Swings at Lugar Plaza Olympus OM-1, 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko Kodak ColorPlus 2019
Now that we’re into November I’m thinking about this blog’s traditional end-of-year posts, one of which is the ten images I like best that I made all year. I may have made more images in 2019 than in any other year, but I’m a little disappointed that I’ve made few that satisfy me deeply.
As I upload my work to Flickr, I add the few I like best to an album I call Portfolio, which you can see here. My ten 2019 favorites will come from these. This image, of a newly installed public swing in front of the City-County Buidling in Downtown Indianapolis, is in that album but won’t make the ten-favorite cut. I like the almost 3-D effect of the swing canopy jutting forth from the plane of the City-County Building exterior, though.
Sometimes I shoot the same things more than once with different cameras and films because I know the composition works. Recently I shot a scene with my Argus Argoflex Forty on Kodak Ektar 100, a few days after I shot it with my Olympus OM-1 and 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko lens on Kodak ColorPlus. Here are the two photos.
It’s remarkable to me how different these two photographs look even though they’re of the same thing.
First I see how the Argoflex Forty’s 75mm lens (for 620 film) is longer than the 50mm lens (for 35mm film) on the OM-1, which creates the effect of the copper-roofed Columbia Club building appearing to be different distances away.
The 1×1 and 3×2 aspect ratios also give different impressions of the scene.
The day I went out with the Argoflex Forty the sun was fully out, while the sun was behind a cloud at the moment I made the photo with the OM-1. This certainly influenced the way these lenses and films rendered the scene’s colors.
But those lenses and films have their own characteristics regardless of the light. I find ColorPlus to yield far warmer earth tones than Ektar under any circumstances.
I have no conclusions to draw. I just find this interesting.
Park Olympus OM-1, 50mm f/1.8 Olympus F.Zuiko Kodak ColorPlus 2019
When I was a kid in the 1970s, downtown in my hometown was full of neon signs. Many of them, like this one, did mundane jobs like point people to parking. As a kid the neon helped me feel that downtown was alive and vital and important. The backlit plastic signs that slowly replaced them seemed so banal.
This old-style neon sign keeps doing its job on a parking garage in Downtown Indianapolis. I’ve parked in this garage before, many years ago. I had frequent business in the building next door, and they validated my parking. Unlike most Downtown garages, you don’t park your car yourself. You hand your keys to an attendant who gives you a receipt and parks your car for you.
Analogue Wonderland provided me this roll of Kodak ColorPlus in exchange for this mention. Buy yours from them here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These funky flowers are growing in pots all around the Circle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Lesson learned: it’s not fair to pan a film based on one roll shot. These colors are lovely.
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.