Film Photography

More Downtown Indianapolis from the Olympus OM-1 on Kodak ColorPlus

I had so much great luck shooting around Downtown Indianapolis with Kodak ColorPlus in my Olympus OM-1 with my 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko lens that I get to share a whole second post of images with you.

The generous folks at Analogue Wonderland sent me this roll of film to try, in exchange for this mention. If you like what you see here, you can buy Kodak ColorPlus from them here.

This will be a random tour of places within walking distance of my Downtown office. I’ve been keeping a loaded camera in my desk for times when I can break away for 30 minutes to get some air and make some photos.

I met my brother for drinks and dinner one day after work along Massachusetts Avenue, or Mass Ave as we like to call it. This street runs at a 45-degree angle from the city grid, heading northeast. Over the last 20 years it’s transformed from being mostly run down into a hot destination lined with bars, restaurants, and shops.

Mass Ave

Stout’s Shoes has watched Mass Ave change considerably since it was founded here in 1886. Here’s the company’s story.


The Sears building on Mass Ave hasn’t been Sears in decades. The first floor has been one grocery store or another for as long as I can remember. The upper floors are offices.

Sears, Roebuck & Co.

The space in front of the City-County Building, the seat of Indianapolis and Marion County government, used to be a boring plaza. That was torn out recently and a public park of sorts has gone in. These covered swings just opened a few weeks ago.

Swings at Lugar Plaza

Over on Monument Circle, I walked up the long stairs to the monument itself and shot the Columbia Club building, which this statue overlooks. The ColorPlus really saturates the earth tones.

Copper roof

These funky flowers are growing in pots all around the Circle.

Red flower

Here’s a street scene in front of Circle Tower on the Circle’s west side. Circle Tower is architecturally my favorite building on the Circle. It has lots of Art Deco touches.


On a cloudy day I walked down Washington Street to get the big, blue JW Marriott hotel. It’s an unusually bold architectural statement for an otherwise staid town.

Looking at the JW

This Five Guys is a half block from my office. It’s in what was once a Roselyn Bakery. Since Roselyn’s went out of business, it’s been a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Pie Five Pizza Co. Here’s hoping Five Guys works out here.

Five Guys

I photograph chalkboard easel signs wherever I see them, especially when they have a humorous message. This one’s a straight-up ad for the coffee inside.

Chalkboard sign

Finally, an old Publix movie house on Washington Street has been used as a community theater for as long as I’ve lived here. It’s a lovely old theater. Here’s its box office.

Box office

I really enjoy my photowalks around Downtown. I’m sure at some point I’ll feel like I’ve exhausted all the possibilities, but that day has not yet come.

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Film Photography

Another go with Kodak ColorPlus

Jesus Saves

So many film-photography bloggers I follow get such nice results from ColorPlus, Kodak’s low-priced ISO 200 color film, that I couldn’t reconcile the meh results I got from my first roll. I shot it in my Olympus Trip 35; see some of the images here.


So I tried again, thanks to the largesse of Analogue Wonderland, who sent me another roll in exchange for this review and this mention. Get your ColorPlus from them here. I put this roll into my black Olympus OM-1 and mounted a 50mm f/1.8 Olympus F.Zuiko lens.

Then I took this camera to work, in Downtown Indianapolis, and brought it out at lunch or after hours to make some images around the center of the city. I work around the corner from the City-County Building, the seat of the combined government of Indianapolis and Marion County.

City-County Building

You’ll find the old City Hall a couple blocks away. It’s currently vacant. The orange seats are for people waiting on a bus. They came out of one of the stadiums we used to have here that was demolished to make way for bigger and better stadiums.

Bleacher seats at City Hall

I looked specifically for colorful subjects among the beiges and grays of Downtown’s buildings. ColorPlus looks mighty good to me in these images, far better than what I got from it in the Trip 35. It’s a mystery to me, as the Trip usually does lovely work. But I discovered long ago that some lenses love certain films and not others.

Bank of Indianapolis

It was a bit of a risk to shoot ISO 200 film past dusk, but I managed to hold the camera steady enough for the long exposure. These evening colors look mighty pleasing to me!

Downtown at night

I made this shot while sitting outside at a restaurant with my brother. I liked the juxtaposition of all the lines. Keen eyes will spot Kurt Vonnegut painted onto the side of a building.

Hedge Row

Lesson learned: it’s not fair to pan a film based on one roll shot. These colors are lovely.

Green car at Qdoba

Kodak ColorPlus is a good consumer-grade color film, rendering realistic tones through my F.Zuiko lens. If you’d like to try ColorPlus, order it from Analogue Wonderland here.

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The Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse
Pentax ME, 35mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-A
Film Washi S

I’m at best a beginning student in photography appreciation, with limited ability to describe the qualities of a good photograph. For that matter, I’m not even sure I can judge a photograph to be good, not on some universal scale. I just like what I like.

I like this photograph. The 35mm lens brings in tons of interesting context surrounding this neoclassical federal courthouse. The glowing sunlight cast against the building’s facade contrasts pleasingly against its shadowy flank.

It’s said that Film Washi S performs best in diffuse light. For a day of black-and-white photography in full sun, I should have been better served shooting something like T-Max 100 or FP4 Plus. But I would have missed out on the chiaroscuro effect, though unintended, obtained in shooting this film in non-ideal light.

Analogue Wonderland provided me this roll of Film Washi S in exchange for this mention. Buy yours from them here.

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Film Photography

single frame: The Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse



Pentax ME, 35mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-A
Film Washi S

I bungled my roll of Film Washi S by shooting it in bright sun. I didn’t know it at the time, but it does best in dull, diffuse light.

This photo of a doorway in Downtown Indianapolis turned out all right somehow. Perhaps it’s because I was on a side street and tall buildings blocked much of the direct sun.

The film (and lens, of course) captured good detail and sharpness. There’s a compelling silveriness to this image.

Analogue Wonderland provided me this roll of Film Washi S in exchange for this mention. Buy yours from them here.

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Film Photography

single frame: Doorway

Film Photography

Shooting Film Washi S

Federal Courthouse

Let me say right off that I’m frustrated with myself. These photographs don’t capture the best that Film Washi S can do. It wasn’t until after I shot most of the roll that I read over at EMULSIVE that you’re supposed to shoot this film in dull, diffuse lighting. I shot every single frame in blistering, blazing summer sunshine.


And so I’m considerably embarrassed to admit that this post is sponsored by Analogue Wonderland, who sent me a roll of this film to try in exchange for this mention. My humblest apologies to the very good people at Analogue Wonderland that I bungled this so badly. Click here to buy some Film Washi S of your own from them. But don’t be a doofus like me — shoot it in the right light.


Not that the roll was a total bust. With a little light Photoshoppery I was able to get usable images from almost every frame. The contrast is mighty high, is all. In full sun, you get your black, you get your white, but you get very little in between. On a few photographs it was mighty appealing. But not on the one below. It shows the film at its contrastiest.

City Market

Film Washi S is actually sound recording film — bright purple! — spooled into 35mm cartridges. On a film print of a movie, the soundtrack is imprinted optically onto the film, and is then transferred to the final movie print.


I loaded the Film Washi S into my Pentax ME and mounted my 35mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-A lens. That light little SLR and that widish lens are a great kit for making photographs in Downtown Indianapolis, as I did.

Circle Tower

Whenever the sun was not directly behind me, the frame tended to fog a little.

Mass Ave corner

I can’t see any grain on any of these images. I’m not surprised, as this is an ISO 50 film. Check out all the great detail the film captured on this ornate theater building.

Indiana Repertory Theater

It is a shame, however, that so much is lost in the shadows. This is why with specialty films it pays to read everything you can before you go off shooting. (That’s a note to self.)


Despite my challenging choice of lighting for this film, it did lovely work in a few cases. Like this one. So silvery! So sharp!


Shooting specialty films is great fun under any circumstances. But it is even more fun when you read up on it first and know the conditions in which it delivers its best results. So let me be clear: shoot Film Washi S on an overcast day. Don’t be a doofus like me.

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Courthouse and Regions Tower

United States Court House and Post Office
Olympus XA2
Ultrafine Xtreme 100

I sometimes wonder if anyone notices me photographing this building. I’ve done it a lot lately. It is, after all, a federal courthouse — the threat of terrorism has all federal buildings on alert. I’m sure security officers are always watching.

But I’m a middle-aged man in business casual dress carrying an old film camera. I hope that signals I’m a threat to nobody.

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Film Photography

single frame: United States Court House and Post Office