Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business Lexington, KY Olympus OM-4, Kodak Portra 400

Unfinished Business
Lexington, KY  Olympus OM-4, Kodak Portra 400

Making lemonade out of lemons in downtown Lexington, KY.

The pathetic story of these cranes goes back over 5 years when some misguided developers bought up and tore down a historic city block downtown with the grand notion of building a boring skyscraper. Because of years of financial and government foibles, a large pit sits with these idle cranes. For how long? One only knows.

The high winds of spring make the cranes swing around. I’d like to see them get in a sword fight! Now that would be a downtown attraction.

Lonely Winter Road

Found toy camera loaded with Fujifilm 400 color film (expired). Developed in Diafine.

Found toy camera loaded with Fujifilm 400 color film (expired). Developed in Diafine.

I’ve been logging a lot of miles on the road lately driving across the heart of Kentucky. This is the way I feel after a couple hundred miles.

This is the single best shot from a found preloaded point-and-shoot camera (est. early 1990’s) found in my late aunt’s house. She shot a few pictures of cats (she was a cat woman) laying on things that were uninteresting. So I took the camera and just kept shooting out the truck window.

I peeled off the cardboard cover (Fun Camera! Made in China!) to reveal the plastic carcass. It had black electrical tape all over it, so I removed this and did my best to reduce the sticky residue. After cracking it open in a changing bag, I found that the expired film had been wound up into a film cartridge on the right side. Evidently, when they make these disposable cameras, they load a roll in, crank it all out to the left spool where you would normally place the full cartridge. When you take a picture and advance, it actually is pulled back into the cartridge. Makes sense to me.

I then developed the film in Diafine. The orange mask is pretty thick, probably because there was no bleach step. But my Plustek OpticFilm 7500i scanner did a great job pulling something out. I used Vuescan, which is a decent program for the money, but has a confusing interface and uphill learning curve. Warning: I tried using the infrared cleaning filter with disastrous results. It must not like the dense negative. However, the multi-pass scan mode worked great to bring out faint detail.

I toyed with different effects in Photoshop until I hit upon the blue tint and defocused surroundings. When you drive a lot of miles, it seems you start to only focus on those white lines ahead of you.

Faces From 75 Years Ago


An interesting find while going through boxes and boxes of pictures from my late aunt’s house. There were several negatives tucked away in this envelope. It’s hard to tell when this is from, but from the distinctive Art Deco font and the negatives inside, it was probably pre-WWII.

Without getting into a digital vs. analog debate, many young photographers that only know digital may not know what this is. It’s a paper holder for your prints and negatives. The corner drug store was a common place to have your film developed until only about 5 or 10 years ago. What’s amazing is that the 75-year-old negatives inside were in near-perfect shape. I scanned them all and saw pictures of family members long gone that I have never seen. I wonder if anyone will be able to recover digital pictures 75 years from now?

Lucille--John-Wineka-Unkown-2015-0216-Neg-15 Dad-and-Unkown-on-Farm-2015-0216-Neg-06 Ruth-on-Farm-2015-0216-Neg-08 Unkown-and-John-Wineka-with-Baby-2015-0216-Neg-02