I had to travel to Nashville last week for work, installing additional signage in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Luckily, as planned, I was able to get done a little after lunchtime on my final day, so I took the bag of cameras and film I brought with me, and set out on the town. I took three cameras and several rolls of film, not knowing what I’d be shooting or what the weather would be like. Well, the weather was perfect, maybe a little too perfect, because some scattered clouds would have been nice, but hey, can’t complain about blue skys, right?
The first place I stopped was something I’ve seen from the highway many times, but had never stopped by to take a look. The Marathon Automobile Plant was operational from 1914-1917, but now serves as warehouse, store, and museum space for all kinds of vendors, including, if you’ve ever watched the show American Pickers, their store called Antique Archeology. The red brick and bright sun was just begging for Ektar, so I found a shady spot and loaded the Yashica up with a fresh roll. I confirmed that it was basically a sunny f16 day by metering the sidewalk with my newly acquired GE meter, set the Yashica to f11 and 1/125, and got to work.
After spending a little time in the Antique Archeology store, which had some incredible pieces in it, I bought a couple of t-shirts and made a hasty retreat, before I spent any serious money, which I didn’t really have. There were quite a few people there, despite being a weekday afternoon, so there was several times I had to wait for people, cars, or even buses to move out of the way of a good picture. In addition to the bigger shots of the building as a whole, I also tried to get a few shots of some details, such as some of the awesome door and doorways. The guys hand painting the sign on the lift never noticed me at all, even though I stood there framing and focusing for almost a minute before snapping the shot. True craftsmen, engrossed in their task.
I also had my old workhorse Olympus XA with me, loaded with Rollei CR200, as well as my new Pony IV loaded with XP2+, which I used most of between shots with the Yashica. I’ll be using them for rolls 18 and 19 respectively. Like I said last week, I have a feeling this old Yashica is going to get a lot of use from me in the future. It’s just such a joy to use and produces really nice images. I’ve noticed a few frames are a little low in contrast in the corners. Not sure if it’s due to me not using a lens shade or what, but I definitely plan on getting one ASAP.
Upon leaving the Marathon area, I set out to find some great old signs I had seen in previous trips to Nashville. First stop was the Bruton Snuff plant, just a few blocks from the State Capital building. The shot shown ended up being a crop, probably 2/3 of the original frame, due to not being able to get any closer to the building without the letters dipping below the trees. One of the advantages of that big 6×6 negative is that even after cropping, the detail is still outstanding. I also added a bit of vignette in PSE12, as I think it looks better than a big featureless sky.
The last two were old Neon signs just a few miles down the street from my hotel. Both, especially the Weiss Liquors sign, would have probably benefited from using a polarizer, but I don’t have one for the TLR. If I’d been thinking, I could have tried shooting through my sunglasses. Anyway, I added a bit of vignette on these as well. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with this roll. As usual, I developed the film at home, in my kitchen sink, using the Jobo C41 press kit, at normal times and temps, then scanned on Epson V600. Until next time friends, KEEP ON SHOOTING THAT GLORIOUS FILM!