Mystery roll: St. Charles Borromeo church & cemetery, Grand Coteau, LA

This was the second half of that mystery roll.

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo

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St. Charles Borromeo Church & Cemetery

Memorial Day weekend was mostly rainy, but on Monday it stopped long enough to drive up to Grand Coteau in St. Landry Parish and take some photos. I finished the roll I had in my Smena 8M but I haven’t gotten that developed yet.

Stained glass

Those are some evil looking cherubs.

Church & clergy cemetery

Metal cross



I’m not a fan of tattoos (for myself, I mean; I am not your mommy and what you choose to do with your own body is none of my business), but I kind of think this would be a great design for one.




I usually take a weekend trip somewhere at the end of May, sort of one last hurrah before summer shuts me down until September, but I’m still trying to save for that car. Too bad, I really wanted to go back to Mississippi–I want to go to Union Church, which is the first place in Mississippi that my paternal ancestors lived. Before that, I think they lived in North Carolina (my oldest brother is the family’s genealogist). Guess it will have to wait, maybe this winter I can swing it. In the fall I’m planning a trip to Missouri; that was supposed to happen this spring, but–car. I’d like to go early fall, maybe the end of September, because on All Saint’s Day (November 1st) I want to find a cemetery that still does grave-lighting and see if I can take some photos. That will most likely require spending the night somewhere, possibly New Orleans.

Tomorrow is my Lomographers of Acadiana meetup and it’s probably going to be the last one; I’ve about made up my mind to let my dues expire. It’s just too much hassle and expense when almost no one who belongs to the group ever bothers to show up.

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Smena 8M: St. Landry Parish

I learned a valuable lesson about this camera the 2nd time I used it: the rewind knob sometimes doesn’t work–maybe because the original take-up spool has been replaced with the guts of a 35mm film canister–and trying to force it will just rip the end out of your film roll. Sigh. So now I remove the film inside a changing bag and rewind it by hand.


Framing is tricky with this camera, what you see through the viewfinder is always tighter than what actually gets photographed–when I looked through the viewfinder at this scene, I pretty much only saw the building.



Still, this lens has awesome color saturation.


You can get pretty close-up, too.


The photos were a little overexposed, I used 200 speed film and stopped it all the way down to F16, but it was a really bright day. I think I’ll stick to Ektar in this camera unless it’s an overcast day.

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St. Landry Parish, Louisiana

Last weekend the weather was slightly less hot and humid than it had been for the past 10 days or so, so I went out shooting. I really don’t want to spend the entire summer cooped up indoors, so if we get the occasional weekend that isn’t totally unbearable–or raining, we get most of our rain in the summer here–I’m going to go somewhere. When Mom and I were cleaning out Granny’s apartment (before she died, when she was in the nursing home), I found a guidebook for Acadiana, which is comprised of 22 of the 64 parishes of Louisiana, stretching east to Cameron Parish and the Texas border, west to Lafourche Parish, and as far north as Ayoyelles Parish.  (We live basically smack in the middle of it.) I’ve bookmarked about 2 dozen pages, so I shouldn’t run out of ideas anytime soon.

Saturday I explored a little bit of St. Landry Parish, which is about an hour north of us. I’ve been there a couple of times, but mostly just to antique, and once to go to Evangeline Downs in Opelousas. Some of the parishes are tiny, or are basically just one town or city and some surrounding rural areas, but St. Landry is both fairly large and contains several towns and communities. In fact, it’s probably going to take at least another trip before I see everything that I want to. I like the area because it’s a little hilly, and reminds me a bit of the Bay Area. I miss the hills and mountains sometimes.

First I went to Arnaudville, which for the past several years has become something of an arts center for the area. There are several galleries and a lot of south Louisiana artists have studios there, and there’s even a place where people can take art classes. I mostly saw painting and sculpture, not much photography. But I did find some abandoned buildings to photograph!


Lots of black-eyed Susans blooming this year.


You see a lot of these rusty old arrow signs in the country around here. A lot of people run businesses out of their homes (or barns) in the rural south. I always wonder what they used to advertise.

As I was leaving town I saw a sign for Leonville, less than 10 miles away. Leonville is in my book, it’s a historic town that was founded by free people of color before the Civil War. Alas, there isn’t much to the town itself, other than a couple of gas stations and a convenience store, so I used the rest of my film up on the church and cemetery.

St. Leo the Great church

Interesting details on the stained glass.

I was too close to the town of Washington and my favorite antiques mall (the one inside the old schoolhouse) to resist swinging by, but I didn’t see anything I couldn’t live without. There was a pretty big stash of old Kodaks and Anscos in the gym, but most of them were pretty beat up.

There were a couple of Baby Brownies, but they were both broken. Even if I never use the camera due to the difficulty in obtaining 127 film (there’s one company in Croatia that still makes it, and a few boutique sellers who wrap their own onto salvaged spools and custom-made backing paper), I’d still want it to work.

There was a Kodak Tourist that was in perfect condition, but I don’t really need another 620 folding camera. Still, it was marked down from $45 to $30… and I actually don’t currently have a 620 folding camera, I sold my Foldex 20. I might give it a home if it’s still there next time I go.

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