This was the second half of that mystery roll.
Blue Blood in a Purple State
02 Dec 2015 Leave a comment
This was the second half of that mystery roll.
23 Apr 2015 Leave a comment
Adam’s Fruit Stand in Matthews
New Canal Lighthouse, Lake Pontchartrain, NOLA
Moresi Foundry, Jeanerette
St. Roch Shrine, NOLA
Steamboat House, Holy Cross, NOLA
Association Tomb, Valence Street Cemetery, NOLA
02 Oct 2014 Leave a comment
This was shot during my Mississippi road trip last spring–and I’m going back at the end of the month, so that’s appropriate. I’m taking Halloween off, because I needed to schedule 7 days off during the last 3 months of the year, and all the good days around Christmas were taken but not Halloween and it’s a Friday. I’m really, really hoping I can get back to Rodney, which I had to skip last trip because it had rained so much–getting there entails driving a few miles on a completely unpaved road. (I’m also hoping Mom will let me borrow her truck.)
Most of the roll is of the Windsor Ruins; a lot of the shots are underexposed because of how overcast it was all weekend. Still, I kind of like that, because they look how it felt. It was very oppressive.
16 May 2013 Leave a comment
The film camera I took on my most recent NOLA outing was the Blackbird Fly, a plastic 35mm TLR rangefinder made by Superheadz (they also made my Golden Half). I haven’t used it in a while and I was considering selling it, but thought I should use it one more time before I made up my mind. I remembered it as difficult to use, but I think that’s because when I last used it I didn’t yet have much experience with rangefinders. Since then I’ve used several (and I collect Arguses, which are all rangefinders); my Yashica MG1 is my go-to camera for B&W, and even my Smena 8M is a rangefinder.
The only drawbacks to the Blackbird Fly is that a) it’s difficult to take horizontal photos, instead of using the viewfinder you have to compose your photo through a cut-out in the viewfinder hood, and that’s never a 100% accurate way to frame; and b) you have to really concentrate on getting your subjects level. I remember the first roll I shot looked like I had done it in a rowboat. And unless it’s really overcast or you’re shooting indoors, you need to stick to low-speed film (this is Kodak Ektar 100), because there are only 2 aperture settings to the camera–sunny and cloudy/flash–and both of them are fairly wide, I think F11 and F8. With higher speed film, 400 or even 200, in a camera with a normal range of aperture settings, I usually stop it all the way down to F16 when it’s a sunny day.
Anyway, I think I’ll keep it for now. It’s a little unusual to find a TLR that’s also a rangefinder, and the camera itself is fun to use and even rather cute. And like most rangefinders (except my Yashica, which has an in-viewfinder focus aid that allows you to be really accurate), the fact that you’re never 100% right about the distance from your subjects results in an appealingly soft focus.
13 Mar 2013 Leave a comment
Baptist Church in Rodney.
Inside the church.
Methodist church in Rodney. If you look to the left of the wrought iron tip, you can make out the cannon ball embedded in the wall.
Inside the Methodist church.
The Windsor Ruins.
Bases of pillars at the Ruins.
I’d like to go back to the Windsor Ruins in high spring, like maybe a couple of months from now, when all those trees are blooming.
I didn’t finish the roll in Mississippi, so a few days ago I went to the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Lafayette. Of all the churches I’ve seen in Louisiana, that’s still my favorite, even more than St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. I haven’t been there since before I moved to Louisiana, and I’ve only ever taken digital shots with it, not film.
This is a photo I took to compare and contrast with one of my favorite digital shots I’ve ever taken. The most obvious difference is depth of field, with film I couldn’t get both the angel and the church in focus, and I chose the angel.
The digital photo is visually cleaner, I cropped it extensively–something I’m reluctant to do with film, unless it just really needs it, like if someone’s arm is sticking into the photo or something–and I also crouched down so the granite surface of the tomb was level with the horizon of the photo. You don’t see any of the cemetery behind the angel, just the church.
And yet I’m hard-pressed to say which photo I like better. The digital shot is probably “better”; but the film shot has a certain texture that’s more pleasing to me, a contrast and a sense of what that particular moment in time was actually like. It’s not as “pretty” but it seems more “real”.
I guess which photograph you like more depends on what you, the viewer, are looking to get out of it.
In other photography news, I’ve discovered a couple of Etsy shops that specialize in vintage Soviet goods, and soon I will be the proud owner of a (film-tested) Smena 8M, manufactured by the LOMO factory in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg again) around the time that I was begging my parents to be allowed to stay up late enough to watch this edgy new cop show called Miami Vice. The Smena is a weird mix of cheap plastic housing, confusing manual controls, and a surprisingly good quality leaf shutter (like my beloved Arguses) and triple-element coated lens. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
The lens cap has a hammer & sickle bas-relief! It’s weird to feel nostalgic over something that you spent your childhood fearing, but I guess the key word is “childhood”. Besides, I was never one of those Gen X kids who worried about nuclear war. I always figured I’d die instantly, living so close to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, so what’s the point? I had more important things on my mind, like mastering Ms. Pac-Man and finding just the right shade of florescent blue jelly shoes.
They also have Leicas that were released in honor of Lenin’s 90th birthday that look BAD ASS, but those are currently a wee bit out of my range. I’m keeping them bookmarked, though.
06 Dec 2012 Leave a comment
This is the camera that kept giving me unintentional double exposures when I took it to St. Francisville. I had a roll of Kodak Ektar in it, I used about half of it on that trip and finished it up around here. The film counter isn’t working, I kept shooting and shooting and it only got up to about 12. I thought I had shot more than 36 exposures and since I didn’t get to the end of the roll I figured it was fucked up, but I took it into Walgreen’s anyway. I might not have bothered if it had been any other type of film, but Ektar is one of my favorite color negative films, and I don’t know if it’s going to be made much longer. (Hopefully whoever winds up buying Kodak’s films after the bankruptcy will continue producing it, but no one knows for sure what’s going to happen.)
I got them back earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised: no double exposures, and 37 negatives, which means I must have been at the end when I gave up. (Film rolls are always a little longer than what the label says, so when you shoot with film keep shooting until you can’t advance the film any more.) Maybe the camera just needed to be used to fix what was wrong with it. The counter is shot, but that’s not an essential piece of the camera.
19 Jun 2011 Leave a comment
We met a week early this month because Hope has something going on next week. We met at CoCo Marina, and I can personally vouch for their crawfish pies.
There was yet another cemetery on the itinerary–this one was a little different because it was built on an Indian burial mound. Which just seems like bad juju to me. Haven’t these Cajuns ever seen Poltergeist?
But the highlight was the Kenny Hill Sculpture Garden. It’s a really fascinating piece of religious folk art that took a decade to construct and was abandoned by its maker. The Kohler Foundation rescued it–you know Kohler, they make kitchen and bathroom fixtures? One of the heirs of that fortune set up a foundation to rescue and restore folk art. They bought the property, cleaned up the statuary, then gave it to Nicholls State University.