Kodak Ektar in the Smena 8M, various locations

Washington City Cemetery:

Washington City Cemetery

Old church in Washington, double exposure:

Old church, double exposure

Abandoned train depot in Lettsworth:

Lettsworth, LA

Abandoned building, East Louisiana State Hospital:

East Louisiana State Hospital

Same location:

East Louisiana State Hospital

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Fuji Neopan (1 of 3)

I shot a lot of black and white towards the end of my “shooting season”–I don’t like to shoot during summer, I’m not a native southerner and I simply can’t withstand the heat and humidity. I had 3 rolls of Neopan (all shot in the Wide & Slim) that I sent to Dwayne’s  at once; I’m ready to move on from Neopan but the rolls I have are all expired and I want to finish them first. I have Tri-X, Ilford, and Lomography Earl Gray in the fridge and I’m eager to make some comparisons.

Harlem Plantation in Plaquemines Parish:

Harlem Plantation

Harlem Plantation

Harlem Plantation

Holy Rosary Cemetery in St. Charles Parish (look for the chemical plants in the background):

Holy Rosary Cemetery

Holy Rosary Cemetery

A fragment of the de la Ronde Ruins in St. Bernard Parish:

de la Ronde Ruins

A cane field… somewhere. I think it was Iberville Parish:

Cane field

In other photography news, I’ll have a new camera whenever I’m ready to go back out. A pen friend of mine said he wanted to send me his wife’s old camera and I said sure, I’ll give it a good home. It turned out to be a Minox 35, arguably the smallest full-frame 35mm camera ever made. It’s an EL, the very first model; production started on that model the year before I was born. I just have to find a replacement battery for it, it takes a 5.6v and those fractional volts can be hard to find.

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St. Thomas Cemetery, Pointe a la Hache, LA

St. Thomas Cemetery

The cemetery wasn’t all that interesting, but I liked these peeling old statues found at the back.

St. Thomas Cemetery

St. Thomas Cemetery

The weird swirl they elected to use in place of an O gave me True Detective flashbacks.

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Holt Cemetery, New Orleans

My quest to photograph every cemetery in NOLA continues. Holt is the city’s cemetery for indigent people; as such it’s the only one to still practice in-ground burial, and many of the markers are hand-made by family members. It’s out on City Park Avenue, which I sometimes refer to as “the nexus of the universe”, because there are over a half dozen large cemeteries within a few square miles–I’ve photographed Greenwood and Cypress Grove already. I almost didn’t find this one, it’s behind the campus of Delgado Community College. The third time I drove past, I noticed a little side road leading onto the campus called “Buddy Bolden Road”, and I remembered that he’s buried in Holt, so I turned onto it and it led me right to the cemetery.

Weird thing abut Bolden, I keep stumbling across him. I read Coming Through Slaughter a couple of months ago, which is a fictionalized version of his life. (EJ Bellocq is also a character in it, and just before I read it I visited the cemetery he’s buried in and saw his mausoleum.) Not long after, we had the meetup in Jackson, which I planned before I read the book. Jackson is where the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System is, where Bolden spent years (he was schizophrenic). And then I found out that a relative of mine–by marriage only–was also incarcerated there (although after Bolden had died there), after he tried to kill his wife, my great-grandmother’s sister. I’d always known about that, but not where he was sent.

Holt is a far cry from most NOLA cemeteries, with their grand mausoleums and towering marble monuments. The plots are inches from each other; the grass is shaggy and dotted with clover like an improbable May snowdrift. Graveyards almost never feel sad to me, merely peaceful, but this one has a melancholy that’s almost enjoyable–like when you press on a bruise. It hurts, but there’s something compelling about it, too. I don’t know, maybe it’s only because it’s the first cemetery I’ve been to since my grandmother died, but the people buried here seem more real to me than the occupants of those fancy above-ground tombs. People loved them enough to build a monument with their bare hands and whatever tools and material they could afford.


PICT1074, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1105, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1075, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1095, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1092, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1102, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1098, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1107, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

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I’ve located R’lyeh. It’s near Baton Rouge.

My brother Rian goes back to Chicago today, but he was here for a week and I showed him ’round a bit. We went to New Orleans and I introduced him to some of my favorite spots in Bywater and Marigny–including brunch at Elizabeth’s, where I had the redneck eggs: Eggs Benedict on fried green tomatoes instead of English muffins.

And yesterday we went to St. Francisville and New Roads. The cemetery of Grace Episcopal Church is one of my favorites, and I’ve been to a LOT of cemeteries in the last few years.


PICT0251, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

My brother picked up a brochure in the church that talked about some of the families buried there and some of the more impressive tombs. This was built by Ira Smith to be for his whole family, but after he died and was interred within, his heir threw the key into the Mississippi–THREW, not dropped–and it was never opened again.


PICT0236, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

This would be a bad place to live in case of zombie apocalypse.


PICT0227, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

A lot of the family plots are gated, and some of them have truly creepy details on them.


PICT0248, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

This old tomb at the back of the cemetery was the kicker. There was a giant crack right down the middle; also a huge patch of quickmud right in front of it, even though the rest of the cemetery was fairly dry.


PICT0245, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

And when we walked around to the back, THE DOOR WAS HANGING OFF THE HINGES AND THERE WERE STEPS LEADING DOWN INTO THE EARTH.

I’m not a superstitious person but I have read a lot of H.P. Lovecraft, so I took my photo and GTFO.

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Pink Slim Dress: Cypress Grove & Greenwood cemeteries, NOLA

I thought this wide-angle camera worked especially well to convey the impressive scope of Greenwood in particular. Some of the photos focused on a particular tomb, but in the background you could still see the rest of the cemetery stretching waaay the hell out.


684396-R1-16-9, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

I don’t know whose tomb this is, but clearly they were fucking bad-ass. Not only is the tomb recessed in a hill, like a Hobbit house, but there is a GIANT METAL BUCK perched atop it. New Orleanians do death in STYLE, man.


684396-R1-03-22, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

Repetition.


684396-R1-25-0, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

684396-R1-19-6, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

These are the aforementioned Slark family tombs. They look all medieval and shit.


684396-R1-12-13, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

You can not escape the Mardi Gras beads anywhere in this city.


684396-R1-10-15, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.