Margaret and I drove up to Lake Michigan at Michigan City a few weeks ago. It was about 50 degrees out, but as usual the wind was quite strong off the lake. We both had only medium jackets on, and they weren’t quite warm enough. But we pressed on for some photography anyway.

This closed lifeguard stand on the deserted beach was interesting to me, so I photographed it a number of times in its context.

Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan

I made these photos in my Olympus XA on Kodak Plus-X (expired 2/2000 but stored frozen). I developed the film in Rodinal 1+50.

I also shot about half a roll of Kodak Tri-X at this location, including a bunch of photos of the lighthouse here. I’ll share those images soon.

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17 responses to “Lake Michigan lifeguard stand on Kodak Plus-X”

  1. Greg Clawson Avatar
    Greg Clawson

    Jim, photos like these are timeless. You can’t tell if they were taken yesterday or 70 yrs ago.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      There is one thing about these photos that does date them — the LCD panel at the top of the lifeguard stand. But you have to be eagle-eyed to notice it!

  2. DougD Avatar

    Deserted indeed.

    My son had a shirt with that logo on the front with the caption “Over here! I’ve found bacon!”

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That would be an epic shirt!

  3. Kurt Ingham Avatar

    Thanks, Jim! Any one of these would be impressive standing alone. But seen as a group- there is one that really stands out. It’s like seeing the proof sheets that contain a famous published picture, and realizing that some of the frames not chosen were also pretty damn good

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      One fun thing about this series is that I didn’t shoot the photos in this order, but after I saw the scans I realized that there was a natural progression among the images I had. That’s the order I put them in here!

  4. Kodachromeguy Avatar

    Well done, these are excellent – timeless. You did well with the expired Plus-X.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      One thing I like about these is how the Rodinal made them gritty. Adds to the look.

  5. sonny rosenberg Avatar

    Some great shots here! They make me wish Plus X was still around.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I am fortunate to have found this stored-frozen stash. I have 11 rolls left!

  6. sonny rosenberg Avatar

    Wow! I’m looking forward to see what you shoot with those!

  7. Reinhold Graf Avatar

    Number 1 is my favorite 👏

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! I certainly centered the subject!

      1. Reinhold Graf Avatar

        … it’s not (only) about centering, but it’s about the composition with regards to the sizing of the main object against the huge negative space and the placement of the object against the background where the stand’s floor is (nearly) in line with the horizon where the sea meets the sky. IMHO 🖖

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          You really looked at the photo!

  8. Khürt Williams Avatar

    Wow. These are so moody. It’s how I feel in the winter. :-)

    Great shots Jim.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! The loneliness of the structure and the graininess of the film came together very well here, I think.

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