Taylor Reflected

I was leaving a show in downtown Taylor in the early evening at the end of a balmy summer day. It was late enough to be cooled down enough that I decided to take a walk around a block before heading back to my car. As I walked, my attention was drawn to the reflections in some of the windows so I turned my camera toward them.

Combined with interior details, the reflections created some deep and unusual scenes. I explored this a bit with my camera. Some elements of the interior and exterior were complementary. Others were an oddity. All were an interesting new take on a familiar place. It was a fascinating exercise that I look forward to repeating.

Images were captured with my Fujifilm X100F using the Acros film simulation.

Taylor Main Street Car Show

If you read my blog with any regularity you know I love car shows. Recently the city of Taylor held its annual Main Street Car Show. It was a beautiful Autumn day that had just a bit of a nip in the air from a passing cold front. It can still be very warm in the afternoon in late October and it was refreshing to be able to wander amongst the cars without breaking a sweat. 

I wandered around with a minimal camera setup - a pocketable little point and shoot film camera and my trusty X100F. While I love taking pictures of cars, I'm not fond of lugging around a heavy bag of gear these days. I find I enjoy myself more with my simple X100F over a camera body with an assortment of lens. The point and shoot film camera is just for fun. I like to shoot a roll or two of film from time to time, especially at events like these. I guess being around all the classic cars stirs up those feelings of nostalgia.

Film

Film images were taken with an Olympus XA2 point and shoot camera using Svema  125 color film. The color you get from this film is interesting and different from any other color film I've tried. Being color blind (not completely) that's about all I can say about it. I'm not sure how accurate the rendering is but it seems to have a vintage feel to me, which works well for the subject matter.

Digital

All digital images were taken with my Fujifilm X100F using the in-camera Acros film simulation. These are only lightly adjusted for contrast. I love the X100F for being able to deliver a filmic look pretty much straight out of camera. 

Check out more photos from the show on my gallery site.

Window Shopping in Taylor

I stopped at a favorite watering hole in Taylor for a beer or two after work this evening. It was quiet for a Friday and I sat in a chair off in the back. My mind was in a bit of a funk and I could have easily stayed there way too long. I paid my tab after a sandwich and a couple of pints, then headed out for a walk around town as dusk settled in. Tailor is such a nice place to gather one's thoughts.

It came to mind that the month is almost over. Geez, it has been such a blur. I'm working extra hours and taking a class right now. There isn't much time for anything else. It seems like I've hardly touched my camera lately and I didn't have it with me this evening. I did have my iPhone though. I guess I do consider it a camera these days - grudgingly. It will do in a pinch and I'm usually perfectly happy with the results.

Wandering around town, I found myself looking at windows. Sometimes I look through them. With a camera in my hand I tend to look more at what they reflect. It was an appropriate activity tonight. I struggle with anxiety and depression and photography is a kind of therapy for me. When my mind is clouded with darkness, it can bring clarity. As much as I love photography and the benefits it brings, I can make every excuse not to do it. I can be too depressed to grab a camera, while at the same time feeling depressed about not doing a bit of photography. It's a vicious mental cycle. Having a quality camera in my pocket at all times does take away the "Well, don't have my camera." excuse.

My "window shopping" did lift my spirits a bit. Looking at the town as reflected in the glass reminded me that there is more than one way to look at things. Sometimes we need a different perspective. There is darkness and there is light. There is what we see on the surface and there is what exists inside. Sometimes none of it makes sense. Sometimes there is something wonderful that we never realized was there.

All images taken with an iPhone 6s Plus and the Blackie app.

Evening Walk in Taylor

The small town of Taylor has become a favorite place to hang out for my wife and I, along with our little poodle, Lucy. In the early evening the sidewalks are adequately shaded from the last of a scorching sun by the wonderful old buildings. We love having a fairly cool and quiet place to walk on these summer nights.

Lucy trots along, happily pausing to meet passersby, while letting out an annoyed snort if I break the pace for a quick photo snap. I enjoy taking in the sights, doing a little window shopping, and capturing interesting details with my iPhone. We usually end up having a cold drink in town at a favorite bar. Ah...Taylor.

All photos were taken with an iPhone 6S Plus using the Blackie app.

Art After Dark in Taylor

There were a couple of art shows going on in Taylor, TX last week. I stopped by with my wife to browse around and grab a beer at our favorite brew pub. After folks left for the evening, I wandered briefly through the vacant space. There was a peacefulness about it that I enjoyed. It's a hard thing to come by in the Austin area these days. 

As is often the case, I didn't bring my "real camera" with me since this was a fun social outing with my wife. I do try to not be the annoying photographer guy that abandons family and friends on outings where photography isn't an intended priority. Times like these it's handy to have that iPhone and my favorite app, Blackie. I made a few quick snaps of the quiet moments to fulfill the ever present drive to preserve what moves and inspires me.

Taylor at Night

It was a long day at work yesterday and the sun had long since set as I left the office. I was looking for a cold beer and a good dinner but I wasn't up for the Friday night crowd in the Austin suburbs. After pondering the thought of just heading home and microwaving my dinner, I decided to enjoy the cool evening and headed to Texas Beer in Taylor. I knew there would be a couple of guys selling BBQ sandwiches at the bar and I could get a pint or two of their house made beer.

After eating my sandwich, I took my beer outside to a picnic table on the sidewalk and in the quiet night I felt like I had this small town to myself. It's a nice retreat from the bustling Austin nightlife and I was able to mentally unwind from my work week. I enjoyed drinking my beer at a leisurely pace as only a trickle of pedestrian traffic occasionally passed by.

It was too nice of a night to not take a little walk around downtown and, of course, snap a few photos before heading home. My little late evening stroll was a striking contrast to a walk I took in downtown Austin a while back with a couple of friends. In comparison, Austin was congested with traffic, loud, "Dirty 6th" fully lived up to its local nickname with grimy streets and repulsive smells, and aggressive panhandlers were swarming the sidewalks. As people continue to move to the Austin area in droves, I don't know how long downtown Taylor will remain the quiet respite from Austin that it is today. I'll enjoy it while I can.

All photos were taken with an iPhone 6S+, Blackie app, contrast adjusted in Lightroom.

Taylor Main Street Car Show

The Main Street Car Show was held last weekend in downtown Taylor, TX. The small town of Taylor has some great old buildings in their downtown area, making it a perfect scenic spot to show off classic cars. I traveled light once again, taking only a single roll of AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 color negative film for my Olympus OM4 Ti. I can easily get snap happy at events like this so I find it refreshing to limit my picture taking to make time for enjoying the event. Here are some favorites from the roll.

Truth be told, I did wish I'd brought a second roll of film. I have never been to this annual show and it was a bigger event than I'd anticipated. I had to be really selective about my shots, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. One more roll would have been just right I think. To satisfy my urge to document more of the eye candy, I allowed myself to take a few detail shots with my iPhone. I used the Blackie app to take these shots. The first one is a rare self portrait. Or is it the last one? Hard to tell.

CineStill 50 - A Small Town Test

I spent one recent Sunday afternoon testing a couple of new things - an Olympus XA 2 and a roll of CineStill 50 35mm color negative film. The CineStill film is something I've been wanting to try for a while now. This is Kodak Vision 3 motion picture film that is used to film movies, albeit the use of film is kind of a rarity these days in Hollywood. This type of film has an anti-halation backing layer called Remjet that would ordinarily make it very difficult to process. CineStill has had the Remjet removed so that it can be processed like any ordinary C-41 film. Very cool!

The 50 ISO rated daylight balanced CineStill is perfect for our bright sunny days in my part of Texas. I've read where people even recommend overexposing it at ISO 25. For my first outing I decided to keep it at box speed. I was a little nervous shooting it in the untested XA 2 since CineStill is a little expensive (I think I paid about $11 for a roll.) Since the camera seemed to be in good working order with what appeared to be new light seals I took the gamble and it paid off. I was hoping to have a combination that got me rich yet muted colors with minimal effort on my part. Shooting with the XA 2 I got exactly that. All I had to do was guesstimate distance to select one of 3 focus options on the XA 2 and frame my shot. The amazing latitude of the film took care of the rest.

As usual when testing new gear, I headed down the road into Taylor, TX then up into Granger to finish out the roll. Here are a few favorites. The only post processing of the film scans was a slight bump in contrast and clarity. Film processing and scanning was done by Austin Camera.

Sunday in Taylor

Camera G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) struck me a couple of weeks ago when I noticed that my favorite online camera seller, KEH, had a sweet sale going on. While I wasn't particularly looking for anything at the time, a sale is sale so I had to take a look. As luck would have it I found a camera that was on my "want it some day" list. It was an Olympus OM-4Ti 35mm film camera and at 25% off I clicked the buy button without a second thought. I'll talk more about this camera and why I was interested in it in an upcoming post. For now, I just thought I'd share a few photos I took with it on a functional test in nearby Taylor, TX. 

It was last Sunday morning when I ventured out with my friend and fellow photographer Jim. He has the same camera and was kind enough to show me the ropes on it and lend me some lenses. Taylor is a small town and I've certainly been there enough times that it seems like I've taken photos of just about everything there. Once again though, Taylor didn't disappoint as I pushed myself to find something special in the familiar. 

All photos were taken with the Olympus OM-4Ti using 50mm and 24mm Olympus lenses on Fujifilm Acros 100 black and white film. The film was developed and scanned by Austin Camera.