Drugs

Your future is key
Pentax K10D, 28-80mm f/3.5-4.7 SMC Pentax-FA
2017

I’ve always thought anti-drug programs that bring up drugs at all are like telling a kid not to think about elephants. That’s the surest way to fill a kid’s mind with pachyderms.

My recent road trip was a major test of my Pentax K10D and the 28-80 zoom lens I had just bought. I wasn’t always happy with this pair’s performance. I’m sure I’m still learning this gear and with a few more serious outings I’ll learn a lot about how to get good results. But I had trouble with near items being out of focus, and with a little chromatic aberration, the latter of which I believe is apparent in this image.

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Photography

single frame: Your future is key

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Martinsville

City of Mineral Water
Pentax K10D, 28-80mm f/3.5-4.7 SMC Pentax-FA
2017

Martinsville, Indiana, was once renowned for its healing waters.

It was while drilling for oil in the area in 1887 that a smelly aquifer was found. In those days, mineral waters were thought to possess healing properties.

Martinsville’s first mineral-water spa, or sanitarium as they were called then, was established in 1888. By 1930, thirteen sanitariums operated there. People from all walks of life came from around the world to Martinsville to bathe.

But the Great Depression and the closing of the Interurban line that reached Martinsville brought about the sanitariums’ decline. The last of them closed in 1971.

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History, Photography

single frame: City of Mineral Water

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Closed

Closed
Nikon F3, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor
Kodak Tri-X (very expired)
2017

I’m giving myself a short break from blogging this week by running nothing but single-photo posts. They’re fun and fast to write and will let me keep to my self-imposed six-days-a-week posting schedule. I know the world would not end if I took a legitimate break and let the blog lie fallow for a week. But I want to keep my solid unbroken posting streak!

I’ve spent most of my spare time lately doing the last home repairs and painting the last couple rooms so that I can put my house on the market. And this past Sunday I preached my first sermon in church! That took considerable time in study and preparation. And my new job (at which I’ve worked three months now) is fabulous but consumes considerable energy. And the commute still stinks.

And then in the middle of all this the hard drive on my main computer failed, as I said on Friday. For years I’ve used a tool called Second Copy to shadow my files to an external drive, so I lost no files. But doing a clean install of Windows 10 on a new hard drive turned out to be frustrating and time consuming. Using my laptop I loaded a bootable Windows 10 installer onto a thumb drive I had lying around. I booted my main machine to that thumb drive and the installer fired right up. It could see the new hard drive, but insisted that there was no valid partition on it.

With lots of help from the Internet, I spent hours troubleshooting. I have good hardware and command-line skills, but nothing I tried worked. I was about to give up and go buy a new computer when I read a side comment at the end of a long forum thread, where a woman said she got around this problem by running the installer from a different thumb drive. I didn’t understand why that would work, but I’d exhausted all other options. And $8 for a new thumb drive is way cheaper than buying a whole new computer. So I bought a new thumb drive and put the Windows installer on it.

It worked, lickety split. Voodoo, I tell you, voodoo.

I hadn’t yet finished installing all of my software when I dismantled my office last weekend to paint it. That took the computer out of commission yet again, as I use it in that office. And so all posts last week and this week have been written on my laptop, where I lack my photo library, my scanner, and all my photo software. I have negatives to scan, photos to share, cameras to review — but it will all have to wait until my backlog of other priorities clears and I can get my main computer fully set up again.

So enjoy the photos this week!

Photography

single frame: Closed

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Image

Scenes from the American Sign Museum

Shell
Pentax ME, 50mm f/1.4 SMC Pentax-M
Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400
2017

It is comforting to encounter the roadside architecture and signage of my 1970s childhood, even when it’s in a museum. Shell service stations were even more common then than now, it seems. And in the 1970s, they were service stations where a man came out to fill your tank, clean your windshield, and check your oil. Every location I ever saw would also repair your car when it broke down. Their slogan was, “Service Is Our Business.”

About the photograph: I scanned these negatives myself. I’m doing more of that now, as it cuts costs. I haven’t figured out settings in Silverfast yet that do a truly good job of eliminating scratches and dust spots. I do get weary of manually editing them out. I gave up in this shot. But given its hue and softness, the marks seem okay somehow.

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Photography

single frame: Shell

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Image

Scenes from the American Sign Museum

The Emmanuel Baptist Church Drug Company
Pentax ME
50mm f/1.4 SMC Pentax-M
Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400

I was trying to shoot just the church sign and didn’t really see the humorous placement of the sign behind it until I got the negatives back from the processor.

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Photography, Road Trips

single frame: The Emmanuel Baptist Church Drug Company

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Image

Scenes from the American Sign Museum

HoJo’s
Pentax ME
50mm f/1.4 SMC Pentax-M
Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400

Could this have been my favorite sign in the American Sign Museum?

50mm was too confining a focal length in the museum’s tight spaces. I couldn’t back up far enough to get most scenes in. So I had to work within the constraint, using strategic framing and finding dramatic angles.

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Photography, Road Trips

single frame: HoJo’s

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