Found New Orleans Slides (Part 2)

I gave a bit of a break between posts of these thrift store slides so I wouldn’t inundate the feeds of those of you who follow me. Here’s another round of them. Incidentally, if anyone knows where in New Orleans this first slide was taken, I’d love to know. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy these!

The location in this first slide is a mystery to me. Any help in naming this building or location in New Orleans would be appreciated!

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This next slide was taken, as you might guess, in Cabildo Alley. Notice the Kodak sign outside the shop? How cool is that? If you do a Google Maps search on this location, you’ll find it looks almost the same today as it did decades ago when this slide was taken. Sadly, the Kodak sign is no longer there, but that seems to be the way with Kodak signs as of late. (Keeping the faith, Kodak!)

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This next slide was taken at some restaurant in New Orleans, but I have no idea which one. Anyone have a clue?
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This next slide, of course, shows Antoine’s Restaurant. According to Wikipedia, this is the oldest family-run restaurant in the United States. It opened in 1840! How about that!
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One of the best things about these slides is the automobiles in them. Big land yachts!
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I hope you enjoyed installment two of these slides. I wish I could go back in time to be standing with the person who took these images. I’d love to see what camera(s) they used, which film(s) they used, and so on. I’d like to think we’d have a blast. See you next time!

New Orleans 1971 and Before (Thrift Store Slides)

The only thing that sometimes gets between me and shooting film is my love for going to thrift stores to find treasure. Preferably, I find mid-century pottery and film cameras. This past week, though, I found a treasure that was different than anything I’d found up to this point. In the book room of a store right up the street from where I live, I was perusing a wicker basket of old postcards and travel guides. Behind all of this in the basket was a plastic bag full of slides. I saw some of them were labeled “Louisiana,” so I had to pick them up. I finally got around to scanning them last night. They’re dirty. They’re scratched. One of them even has a puncture wound. Some of them seem to have shifted in color/hue. All of them are excellent.

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None of these are my work, obviously. The latest ones were made a year or two before I was born. I’m merely sharing a find. Credit goes to whoever out there in the world originally took these photos. There are thirty of these, so I’ll break them up into several posts over the coming days. I hope you enjoy them. Interestingly, I have taken photos at a couple of the same spots as this mystery photographer. I’ll be posting my shots in tandem with their counterpart from these slides as I find my photos and scan them.

 

Nikon FA and Portra 160

My recent posts have been predominantly black-and white. This post is dedicated to Kodak Portra 160 and my first voyage with my Nikon FA. I am a die-hard fan of Canon SLRs. But having been gifted 4 Nikon SLRs in the past year (all rescued from thrift stores spanning from Georgia to Missouri), I had to start getting busy playing with these beauties. For my trip to Missouri this year, I chose the Nikon FA to be my SLR companion for the trip.

After visiting Lake of the Ozarks late in the summer last year, I was really wanting to get a shot that reflected the “post-season” feeling of the place. Once things have slowed down and there aren’t dozens of boats zipping up and down the lake, there is still a calm beauty present. Even when the boats are covered for the summer, this is still a great place for a week of R and R. I think this image captured that pretty well.

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The shot below, admittedly, was a bit of a joke. I got some nice shots of the lake house from the dock, but this one was just begging to have a bit of fun post work done. I did some color and contrast manipulation to give the shot a more surreal “technicolor” feeling.

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This shot was taken in front of Skyline Lanes in Clarksville, Tennessee. I took several others, but there was a serious problem with them. I’ll discuss that in a later post. At any rate, my unintentional model was a good sport about being in these photos. If you ever find yourself in Clarksville for any reason, find this bowling alley and go in for a few games. It really is like stepping back in time.

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The shot below was one of my favorites from the trip. I did have some glare/reflection issues on the windows, but a polarizer only made them worse. I moved my position as much as I could in order to manipulate the reflections, but it was all for naught. That being said, the reflections serve as a bit of a reality check in what could otherwise be a frozen frame from a dream sequence. The shot has such a sense of peace. Being someone who also collects mid-century pottery, I had to get the stoneware teapots in the photo. This images gives so many things to look at, but they don’t fight one another. I was pretty happy with it.

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I have to say that the Nikon FA was by far the most pleasurable SLR experience I think I’ve ever had. I say that at a very low volume as to not  upset my dear Canons, but it’s the truth. Ease and sensibility of use in all modes made me an instant fan. I was a bit apprehensive as the FA was a last-minute addition to my camera bag. With no light seals left to speak of, I was worried I’d have a bunch of.. well, “lomo” photos with lots of light leaks and all that. Thankfully, that was not the case. Luckily, I had tested the camera’s light meter against my handheld Gossen Digi-Six and the FA was spot-on in every situation I could test.

At any rate, the camera was great and I have developed a deeper love for Portra film.  I hope you enjoy. As always, I welcome comments and critiques.

Saint Francisville, Louisiana

A small town in Southeast Louisiana, St. Francisville was founded in 1809 and is home to a large number of historic buildings and homes that are representative of the time period. There’s a Wiki page that has some general information, but you might have fun clicking on the “Myrtles” Wiki link you see. Ghosts!

Speaking of, I feel like I’ve been a ghost lately. Not posting and just reading and silently admiring life happening through the posts of the WP bloggers I follow. I’ve been a busy guy, but admittedly a bit lazy, too. I hope you like the photos I took during my last trip to St. Francisville. They come from my first attempt at B/W film using a point-and-shoot camera. The Olympus Stylus Epic has blown my mind once again. I took a bunch of photos, and almost all of them turned out beautifully, only needing a small tweak because of the intense midday sunlight I was working with. I will admit the photos are rather touristy, but the deep South is not a place where one walks up to someone’s house taking pictures at their doorstep. The police department, the courthouse and the jail are all a block from where these photos were taken, if you know what I mean. 

I’m going to break the photos up into a few posts, so let’s get started with the first post.

 

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This is a house along what is a long street of historic homes. I didn’t have my notebook with me, so I can’t tell you the name of it. Funny thing, though, I met the owner’s son just before I took this photo. The kid was completely oblivious to why people stop to take photos of his house. Poor kid.

 

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This is the garden/backyard of the house in the first photo. I loved the light cutting through the trees down onto the grass. The lawn and the statue did give me a feeling of “Midnight and the Garden of Good and Evil.”

 

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This is a house that tends to be a repeat photo every time I go home to visit. Something about this place makes me want to take rolls of photos. I really do wish I could get closer to this place. The detailing is simply breathtaking. Perhaps next time I go home, I’ll walk up to the door and ask. Hopefully there aren’t any mean guard dogs trotting around.

The combination of the bright sunlight and ASA400 film produced a lot more grain than I wanted in these. I think the next trip will require some Ilford PanF 50. Hope you like these, and look for more tomorrow. 

Ilford Pan F 50 (Part 2)

Here are a few more shots I held back from yesterday’s post so it wouldn’t be so incredibly long. If you haven’t read the previous post that has the majority of the photos in it, these were taken with a Canon Rebel Ti film SLR and Ilford Pan F 50 black and white film. The photos were taken at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Georgia.

They decided to take a break, but i was too eager to keep shooting. I got this stealthy photo of them relaxing before we continued on the trail.

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I do a lot of shots like this for some reason. I just love putting tree branches against a sky backdrop. I know it’s nothing too special, but I like it because of the darkness of the branches in the front against the sunlit branches in the background.

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Even now, I feel deprived that this is the only owl I have ever seen in the flesh. They are beautiful and mysterious creatures. I’m not exactly sure why the owl was in a caged habitat unless it’s injured in some way. Thankfully Mr./Mrs. Owl didn’t mind me getting close enough to take a photo.

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That’s all of the shots from this roll other than the ones that actually did turn out a little shaky. Overall, I consider it a very successful outing. I am usually quite happy to get 2 or maybe 3 shots from a roll that I like. This only leads me to believe that I need to develop my photographic senses in the viewfinder AND when looking at the finished result. If weather permits, I’ll be posting some more new shots later this week. See you soon!

Ilford Pan F 50 Film

In the days of having more stores carrying film a few years back, I absolutely adored using Ilford PanF 50 film. I mainly only shoot on my off days, which means it can only happen once I drag myself out of bed and have large amounts of coffee. By then, the light conditions are much more conducive to using ASA50 film without a tripod. 

This particular roll of Ilford PanF 50 was taken during a trip to Chattahoochee Nature Center a few years ago. While I know it may be a bit of a cop-out to post old photos instead of new things, these photos are worth sharing.  They haven’t surfaced before now because I have a problem critiquing the images I take. I get the negatives back and always think most of them are terrible. Now that I have the ability to scan them and inspect them on a larger scale, I’ve learned to hold my judgement until the scans are finished. I usually find that I like more of them than I would have otherwise thought. When I only had the prints or contact sheet to critique, it was very difficult for me to “see” the images in front of me.

At any rate, these shots using my Canon Rebel Ti and Ilford Pan F 50 film turned out great, and I’m delighted I gave them a second look. These were scanned with an Epson V500 using their negative holder. The photos, amazingly, were not touched up in any way other than removing dust bunnies here and there.  These have the tones that I usually have to play around with in PS to achieve.  Pardon the excessive patting-my-own-back  narrative in this post. I love these images enough that they deserve a little respect. Enjoy!

For me, this shot was the winner of the day. The tones, the composition, and the clarity of the subject against the  blurred background were all pretty much spot-on.

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Carpenter bee taking a late lunch. I love the way the left and right halves of the photo are different enough to stand on their own as perfectly good images.

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Photo two of the carpenter bee. i like the one above a bit better, but the bee was in better focus in the photo below.

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This shot was a surprise. I didn’t even remember taking it, but I think I pretty much nailed the composition.

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One of the nicer covered bench areas for taking a rest from the nature trail.

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The clarity on this scarecrow is simply amazing. I can’t stop looking at it.

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There are a few shots left from this roll that I’ll post in a day or two. I didn’t want to post everything in one post, plus  I can tell this post is already incredibly long and image-heavy. I hope you enjoyed seeing these. I always appreciate feedback about technique or recommendations of any kind. Feel free to chime in with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thanks!

Tea Time

Shopping in thrift stores is the one thing I love to do about as much as I love taking photos. Like anyone afflicted with the thrift store obsession, I have certain things I like to collect. Among these are mid-century California pottery, cameras (of course), some Japanese porcelain figurines, and tea sets. I don’t even care if there’s a little damage to some of the pieces or if the set isn’t complete.

A week ago, I happened upon a couple of early 1930s harp tables and decided that I would use them as a base for taking some still photography shots of some of the tea sets I have. Using the same extremely shallow depth of field to showcase a certain detail or design, I took to task. The photos you see here are some of the highlights. Incidentally, these photos were taken with a Pentax K-1000 that was also thrifted somewhere in the midwest by my partner in crime. I cleaned it up and replaced its light seals the night before these were taken. Anyway, here we go!

First up, the most complete set I have. Some gorgeous hand-painted Chikaramachi from Japan. The teapot’s spout has some damage, which is the place most teapots are injured. Even with this damage, the colors and scenery in these pieces was just too gorgeous to pass on. I wonder whose pantry these were sitting in for 70+ years? Strangely fascinating.

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Next is a tetsubin with three tea cups and holders. I’ve had the tetsubin for at least a year and a half, but these cups and holders came along a couple of weeks ago. I had been hoping to find something that would even remotely go with the set. Luckily, these came along.

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Finally, my most recent find was several pieces of a Nippon Noritake pattern. The teapot is badly damaged on one side, which I may show in a later project. For now, I wanted to let this girl show off her beauty in all its glory. Sadly, this is the only cup I was able to get. Luckily, there’s a saucer to go with it. I  hope I can get my hands on more of this pattern.

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And to end this post, here’s my shameless plug for Kodak Portra 400. I was so excited about using the Pentax K-1000 for this project, I forgot to set the ASA on the camera to 400. The camera was set on 200 the entire time.  On top of that, many of these shots were overexposed on purpose by about 1/2 stop. With latitude like this, I’ve already ordered and received another 15 rolls. Now if Autumn will just get here already.