Of Maine and Mad Dashes

Everyone has had those conversations where the participants start exchanging increasingly absurd ideas and exclaiming how good they are. Usually these end when everyone acknowledges the silliness of the discussion and moves on, or when they run out of beer. But once in a while the obvious stupidity of the idea in question is not sufficient to dissuade those involved from actually carrying it out. This is one of those times.

With spring coming, we were discussing the arrival of this year’s crop of insects and how to most effectively exterminate them. Flashback to last summer, when we came upon handheld bug zappers in the shape of tennis rackets, which are both quite good at killing bugs and being utterly ridiculous. We found them while up in Maine at a local department store for the princely sum of $3. Unfortunately, buying them through various internet sources more than triples the asking price. Rather than shell out an extra $7 per racket, we thought it would make far more sense to drive up to Maine and buy more. All well and good, but the Maine state line is about five hours one way. We’d have to stay overnight, but then first thing in the morning, Tennis Rackets of Death, and home.

This still seemed like a good idea after we ran out of beer, so we found a hotel, booked it for Friday night, and we were off to Maine.

We left at 0530 and were up to Maine by 1100, having stopped for breakfast at a local spot in Massachusetts (I think – maybe it was New Hampshire. I had French toast.) along the way. We couldn’t check in for several hours, so we wandered along the coast and stopped at a few spots for photos. After a long day of driving, we dropped the car at the hotel in the late afternoon and walked into town for dinner and beer, both of which were quite necessary by this time. We finished off with a nice long walk along the cliffs and past the local lobster boat anchorage.

Next morning I got up early (how I’m not exactly sure) and did the same walk as the night before, knowing that I’d have the low angle morning light of the rising sun to play with. The light was good, but I was dragging by the time I hauled myself back to the hotel. Off to breakfast and then to the bug zappers. We bought six, saving ourselves $42. Take that, internet price gougers! We then stopped in several antiques stores and spent all of our savings and then some. Our mission accomplished, we cruised south along the coast into New Hampshire and Massachusetts, stopping several times for more photos and walking, followed by a late lunch in Portsmouth, NH.

Finally, we hit the highway for the blast back home, pulling in around 2030. After some 39 hours and 700 miles, we got our Tennis Rackets of Death. Sometimes you just have to go through with a plan to see if it’s as stupid as is sounds. It was, but it was also a hell of a good time.

So, the photos. I had two Canon LTM rangefinders – L1 and P – with two lenses – 35/2.8 and 50/3.5 (the latter a new acquisition and as such a lens I have not yet formally introduced here) respectively – and two different films – FP4+ and Ektar, again respectively. I only shot three rolls – two of color and one of B&W – but I still got some shots I was happy with. Enjoy.

More Vintage Sports Cars at Lime Rock

OK, I’ll admit I’ve been slacking around here lately – hey, it’s summer, and it’s not like you’re paying for this. Anyway, as the result of some misguided sense of obligation, I’m providing a rare two-post day. Following on the runaway success of the first post in this series, I give you the monochrome shots from the same day shooting the VSCCA races up at Lime Rock Park.

In addition to the Leica, I had my Canon L1, on which I had mounted either the Voigtländer Color Skopar 21/4 or the Nikkor 135/3.5, representing the most extreme ends of my available LTM focal length spectrum. I’d shot races with the Nikkor before, and it works well in that role, but the 21 was an experiment. I wanted to play with distorted perspectives a bit to see what I could get; the answer was a lot of mediocrity, with one or two moderately interesting shots thrown in. I’m still trying to figure out how to get the most out of wide lenses.

Canon L1, Voigtländer Color Skopar 21/4, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Canon L1, Voigtländer Color Skopar 21/4, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Canon L1, Nikkor 135/3.5, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Canon L1, Nikkor 135/3.5, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Canon L1, Voigtländer Color Skopar 21/4, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Canon L1, Voigtländer Color Skopar 21/4, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)

I also shot some black-and-white in the Leica, naturally. It was a bright day with some clouds, as you can see, and I continue to be impressed with how FP4+ performs. It’s quickly becoming my standard film for a lot of applications.

Leica IIIc, Leitz Summitar 50/2, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Leica IIIc, Leitz Summitar 50/2, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)

And finally, probably my favorite shot of the day. It’s blurry, and the exposure’s probably a little off, but I love the lines and it captures more of the atmosphere of the event than any other shot I took.

Leica IIIc, Leitz Summitar 50/2, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Leica IIIc, Leitz Summitar 50/2, Ilford FP4+ in Caffenol C-H(RS)

Transitions, Part 2

We had a lot of snow this year. A lot. So for the second installment in this series, I present a collection of photos I simply call “Stuff Sticking out of Snow”. Did I mention we got a lot of snow this year?

Yashica J-Mini, Fuji Superia 200
Yashica J-Mini, Fuji Superia 200
Fuji X-E1, Voigtländer Color Skopar 21/4
Fuji X-E1, Voigtländer Color Skopar 21/4
Voigtländer Vito, Kodak Tri-X in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Voigtländer Vito, Kodak Tri-X in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Canon L1, Canon Serenar 50/1.9, Kodak Tri-X in Caffenol C-H(RS)
Canon L1, Canon Serenar 50/1.9, Kodak Tri-X in Caffenol C-H(RS)

See, I told you it was a lot of snow. I mean, Godzilla himself was waist-deep (and not happy about, I’m sure).