I decided I would mix things up a bit this year and go on vacation. For real. I spent three nights in hotels, took as many days off work, and visited destinations in two states. My first stop was the city of Columbus, Indiana. Columbus is important for having notable architecture despite the fact that it is not a huge city. Stop number one on my sight-seeing itinerary was the park, where I only intended to park. My father, who was traveling with me, spotted a large observation tower and wanted to climb it. We kept finding things we wanted to get a closer look at, so we spent a lot more time in the park than planned. There was a metal tunnel with vines growing over it and benches inside, trees, bridges, flowers, and more.
Most of my photographs from around town are more tourist shots, but here are some details from a couple of the buildings.
I said I was going to photograph the lovely old Polaroid folding camera. Despite my best intentions and the best intentions of my father, neither of us could find it. However, I did find the ancient Kodak Medalist II. Although it’s not as old as some of the other cameras in my father’s collection, it is by far the most worn and well-traveled of them all. My father acquired it while cleaning out a photofinishing plant in Wisconsin after the place went out of business. The Medalist’s owner had died by then. Reportedly, he was world traveler, and this camera was his companion on many adventures.
The Medalist II was manufactured in the late 1940s. It was a fine camera in its time with rangefinder and other focusing helps. Like many items from that era, it was built like a tank. This top view shows just how wide it is.
The focusing mechanism is also quite rigid and sturdy. In the camera’s present state of disrepair, it is difficult to turn.
You’ve probably noticed I’ve made no attempts to clean or retouch this relic. My father decided years ago that it should stay as he found it: someone’s old companion in adventure bearing the marks and dirt of its life and adventures. Although the former owner had it repaired on several occasions, it would take a lot to get this one back in shooting order even if we were to try. I’d estimate the last repair was about a decade before my father acquired the camera.
This Medalist II belongs to the past. However, they are such fine cameras that some people are still fixing them up and shooting with them. Here’s one man’s story of getting his Medalist II in working order: http://blog.timesunion.com/chuckmiller/welcoming-the-kodak-medalist-ii/21899/
Next Time: Fireworks
It’s hard to believe the 4th of July is gone already. I shot the fireworks lat night, but I promised a camera post this week, and I didn’t have much time to edit today.
About a week ago, I went to Chicago. Big cities aren’t really my thing, I’m more of a table top and forest preserve kind of photographer. However, I occasionally like to explore different places, and if I’m going to go, I’m going to take photos.
The lion outside the Art Institute was a big hit. Lots of people wanted a picture of him or even with him. I had to wait awhile to get a clear shot.
Because it’s Illinois, they planted corn in the Millennium Park gardens. Corn and skyscrapers looks a bit funny to me. I’m used to seeing corn and barns or corn and more corn.
Metal, skyscrapers, and metal.
The Bean. You can’t go to Chicago without seeing The Bean and having some fun with the reflections. Time was limited, or else I’d have played more.
Columns and a fountain. This just looked cool.
Old water tower. Quite the relic.
A shorter, but more interesting building.
Tall skyscraper near Navy Pier.
Navy Pier itself. If you ever go, I do recommend the totally free stained glass museum. It has all kinds of lovely stained glass panels, even Tiffany. Since I wasn’t sure about copyright issues and didn’t have a tripod, I’m not posting any photos of that. Navy Pier is full of restaurants, shops, boat tours, and other attractions (including a children’s museum and an I-MAX). A tourist could spend all day at Navy Pier alone.
Thus ended my excursion to Chicago. I’d like to go back and visit some museums someday.
Last week, I was inspired by a catalog page featuring exotic large jewelry. Rooting through my things, I found a necklace a relative brought back from a trip and a letter “E” charm bracelet that fit the mood I was going for. Since I had a better idea of what I wanted to do with the bracelet, I started there. I went with the “E” theme, using an encyclopedia and a dictionary for props. At first, I thought about putting the bracelet on the cover of another encyclopedia, but the only nice encyclopedias available were red. It’s easy to overdo red, so I opted for the printed page from a dictionary, in the “E” section, of corse.
When it came to finding props for the necklace, I searched the house for anything reminiscent of age, travel, or the east. I found this lovely old map artwork in the front of an atlas. The lace and red book just seemed to work well, but I’m going to have to force myself not to overuse them. I also used a muted brown “oriental” patterned rug for the shot. The cat gave me a really weird look when I grabbed it off the floor and toted it upstairs, proving that the nonhumans in the house find my photographic habits odd as well.