Fuji Neopan (expired) in Wide & Slim

This has been one of my favorite film/camera combos for a while now. I only have a few rolls of Neopan left, but I feel like I’ve progressed through all the stages of grief and I’m ready to start trying other options. (Don’t talk to me about pack film yet, though. Too soon.)

Dugas Cemetery

Abandoned house

Talbert-Pierson Cemetery

Fort Macomb

Luling Mansion

In other news, I’ve gone back to my old idea of trying to find a ghost town in southern Louisiana. I did dome research on it about 4 years ago but gave up because websites were always mentioning “ghost towns” that no longer existed. They would turn out to have been washed away by the river when it changed course, or totally demolished to build a section of highway, or wiped off the earth by hurricanes. One website claims Bayou Goula is a ghost town, to which all I can say is that those are some pretty lively ghosts.

Morrisonville in Iberville Parish seemed like a good bet, it was small community on the River Road that had to be abandoned in the mid-90s when Dow Chemical spilled vinyl chloride. There’s nothing left but the cemetery but I thought it might make some interesting photos anyway, with all the pipes and industrial crap in the background. However, the Dow facility has grown around the site of the town in the intervening years, and the cemetery is now on private property. It’s theoretically accessible by the public, and a security guard gave me a phone number to call, but no one ever answered. So that was a big, fat goose egg.

Back to the drawing board. If you know of anything, please leave a comment.

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Help me pick which print will go on sale in my Etsy shop

I got the first roll of Neopan (or any black and white film) that I ever shot in the Ultra Wide & Slim developed, and WOW. I LOVE how it looks! My favorite shots are the Stations of the Cross that I photographed on the Catahoula Highway in St. Martin Parish a few weeks ago; I want to put one of them for sale in my Etsy shop but I love them all so much that I can’t pick. That’s where you come in: poll time! If you had $20 to buy one of these prints, which one would you choose?

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

I was going to add a poll, but the WordPress overlords, in their infinite wisdom, apparently decided to remove the button when they changed the dashboard. So please help me out by leaving your pick in the comments; feel free to elaborate on why you chose the one you did, if you wish.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help me make more of it, please consider supporting me on Patreon.

Pink Slim Dress: LeBeau Plantation, after the fire

The Pink Slim Dress has a dumb name but is an awesome camera. It’s the SuperHeadz knock-off of the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim, which it re-created faithfully except for the Viv’s annoying habit of breaking if you breathe on it too hard. It’s great for photographing large buildings, like LeBeau was before a bunch of gas-huffing chucklefucks burned it to the ground–I used it last spring, when Trish and I photographed the house in slightly better days.

LeBeau Plantation, after the fire

LeBeau Plantation, after the fire

LeBeau Plantation, after the fire

LeBeau Plantation, after the fire

LeBeau Plantation, after the fire

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Pink Slim Dress: LeBeau Plantation, Arabi, LA

(The Pink Slim Dress is the SuperHeadz knock-off of the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim; it has the camera’s exact body and 22mm lens, but not its annoying habit of an extremely easily broken film advance. It comes in a variety of colors.)

I take my color 35mm to… Walgreen’s. I know, I know. Their ignorance of photography actually works to the Lomographer’s advantage, because they don’t try to “correct” screwy film. They just develop it and slap it on a CD. But lately I’ve been having trouble with them. One roll came back with the colors all muddy, which almost certainly means they were using old chemicals. And 2 of them had weird spots, like water spots, all over the prints. They tried to tell me the film was damaged. 2 rolls seems doubtful, but they were from the same package, so… not impossible?

I decided the problem wasn’t so much with “Walgreen’s” as it was with “the Abbeville Walgreen’s”. This isn’t a very big town, and there isn’t a deep talent pool to draw from, which is probably why our local Chili’s can’t get a simple hamburger right. (Seriously, every 6 months there’s an “under new management” banner out front, every time my parents try it out, and every time they come home and are like “Yeah, no, it’s still terrible”.) I mean, the woman whose name tag says she is the “photography dept manager” once told me they couldn’t cross-process my slide film (which I had had done there like, 20 times at that point) because their machines couldn’t handle E-6 “size” film, only C-41. I patiently explained to her that E-6 and C-41 aren’t sizes, they’re chemical processes. The size of both films is 35mm.

So I took this roll (and the roll I shot in the Smena 8M) to the Walgreen’s in Lafayette. And even though this roll was from the same batch of film as the 2 that had spots on them, it’s spotless. So I think I’m going to take it there from now on.

487650-R1-24-1, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

487650-R1-18-7, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

487650-R1-19-6, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

487650-R1-15-10, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

487650-R1-13-12, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

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i managed to shoot a roll in the pink slim dress last weekend without dying of heatstroke

pink slim dress

I got my first roll from the Pink Slim Dress — the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim clone from Superheadz — back, and… I LOVE THIS CAMERA.

What’s great about this clone is that, except for the color, it’s an exact copy of the Viv UWS. (Except where the Viv says “Ultra Wide Lens”, the Pink Dress says “Super Fat Lens”!) Look at them side-by-side. But Superheadz has eliminated the Viv UWS’s major drawback: a flimsy film advance cog that frequently gives way with a tiny ping! halfway through the roll. Once that happens, attempting to advance or rewind the film will result in nothing but plasticky clicks of death. It’s why Viv UWSs are so often found being sold in junk stores for $1.

I’ve touted my Golden Half’s sturdiness before, and Superheadz appears to have done the same exemplary construction with the Pink Dress. I shot a 36-exposure roll — something anyone who’s owned a Viv UWS would advise against — with no problems at all.

You can see the whole set here.

superheadz pink slim dress camera

Toy camera addiction is a serious disease that deserves compassion, not anger and ridicule!

YES, I bought another camera. Someone brought it up in the comments of my last camera-related entry; I’d never even heard about it before. The Pink Slim Dress (and all the clones that have different colors and names) is Superheadz’s answer to the sadly defunct Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim. The Pink Slim Dress faithfully reproduces the Viv’s 22mm lens, wonky colors, and occasional vignetting. I was a little taken aback when I saw that it had no flash or hotshoe, but then realized that duh, of course it doesn’t: because it photographs such a wide area, no flash could ever light up the whole scene. So this is basically a sunny day/outdoors camera only, unless you’re packing a super-fast film in it. And I prefer to stay around 400ISO in my 35mm cameras; I don’t like the grain that comes with faster films.

And I love my other Superheadz cameras. One of my favorite things about them is their sturdiness. Some Lomo cameras, you’re afraid to breathe on them too hard, and a lot of them have serious design defiencies — not the cool ones that we actually want, but truly shitty ones, like the rickety clips that hold the back of the Holga on and constantly threaten to give way and expose your film. I always insure it with generous swatches of electrical tape on both sides. One of the reason I went with the Golden Half over the Diana Mini is that I read some horror stories about pieces breaking off the camera within one roll’s worth of use.

I had actually been thinking that I needed a wide angle camera for all the flat, wide-open spaces out here, so this isn’t completely out of left field. And I’ll give you that buying three cameras in the space of 2 weeks is a little insane, even for me. But it was only $29.99, the Blackbird Fly was nearly a 1/3 off the usual retail price, and I would have been nuts to pass up that complete Brownie Hawyeye gift set at that price. We’re only talking about $150, all told. Still $100 less than a new Lomo LC-A+ would set me back.

Still, no more cameras until after I get a job and get my first paycheck. My first REAL paycheck; as opposed to the dinky first paycheck that you always get when you start a new job, that’s only got like 2 days of work on it because you have to wait for the pay period lag to catch you up.

Also, Phil gave me his old digital camera because he wasn’t hardly using it anymore. It’s pretty old and it was a challenge to learn how to use it, but it’s also got a higher megapixel than my old digital — which is now doing this weird thing where it constantly shuts off after a few seconds (even with brand new batteries), making it nearly impossible to use. I still really ❤ film and my toys cameras, but a digital is always good to have as back-up, in case something goes wrong with film.