere to take photos, I always travel east. So on Saturday I threw my Diana and a couple of rolls of film in the car, and got on Highway 82, which runs west from Abbeville through Vermilion and Cameron Parishes. Like most rural “highways” in the south, it’s a rutted 2-lane road with crawfish ponds and cows on either side. Turns out, it’s a goldmine of abandoned houses, barns, fishing and hunting camps, and even vehicles. Cameron Parish, especially, was devastated by Rita and Ike. There were whole communities that were essentially just destroyed. It’s a very rural parish; it’s the largest in land but the lowest in population density. The whole thing has less than 7,000 people, just over half the population of Abbeville. I pulled over whenever I saw something I wanted to photograph, and just kept traveling west until I ran out of film. I got as far as Grand Chenier. (I might have gotten farther, but one of the rolls was Lomography, and apparently their 120 rolls are only 10 exposures, instead of the standard 12? SUPER LAME.)


PICT0424, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

This was a great area, on the other side of the road there were several abandoned barn-type buildings.


PICT0422, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

If I’d blinked I would have missed this almost buried house. A few more years and you won’t be able to see it from the road at all.


PICT0418, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

Seeing this made me briefly ponder what, exactly, is wrong with me that I would squeal with excitement upon seeing it. FUCKING COOL, A WRECKED SCHOOL BUS!


PICT0415, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

I’m not into Photochop, but I may play with this photo later. Give it some effects.


PICT0429, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

Neat.

I think my next project is going to be locating Chenier au Tigre. My grandmother used to go there as a kid, and some of her cousins (and at least one of her sisters-in-law) were from there. But no one really seems to know where it is nowadays. A chenier is a high ridge with oak trees growing on it, but it sounds as if Chenier au Tigre was actually an island. I don’t even know which parish it’s in; Granny said it was near Henry, which would place it in Vermilion. But most of the cheniers are in Cameron, and Cameron was actually formed from pieces of Vermilion and Calcasieu Parishes. So it could be in either one.

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rutherford beach, louisiana

On the last day of the year I went to Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish with my mother and oldest brother. As someone who grew up by the Pacific, I’m pretty underwhelmed by the flat brown Gulf. But we saw a porpoise! It started to come reeeally close to shore, so some guy jumped into what had to have been freezing water to shoo it away.

day-at-rutherford-beach

I like the composition in this shot, the way the scene is broken into thirds. Rule of thirds! I learned that on literally my first day in photo class. Ms. Roman would be proud.

pawprint-detail

cajun-highrises

These are jokingly known as “Cajun highrises”. Anyone whose house didn’t totally wash out to sea in Hurricane Rita raised them so high that you can park your car underneath them. I took this from the car window on the way back.

Here is the whole set.