Edgard, LA: Slightly expired Fuji Neopan in the Yashica MG-1

More adventures along the River Road with my Yashica. I really like shooting black and white in this camera. Although the roll I’m currently working my way through is in the Ultra Wide & Slim; I’ve never shot Neopan in that before so I’m curious to see the results. Hopefully we have decent weather this weekend (Sunday looks better than Saturday so far) and I can finish it up. I’m also waiting for this book to arrive from Amazon (should be today), which hopefully will give me some more ideas. I picked up the Mississippi edition last weekend and have already marked several pages!

Slave cabins

Caire's Landing

Old grocery store

Caire's Landing

Slave cabins

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Edgard, LA : Pink Slim Dress

This is a roll shot in Edgard that I brought in to be developed at the same time as the “lost” film rolls from last spring, but they neglected to include a photo CD even though I asked for one (and more importantly, PAID for one). So I brought the negatives in when I brought in the 35mm that I shot in New Orleans last weekend and asked them to please remember to put them on CD this time.

The Pink Slim Dress, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned, is the Superheadz knock-off the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim, an amazing wide-angle plastic camera from the 1980s/1990s with a 22mm lens that has the unfortunate tendency to break if you so much as breathe on it too hard. The Slim line (it comes in a variety of colors) has preserved the wide-angle plastic lens and the fixed everything—aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/125th second, focus about 1 foot to infinity—while giving the user a body that isn’t so fragile. I don’t use it as often as I do some of my other 35mm cameras, but I’m always pleased with the results when I do.

House on Caire Court

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and Cemetery

Slave cabins at Evergreen

Slave cabin at Evergreen

10930027

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Edgard, St. John the Baptist Parish

This weekend we finally, FINALLY had a Saturday without either rain or a triple-digit heat index, which hasn’t happened since June. I drove up to Edgard, the parish seat of St. John the Baptist. Seat or not, it’s still only got about 2,500 residents. The “saints” (St. John, St. James, St. Charles) parishes or river parishes that line the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge are really rural, most of the towns are actually unincorporated or census-designated areas. There are a lot of old plantations in the area, in varying degrees of upkeep, some of them open to the public and some not.

The main reason I went there was Evergreen Plantation. It still has a lot of the surviving outbuildings—pigeonniers, garçonnières, slave cabins, a kitchen, even a privy that looks like a tiny Greek temple—and I often find those kinds of buildings are more interesting to photograph than the houses themselves. However, the tour was kind of a disappointment. We got dragged through the grounds with hardly a stop on the way to the main house; which, other than an exterior double staircase, is frankly not that interesting. (If you’ve seen Django Unchained, you’ll recognize it as Big Daddy’s house.) We did get to stop at the slave cabins, because that’s where the tour ended, but I would have appreciated a longer look at the other buildings. And they didn’t let us stay on the grounds afterwards, which literally every other plantation on the River Road that I’ve been to does. At $20 adult admission, they need to give you more for your money. (And I made my feelings clear in my Yelp review!)

But a trip to the River Road is never wasted. I always find interesting things to photograph: tiny churches, graveyards with odd mausoleums, and of course abandoned buildings by the dozen. The highlight of this trip was the Caire’s Landing building, which I’d seen photos of in Richard Sexton’s Vestiges of Grandeur. I knew it was in Edgard, but it was still weird to drive along and just see it there. It’s not even fenced in, you can just walk up to it. Of course I also photographed the local Catholic cemetery, too. Supposedly General PGT Beauregard, who ordered the first shots fired in the Civil War, is buried there, but I didn’t come across his tomb.

Caire's Landing Building

Evergreen Plantation, privy & gardens

Evergreen Plantation, staircase

Evergreen Plantation, pigeonnier & garçonnière

Evergreen Plantation

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and Cemetery

Caire Court

Caire's Landing Building

LA Highway 18

Evergreen Plantation, slave cabins

Caire's Landing Building

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p.s. I started an Ello account yesterday and I still have a couple of invites left. PM or email me your email address if you’re interested. Or if you’re already on there and looking for more friends, I’m sarah_kay_gee. (I have no real reason not to use my full legal name, but decided not to just because I could, unlike with Facebook.)