Monday, April 2, 2007

Ouachita River

Today's photo was taken in 1982. It was taken on the banks of the Ouachita River, from West Monroe, Louisiana, looking at downtown Monroe, Louisiana on the other side. (Ouachita is pronounced WASH-i-taw)

I've had bouts of insomnia most of my life, but once I had my camera, I'd just head out and take night photos. I'd never done it and all of the experimentation paid off.

This is one of my all-time favorite photographs that I have taken. Not spectacular, I know, but it's my home town, and that makes it special to me. Canon AE-1, 50mm lens, Kodachrome 64.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I saved and bought a Canon AE-1 in the summer of 1979. I've taken thousands of slides with that camera. I still have it, and a few years ago I sent it off to be serviced and had new mirror foam and foam seals installed. The mirror has never squeaked on it like some Canons have, this camera has been a champ and has been perfectly dependable.

I knew a guy the first time I went to college in the early eighties at what was then Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana - Monroe) who was a Nikon guy. He was completely insufferable and a total camera snob. He snickered at my AE-1 while holding his Nikon FM, but I think that since my AE-1 still works perfectly after 28 years and working in rain and banging it against things, I think I made a wise purchase.


Anna said...

While I AM a NIKON girl...

I promise that I will not be a snob or judge you!


I look forward to your posts.

Take care.

JAM said...

That's ok. When I finally tried getting into the autofocus 35mm cameras, I tried a Canon EOS Elan IIe. While it was a nice camera, Canon's layout of the controls and such were counter-intuitive.

I sold it and then tried a Nikon N90s, which I LOVED. Got itchy and sold it and bought a Nikon N80 which I loved even more. And that Nikon 14-120mm lens I had was simply awesome. Awe-some. I had some health issues the past few years and I got depressed and sold it all in a fit. I didn't sell the old Canon manual focus stuff because I couldn't have gotten enough for it. The ones I have work just fine, but they aren't worth much as used cameras.

In 2002 we bought a Sony DSC S-75, which is a really good camera, and mainly used that for the past few years, while also running some film through the old Canon stuff from time to time. It's a surprisingly capable camera, but slow. It was like having to use my Kodak Pony IV again.

Last year, I finally broke down, with Lovely Wife's blessing, and bought a Nikon D70s, 18-70mm lens, 55-200mm lens, and an SB-600 flash. I've been in digital photography heaven since then.

I looked at Canon 30D and the D70s and the D70s was quite similar to the N80 I had sold a while back.

These days, hands down, Nikon dSLRs are layed out control-wise, just like I like 'em. Canon's layout is now counter-intuitive to me.

Don't get me wrong, Canon is usually ahead of Nikon on new stuff, but I can pick up a Nikon now and know how to work it without the manual. I don't have that with Canon any more.

So now I'm a Nikon guy, but not a snob, it's simply a practical choice to me. Plus I still have a Canon AE-1, A-1, and FT QL with various lenses, all in perfect working order. I'd be silly to talk down about Canon after owning their cameras since 1979.

Heck, I even have one of my dream lenses on order from Adorama, and it's scheduled to arrive on Wednesday. I can't wait!

photowannabe said...

I am enjoying your posts and will try to pop in everyday.
Thanks for all of your nice comments on mine.
Some of the things from our sale will end up at our church thrift shop too. We try to share the "wealth" with many causes.

Moi said...

i cant believe that this shot was taken in '82!!! wow!!! i was still in diapers then!!!! i think its spectacular, contrary to ur own opinion of it!!! and its funny how ppl get all snobbish abt their toys..i mean at the end of the days, its the sensitivity that goes into shooting a pic that counts!!!

Mike said...

Love this picture. Very well done.

I am a Nikon nut now. Back in film days I had a Minolta and earlier than that a Fujica.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have enjoyed your comments.

Chad Oneil said...

Nice reflections.

John Williamson said...

This is such a great picture! I am a native of West Monroe, and I found this photo (and your wonderful blog) while I was looking up photos of home.

I was 3 years old in '82, but I remember that setting very well. My family and I lived a few blocks from that spot, and I vividly remember seeing the bright ONB sign through my window every night. Considering the area got pretty dark at night, the bright sign was pretty comforting to a little boy I

If memory serves me correctly, you're standing not too far from (what was then) Dixie Dandy?

Needless to say, this picture brought back a lot of warm and happy memories for me. Thank you very much for posting this, and keep up the excellent work!

Anonymous said...

Great picture, John. I was born and raised in Monroe. That sight has been and always will be a part of me. I know a thing or two about taking photos of Monroe, across the river, at night too. For some reason that nighttime skyline is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I used to use a Pentax KX I bought in 1976 to take many of my photos. They just don't make cameras like that anymore. I look forward to see more of your work.



Geog138 said...

great imagges