Film Photography

Spring flowers on Fujifilm FP-100C

Spring is here! And so I put a pack of Fujifilm FP-100C into my Polaroid Colorpack II and went looking for bright spring flowers. I found some in my front yard and some, like these tulips, on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Polaflowers

These daffodils are always the first sign of spring in my yard. The woman who first lived in my house planted them, and now I get to enjoy them.

Polaflowers

The IMA probably has a huge staff to maintain the grounds and do things like plant the dozens of bulbs necessary to grow a patch of daffodils this big.

Polaflowers

My mom planted these grape hyacinths in my front bed about five years ago. They’ve done really well.

Polaflowers

I love tulips; they’re my favorite flower. I planted some yellow and purple tulip bulbs three years ago but got only one spring season’s worth of flowers from them. Either they died or the squirrels got them. So I got my tulip fix at the IMA this year.

Polaflowers

I photographed all of these flowers from 3½ feet away, which is as close as the Colorpack II can focus. I was just delighted when I peeled away the first print and saw that soft background. I’m also extremely happy with the color I got back from the FP-100C. The color is even better on the actual prints; the flowers look almost candy-jewel-like. The sharpness is better on the prints, too, but that’s probably because the prints are far smaller than these scans.

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Photography

Captured: Not a lonely little petunia

Not a lonely little petunia

I’m not much for digging in the dirt. Cut the grass? I’m on it. Whack the weeds? Lemme at ’em. Trim the hedges? Heck yes. Whatever grows in my yard, I’ll maintain it! Or kill it if I don’t like it. I’m talking about you, dandelions. But actually plant things? Meh.

The woman who built my house was beginning to landscape the yard nicely when, sadly, serious illness forced her to sell. The next owner rented out the house for several years, and naturally the place didn’t receive a full measure of love and care. The first few years of my ownership have been dedicated to cleaning up the joint, on a shoestring budget no less. But now that work is mostly done, and I have a little money, and I do like petunias. And despite my distaste for digging I do own all the necessary tools. So I spent some time the other night getting my hands dirty. It wasn’t glorious. But aren’t the results lovely?

I like crocuses, too. Back when I lived in the church’s parsonage, I snapped a nice one. Check it out.

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Photography

First colors of spring

Spring is my favorite season because it brings warmth and color to end winter’s cold and gray. The original owner of my house planted a lot of bulbs in a large bed in the middle of my front yard, and the daffodils are always the first to poke out their heads. They have become my annual confirmation of spring’s arrival, and I look for them every day starting about mid-March.

First color

When we went to Tennessee for spring break, I hoped their blossoms would be farther along than ours here in Indiana, and I wasn’t disappointed. These tree flowers had a delicate, sweet scent.

Spring blossoms

It’s funny how I started paying attention to flowers only after I started to enjoy photography a few years ago. Before that, I didn’t care about them at all, and hardly noticed them. What a shame that it took me until my 40s to appreciate them. But a consequence of getting such a late start is that I have no idea what most of them are called. Your comments on my annual posts about the flowers I photograph along the roadside have helped me identify several flowers, but I still have a long way to go. These red flowers, which were also freshly blossomed in Tennessee, are yet another I can’t name.

Spring blossoms

I look to photograph the smallest flowers, because I think most people overlook them.

Spring blossoms

I had never seen anything like this before. I’m not even sure it’s a flower. Maybe it’s a Tennessee thing.

Spring blossoms

I hoped that when we returned from our trip that Indiana’s spring flowers would have begun to bloom, and I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t know what these little flowers are called, but they come up every year in my front bed.

Spring blossoms

My grape hyacinths were up. My mother planted these – at least once a year, she visits bearing plants from her own extensive gardens and spends an afternoon digging in my dirt. I’m glad she does it, because I don’t enjoy gardening very much. (But I do love to mow the grass.)

Spring blossoms

Many of the yards on my street are overrun with violets this year, my yard included.

Spring blossoms

And of course, the daffodils have opened!

Spring blossoms

Last spring I toured the neighborhood with my camera, photographing the flowering trees. Check it out.

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Photography, Road Trips

Captured: Covered bridge on old US 36

Covered bridge on old US 36

I’m eager to get out on the road now that the weather’s nice. But this year no particular road seems to be calling me. In 2007, US 36 in western Indiana interested me. In 2008, I immersed myself in the Michigan Road. In 2009, I toured the National Road. I’ve had thoughts about doing the Indiana alignments of the Lincoln Highway this year, or maybe finally clinching the National Road by driving it across Ohio, or maybe trying to find all the old alignments of US 50 in Indiana.

Or maybe I’ll devote this road-trip season to finding old bridges. One of the best moments of any road trip is when I come across an old bridge. I especially enjoy steel truss bridges and wooden covered bridges, but stone arch, concrete arch, and suspension bridges are exciting too. There’s nothing like rounding a curve and having an old bridge come into view, a work of engineering and labor shouldering its burdens for many decades, even more than a century. Just like this covered bridge peeking out from behind the late-spring greenery on an old alignment of US 36 in Putnam County, Indiana. I didn’t know it was there, and I gasped as it revealed itself.

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Photography

Spring tree flowers

The first homes in my old-suburbia neighborhood were built in about 1955, so we have plenty of mature trees. Even my house, a 1969 latecomer to the block party, sits on a well-wooded lot. Although my neighborhood shows many signs of decline today, that so many of its trees flower in the spring say that the original owners, at least, had pride.

These blossoms are from my next-door neighbor’s callery pear.

Spring flowering trees

This is probably my favorite springtime tree in the neighborhood. I think it’s a weeping cherry.

Spring flowering trees

We have lots of trees like this one in the neighborhood. I think it’s a magnolia.

Spring flowering trees

Here’s another – or is this one a crabapple? I’m not too sure.

Spring flowering trees

I took the photo above at about 5 p.m. I took the photo below of the same tree at about 8 p.m. as the sun was setting. Isn’t it interesting how much more vividly pink it is?

Spring flowering trees

Eastern redbud trees are very common in Indiana. One winding road in town that I drive frequently is lined with them, and right now it’s a tunnel of purple. Strangely, my neighborhood has few redbuds.

Spring flowering trees

I’m not sure what kind of tree this is, but it stands before my favorite house in the neighborhood. Most of the houses here are simple brick ranches and lack any real character. This house at least has a few interesting touches, like the arches over the front windows, the high-pitched roof, and the corner brickwork. [Update: My buddy Hoosier Reborn e-mailed me to say that this is a pink dogwood.]

Spring flowering trees

At first I thought this was a magnolia.

Spring flowering trees

But when I moved in close, I could see it was just another crabapple. At least it was close enough to the street that I was able to photograph the blossoms.

Spring flowering trees

My neighborhood’s trees put on a great show last autumn, too. Check out the photos.

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Film Photography

Captured: Rose-Hulman spring morning

RH Spring Morning

As a boy, summer was my favorite season, but as I grew up spring began to overtake it. I remember well the day that spring clinched the top spot. It was the day before I took this photograph, one May morning in 1987.

These were my college days, and this was the view from my residence hall’s back door. I walked this way to breakfast every morning, my mind always preoccupied. But on this morning the scene shouted to me so I had to notice, and I stood there a few steps from the door startled and amazed by how beautiful the campus was. I realized I hadn’t even noticed spring as it arrived. I didn’t want to look away from the still pond, so lovely with all the reflected trees. For the first time I smelled the clean, sweet air, noticing how cool it felt on my arms in contrast to how the sun warmed my skin. I heard birds chirping in the distance and I wondered how many days it had escaped my notice. I felt elated and slightly dizzy, as you feel when you smell something strong but pleasant like fresh lavender, and I enjoyed the feeling for several minutes before I pushed on to breakfast.

The scene repeated itself the next morning. I went back to my room for my camera. I lingered longer that day.

You’d think that I’d always notice spring because I dislike winter so much. But even winter sometimes has its beautiful moments.

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