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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Film Photography

First roll impressions: Kentmere 400

600 Kentucky Ave.

Kentmere 400 is a budget black-and-white film from Harman Technologies, whick makes Ilford films. It’s available only in 35mm, as 24- or 36-exposure cartridges or in 100-foot rolls. At the time I’m publishing this article, you can buy a 36-exposure roll for about five bucks. That makes Kentmere 400 the least expensive ISO 400 black-and-white film commonly available today.

Circle Tower

Fomapan 400 is another budget-friendly option, but it’s a dollar or two more expensive. My favorite ISO 400 black-and-white films are Ilford HP5 Plus and Kodak T-Max 400, but they cost up to twice as much as Kentmere 400. I’m happy to pay it when I’m shooting something serious where the output matters. But when I’m testing a new-to-me old camera or just shooting for pleasure, it’s nice to have less-expensive film options.

Lots of little windows

That’s why I bought a couple rolls of Kentmere 400 not long ago when I also ordered a brick of HP5 Plus. I loaded a roll into my terrific compact Pentax IQZoom 170SL in June and took it to my Downtown Indianapolis office. I often take short afternoon walks when I’m there, and it’s nice to have a small camera in my hand when I go.

PNC and Hyatt

As you can see, I shot a lot of architectural subjects on this roll. I developed the film in HC-110, Dilution B, and scanned the negatives on my Plustek 8200i scanner. Several of my film-photography friends get best results from this film when they develop it a little longer than what the Massive Dev Chart says, so I gave it about an extra minute. The negatives were appropriately dense when they came out of the tank.

Roach Bail Bonding

The film dried fairly flat and scanned easily. I thought the scans looked pretty good right out of the scanner, but I boosted contrast on them all in Photoshop anyway.

The Chatterbox

I’ve shot black-and-white in the IQZoom 170SL only one other time, and that was a roll of T-Max 400 which I developed in Rodinal. Check out those images here. I think those images are a little smoother and offer better sharpness than these Kentmere 400 images. I suppose that’s an apples-to-dump-trucks comparison, however; not only did I use a different developer, but a different scanner, on that film. Regardless, these Kentmere 400 images are perfectly acceptable.

Under the railroad

I hereby pronounce Kentmere 400 to be Perfectly Fine. I’d buy it again.

Lacy Building

Some of my film-photography friends have gotten reasonable results pushing this film as far as EI 3200, which makes Kentmere 400 extra versatile. Check out one photographer’s results here.

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Film Photography, Preservation

A quick visit to Central State

I’ve written about Central State before — it was Indiana’s first residential hospital for the mentally ill, and by all accounts it was just as awful as you’ve ever heard such places were. Today, new housing is being built on its grounds, which should begin the gentrification of Indianapolis’s Near Westside.

A cluster of original Central State buildings remains on the site’s western edge. Some of them have been renovated and put to good use, and some stand still dilapidated. I visited recently with my Pentax IQZoom 170SL and made some photos on Fujicolor 200.

Central State
Carpentry hall
I wonder
Painted brick
Path to the abandoned building
1899
Dilapidated

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Downtown Stonegate

Downtown Stonegate
Pentax IQZoom 170SL
Fujifilm Fujicolor 200
2021

This might look like the heart of a classic Indiana small town, but it’s not.

Stonegate is a tony neighborhood here in Zionsville. The heart of Zionsville, the original town, is 3½ miles to the east. Over the last 20 years or so, Zionsville annexed a lot of land to its west as farmers sold out and developers built new neighborhoods.

As you drive (or, as was the case for me this day, biked) along Stonegate’s curved main street, at about the midpoint you come upon this little business district. These buildings are fashioned to look like they were built a century ago. They stand in a part of Stonegate where the houses look like modern takes on early 20th-century house designs — foursquares and bungalows with prominent front porches.

It’s all rather charming. It’s also rather expensive, but that’s life in Zionsville.

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Film Photography

single frame: Downtown Stonegate

A look at a fake downtown.

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Windswept Farms and my bike

My bike at Windswept Farm
Pentax IQZoom 170SL
Fujicolor 200
2020

I put away my bike for the season the other day. It’s grown too cold for me to want to ride anymore.

I rode longer this season than I normally do thanks to Three Speed October. It’s an event put on by the Society of Three Speeds to encourage those of us who love three-speed cycling to cycle more in this autumn month. It’s not an onerous commitment: three rides of three miles or more, during any three weeks in October. The Society even defines October loosely, to include most of the last week of September and the first day of November.

I’m sure I would have given up riding sooner this season without Three Speed October. A few of my rides were a little chillier than I normally put up with! But I was determined to finish the challenge.

One of my usual routes takes me by this yellow barn. I had film in the Pentax IQZoom 170SL so I brought it along just so I could make this image.

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Photography

single frame: My bike at Windswept Farm

My old Schwinn in front of an even older barn.

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