black and white

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #15

Until her death from a stroke in 2004 at the age of 83, Kissimmee and Osceola County had a first lady. Her name was Bette Sprinkle, and she had a special kind of love for downtown Kissimmee.

Bette was often seen watering the plants on Main Street with buckets of water from her station wagon. She and her daughter owned a downtown design business, and Bette considered Main Street her front yard. She wanted it to be beautiful and took pride in helping to care for it. A tireless community activist, Bette organized the downtown farmers market and served as president of the Downtown Business Association for 25 years. Toho Square – a downtown park – has been dedicated to her memory. There is a full-size statue of her likeness seated on one of the park benches there.

I am told that Bette’s husband, Boyd, often described her as “one in a million”. I think it fitting that Bette be uniquely represented among the “faces of Kissimmee”.

"Bette Sprinkle" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 250, f/2.8 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

“Bette Sprinkle” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 250, f/2.8 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

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Available Seating

In a restaurant, choose a table near a waiter.
– Yiddish Proverb

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/45 sec at f/6.7, 35 mm

My eye was initially drawn into this scene by the reflection of the tree in the window.

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Rescued From Corruption

 

“Photography does not create eternity, as art does; it embalms time, rescuing it simply from its proper corruption.”
– André Bazin (1918–1958), French film critic

Calla Lilies

There’s nothing quite like processing and printing your own black & white photographs from film. My darkroom experiences started at a very young age: I inherited my love of photography from my father, who always had a full B&W darkroom setup in each house we lived in. Perhaps my father has long forgotten that day in our home in Ocean Gulf Estates when I was first allowed to see what it was he did in that room off the back porch where he would often disappear for entire weekends. I certainly have not…

Calla Lily 1

I am guessing I was probably about 4 or 5. Dad was going to develop some film, and explained to me that there would be a few minutes where all the lights would be off and the room would be very, very dark. I was told I could sit on the stool by the door, and that I was not to move during that time.

When the lights went out, I heard some interesting noises. Something got whacked against the counter top, then I could hear metal against metal, scissors being used and other sounds I couldn’t identify. I was extremely curious, and I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face!

I still maintain that my father should have anticipated my move. You don’t invite an overly curious 5-year old to “watch” in a completely dark room! I mean, he could have avoided the whole thing by simply moving the stool away from the door (and the light switch).

I was a teenager before I got invited back into the darkroom. It was SO worth the wait!

I shot, processed and printed these calla lily photos this week. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Calla Lily 2

I invite you to view more of my photographs here.