Church windows Pentax ME, 35mm f/2 SMC Pentax-FA AL Eastman Double-X 5222 2018
In the little church I attend on the Near Westside of Indianapolis, the sanctuary windows are all stained glass and feature the names of original members. Their descendants attended until the last of them died about a decade ago. Today, these names are historic curiosities to the current members.
Snow-covered steps Kodak VR35 K40 Kodak Max 400 (expired) 2018
At church, we all come in the back door. Our parking lot is back there.
But it means we often forget about our front door. The door that the neighborhood sees. And so on this snowy Sunday, nobody thought to shovel it clean. Were it not for the footprints on the steps, our neighbors might think we were not even open. Indeed, when we encounter them around the neighborhood that’s sometimes what they tell us.
It’s a common trap churches fall into: we know our ways. But we want to meet people who aren’t in our church, and they find our ways strange, or even to make no sense. And we wonder why we seldom see anybody new on Sunday.
Welcome to downtown New Augusta Olympus XA Kosmo Foto Mono 2017
While I was shooting up my first roll of Kosmo Foto Mono (which I review tomorrow — but for a preview, see my profile on the Kosmo Foto blog) I stopped briefly in New Augusta, a small town that has long since been swallowed up by Indianapolis.
I lived near here for a long time, and it became a place I visited from time to time just for photography. I wouldn’t mind living here. Even though New Augusta is surrounded by suburban strip malls on one side and light industrial on the other, when you’re on its streets it feels like a hundred miles from anywhere.
What was I thinking, photographing this Art Deco church building on expired slide film? I wanted beautiful photographs of my visit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have a terrible habit of buying four or five rolls of a film I’d like to try, shooting one roll, and then buying four or five rolls of another film I’d like to try. I’ve repeated this pattern enough times that I have probably 50 rolls stockpiled in the fridge. So I put a moratorium on buying more film until I shoot what I have.
The last time I shot Eastman Double-X 5222 I used my Nikon F2 and a 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor lens. This movie film gave me blacks so deep I could have fallen into them, and textures so rich and realistic I expected to feel them if I touched the screen. So when I decided to shoot another roll I chose an entirely different kind of camera: my point-and-shoot Olympus Stylus. I wanted to see if the film behaved differently.
I didn’t get the same rich blacks this time, but I did get the same realistic textures.
I was at church for a meeting, so I made some quick photos. Once again these images invite me to touch the screen to feel the rough brick.
I brought the Stylus inside to shoot a couple rooms, which were set up for our day care to resume the next morning.
I love the moodiness created by the window light and the corner shadows.
The church is in an old city neighborhood with alleys. Ours is concrete and was probably poured 100 years ago.
On the way home I passed this run-down building, which I bet began life as a grocery store. I am impressed with how well the clouds rendered, especially since I didn’t use a yellow or orange filter.
I took the Stylus along on a too-brief visit to South Bend, my home town. I was there on business, but I made a few minutes for a coffee at the Chocolate Cafe downtown.
I miss South Bend. I’d love to run a little bookstore in the State Theater building. Too bad this shop owner thought of it first.
A storm rolled in quickly as I walked a couple blocks of Michigan Street. In reading the light the Stylus misguidedly decided it needed to fire the flash, serving only to create flares off every reflective surface. If I didn’t need to explicitly turn off the flash every time I power up the Stylus, I’d shoot it a lot more often.
Still, I’m not getting rid of my little Stylus anytime soon. It fits into my jeans pocket and packs a great lens. And it liked the Double-X just fine.