Country Marathon

Food center
Pentax K10D, 28-80mm f/3.5-4.7 SMC Pentax-FA
2017

When you’re on a road trip, especially on a rural road, you stop to take care of physical needs wherever you can. My car’s tank was well less than a quarter full as we passed this little gas station on the old highway somewhere between Indianapolis and Martinsville, so we paused. It’s not often that we encounter such a clean and cheerful station.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.
Advertisements
Photography, Road Trips

single frame: Food center

.

Image
Road Trips, Preservation

The beautiful Art Deco church in the small Indiana town

What was I thinking, photographing this Art Deco church building on expired slide film? I wanted beautiful photographs of my visit.

Tyson United Methodist Church, Versailles, IN

Beauty is, of course, subjective. If you enjoy the color shifts of expired film, you probably find these photographs to be lovely. I guess they are, in their own way. I just hoped for realistic color and clarity, as I wanted to share this church as you’d see it if you walked up to it.

Tyson United Methodist Church, Versailles, IN

It’s not that I couldn’t go back and photograph it again; Versailles (pronounced ver-SALES) is only about 80 miles southeast of Indianapolis. I’m sure I’ll do just that one day and get exactly the photographs I want.

Tyson United Methodist Church, Versailles, IN

This church is named for its builder, James Tyson, who made his fortune as the first investor in Walgreen’s drug stores. Completed in 1937, Tyson built the church as a tribute to his deceased mother, a charter member of this congregation upon its 1834 founding.

Tyson United Methodist Church, Versailles, IN

This carefully maintained building of brick, terra cotta, copper, aluminum, and glass famously contains not a single nail in its construction. Many of its materials were imported from around Europe, but the oak pews are of local timber.

Tyson United Methodist Church, Versailles, IN

I was inside for a meeting of the Historic Michigan Road Association; Versailles is a Michigan Road town. Two alignments of the Michigan Road pass through Ripley County, of which Versailles is the seat. The original 1830s alignment lies a few miles to the west, but the road was rerouted through Versailles at the dawn of the automobile era.

Tyson United Methodist Church, Versailles, IN

Such an architectural gem is unusual for a small Indiana town like Versailles. Tyson built two other Art Deco buildings here: a library and a school. The church is arguably the loveliest of the three.

Tyson United Methodist Church, Versailles, IN

Pentax Spotmatic F, 55mm f/1.8 SMC Takumar, Konica Chrome Centuria 200 (exp. 12/2003)

Like this post? Share it on social media with the buttons below! And subscribe to get more in your inbox or reader six days a week.    Click here to subscribe!

 

Standard
Preservation, Road Trips

Burned Elks Lodge in Madison, Indiana, sees first hope for restoration in 11 years

Eleven years is a mighty long time for a burned-out building to stand — especially in Madison, Indiana, which is well known for preserving its historic architecture. Yet the 1904 Elks lodge has stood virtually untouched for years after a 2006 arson gutted it. Here’s what it looked like when I first saw it in 2008:

Burned BPOE

It stands on West Street, just three blocks north of where the historic Michigan Road begins and a block north of Madison’s beautiful and historic main street. Things were little changed when I visited again a year later:

BPOE

I haven’t been to Madison in a few years, but a check of Google Street View (here) reveals that a little work has been done on the building, including putting on a roof. And now Indiana Landmarks reports (here) that a Madison couple is interested in rebuilding the lodge to be luxury apartments. Here’s hoping they see their project through. Maybe next time I visit, I’ll come back with cheerier photos to share of this great old building!

Like this post? Share it on social media with the buttons below! And subscribe to get more in your inbox or reader six days a week.    Click here to subscribe!
Standard

Tyson United Methodist Church, Versailles, IN

Inside Tyson United Methodist Church
Pentax Spotmatic F, 55mm f/1.8 SMC Takumar
Konica Chrome Centuria 200 (x 12-2003)
2017

This is probably my favorite photo from inside the Art Deco church in little Versailles, Indiana. More photos to come.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.
Film Photography, Preservation

single frame: Inside Tyson United Methodist Church

Image

Wabash Ave

On Wabash Avenue
Pentax K10D
28mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-M
2017

I love the Chicago streets where the El runs overhead. This is Wabash Ave. at Monroe St. looking north. The Carson Pirie Scott building is on the left.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.
Photography

single frame: On Wabash Avenue

.

Image
Photography

Chicago on the Pentax K10D and the 28mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-M

My Pentax K10D DSLR’s first serious outing was in Chicago. Margaret and I had a getaway weekend downtown. A good part of our trip was spent walking around looking at the architecture.

On the Chicago River

It rained all day Saturday of our trip, but my K10D is weather sealed so I wasn’t worried about a little rain when I made a photo. Still, I kept the camera tucked inside my raincoat when I wasn’t using it. Sunday the weather cooperated better.

Chicago

Target currently inhabits much of the former Carson Pirie Scott department store space. Its iron facade is stunning. On the K10D, this 28mm lens is equivalent to a 42mm lens on a 35mm SLR. From the opposite corner it let me get this much of the facade in, but no more. The facade runs all the way down the block, out of the photo to the right.

Target Pirie Scott

I made a dozen photos of the ornate Tribune Tower, which houses the Chicago Tribune and WGN Radio. Most of them were of details in dusty corners. Because the K10D meters only at the center with manual-focus lenses, I have to take extra care in metering in uneven light, such as that found in dusty corners. I haven’t mastered that yet.

Tribune Tower

Margaret had never been in the amazing Palmer House lobby, so we walked in for a few photographs. I stayed here with my son Damion when we visited Chicago for his 13th birthday seven years ago; see those photos here.

Palmer House lobby

Conventional wisdom says that the K10D does film-like work with manual-focus lenses the closer you set ISO to 100. Shooting inside handheld, of course, ISO 100 is too slow. So I cranked it all the way to its maximum of ISO 1600 and hoped for the best. 2006-vintage digital cameras hadn’t sorted the high ISOs yet, and images could be noisy. The noise in these photos isn’t unpleasant, at least.

Palmer House spiral staircase

Because I’m used to shooting old film cameras, I never felt burned by manually focusing and stopping down to meter as I shot the K10D around downtown Chicago. It was a fully usable system.

Colorful tables and chairs

Yet I picked up an autofocus 28-80mm Pentax lens for 20 bucks the other day and it’s currently mounted on the K10D. This lens gets mixed reviews for performance, but the price was right for me to find out whether I like using the K10D as a full-on auto-everything DSLR.

Standard