Ilford FP4 Plus old and new

Ilford FP4 Plus then and now
Nikon Df
50mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor Special Edition
2021

I came into some Ilford FP4 Plus that expired in 1994. It was stored frozen, so I’ve been shooting it at box speed and so far it’s looked good.

The roll of FP4 Plus on the left is the 1994 stock. On the right is a roll of fresh stock. It’s interesting to me how Ilford has changed the markings on the roll in that time.

You might notice the metal spools. I shot the fresh roll in the Ansco Standard Speedex and the expired roll in the Sears Tower 120 Flash. Metal spools were still inside both cameras, so I used them to take up the first roll I shot in each camera. When you get an old camera with a metal spool inside, you know it hasn’t been used in a very long time.

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Photography

single frame: Ilford FP4 Plus then and now

Comparing a new and old spool of Ilford FP4 Plus.

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Road Trips

Stopping to see the Sycamores

Sycamore Row

When I took that Friday off not long ago and spent some of it driving up the Michigan Road, my destination was Sycamore Row. The site got a new historic marker in April, and I wanted to see it.

Sycamore Row

Sycamore Row has become for me much like the covered bridge at Bridgeton was when I was in my 20s: a peaceful place to visit when I need to restore my spirit. I enjoy the drive along a road that has become so familiar to me. When I arrive, I walk the length of this old alignment and enjoy these old trees, the quiet broken only by the zoom of the occasional passing car.

Sycamore Row

A small band of dedicated Carroll County preservationists and historians cares for the Sycamores. Every now and then they plant new trees, as many of the old ones have died and have been removed. You can see some of the trees they just planted along the left side of this photo.

Sycamore Row

The old trees that remain have great character: craggy, twisted. With any luck, I’ll live long enough to see the saplings grow to take on similar character.

Sycamore Row

One last look down this lane before we go.

Sycamore Row

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Bauble in the window

Bauble in the window
Nikon Df
50mm f/1.8 AF-S Nikkor Special Edition
2021

Margaret and I went Downtown for a photo walk a few weeks ago. Lots of people were out, and it was wonderful to be among them after so long cooped up at home.

We window shopped along popular Massachusetts Avenue. She was drawn to this charming necklace. I went back Downtown a few days later and bought it for her, for her birthday. She never reads my blog, so I’m not tipping her off here!

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Photography

single frame: Bauble in the window

Something spotted while window shopping.

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Road Trips

A walk through Burlington, Indiana, on the Michigan Road

On my recent day trip up the Michigan Road north from Indianapolis, I stopped in Burlington. This is a small town of about 600 people, 45 minutes north of Indianapolis and 15 minutes west of Kokomo.

Shortly after Carroll County was created in 1828, David Stipp, said to be a cold and stingy man, laid out Burlington. It was hoped to become the seat of a new county made partly from the Great Miami Reserve, which was two miles east. The Lafayette and Muncie Road crossed the Michigan Road here, but I’ve had no luck finding any information about that road. Burlington was an important stage stop, mill village, and trading center for both whites and Indians from the reservation. The town, named after a chief of the Wyandot native Americans, was incorporated in 1967.

The Burlington Methodist Church is the first major building you pass as you enter town from the south. It’s been expanded several times since it was built, probably in the early 20th century. The original church is made of cinderblock and the expansions are faced in limestone. The church’s original entrance was at the bottom of the steeple tower.

Burlington UMC

A little farther north is this building, which looks for all the world to me like a former fire station. I’ve seen historic photos of it containing the Burlington State Bank. I have photos of it (and the adjacent building to the left) containing a hardware store and later an antique store, but it’s currently vacant.

former Iron Rooster, Burlington

Across the street is Burlington Pizza, in this odd building. I’ve never seen a curved roof except on a Quonset hut before. This has been Burlington Pizza for at least 15 years.

Burlington Pizza

A little up the street on the west is this pair of buildings, which have contained a succession of restaurants. I remember the Dinner Bell, Treece’s, BJ’s, and now Hawg Heaven (which is closed) and Burlington Boathouse. The building on the right started out as Oyler and Huddleston’s dry goods store many, many years ago.

Burlington Boathouse

This handsome building was originally a general store, and was one for a very long time. But in the years I’ve been driving by, it’s been an antique store, a boutique, and now a coffee shop and cafe. It’s also been vacant at least once in my memory, and has undergone at least one renovation.

One More Cup Cafe

Across the street, the Burlington Church of Christ is mostly hidden behind that tree.

Burlington Church of Christ

This building’s unusual entrance features steep, curved steps and a cornerstone announcing 1908 and 1843, which must be the years the building was built and the church was founded, respectively.

Burlington Church of Christ

I’ve never had any idea what this building is, but it’s another one with an unusual roof.

Burlington

Finally, shortly before crossing Wildcat Creek and heading out of town, here’s the American House. It’s a former stagecoach stop and hotel. When I first started passing through Burlington, it was painted a golden yellow and was obviously in poor condition. It’s undergone a renovation in the last five years or so. We had a Historic Michigan Road board meeting in Burlington in 2017 and got to take a tour of the house during its renovation. I have no idea why I didn’t photograph the inside while I had the chance, but I didn’t. I do know that several of these windows were beyond repair, so they had a skilled craftsman build new windows to the same design.

American House

On my old Roads site you can see this page, which shows photos of my 2008 visit to Burlington. It also shows some historic photos of town that I scanned from a book commemorating the town’s 150th anniversary.

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Road Trips

Abandoned school near Middlefork, Indiana on the Michigan Road

When I surveyed the Michigan Road from end to end in 2008, I stopped to photograph this abandoned schoolhouse near Middlefork, where State Road 26 intersects. The building faces SR 26; it’s actually on a short segment left behind when the highway was improved.

Abandoned school
Abandoned school

It was in sad shape, but it was intact. It was much the same in 2013 when I stopped to photograph it again. The upstairs windows were gone.

Abandoned school
Abandoned school

In the years since, every time I drove past here the school was in worse shape than the last time. When I drove by a couple weeks ago, I finally stopped to photograph it again. It’s not pretty.

Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse
Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse
Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse
Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse
Abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse

I’m surprised this building hasn’t been razed by now. I wonder how much more of it will collapse before someone finishes the job and carts the bits away.

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