Ice Cream at Night

January 24, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

I've been focused on local photography of the southern suburbs of Buffalo, NY for quite a while now. More and more, it is the ordinary that surrounds me every day that not only catches my eye but gets me out with the camera. I  am sure you will see even more posts like that from me in 2022.

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Instead of a single walk through a single neighborhood we're visiting three different food stands today. They're each very popular with the local community in their own way and each have their specialty. However, they are also stands that look great at night thanks to their bright lights or neons that make them very eye catching when the daylight runs out.

The idea started with a wonderful vintage ice cream stand in Orchard Park, New York. I drive by it almost every day and quite often even after dark. I figured I could include the popular local ice cream stands on a single roll of film of night photography. And of course, I had to start where the idea was born. I had to start by Custard Lite in Orchard Park, NY.

For this purpose, I loaded my Nikon FM2n with a roll of Cinestill 800T film. I like that specific camera for night photography because of its LED light meter that is very easy to see at night. On my other cameras, like the Nikon FE, I enjoy their analog match needle meters quite a bit but those become of limited value in the dark. And that's where the LED lights shine. I paired the camera with the original all metal pancake Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens.

Custard Lite Corner at Dusk, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NYCustard Lite Corner at DuskNight Photography

Custard Lite Corner at Dusk, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

This first establishing photograph has become a favorite of mine. I really enjoy leaving enough room in the frame for the utility poles and playing with their position in the frame. Most streets in the are run in a perpendicular pattern but here and their one is the oddball. And the end of the Ellicott Road is just such a road placing Custard Lite on a small triangular plot of land.

Since this was at night, there was a new opportunity though. There was an opportunity to show off the lights, to show off the vintage look of this stand. The 50mm lens worked well too and just allowed me to fill the frame with the building while staying within the safety of the lot. I was very happy I went for this frame filling photo and even happier when it showed up on my monitor screen. That's one of the quirks of film photography. It adds a dose of suspense as there is no LCD to quickly check to make sure the exposure and the focus were in order.

Custard Lite Lit Up, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NYCustard Lite Lit UpNight Photography

Custard Lite Lit Up, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

I enjoy photography very much but prefer to do so away from people. For me, getting some peace and quiet and time just for myself are part of it. As soon as people are around the experience changes for me and it is no longer so relaxing and enjoyable. Night photography has its pros and cons from this point of view. There are usually fewer people around and that opens up new locations to photography that would otherwise be full of people. However, the people that are around will be even more suspicious of someone walking around and taking pictures at night. A lot of people just can't understand why I would take a photo of a building at night without any bad intentions. And if you run into a paranoid person that had one too many drinks the situation can get quite ugly.

Taffy's after Dark, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NYTaffy's after DarkNight Photography

Taffy's after Dark, Night Photography, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

The second location is on the other side of Orchard Park. Whereas Custard Lite's specialty is ice cream, Taffy's is a popular open-air location for summer lunches and for milkshakes. And while their food selection is what one would expect their milkshake selection is wild. I don't remember the total but it must be over 100. Are you adventurous? Try to get each at least once! I will admit, I usually stick to a few of my favorites, and often go with the good old boring choice of strawberry banana.

For the final photo we're heading back across Orchard Park and all the way to Hamburg. And we will end with the same treat we started with, ice cream. Nick Charlap's ice cream stand stays open longer into the night than the other two and people stream in all the way through the closing time. And since I don't want people in my photographs, it can become quite the exercise in patience. To get this photograph, I actually had to return back twice. But it was worth it!

Nick Charlap's Open at Night, Night Photography, Hamburg, NYNick Charlap's Open at NightNight Photography

Nick Charlap's Open at Night, Night Photography, Hamburg, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Nikon FM2n on  Cinestill 800T Color Negative Film

That's it for today. I hope you've enjoyed this change of pace and the night time photographs.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

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