Saturday, August 16, 2014

Vermilion Parish




 The last few days were spent out in Vermilion Parish, continuing work on the 120 film collection (see earlier post below) which I will post a few teaser results from in the near future. Making photographs with the twin-lens Mamiya is a pretty slow process compared to digital photography, so after a shot or two I'd grab the digital camera and run around looking for a few quick images to break things up a little bit. These are a few of the more interesting failures; they were all pretty spontaneous pictures, taken on quick "breaks" before I had to get back to staring through the Mamiya viewfinder making endless micro-adjustments in the 98-degree heat.

Vermilion Parish is the slightly-more-populated sister of Cameron Parish, with a mix of cypress swamp and prairie, and a lot of land taken up by sugar and rice fields, which exist alongside oil refineries and countless gas wells. Although Vermilion Parish is a coastal parish, no part of the beach itself is accessible by car. I usually stick around state highways 14 and 82, and towns such as Abbeville, Pecan Island, Gueydan, and Kaplan. Pecan Island is the most remote and least populated, but starting to gain popularity thanks to Liz and Jess, the alligator-killing mother-daughter team from the TV reality series "Swamp People." Gueydan is next up in size, with a population of about 1500, but every time I visit, it seems like the town has been completely abandoned (see "Main St." pic below). Kaplan has produced country singers, football players, and Espera Oscar de Corti, aka Iron Eyes Cody, the Native American impersonator who played the part of the "crying chief" in the 1970s "Keep America Beautiful" campaign.
(Click on image for larger view.)