Monday, July 30, 2012

Photo Lab in Schenectady, NY

  Today I was on the way to Maine and couldn't help but look for photo stores in Albany NY area.  After calling around a bit and getting nowhere (folks on the phone were not even aware of ANY stores that deal with used cameras or film) I finally found a place just a little out of the way in Schenectady, it's just about 10 miles west of Albany, and decided to drop by to see what they represent.

  The Place is called Photo Lab and is located at 273 State St Ste 2, Schenectady, NY. 

  Here is their little historic display case that greets the customers as they walk in.  I have never seen an old Kodak processing box in such mint condition.... Unfortunately none of the items in the case are for sale...

  They have been in business since 1914 and still have some old equipment.  There is a cute little Durst 35mm enlarger, various easels and other darkroom stuff, some paper (they do have some old Kodak RC paper, but it was way overpriced... their prices on current Ilford Fiber are competitive), and an assortment of used cameras with a Rollei 35 among them.  I didn't ask how much they want for that one as I knew that I couldn't afford it at this moment even if it was a great deal.  Upon their shelves I did find a Polaroid Close Up Kit #581!  I was happy to find it as I forgot mine in San Diego - I just couldn't find it among the boxes when I was packing.  This fits the Polaroid 440 that I have with me on the trip and allows it to focus down to 19in - so look out for some close-up images on here coming soon.  For $5 it was a great deal.

  They do have a Polaroid light meter for those of you who are lucky enough to have a model 180, 190 or 195 and I was tempted to buy it because it was only $5 also and was actually working and accurate.  Then I thought that that $5 would be better spent on film so I bought a roll of Ilford FP4 125 in 120.

  Upon leaving I headed further east on highway 7 toward Vermont.  The road is beautiful and is rightly marked 'scenic route' on my map.  As the sun was setting I came upon a beautiful big old building that warranted a stop for pictures.  It looks like it was an old hotel probably from mid 1800s.  Three stories with attic spaces, all wood and overgrown with vines.  Most of it looks unoccupied and condemned, but some of the lower rooms in a separate wing of it had light in them.  I used both Rolleiflex 2.8F and my trusty little Robot camera to capture that structures charm and hope that the negatives turn out well (the light was really going by then...).

  Vermont is a beautiful state and if I ever figure out a way to make a living as an artist from here I am not opposed to settling down in its hills.  They have a lot of wildlife and I saw a bear and a fox hurriedly crossing the road in front of Gilli.  I'm still looking for that moose - there are signs warning of them crossing the road everywhere and the last time was here in 1998 I was lucky enough to see one.  This time I am not traveling in a tiny little hatch-back car though so we will be on the same level and I won't be as afraid of it crushing my vehicle - though a collision with one of those beasts would probably be a very bad one anyway.

  Got some coffee in me now and am pressing on toward Maine.


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