Photographs

I love pushing HP5 Plus to 1600!

When I went to San Diego in June, I brought my Olympus OM-2n and the 40mm f/2 Zuiko Auto-S lens, with Ilford HP5 Plus inside. When I started the roll I was inside at an event, so I set the OM-2n to 1600 knowing the HP5 Plus could take it.

San Diego Air and Space Museum

The event was at the Air and Space Museum, so I made images of the exhibits. I intended to make candid images of people, but all night people grouped up to talk and all I could see was their backs.

San Diego Air and Space Museum

I was confused to see the Spirit of St. Louis here, because I saw it several years ago hanging from the ceiling in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, in Washington DC. Is it on loan here? Is this a copy?

San Diego Air and Space Museum

I’m pretty sure this is meant to represent one of the Wright Brothers in early flight.

San Diego Air and Space Museum

I love to photograph old airplanes. There’s always something evocative about them. The HP5 Plus performed very well on these subjects in this mixed museum lighting.

Singing at the Lamplighter

After the Air and Space Museum we all went to a karaoke bar. Here’s one of my co-workers on stage. I made only a couple of images here because I wasn’t sure the HP5 Plus could handle the nearly nonexistent light in here. But as you can see, it did a terrific job.

Playing Pandemic

I shot the rest of the roll around the house with the 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko lens. The weekend after my birthday my sons came to visit, and with Margaret’s youngest son we all played the game Pandemic.

Playing Pandemic

This is a cooperative game in which you try to save the world from an advancing, deadly pandemic. Either you save the world or you don’t — and we didn’t this time around.

Playing Pandemic

One of my sons brought me a very nice bottle of bourbon for my birthday, and so I broke out the Glencairn glasses and we all had a wee pour.

HP5 Plus pushed to 1600 is gorgeous. You might remember the times I’ve taken Kodak T-Max P3200 to Chicago for some night photography. I think HP5 Plus at 1600 looks leagues better than P3200 at 3200. I plan to take HP5 Plus on my next trip to Chicago and see how it handles the night.

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Photographs

San Diego’s Mission Bay on Kodak Ektar 100

In early June my company sent me to a resort island in San Diego’s Mission Bay for our annual customer conference. It had been easily 25 years since I last visited that city, and I was excited to finally return.

I knew I wanted to shoot a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 there to capture the California colors. But which camera? I wanted SLR control, but had only so much room in my bag. That led me to my compact SLRs. I’ve been itching to shoot my Pentax ME SE again. But when I remembered the delightful 40mm f/2 lens I have for my Olympus OM cameras, and that it focuses down to 10 inches, I loaded that Ektar into my Olympus OM-2n instead.

I made all of these images over the first two days of my stay. The conference was at a resort called Paradise Point, which sprawled across about half of the island. Here’s the beach and the bay, with some of the resort’s cabins in the background.

Paradise Point Resort

I’m sure that if you’re from California, none of this looks terribly exotic to you. But to this lifelong Hoosier, visiting California is always like stepping into some far-off foreign land.

Paradise Point Resort

This is the room I stayed in. It was large and comfortable. My room opened into a parking lot rather than onto the beach, but it didn’t really matter as most of my time was spoken for — I was on the clock!

Paradise Point Resort

Around the resort itself, everywhere you looked the scenes were intensely cheerful.

Paradise Point Resort
Paradise Point Resort

The ducks were brazen, walking right up to you looking for a handout.

Paradise Point Resort
Paradise Point Resort

I was surprised to find a couple of El Camino Real bells in the resort. They must have been recreations. The El Camino Real is a road built to connect the 20 Spanish missions built between 1683 and 1835. The road’s southern end is in San Diego. In the early 20th century, bells like these were placed along the route as wayfinding markers. But the Mission San Diego de Alcalá is far inland of Mission Bay. Why the heck are these bells here?

Paradise Point Resort

I experienced a great deal of plant life there that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before, certainly never in Indiana. I couldn’t identify any of it by sight. Later I’ll share images from this roll that look at various flowers close up. But these two trees caught my notice, the first because of its purple flowers and the second because of its shape.

Paradise Point Resort
Paradise Point Resort

Naturally, Mission Bay offers plenty of opportunity to get out onto the water.

Paradise Point Resort
Paradise Point Resort

The company’s conference was a huge success. I had a terrific time meeting many of my co-workers for the first time, and meeting many of our customers and talking with them about their work.

Paradise Point Resort

But I also very much enjoyed being in San Diego again. Maybe I won’t wait a quarter century to visit again.

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Film Photography

Ilford HP5 Plus at EI 800

Ilford HP5 Plus has a solid reputation for versatility. I’ve been shooting a lot more of this film lately to prove its reputation for myself.

Until I started developing and scanning black-and-white film at home, I was dedicated to Kodak black-and-white films. I put a lot T-Max and Tri-X through my cameras. But HP5 always turns out great in my preferred developer, HC-110. Crucially, HP5 dries nice and flat. It pops into my scanner’s film holder with no fuss. I miss Tri-X, but that stuff curls a ton, and it’s a fight to get it to lay in the film holder.

I’ve shot plenty of HP5 Plus at box speed. I’ve also shot it at EI 1600 to see if it would make a good substitute for films like T-Max P3200 when I’m shooting indoors. This time, I wanted to see what HP5 would look like shot at EI 800. On my January trip to Chicago, my last morning in the city was dull and gray. It was the perfect day to try HP5 at 800.

I made this photo inside Macy’s on State Street, the former Marshall Field flagship store. The building features a glass mosaic ceiling designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It’s spectacular in color (see my photo here) but still very interesting in black and white.

Tiffany ceiling at Macy's

I shot the rest of the roll while walking around in the Loop. HP5 at 800 handled this very gray scene nicely.

In the Loop

I shot this roll in my Olympus OM-2n through my 40mm f/2 Zuiko Auto-S lens. This was a wonderfully compact kit that fit nicely inside my coat on this 15-degree day.

Up the el

After scanning, I boosted contrast on all of these images in Photoshop. That’s the only post-processing they required.

In the Loop

I am pleased with how managed the grain is in these photographs. It is much more noticeable at EI 1600.

Two one ways

I’ll keep experimenting with HP5 Plus. I’ll try it at EI 200 and EI 3200 yet. I feel sure I’ll get a good look at 200, but 3200 might be pushing it too far. We shall see.

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Subway sign

Drive thru open
Olympus OM-2n
40mm f/2 Zuiko Auto-S
Ilford HP5 Plus
LegacyPro L110, Dilution E (1+47)
2021

South Street is the south border of Indianapolis’s historic Mile Square. You can probably guess the names of the north, east, and west border streets.

You’ll find this Subway and (behind it in the background) an Arby’s on South Street, as if they were out in the suburbs someplace. This land is becoming valuable, and I wonder how long it is before both restaurants are razed in favor of apartments or condos.

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Film Photography

single frame: Drive thru open

Fast food places whose days are probably numbered.

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Film Photography

New construction in southern Downtown Indianapolis

Downtown Indianapolis is again becoming a hip and happening place to be, which has led to lots of new construction. There are tons of apartments Downtown now, all in the four-over-one style with a concrete main floor and wood frame upper floors. This growth kicked into gear well before the pandemic; it’ll be interesting to see whether it resumes or not. But the buildings are here regardless. The growth was so strong for a while that it expanded into the previously unfashionable south end of Downtown.

CityWay

I benefit from this, as I work nearby now. Some of the amenities, such as a CVS pharmacy, are useful to me. I popped in not long ago to buy a box of tissues for my desk.

Area sidewalks are brick, in this interesting multi-color pattern.

Brick sidewalk

The Aleander is a four-star hotel. Or so I hear, since I don’t stay in hotels so close to home. I did attend an event here once, and found the space to be very nice.

The Alexander

One old building remains in this area: this onetime livery stable, now home to the Indianapolis branch of Taxman Brewing. The first time I visited here, most of this construction hadn’t been started yet. Taxman was far enough away from the heart of Downtown that I wondered why they located here. They clearly knew what was to come.

Taxman Brewing

Olympus OM-2n, 40mm f/2 Zuiko Auto-S, Ilford HP5 Plus, LegacyPro L110 H (1+47).

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Film Photography

Walking the south side of Downtown Indianapolis

My new job is located Downtown in Indianapolis, but a couple blocks south of what’s considered to be Downtown’s heart. My last job was about two blocks east of Monument Circle, amid Indy’s tallest buildings. My new job is seven blocks south of Monument Circle, amid some very old houses, brand new expensive apartments, and decayed light industrial buildings.

I am in the office every Tuesday now, and sometimes on Friday as well, as I ease back into working in the office. On my first day back, I loaded some Ilford HP5 Plus into my delightful Olympus OM-2n. I hadn’t used my compact 40mm f/2. Zuiko Auto-S lens in a good long time, so I mounted it. I developed the film in LegacyPro L110, Dilution E (1+47) and scanned the negatives on my Minolta ScanDual II. I made these photos over about a three week span, on lunch hours and afternoon breaks.

In this part of Downtown, there are no parking garages. We all park on large surface lots. Fortunately, my employer picks up the tab. My previous employer did not, and it cost me $1,700 a year to park. These stairs lead to the popular LaRosa lot.

Steps to the parking lot

I don’t know what this lot is called but it’s immediately north of LaRosa. That this lot is empty says a lot about the state of returning to work in Downtown Indianapolis. In the background at left is the complex of buildings in which I work.

Kiosk

A lot of railroads used to converge in Downtown Indianapolis. The tracks were all elevated about 100 years ago; the infrastructure remains even though the railroads do not.

Under the bridge

A large building, which I would guess was once a factory, is within line of sight of the building in which I work. Part of it is a brewery today.

Ellison Brewing Co.

Other businesses take up other parts of this building, while other parts appear to be vacant.

Door

This is the entrance to the main building in the office complex where I work. I’m told this used to be a high school — it looks the part. The specific building in which I work is brand new and stands next door.

Union 525

Our building is on Meridian Street, which is Indianapolis’s main north-south street. But because of the campuses of a couple of large employers and the location of a couple Interstate highways, this section of Meridian Street is cut off from the rest of it to the north and to the south. The buildings in the background are hotels and are brand new.

Cars and old houses

The Indianapolis Colts play at Lucas Oil Stadium, which is just a couple blocks away. It provides an interesting backdrop to these old houses.

Cars and old houses

These houses are a block to the west. These houses all seem so very old, from the late 1800s I’d guess. I wonder what kind of neighborhood this was in its time.

Old houses

This grand dame is around the corner from my office. It houses some sort of business today. I’m very curious about what it looks like inside.

Old house

That’s a quick look at most of the area around my new office. I haven’t shown you the new construction yet; that’ll be in a post to come.

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