Ann Dancing

Ann Dancing
Pentax IQZoom 170 SL
Kentmere 400
HC-110 B
2022

Recommended Reading will be back next week.

This is Ann Dancing, an animated electronic sculpture that you’ll find at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Alabama Street, and Vermont Street in Downtown Indianapolis.

Artist Julian Ope created this artwork, which was installed here in 2007. Unfortunately, time was not kind to Ann, which developed a reputation for shorting out in bad weather.

In 2019, a crowdfunding campaign was kicked off to fund Ann’s restoration. It collected more than $200,000 in four weeks! That was enough to rebuild Ann from scratch. She’s not only more robustly built now, but she uses much more up-to-date technology than was available in 2007.

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Photographs

single frame: Ann Dancing

An animated electronic sculpture in Downtown Indianapolis.

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Diamond Chain Co.

Diamond Chain Company
Pentax IQZoom 170SL
Kentmere 400
HC-110 B
2022

Recommended Reading is taking a two-week break. I’m consumed with some other things right now and need the time back that I usually give my weekly blog-post roundup.

Steel roller chain was key to the Industrial Revolution because gear teeth could grip it and the chain could withstand the forces of high RPMs in industrial machines. could In 1898, the company that became Diamond Chain created an improved steel roller chain by adding a tiny bush bearing on every roller. Henry Ford’s Model T assembly line ran on Diamond Chain! You can also find this kind of chain on your bicycle.

Diamond Chain’s factory stood at 402 Kentucky Avenue in Downtown Indianapolis. The company sold to Ohio-based The Timken Company last year. Timken quickly began relocating operations to a plant it owned in Illinois, and announced that it would close the longtime Indianapolis facility.

The owner of the Indy Eleven soccer team has purchased the property and will redevelop it, building a soccer stadium, apartments, a hotel, office buildings and retail space.

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Photographs

single frame: Diamond Chain Company

A b/w photo of a factory that is soon to be razed.

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Photographs

More from the Reto Ultra Wide and Slim

I spooled a 36-exposure roll of Fomapan 400 into the Reto Ultra Wide and Slim and took it with me everywhere I went for a couple weeks.

I get mixed results from Fomapan 400. It’s a real hit-or-miss film for me. This roll missed bigtime, delivering results that were both faint and muddy. I had to do considerable Photoshopping to breathe life into these images.

On this roll I made a lot of photos in portrait orientation — and in all but one portrait image, I got my finger in the frame. I was able to crop it out in most cases. I was very careful to keep my fingers away from the lens, so I’m puzzled and frustrated. But I’ll keep trying with this camera, because it’s surprisingly fun to use.

Here now, some images.

Through the windshield, Downtown Indianapolis
Mailboxes
No Outlet
Old 334
Knight
Walking path
Truck

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Film Photography

My Spotmatic F is back from repair

Old cameras fail. Fortunately, some skilled repairers remain. The meter in my Pentax Spotmatic F failed, so I sent the body to Eric Hendrickson for a new meter. It came back recently so I ran some Ultrafine Extreme 400 through it as a test.

Our granddaughter was over on a recent Sunday morning and was a good sport as I photographed her eating her breakfast.

Granddaughter
Granddaughter

Here she is with her grandma, my wife, Margaret.

Grandma and granddaughter

I shot the rest of the roll on la-de-da subjects around the house.

Pot on the stove
Blinds
Succulent

I shot these through my 55mm f/1.8 SMC Takumar lens, and developed the film in HC-110, Dilution B.

My Olympus OM-1’s meter wasn’t reading right anymore, either, so I sent it to John Hermanson for an overhaul and repair. I’ll test it and share photos when I get it back.

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Photographs

Still lifes on Kodak T-Max P3200

I’ve been experimenting with Kodak’s ultra-fast T-Max P3200 black-and-white film. I know it’s great for handheld night shots (here are some), and I’ve had some luck using it for candid family photos indoors. But does it work as a general-purpose film? I mounted my 50mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor macro lens to my Nikon FA, screwed it onto a tripod, and photographed some household objects on a table. I developed these in HC-110, Dilution B.

Pot
60 Chev model
Belleek
Mug
Olympus Trip 35

The P3200’s heavy grain creates a certain creaminess to these images, and it’s an interesting look. I’m glad I tried it. But I think I prefer a smoother look. Because I had the Nikon FA on a tripod, I could have used a much slower film and accepted the slower shutter speeds I would have gotten.

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Photographs

A visit to Terre Haute on Kodak T-Max P3200

After Rana died, my company gave me some time off to grieve. Believe it or not, I wavered on whether I’d take it. I worked straight through after my dad died and it was a wonderful distraction. But Dad’s death was expected, and I was as ready as anyone could be. Rana’s death was a deep shock, and it knocked the stuffing out of me. I wasn’t able to focus on anything. So I took the time off. (I go back to work Tuesday, after the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.)

My old friend Michael reached out just so I could talk. Michael and I go way back, to 1985, and he and I attended the church where I met my first wife and Rana. He knows the whole story of my first marriage, including how both of us contributed to its destruction. He mentioned he was off work the next day, and I asked if I could drive out to see him. Both the drive and the company would do me good. We had lunch at a favorite place near his home, and lingered.

I had a roll of Kodak T-Max P3200 in my Nikon FA, which I’d brought along. I’d always used this film for night photography and inside available-light work. But there I was on a cold, sunny day shooting this fast film at tiny apertures.

I stopped by Headstone Friends first, and was sad to find them closed on a long New Year’s break. Headstone’s is a music shop, a throwback to a long-ago era. I was shocked to see the condition of their sign and mural. It’s long overdue for a repaint. Check out this post to see what it looked like in 2017 and 2008.

Headstone's

I’m sure I’ve seen Headstone’s door closed before, but I can’t remember the last time. They’re open Monday through Saturday noon to 8. Those have been their hours since before my first visit there in 1985! Headstone’s was founded in 1970 — it’s still 1970 when you step inside.

Headstone's

Headstone’s has always tacked notices of new releases to this bulletin board. I was surprised to find that Neil Young, Santana, and the Doobie Brothers all have recent releases! Visiting Headstone’s really is like stepping into a time machine!

New Releases

Since Rana’s death, I’ve slept a lot. I’m not normally a great sleeper, but I’ve easily slept nine or ten hours a night since she died, and sometimes have needed a nap in the afternoon. I felt a little sleepy after Headstone’s, so I went downtown looking for a coffee shop. I found one right at the Crossroads of America, 7th Street (former US 41) and Wabash Avenue (former US 40 and the National Road).

7th & Wabash, Terre Haute

I was a little sad to see Federal here, as it displaced the Crossroads Cafe, a favorite spot of mine from long ago. Sadly, the Crossroads Cafe didn’t survive the pandemic. The good black coffee and gluten-free blueberry muffin went a long way to soothe my disappointment, however.

Muffin and coffee

Across the street from Federal is this historic marker. Old timers in Terre Haute can tell you: this intersection used to be constantly choked with traffic. US 40 connected the west and east coasts, and US 41 connected the top of Michigan with the southern tip of Florida. Before the Interstates opened, these highways were critical.

7th & Wabash, Terre Haute

I had just a few more frames left on the roll, so I walked a little to shoot familiar scenes. I’ve always liked the entrance to the old Terre Haute First National Bank building.

Terre Haute First

The old Indiana Theater is a block south on 7th Street. When I lived in Terre Haute it showed second-run movies for a dollar. I saw a whole bunch of movies in here!

Indiana Theater

Now that I’ve shot T-Max P3200 on a sunny day, I never need to again. As you can see, it works; I got usable images. But as I suspected, the grain is obtrusive. It’s obtrusive for the night and indoor photography I normally use it for, too, but that’s a reasonable tradeoff for the ability to get those shots at all. I developed this film in HC-110, Dilution B — I’ve seen other developers, namely T-Max and Xtol, get far less grain from this film. But I don’t use those developers and don’t intend to start. There’s no reason to accept this kind of grain when smooth T-Max 100 would have worked just fine on this full-sun day. I have 10 rolls of that stuff in the freezer.

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