Mail station Pentax ME, 50mm f/1.7 SMC Pentax-M Kodak Panatomic-X (expired) LegacyPro L110 Dilution B (1+31)
When I was a kid, the mailbox was attached to the house next to the front door. On summer days, when the windows were open, we could hear the mailman open and close its lid as he delivered our letters.
As a young adult with my first house the mailbox was on a post by the curb. I didn’t much enjoy needing boots and a coat to get my mail on winter days.
Now I live in a new subdivision, and all mail is delivered to a locked box in this building. We walk or drive over to it; it’s ¾ mile away. I know this is a first-world problem, but I hate it. I want a mailbox next to my front door again.
My wife and I have been walking neighborhoods all over central Indiana for the last few years looking for one that gives us the most of what we want in a home and its surroundings, with prices we are willing to pay.
We’ve recently visited the Irvington neighborhood on Indianapolis’s Eastside a couple times, and we think this just might be the next place we call home. We’re at least a year away from being ready to move, though.
When Irvington was planned in 1870, it was as a town — Indianapolis didn’t extend this far east yet. Indianapolis annexed Irvington in 1905. The National Road, known locally as Washington Street, bisects it; a small business district with shops and restaurants lines this main street. To the north and south lie a network of narrow streets, many of them curved, a few of them still paved in brick. Homes are older, built between 1870 and about 1960.
This extremely purple house is for sale. I checked it out on Zillow — it’s lovely inside. But zomg, the purple. Now, purple happens to be my favorite color. What I’ve learned, however, is that a little purple goes a long way. At my last house, I used purple as an accent color in my kitchen, but used a particular complimentary shade of green much more. Purple mostly showed up in my kitchen in utensils, small appliances, and bakeware. I still have a complete set of purple Pyrex.
My Canon S95 got the color exactly right in this shot. Purple has not historically been its strong suit. It usually renders it as a purplish blue.
Old Louisville is a neighborhood in, as you might guess, Louisville. You’ll find it just south of downtown. It’s full of late-1800s homes mostly in the Late Victorian style, with a few Italianate, Federal, Second Empire, and Richardson Romanesque homes in there for good measure.
The centerpiece of Old Louisville is St. James Court, a wide boulevard with a grassy median and a copper fountain. The centerpiece of this centerpiece, however, is Belgravia Court. It’s at the south end of St. James Court. But you can’t drive this court — you’ll have to park your car and walk. It is two rows of houses that face each other, sidewalks and a grassy median separating them. Gas streetlights line the median.
I didn’t mean to walk in the rain. It’s supposed to be romantic and all, but I was alone, and I didn’t really want to be wet. But this shower popped up out of nowhere. It caught my Dark Sky app by surprise — it is very good about warning me before it rains.
I figured the rain wasn’t going to hurt my camera, a circa-1950 Argus Argoflex Forty. It’s a hardy little box. So I pressed on.
It’s also a reasonably capable little box. Its lens is sharp except in the very corners, and it offers a range of apertures and shutter speeds.
I was burning off my last roll of Kodak Tri-X, expired since June of 1981. After shooting my last roll at box speed and getting dense and foggy negatives, I set exposure on this manual camera as if this were an ISO 100 film, hoping for improvement. I developed in LegacyPro L110 Dilution B (1+31).
This roll looked far better than my last one — less grainy, better resolution. Fresh Tri-X would have looked even better, of course; these still look like they were shot on expired film. But I’m pleased with these results.
I shot this back in early July during a week when we had several pop-up showers in full sunshine. That’s a real rarity! I haven’t seen anything like it since I was a child.
I live in a modern vinyl village. It’s not my cup of tea, but it made practical sense when Margaret and I got married and so here we are. We both hope to move on from here when the nest empties.
While we’re all on stay-at-home orders during the global pandemic, my photography is limited to my house and, when I take a walk, my neighborhood.
The houses all present well from the front, but they paid zero attention to what the sides and back look like. Windows, when they exist, are stuck wherever it made sense from the inside, without regard to how that would look on the outside. Our house has windows on the front and back, but the sides are huge, unbroken slabs of vinyl. Some houses have windows inserted in random places. The pictured house has this one window on this side, in the extreme lower left corner. It just looks weird.