Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mama Mamiya!

I celebrated my 56th birthday on 12-12-12 -- an auspicious date, seeing that I was born in 1956, 56 years before.  A friend gave me a gift certificate from Huron Camera, which of course, might possibly be the best place locally to have a certificate from (at least for me!).  I made my way over to Dexter, and as usual, checked out the "bargain bins" in the back of the store. In one of them sat an SLR camera that I have seen very few examples of -- a Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL.  Now, me swearing off buying another camera, especially an M42 mount SLR, went out the window when I saw that the cameras was only 10 bucks -- with a Rikenon 50mm lens.  I checked all the functions, and aside from the battery-less condition, it seemed to work just fine. When I was at the counter, I saw that they had a 55mm 1.8 Sekor lens that matched the camera (including the original cool lenscap) for $29.00.  So, I bought the lens, the camera, some Ektar 100 film, and spent my gift certificate.  When I got home, I read up online about the camera, and sure enough, the  camera uses a modern LR-44 battery!    I cleaned the terminals, put in a battery, and the meter worked.  That was a nice surprise.  I loaded the camera with some Tmax 100 and over the course of a week, shot two rolls. I developed them the other day, and am quite happy with the results.  
Mamiya/Secor 1000 DTL

What is so unusual about the Mamiya/Sekor  1000 DTL is that the metering has a switch that is either "S" or "A" mode - meaning Spot or Average.  As far as I know, it was the the first SLR to offer that feature.  There is a partially silvered area of the mirror where the spot metering area (CdS sensor) is located. The DTL literally means Dual Through the Lens metering. The metering is stop-down, and is accomplished by pushing the wind lever towards the body.  The metering is turned off by pressing on top of the round base of the wind lever, which releases the wind lever against the top deck of the camera. Pretty ergonomic, but certainly not obvious without a manual! Here is where I plug the Butkus web site.  If you download a manual from there, please donate to keep his site going.  The 1000 DTL was introduced in 1968, and my example is in really excellent condition.  You can read more about that line of cameras here.

While Mamiya is well known for their medium-format cameras, their 35mm models never gained the prominence attained by other manufacturers.  I think the lenses are very good, but the bodies may not be as robust as the Pentax Spotmatics that they competed with.  When other manufacturers went away from the M42 mount, Mamiya  later went with a bayonet mount, in the Z-series.  Those SLRs were quite sophisticated, but apparently not as popular as other brands.  Due to issues with a supplier, the series ended in 1984 with the ZE-X. Mamiya stuck with medium format, and were quite successful with their line of professional medium-format cameras.

Okay, on with the pictures! The following were taken at Matthaei Botanical Gardens on Christmas day. All are with Tmax 100 film, developed in HC110-B.  I used the camera's metering exclusively.

bamboo wall

This bonsai tree was donated many years ago by a deceased friend.

Abby shooting water droplets.

I am quite happy with the results, and the metering seems to be pretty accurate.  I look forward to doing more shooting with it, and maybe I'll find a 28mm Mamiya/Sekor lens for it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

More N90s Love

A few posts ago, I discussed my new used Nikon N90s that I bought for $20.  I liked it so much that I bought another one on ebay in like-new condition with the MB-10 battery holder and vertical grip for $51.00.  This one has all the caps for the terminals, the LCD works perfectly, and it's a joy to use.  This is the first time that I have owned an SLR with the ability to shoot vertical with the second shutter release on the grip.  It really makes that a lot easier!
N90s with the MB-10.  It's no lightweight, but it is a pleasure to use.
This got me to thinking about how often others might buy a camera that has a few quirks at a cheap price, only to buy a better one because the first camera convinced you that it was worth having the upgrade.  Or, how many times others enjoy a certain camera model so much that whenever the opportunity came about to buy another, they do.  I know I have 2 Nikon FMs, and if I saw another one cheap that worked, I probably would not be able to resist buying it. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Vivian Maier -- one of America's greatest treasures.

Yesterday, I received a book in the mail--"Vivian Maier. Out of the shadows" by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams. After reading the text and devouring her amazing photographs, I can say that few photography books have moved me the way this book has.  The horrific idea that her work could easily have gone completely unnoticed, unappreciated, and tossed away had the wrong people bought out the items from her storage locker isn't a thought singular to me.
I first remember reading about finding Vivian's extraordinary cache of images a few years ago.  My initial thought was that her images were really good.  However, were the ones I was seeing just the cream of the crop, with hundreds of lesser ones predominating?  FHer images are empathic, thoughtful, and most of all, engaging, and good.  The authors state that her consistency of many "keepers" per contact sheet is proof that she knew exactly what she was doing, and stand as a testament to her talent.

I went to Chicago in March 2011 to see the Maloof exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center, which was very moving.  The images were wonderful.  They even had some of her cameras and hats on exhibit.  Take any street photographer that's famous, and Vivian is right there in the quality of her seeing, and her craft.

By now, anyone following the Vivian Maier story must know that there are two collections of her work, with John Maloof owning about 95% of the negatives and associated materials.  The smaller portion -- still substantial, by any means, belongs to Jeffrey Goldstein with 20,000+ negatives.  I can't wrap my head around that much shooting of a Rolleiflex.  That is a LOT of film.  This book is based upon the Goldstein collection, and Cahan and Williams have put together a narrative that follows the arc of Vivian's life, and the people that she touched.  Vivian was "eccentric" to the families that she worked for, but it is apparent from the interviews that many of the children she watched regarded her as a sort of Mary Poppins.   Vivian's images aren't just shots of a time lost, but a celebration of everyday life, with all its warts and smiles.   The images in Vivian Maier - Out of the Shadows very nearly brought tears to my eyes--partly from the beauty and empathy of her images, but also from the realization that she did this for her own reasons, and that we are so much richer from being able to see what she saw.  I have not previously been moved by a photographic book as much as I have by this one.

If you love good photography, an engaging story, and most of all, appreciate the work and execution that is needed for excellent street photography, you will love this book.  If you love the essence of humanity, you will love this book.  If you love b&w square format photos, well... you will love this book.

Vivian Maier - Out of the Shadows is available online from City Files Press  for $50.   She is not only out of the shadows, she has cast her own across the streets of Chicago, New York, and wherever else she aimed her camera.

Vivian Maier -- Out of the Shadows by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, 2012. City Files Press, Chicago.

Hardcover: 288 pages; 105lb paper + flood varnish with over 300 duotone images
ISBN: 9780978545093
Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 9 x 1.25 inches

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Nikon N90s - a Modern Classic SLR

latest acquisition N90S
Back in the 1980s and 90s, Nikon was producing a slew of auto-focus 35mm SLRs, and each iteration had better features, with Nikon gradually introducing their AF SLRs in different tiers, catering to casual shooters, serious amateurs, and pro-level users.  In 1992, Nikon released the N90, their top-of-the-line camera for serious amateurs and professionals.  The F4 was introduced in 1988, and was Nikon's first F-series camera with built-in autofocus and autowind.  The N90 replaced the N8008s as the top non-F series camera in the Nikon lineup,  In 1994, Nikon added some improved features to the N90, including 1/3 stop compensation and a faster AF module, and called it the N90s.  Rounding out the field was the N50 for "beginners" and the N70 for the amateurs.  My first AF SLR was a Nikon N50 that Bill Brudon had given me, and I thought it was an amazing camera.  It was, coming from a Pentax MG that I had been using for 16 years.  The N50 however, had firmly established Nikon's habit of "crippling" the lower-tier cameras by not allowing them to meter without an AF lens, no depth of field preview, no remote release, etc.  Program modes were easy to use, and the camera also had the typical PASM modes that we expect.    The N70 was the next step up, which really was a replacement for the N8008s.  It had a quirky LCD on the top deck and selection mode that really made the camera a real button-pushing wonder.  I have heard that it was considered a "dog" by many users, who preferred the straightforward use of the N8008.  So, with that bit of history out of the way, here is what prompted me to write this story.
I was in my favorite store last week --the dreaded Black Friday -- however, it was Huron camera in Dexter, MI.  A much better place to be than those other stores that were in the news.  I was rummaging around in the bargain bins at the back of the store and saw a couple of AF Nikons SLRs.  There were two N90s bodies, and one was marked $10 (and was very beat-up) and the other was marked $20 and looked to be in pretty nice condition.  Now, I need another AF film body like a hole in the head, but the N90s is a camera with all the features that one can ask for (except for a built-in flash, which designated it as a pro-level camera!).  I borrowed a set of 4 AA batteries at the counter and tested the camera out.  Aside from some elements of the numbers in the viewfinder LCD being faint, the camera seemed to work fine.  So, I bought it and shot a roll of Kodak Gold 100 and dropped it off at Huron the following day to get developed.  I picked up the negatives today, and am quite pleased with the results.

part of the new Dexter River walk, 70-210mm Nikkor AF-D lens

railroad overpass 70-210mm Nikkor AF-D lens

seeking Santa's favor. 70-210mm Nikkor AF-D lens

reading the N90s manual in ways not envisioned in 1994.  

chuck wagon cook - 70-210mm Nikkor AF-D lens

The camera works very well, and I know I got a heck of a bargain.  Even though the N90s does not have 5000 focus points and 10 fps shooting, etc., it has held its own.  It's certainly an excellent camera for anyone that wants a reliable AF film SLR, and because the N90s also can meter with AIS manual and AF lenses, it's far more versatile than say, the much later and crippled N80.   The 10-pin connector on the front allows the use of a remote cord and shooting data was at one time recorded and saved to a Casio PDA.    The PC flash connector is very handy, and the camera also features an eyepiece shutter, a high eyepoint VF, programmable modes, and lots of other features that are appreciated once you need to use them.  These features and the reliability of the camera make it a Modern Classic!  If you get one, remember that G lenses have no external aperture control, so you must use them in P mode on this camera.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Vivitar 35CA - a nice surprise

A couple of months ago I purchased a Vivitar 35CA on ebay.  It wasn't in as good condition as advertised, and the shutter did not seem to be working properly.  I didn't pay much for the camera, so I set it aside.  Every once in a while, I would try the shutter (and I had put in a new LR44 cell).  To my surprise, one day it appeared to work like it is supposed to!  So, I put in a roll of Kodak Gold 100, and shot it over a couple of days.    The 35CA is an auto-exposure camera that adjusts both aperture and shutter speed automatically.  The only manual control is in B (bulb) mode.  It has a hot-shoe as well as a PC-sync connector for using a variety of strobes.  There is a Guide-Number setting on the side of the lens barrel that may allow for exposure adjustment based on distance, but I have not yet tried it.  The lens is a 38mm f/2.7 lens which isn't exactly wide nor fast, but it gets the job done.  A few years ago I reviewed the Vivitar 35EE, a slightly larger and older model that used mercury batteries. Like that camera, this one features a filter ring that allows you to use screw in 46mm filters.  

So, here are some examples from the roll of Kodak Gold 100.  I was actually pleased with the camera's low-light ability, and less so with bright light.  However, it definitely will give results that are satisfactory, and maybe even just a tad funky.  More rolls need to be shot so that I have a better feel for what the camera can do.
Abigail, having breakfast with us.

Campus Transportation Center

Donate blood!

hawthorn fruits

The Art Deco front of the State Theater

No Parking

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lomography's A Bunch of ...

Smart People.  Effin' crazy people.  I mean, in these "dying days" of film (which I have heard more than a few times), who in their right mind would design and sell a completely new roll-film camera that has a bellows?  Hellooo, George Eastman called and he wants his bellows back.  Say all you want about the folks of Lomography, but the latest camera being advertised by them, the Belair X 6-12 wants to separate money from my wallet in a most significant way.
Lomography Belair X 6-12, image from, edit by me.
Seen here is their Belair X 6-12 "City Slicker" model.  Note the 90mm and 58mm removable lenses.  The camera has auto-exposure (though the 1/125th sec max shutter might be limiting), zone focus, and 6x6, 6x9, and 6x12 cm negative sizes on 120 film.

There are other models with chrome and snazzy-looking leatherette that reminds me of the Polaroid SX-70 design scheme.

Yes, it has a bellows.  In 2013, we will be buying bellows cameras.  Take that, you damn digital sheep.

I'm turning 56 on 12-12-12.  What better way to celebrate than buy myself a Belair X 6-12.  I don't need a full-frame D600.  It can't do what this camera does.  6x12 -- even if it has that Lomography look, is something that is very appealing to me.  Is the camera pricey?  No, not really.  In today's dollars, I am betting it is cheaper than the Kodak Tourist cameras that took 6x9 620 film back in the 1940s and 50s.  So, I am pre-ordering one today.  Of course, I can't actually review the camera now, because I don't have one.  But I do want one.   Damn those Lomography folks, making cameras that people want.  They should buy Kodak, as they appear to have a better grasp of selling things than the dumbasses in Rochester.

Oh, and by the way, congratulations to Lomography for 20 years of fun.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Fast Fall Frenzy

A week ago, I was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with my buddy Marc Akemann (who is an exceptional photographer).  I drove up on a Friday to deliver my daughter's 2000 Jeep Cherokee which I had driven down at the end of September to have some work done on it, and it's no fun driving alone on a long trip.  So, Marc and I spent the night in Marquette, and Jorie and Stephanie made dinner for us.  On the Saturday, we said our goodbyes to the girls and we did some shooting around Marquette and then over to Negaunee, where we did some antique mall camera hunting (Marc found a beautiful mint-condition Ansco Memo!) and some shooting in a town that seems to have two main business types -- bars and antique stores.
Then, it was back eastward, and we stayed in Munising for a night.  Our plan was to do some waterfall photography, and we did pretty well, as you will see below.  Saturday afternoon found us at Scott Falls on M-28, and then at Munising Falls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
The light in October and November is quite good for landscapes in the UP.  For one, it's almost as if the "golden hour" stretches for 2/3 of the day, as the sun is quite low in the sky.  If it is sunny, the raking light is really awesome. We had great light last weekend, and with no leaves on the trees, it made for some clarity in the landscape.  The temperatures were cool, but not too much so. In fact, except for early Saturday morning, we were pretty comfortable with just fleece jackets.
A view from Straights State Park looking  S towards the Mackinac Bridge.  This is really nothing more than a snapshot with a Nikon Coolpix L100 (that had been given to me earlier in the week). This was on our way up in the Friday.

Saturday morning in Marquette along the beach near the Coastguard Station.  The rising sun kept poking through the clouds, and gave us some interesting morning light.  I really loved the combination of the reddish sand, the bluish rocks, and the light coming off the water here.  Olympus EPL-1 with 14-42 lens.
Marquette beach

I did shoot some film on this trip, and the Velvia and Provia film is out being processed. My cameras of choice for film were mostly my Nikon F3HP and F2S, and my Yashica A TLR.  I have yet to develop the roll of Efke KB25 that should have some kick-ass waterfall shots on it.  So, all of the images on this post are from digital capture.

Marc with his Ziess Super-Ikonta at Deerton. Amazing camera that he bought online for only $50.

We stopped at Scott Falls, which empties into a small creek along the S side of M-28 in Alger Co., W of Christmas.  I have shot these falls many times, but this time, there was too much water flowing down to even get to the spot that I have often shot from near the base of the falls.  That's a good thing, as some years I have seen the falls actually dried up.
scott falls
Munising Falls was a delight to shoot.  It's the first time I have photographed them in October, and it is a better experience when there are fewer people around.  The abundant rainfall this year also made for a more impressive waterflow, and the gray skies definitely tamed the contrast.  This was shot with my Olympus EPL-1 with a 25mm CCTV lens.
Munising Falls

We planned on doing several falls on Sunday, and our first stop was Tannery falls on the outskirts of Munising.  It seems to be one of those places that "those in the know" know about.  Once Marc and I realized how ridiculously easy it was to get there after we found the spot, I am sure we will be there again and again.  It's a 10 minute walk from H-58, at the junction of Washington Street and H-58. The property is owned by the Michigan Nature Association (MNA is a very worthwhile organization, and I encourage you to become a member).  What I liked about Tannery Falls is the access to the base of the falls and the cathedral-like backdrop to the falls, which are about 40 feet high, and fed by a small creek.

We spent quite a bit of time there.  The woods were still, the air crisp, and the light was awesome.  Marc mostly shot with his RB67, and I believe he got some awesome shots with it.   However, my favorite shot of him on this trip was him standing behind the falls with his iphone.
Marc behind the falls

Then, it was off to Mosquito Falls about 20 miles farther on, including the dirt road from H-58.  The hike in was beautiful, and we saw very few people on the trails there.  The falls are a little over a mile from the parking lot, and worth the trip.  Of course, there were no mosquitoes there in late October, but I imagine how the area got its name, so June ought to be an "interesting" time to visit.
The Upper falls, first:
Upper Mosquito falls

Then, the rapids or cascade :
Mosquito Falls rapids

and finally, the lower Mosquito Falls
mosquito falls

some detail:
Mosquito Falls

It was a great place to visit, and we were really pleased with the entire trip, as everything worked out well weatherwise.  We got back into Ann Arbor around 11 pm Sunday, and I know I slept well that night.

If you are going to seriously shoot waterfalls, make sure that your kit includes:

  • neutral-density filters
  • solid tripod
  • remote release or self-timer on the camera
  • polarizing filter
  • plenty of film or memory cards!
Obviously, you can't control the weather, but avoid shooting in full sun, and spring and fall or often the best times to shoot, but don't forget winter.  You will be amazed by the ice sculptures.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More C-mount Fun

Last week, I got an email asking me if I was interested in cleaning out the remaining photographic items from the basement of a photographer who passed away a couple of years ago.  He was a co-worker, and one of those people that leaves a lasting impression.  He died way too soon, but I would say that he lived a good life and enjoyed his hobbies, his friends, and his work.  His widow had sold the house, and needed to get rid of the last vestiges of things that nobody else wanted.  I accepted the invitation, and said that I would take it all off her hands.  I thought perhaps it would be just a couple of boxes, but instead I filled up my Jeep Cherokee to the brim, and did take it all, as promised. As I carried the boxes up, and consolidated some of the contents, I realized that there were a lot of small items that looked interesting.  The largest item, an 8x10 Seneca View Camera, thrilled me, as I had wanted one for some time, but could not justify buying one.  I hope to shoot with it soon.
My Olympus EPL-1 with the Kern-Palliard 75mm lens.

After I got everything home, I started poring over the boxes, and found some interesting c-mount lenses.  In this case, these are not video lenses, but ones made for 16mm movie cameras. All are quality glass, and this one, the Kern-Palliard Switar 75mm, f:1.9 is a real gem.  It's a precise, well-made Swiss lens, not some cheap Chinese CCTV lens.  There are small holes in the lens barrel so that when one reduces the aperture, little orange dots appear to show you the depth of field!  I have never seen such a thing before. Anyhow, I put it on my Olympus EPL-1 with the C-mount adapter, and am really pleased with the results.  Wide-open, the lens has a very pleasing bokeh, and because it's a short telephoto, it allows me to more easily isolate a subject from its background.
morning walk
morning walk

On the Olympus M4/3 camera, the effective focal length of the 75mm becomes 150mm.  It ought to be quite interesting for portraits, which will be my next challenge to try out with this lens.  There were some other interesting c-mount lenses that came with a Bell and Howell 16mm Filmo movie camera.  I'll report on them after I have tested them out.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Shooting manually, naturally.

Nikon F2S
Last week I received my latest item of affection from KEH.  A really nice Nikon F2S in BGN condition.  Now, in my opinion (and that of others, too), the Nikon F2 is perhaps the nicest manual full-featured SLR out there.  It is also the last hand-assembled SLR sold by Nikon.  My second manual Nikon was an F2 photomic that I purchased used in 2001.  I think I paid between $300 and $400 for it at the time, and it was in much worse shape than the BGN grade F2S that I got from KEH for only $120.    I sold my old F2 about 5 years ago, after it developed some problems that would have cost more to fix than it was worth.  This F2S sports red LED in the viewfinder that are easy to see in dim conditions, and it all works very well.  To give it a first test, I shot a roll of Kodak Tri-X around town.

The infamous graffiti alley.
This old restored F-1 really caught my eye on the way home.
So, the F2 shot an F-1.

Armadillo at the museum.  Natural light.

Bikes stopping for a red light!!!

So, all of my shots on roll one were just fine, and I am really happy with my purchase from KEH.  The F2S will be getting more love soon as I take it out for some fall color this weekend.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Switching Gears...

Most of my recent posts have featured small towns, Ohio, urban landscapes, and so forth.  While I enjoy those road trips and urban scenery, it's a change to go N and visit my daughter and her partner near Marquette.   I grew up in the NW edge of the Adirondacks in New York, and visiting the northern part of the Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula remind me of living there many years ago.  There is a freshness to the air, and a rejuvenation of spirit when I am up here.  Things seem to have more clarity.  
Chocolay reflection

Marquette is "just the right size" for me, and it sits on the shore of Lake Superior.  Not the mining town of a century ago, but it's a far better place than back then.  In fact, it is a far better place than when I first passed through it in 1985.  The downtown is thriving, and lots of new construction is taking place at the lower harbor.   The area is scenic, and although there are many grand views of the wonders of nature, sometimes its is the tiny view that makes a big impression...
Pixie Cups
It is a big change of gears to go from shooting in N Ohio, to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It takes me a little while to get my brain in sync with my eyes. While I am inhaling that wonderful September air here, feeling "at home" and really seeing what's in front of me in the photographic sense is a more nuanced process.  I am often not pleased with most of my shots because while the area has a special grip on me, the shots that capture what I feel don't come easy right away.  This forces me to slow down.  The moment finally does come when I see something magical and I get it on film or silicon.  Then, it is that moment I know that I am truly in tune with the UP.    This is hard for me to really explain, but I know if you have had a similar experience, you'll know what I mean.  
We will be returning home to Ann Arbor in a couple of days.  Will we come back to live here when we retire?  That is a good question.  There are friends that would be left behind, and all those connections that one makes when living in the same city for 30+ years.  However, I think that this place will give us more peace of mind, beautiful nature, and a way of life that is more beneficial in many varied ways.
January 2007, from Sugarloaf Mountain.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

NW Ohio trip, Part II

On the last day of August three of us went down to NW Ohio, primarily to visit Leslie Hunsberger at her store in Findlay. That part of the trip was covered here. Abby, Mike, and I also did some photo exploration of some other small towns and county seats on the way to Findlay and the return trip to Ann Arbor.
Bowling Green - A college town with a main street dominated by Victorian-era storefronts, Bowling Green is a lively place. There are some really interesting shops, and it seems to be an enjoyable place situated on the flat lake plain.
Corner Grill
Ohio Mark

North Baltimore. - We erroneously got off at an exit on the highway due to construction, and ended up in this small town that held our attention for quite some time. N. Baltimore has a small theater, a busy rail line, and some interesting shops and eateries. It also has just enough rust to make it look a little rough around the edges, which means interesting, at least to me. Small-town gem
Sorry, no queen for a day today.
Taking Route 15 NW from Findlay, we encounted this hulking steer outside a large milling operation. It was definitely worth the stop!

A little further on, we encountered Ottawa.Ottawa - A tidy town with a beautiful statue erected in memory of their firefighters, dating back nearly a century. There is also a nice mural on one of the buildings. I sort of felt like we had gone back in time a bit - that's not a bad thing. Like most of the places  we visited, it is situated along a rail line.
Fireman's memorial, Ottawa, OH

Defiance. I was looking forward to seeing the town of Defiance, and I admit that maybe with that name, I was thinking it would be grand. The downtown main street was extremely busy with many lanes of traffic, probably pulling people out to the strips outside of town. However, the closed upper floors on many buildings  lacked "charm" and it was underwhelming in many ways. That might be an unfair assessment coming from an outsider, so if you read this and live in Defiance, tell me otherwise. The city hall was symptomatic of what I mean. A really ugly upper modern story added to a late 1800s building...
vintage karate
An old window sign in Defiance.

Napoleon -- Napoleon is a charming county seat with a beautiful county courthouse that dominates one end of the town. The Henry County Courthouse just glowed in the late afternoon sun. Henry County Courthouse
Our last stop of the day was in Wauseon. This small town has a LOT of train traffic -- three freight trains went by while we were there. The town has seen better days, like many small towns along the railroads, but the people there are friendly, and we ate at a small cafe that had amazing prices, good friendly service, and great pie...
  Dinner at Tiffany's
There is a train museum there, too, which has a nicely restored New York Central RR station.
Wauseon station
I'll admit that it is sometimes hard to keep motivated to shoot as the day wears on, moving from one town to the next. In a perfect world, I would have some sort of grant (or lottery winnings) that would allow me to spend 24 hours at each place, shooting a lot, have a writer talk to people, and finding the scenes that tell something more about the character of a town and its people. It definitely helps to have others along to keep the enthusiasm from flagging and share the observations that we came away with.
In this climate of polarizing politics, it's important to keep in mind that we are ALL Americans, with more shared values than we believe, and most folks treat you the way they'd like to be treated. Going through the small towns of Ohio and Michigan, and elsewhere in the Midwest is one way to experience the resilience of Americans, and the ways in which we are connected.