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.

Barrow House Inn, Saint Francisville, LA

I gave it a good college try when I was looking for some riveting information about this bed and breakfast, but came up with nothing more than the place having been built sometime in the first decade of the 1800s. The inn is located on Royal St. in Saint Francisville, LA. The place is actually quite welcoming from the outside, but this angle gave the place bit of a foreboding mood in my mind. Perhaps I’ve watched too many paranormal television shows. Either way, I was pretty pleased with the shot.

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This shot is a detail of the iron work that cradles the inn. As is the way with many local places built in this era, the iron work is what elevates a historic structure to an even greater level of interest and beauty.

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This is one of the planters that lines the front area of the inn where the foundation is built up above street level. I’m not really sure if it is the same period as the inn itself, but I lean toward that not being the case. Either way, the lion faces on them were quite captivating.

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That’s it for today. I hope you did enjoy the photos.

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. 

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.

Days and Nights in Midtown Atlanta

First of all, thank you so much to all of you who dropped a like on my post yesterday. An extra special thank you goes to those who saw my blog fit to follow.  You guys and girls have so much talent,  I just hope I don’t disappoint.

These shots are from the same roll of Agfa Precisa 100 as yesterday’s post. Many of them were my attempt at making a pattern or flat image seem to be larger than life. I enjoyed them, and I hope you enjoy them as well.

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I have always been captivated by tagging. The artistic styles are simply astounding. I can say nothing as to what the “tag” itself means or represents, but I still think it’s pretty cool.

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I was schooled by a friend on what the guy above is actually saying with his body language and this gesture. I couldn’t stop laughing at myself and my naive idea of what he was doing. No hard feelings, man.

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I thought about cropping this photo so the angry dude to the left would be excluded. In the end, cropping it make it look contrived, and the angry dude threatened to beat me up. I left the photo as-is, and I love it. Status Faction, indeed.

The following shots were taken with an Olympus Stylus Epic after a night of drinking at the Atlanta Eagle, which is a place you’ve seen to some degree in yesterday’s post. I knew these photos were not going to be perfect since taking night portraits with a point-and-shoot loaded with 100ASA film  (after a night of drinking) is sort of a recipe for disaster. Yeah, some of them are blurred. But at 3AM on a Saturday night, what ISN’T blurred?

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I know this is a bit of a long post, but I wanted to also include a couple of shots that weren’t so extreme in color, but still very vibrant. Also taken with the same Olympus Stylus Epic, these are at a sports bar in Midtown. Consider them as sort of a palate cleanser after all that exotic color!

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This one’s another miracle shot considering it was hand held in this lighting. I do really seem to like tempting fate.

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I call this one “RGB” for obvious reasons.. the red, blue and green hues from the televisions that are cast on the ceiling. It’s not super cool subject matter, but I just love the color distribution.

Thanks again for checking out my blog. The next couple of days will be busy with work and doing a shoot that I’ll have in some upcoming posts. Until then, I hope you have yourselves a great weekend.

Catahoula Cur

One of the most beautiful animals I’ve ever photographed. He was such a sweet dog the entire time I was snapping photos in his face.  Rest assured he was given lots of treats for being such a good sport during his photo shoot.

I got several good images from this shoot, but after much deliberation these were the top two.

Incidentally, if you’re curious about this guy and his particular  breed, check out this link: Click Here . I hope you enjoy the photos and, if you clicked the link, learned a little about something beautiful from my home state of Louisiana.

Dear Kodak, Thank You…

Kodak is keeping the film side of its business alive and well. They’re finally realizing that their film business IS profitable and that the “niche” of film photography is still quite large. Go to the link below to read more.

http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2145203/kodak-phases-digital-businesses-film-alive

In honor of this decision on Kodak’s part, all of the shots in this post were made with Kodak film.

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Decoy 2

Monster!

Now it’s time to go buy some Portra.

Thank you again, Kodak, for keeping it real when the chips were down.