May 1, 2011

The Dad Arrives

The end of November last year (2010) had my father coming out from California to visit my brother and I. We met up the night he flew on, and went out drinking, as all elder children should do with their parents. Mind you, we didn't go bar-hopping... Oh wait, we kinda did. More on that later. But, we did NOT go out on a bender or anything, just out to a couple of local bars which have great beer and good people for a few cold ones.

Jack and I had gone out shooting earlier in the day, and for continuity's sake, I'll post those photos first. We went up into southern Indiana, around New Albany, which is literally across the Ohio River from L'ville. It was cold, and it had snowed for the first time that year the night before, if memory serves. We wandered around an old abandoned granary, shooting what we saw.

"Untitled" New Albany, IN. November, 2010.

"Untitled" New Albany, IN. November, 2010.

Like I said above, the first thing we did after Jack picked up our dad from the airport was to go get a couple beers. We went to this place here in Louisville called Sergio's World Beers. If you love great beer and great people, and are ever here in The 'Ville, you should stop by and have one or two (or more, if you're so inclined). Check out the link above for info (phone #, addy, etc.). Anyway, after there, my dad was feelin' okay, as even though it was midnight-ish, it only felt like around 9 to him. So, off to The Nachbar we went. Another cool little place, albeit a bit more bar-like: music, lots of people, funny smells, etc. Had a couple more beers, then went our separate ways for the night.

"A Little Like The Doctor" Sergio's, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"My Dad, the Photog" Sergio's, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

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The next morning, we were all rarin' to go shoot. Keep in mind the fact that, when last we saw our father, neither one of us was hugely into photography. Like I've said before, it is something that has been around us, in different ways, our whole lives. I can't remember a road trip where my dad didn't have his old USN Mark IV Gas Mask bag (which he used to carry a number of rolls of film and a few other bits of camera gear, and which has now been passed on to me) and his Mamiya 6. There were times when he'd stay up until the wee hours of the morning developing or printing (though I don't think both on the same night), and a couple times when I even helped. Good memories, those, and though I had an older Nikon SLR (probably an FE, maybe FE2), and would snap pictures of my friends skateboarding, or my room, or what have you, it was never something I felt really passionately about. Now, both Jack and I are HUGELY into photography, and so when provided with our first chance to go shoot with each other, you'd better believe all three of us were excited. I know I, for one, slept that night about as well as a six-year-old on Christmas Eve.

"Black III" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

So, we all got together rather early in the morning, and headed down to Bardstown Road. BTR is kind of the major Hipster Hangout in Louisville, and though I find hipsters' social norms a bit... off-putting, the place itself is pretty cool. Lots of locally owned, funky little coffee houses, clothing and record and book stores, some great restaurants, and the like. Plus, it's one place you can almost always find people milling about, and can ALWAYS find something interesting to photograph. (Which, coincidentally, I think is one reason why it's so popular with the hipsters. Lomography is big business on this strip.)

"In The BG" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"So Close" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"Blind!" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"Shadow Figure" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"Untitled" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"The Wall" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"Photographers Will Shoot Anything" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"Untitled" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"Untitled" Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

"Break Time" Taking a break from the bitter December cold. Louisville, KY. December, 2010.

Note: As it's been so long since I posted here, some of these photographs are rather old. In fact, they all are. As such, it's been a while since I've looked at some of them, and having spent the last two days curating this and the next few posts, I went ahead and re-edited some of them. The whole time there was this feeling in the back of my head of what it must have felt like for Ansel Adams (and other's, I'm sure), as there were, apparently, entire rooms at some of his shows filled with nothing but different prints of the same image. I know I am no Adams, but it was interesting to go back and re-edit these images. If you go back far enough in my Flickr, you can see the originals.

For brevity's sake, we'll cut this post here. Seems logical, as this is the end of the first day of my Dad's visit. More in the next post!


  1. Great post and I enjoyed the pictures. There really is something to going back over old pictures after sometime has passed. You always find great pics you missed and end up hating pics you used to like. I have heard of some photographers that won't even look at their images until after a month has passed.
    Looking forward to the next post

  2. A month... Garry Winogrand would let a few YEARS pass. Before he'd even process the film. And then more time before he'd look at contact sheets. But it's all speeded up now with digital. So easy. But I agree - time passing, be it a month or a few years, gives one the objective distance to really look at the photo and determine if it works or not, distant from the emotion of the moment.

    I love all of these, Matt. Brings back a lot of terrific, wonderful memories. Look forward to more.

  3. Matt, I especially like the first shot. Lovely OOF large building: a grain elevator?

    Also like the "blind" window and the street shot of Jack.

    And thanks to your dad for keeping my interest in photography going for several decades.

  4. @Aaron & Anon: It makes me look forward to viewing these files again, ten years down the line, seeing what I may make of them then.

    @Leigh: Yes, I'm fairly certain that's what it is. Right up your alley, eh? It's one of my favorites as well. And I had hoped for a while to be able to capture that look on Jack's face, as it's fairly much unchanged since we were kids.

    My dad is pretty good at that "encouraging" thing, isn't he?