Thursday, April 11, 2019

[35mm Ohio] The North in November

With a Nikon N80 and Portra 400.

- Fresh Food Deli - Medina, OH.

So far in this series, I'd been making my drives on weekends. This time, it was a Thursday morning. I'm not sure what felt more unfamiliar: seeing I-71 in hazy weekday light, or, where I was finding myself in life—free on a weekday to roam. I had a colleague recommended podcast on, but halfway through, I gave up on what seemed to be insincerity expressed via TED Talk. If it had been a cassette, I would’ve tossed it out the window into the ether of the 90s.

I stopped at the Fresh Food Deli in Medina because it seemed like an interesting place to photograph. I didn't eat there, but wrote “next time” in my notebook (although, I haven't been back on the Ohio road since and didn't get this roll developed until recently).

- Shaker Square, Cleveland Rapid.

- Shaker Square Station and Michael's Diner.

- Michael's Diner.

- E. 55th Station.

- E. 55th Station/RTA rail yard.

Cleveland was a welcoming destination. Even when drenched with cold and blanketed in patches of gray snow, it's still a place I enjoy. When familiar anxieties returned at a diner situated near the tracks, the comforting ebb and flow of the rapid cars grounded me. I caught a train back to Downtown and drove some more in search of no particular sights before finishing off the day and the day’s coffee in Lakewood as the sun went down (cold, unseen, obstructed by clouds at ~5 PM).

- Tower City Center.

- Key Tower.

- Carter Rd, Cleveland.

- Lakewood.

- Lakewood.

- Lakewood.

The next day’s road home was mired by the same monotonous, gray skies that don’t lend the landscape to the kinds of bright colors Kodak Portra is known for capturing. After a rest stop in Jeffersonville, the sun made a cliche appearance following a torrent of rain, just before setting. I glimpsed all three major city skylines that day.

- Rest stop, I-71, Jeffersonville.

- Rest stop, I-71, Jeffersonville.

- Jeffersonville.

- I-71.

View the other entries in 35mm Ohio


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'm loving the film work Ronny! I can't put a finger on exactly what it is. The photos don't have the depth of color or perfect focus that comes with modern digital cameras, I think there must be little cues like this that I pick up on. Having grown up with most of my youthful memories documented on film, I think I associate those cues with positive experiences. Regardless, I just find the film photos pleasant. I have noticed that some of your outdoor scenery photos seem to have really consistently sharp focus across the image. I'm wondering if that's a property of the film or just the result of using a tripod?

    Next time you're back in Cleveland, be sure to check out The Arcade! It would make a great photo spot!

    1. Hey, Dan. Thanks for the comment. I'm 100% right there with you in terms of film—there's something about its look and style that digital just can't quite replicate even with the best of filters. In terms of sharpness, which specific ones are you referring to? I'm lucky in that I acquired a Nikon N80 years with super crisp auto focus. On the others, it's manual focus by hand, but they seem to work relatively well.

      Will definitely check out the arcade up there.

      PS Is this the Dan I worked with at Kings Island back in the day?

    2. Thanks for the reply! The photo that most comes to mind is in your "RN" series, "- OH-325/Kocheiser Rd. near Mansfield.", although all the outdoor shots in that and this article look great. That image is sharp throughout its entire depth. The Barn retains it's sharp edges and the distant scenery doesn't look noisy like I see a lot in digital images. The road seems to retain its granularity throughout the length. Granted, you've got good equipment and a lot of practice and I'm comparing to more amateur photos. So, not altogether a fair comparison. I also realize the web resolution is limited so I'm assuming those shots don't get worse with more scrutiny. Still, I can't help but wonder if film might have an adventage in these specific situations, how it handles high-light small-aperture maybe.

      This is the same Dan! I don't doubt you've met some interesting people, so I'm humbled you remember me. I'll drop a line in your email.

    3. Looking forward to your email! In regards to that particular Mansfield shot—I think what worked out there was it was super, super bright out. So the aperture (with 400 film) could be super wide and let everything be in focus.