St. Martin Parish

The fleeting period of pleasant, early spring weather (warm but not hot, breezy, sunny and not humid) has given way to late spring’s humidity and daily thunderstorms. Yesterday was intermittently cloudy but there wasn’t any rain forecast, and after several weekends of not shooting I was chomping at the bit. I wanted to stay close to home, in case the weather got cute and decided to rain after all. I decided to explore some of St. Martin Parish, which is only a little more than half an hour’s drive. I’ve never really seen much of the parish outside of St. Martinville, the parish seat; and Breaux Bridge, which has several antiques stores that I like.

Fournet Cemetery

Fournet Cemetery in St. Martinville. I was driving past it when I realized I’d never been inside, the only cemetery in the town I’ve been to is the one behind St. Martin of Tours.

Durand Oak Alley

This is an oak alley that I was surprised to come across, I’d read about it but for some reason I thought it was on the River Road. It used to lead to a plantation house owned by a wealthy planter named Durand, but the house is long gone and now it’s just an exceptionally well-shaded rural road. The legend is that Durand imported a bunch of large spiders and set them loose in the trees to spin giant webs, and on the day of his daughter’s wedding he made his slaves climb the trees and blow gold dust into the webs. I guess I associate that kind of decadence with River Road planters more than Acadiana planters.

Station of the Cross, Catahoula Highway

This was the main thing I set out to photograph, I read about these stations of the cross in Acadiana: Louisiana’s Historic Cajun Country, which I got for Christmas. (Or rather, I bought it for myself with a gift card.) They’re nailed to oak trees along the Catahoula Highway, about a mile apart. I think the original ones were put up in the 1920s, but these don’t look that old so they must make new ones every decade or so.

Skoolie shack

This was in Parks, a little town between St. Martinville and Breaux Bridge, and I had to put my usual shyness about photographing private property on hold, because what the hell? I’ve heard of converted school buses, but this is like someone duct-taped one to a shack and made them into a single structure.

I couldn’t resist poking my head into my favorite antiques store in Breaux Bridge, Lagniappe on Bridge Street, before I went home. I found a cute Instamatic, but it was a model that shoots 126, Kodak’s proprietary cartridge film, which of course they haven’t made in decades. There were some models that shot 110, one day I’ll find one.

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Brownie Hawkeye w/ flipped lens: St. Roch Cemetery in the Bywater


7564NEG0007, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.


7564NEG0004, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.


7564NEG0011, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.


7564NEG0008, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.


7564NEG0012, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

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portfolio: round 4

This is my first time ordering large prints from medium format negatives; the square prints are both 10×10.

The one in the cemetery was taken with my Holga on a spring early afternoon, and it’s printed on Kodak Lustre. It’s a little roadside cemetery in the country near the larger Bancker cemetery where my grandfather is buried. As you can see in the photo, there are cow pastures behind and to one side of it. The Spanish moss is always particularly beautiful on that large tree in the center. I love the dreaminess of the photo (that great Holga softeness and corner vignetting), the little pops of bright color from the artificial flowers, and the cows in the background, which look so odd near the stark white tombstones.

The other photo was taken at the Washington Schoolhouse Antiques Mall with my Kodak Brownie Hawkeye with a flipped lens, and it’s printed on Kodak Metallic. (They’re always putting different stuff in that old sink.) This is the first time I’ve had anything done on metallic that had light, soft colors. I decided to go with metallic because the pinwheel was made of glittery plastic, and I wanted to reproduce that look, but I also like the way it looks with more subtle colors, too.

And the last photo was taken at the Audobon Aquarium of the Americas last summer in New Orleans, with my Lomo LC-A+. It’s an 8×10 and it’s printed on Kodak Lustre. (I don’t think I’ve had anything printed on matte, yet.) This is one of my favorite photos, I just think it’s so interesting to look at. Do you think the orange fish is leading the other fish, or being chased by them?

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further adventures in flipped lenses

9712neg0012, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

This is my second roll with a flipped lens, and I think it works better on close subjects. You get a spot of focus surrounded by blur when you’re close up, but with distant subjects it tends to be a uniform fuzziness.

9712neg0008, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

9712neg0011, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

faubourg marigny: brownie hawkeye with a flipped lens

I got these back from Dwayne’s Photos a couple of days before Christmas and kept forgetting to post them. I took the lens out of the camera and turned it around, a modification known as a “flipped lens”.


3334neg0012, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.


3334neg0010, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.


3334neg0005, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

kodak brownie hawkeye

I’ve mentioned the Washington, LA Old Schoolhouse Antiques Mall before; today was day one of their 3-day semi-annual (they have another one in October) “outside” fair, so called because they have a lot more vendors than usual, and they’re all outside of the building. I went with the ‘rents, although Phil spent most of the time sleeping on the front steps. Mr. Excitement.

Frankly, I thought most of the outside vendors were straight-up junk, except for one booth that had a lot of cool old jewelry. I bought a pin shaped like a blue seahorse from her. But I’ve always made good finds inside the mall. It’s where I bought my Kodak Duaflex last year. It still has the take-up spool inside it, which means I could modify 120 rolls to shoot in it (technically it takes 620, which hasn’t been made in decades). But the lab would have to send the spool back, or I’d never be able to shoot in it again, so I’ve been too nervous to actually use it so far. I will one day, though. I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise.

Anyway, I was hoping the same vendor would have more old cameras, and she did not disappoint. I got the above flash model Kodak Brownie Haweye for $40. It has all the flash bulbs! And a roll of 620 that expired in 1968! And how’s this for freaky: there’s a roll in the camera, exposed up to frame 11. I will definitely be sending that in for development. The vendor told me I had to come back if there was anything interesting or weird on it.

The fact that there’s still a roll of film in the camera tells me that it’s not missing any parts inside, so that’s awesome. There’s a space in the box where something used to be, but whatever it was it wasn’t vital, because the flash still connects to the camera. Maybe it was a little tripod or something.

This camera isn’t as old as my Duaflex. My Duaflex was the first model made — I can tell because there’s no Roman numeral after the name — putting it between 1947-1950. The flash model Brownie Hawkeye was in production between 1950-1961, and this one feels like mid-50s to me. It’s bakelite, not plastic; I rubbed some water on the side and it released the smell of formeldahyde. I learned that from Antiques Roadshow.

I’m building up quite a collection of old cameras. One day I will own a Rolleiflex. Oh yes… it will be mine.

ETA: I put the question of the missing space to the Brownie Hawkeye group on flickr, and the likeliest scenario is it contained the batteries for the flash. It’s the right size, and also explains why they’re missing when everything else — even all the flash bulbs — is still there, because batteries will always get put into something eventually.