Lafayette Theater

Lafayette Theater
Olympus XA
Agfa Vista 200
2017

Main Street in Lafayette, Indiana, is where the old Lafayette Road ends. It begins near downtown Indianapolis, and has since at least the 1830s brought travelers between these two Indiana cities.

If you’ve never walked this, Lafayette’s main drag, do. It’s a remarkable little downtown, much nicer than most Indiana cities of its size and history. Sure, you will find much nicer downtowns in Carmel and Fishers. But they are Johnny-come-latelys to the city scene, having grown large enough only in recent years to be considered cities (under Indiana law). And they are what they are only because of their proximity to Indianapolis. Lafayette was founded in 1825 and thrived without being any other city’s bedroom community. It has withstood the dramatic economic changes that have faced Indiana cities while remaining lovely and interesting.

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Film Photography

single frame: Lafayette Theater

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Liberty Bell replica

Liberty Bell replica
Olympus XA
Kodak T-Max 400

I shoot this bell a lot; it’s easy to reach from home. It’s a versatile subject. Do you have any subjects you shoot a lot?

Film Photography
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Broad Ripple Kroger

Broad Ripple Village Kroger
Olympus XA
Kodak T-Max 400

I love that Kroger has left this tiny store open in Broad Ripple, Indianapolis. Ten aisles, maybe – an anachronism. But it serves the surrounding neighborhood well, and helps keep it walkable.

Film Photography
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Film Photography

Vacation camera audition: Olympus XA

I’ve decided to take the Nikon N2000 to Ireland. The results were just too, too good. You all swayed me heavily in your comments on that audition post, by the way. But when I made that decision I hadn’t finished the audition roll in my Olympus XA yet, so I kept shooting. Not that this was a hardship; the XA is delightful.

Olympus XA

This little camera seemed like it would be the perfect vacation companion. Indeed, Moni Smith got great shots from hers in Italy and Ireland this year.

And did it ever handle beautifully for me! It really was everything I thought I wanted in a camera for this trip: small, light, capable.

But shooting an SLR just feels right to me, righter than even the most delightful tiny rangefinder camera. And when the images from the XA came back from the processor, it sealed the deal. I wasn’t quite as happy with them as I was with those from my N2000. I’ll point out why as I share photos from this roll of Kodak T-Max 400.

Margaret and I walked the Old Northside and adjacent Herron-Morton here in Indianapolis one hot August evening while I had the XA along.

1219

It resolved detail well, and returned the fine tones I’ve come to expect from T-Max. I bought five rolls of the stuff for my trip, by the way.

Old Northside

But some of the shots on the roll suffered from a serious lack of shadow detail. I don’t get why; the light wasn’t especially challenging. Could it have been the processing? Different soup, different results? I sent the T-Max I shot in the N2000 to Old School Photo Lab; I sent this roll of T-Max to Dwayne’s.

Old church, Old Northside

Fiddling with these photos in Photoshop I kept seeing blobs of blue in the dark areas. That means those areas resolve to full black. No amount of sliding sliders or curving curves could fix it, meaning the detail just wasn’t there. That was never a problem on the roll of T-Max I shot in the N2000.

Apartment House Entrance

There were also the usual challenges with the viewfinder not exactly lining up with what the lens sees, which is a pet peeve. When I framed this shot, the “Foundry” logo on the right was completely in frame.

The Foundry

The XA and Margaret and I went on a walk through the cemetery near my house. This Liberty Bell replica is a favorite subject.

Liberty Bell replica

I stepped way back for this landscape shot of the bell within its housing.

Washington Park North Cemetery

I finished the roll with a few la de da shots at home. Am I one of the last men alive who irons his own shirts? Who wears ironed shirts at all? I wait for the unironed shirts to pile up and then polish them all off in marathon sessions in my bedroom while I watch shows on Netflix. You can sort of make out, there near the top of the photo up and left of the iron, some plastic boxes under the dark area that is my dresser. Those boxes contain the old cameras I haven’t shot yet.

Ironing

Really, I could do just fine with the XA in Ireland. If some of you hadn’t so strongly suggested taking an SLR, which led me to try the N2000, I would be taking the XA to Ireland!

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At the playground

At the playground
Olympus XA, Fujifilm Fujicolor 200
2012

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State Fair at dusk

Margaret and I walked toward the midway at dusk. It can’t be happenstance that the setting sun provides the arch’s evening backdrop, indigo and blush, drawing people in.

We had been drawn to each other this night, our third or fourth date. We walked and talked, occasionally pausing for a photograph. I carried my Olympus XA; I gave Margaret my XA2.

But upon this scene I let go Margaret’s hand. I wanted to frame this photograph properly. It might have been the only time all night I wasn’t touching her.

State Fair at dusk • Olympus XA • Fujifilm Superia X-tra 800 • August, 2013

Film Photography

Favorite Photos Week: State Fair at dusk

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