a film photoblog

Fallout Shelter – Strainers

Fallout Shelter – Shelters. (Fuji Neopan 400. Nikon F100. Noritsu Koki.)

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Not long before the Soviet Union collapsed, my father and some of his close associates built a fallout shelter in Montana. Although my family, of course, has not had to use the shelter, my father (like many Westerners) still believes that a nuclear exchange of some kind is imminent.

The above picture is of some strainers hanging from the curved ceiling of the kitchen, located on the top floor of the shelter. The ceiling is curved because the shelter is encased in a rebar-reinforced cement egg, which is designed to withstand the shock of both seismic activity (in the event of earth changes) and nuclear detonations (in the event of disastrous changes in human behavior).

I will post more pictures in the near future of the shelter and related items.



21 responses

  1. Hi Chris,
    Sept. 5, 2010
    I did a search for a photo of Orion’s Belt to use on my blog. I came to yours and would like your permission to post it with my narrative. I believe in copyright, respecting the ownership of the artist and would follow any restrictions you may impose. e mail: lisacombs at bellsouth dot net

    September 5, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    • That’s fine. You can use anything on my site as long as you include a link with your post back to my site. What’s your narrative going to be about?

      September 5, 2010 at 7:25 PM

  2. You’re back! Quite a hiatus. Interesting to have a fallout shelter in the family. Does anyone use it for anything in the absence (continued, hopefully) of a detonation?

    September 5, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    • The only real use the shelter gets is when my father turns everything on and tests the generators (there are two Isuzu diesel generators, fed by a 9,000-gallon tank). Other than that, no one uses the shelter. In fact, because it’s down in the earth, the temperature inside is a steady 56 degrees (not too inviting unless you really have to use the place).

      September 5, 2010 at 7:29 PM

      • 56 degrees sounds pretty good to me and in Montana to boot. I think I’d be summer vacationing there.

        September 7, 2010 at 6:01 AM

  3. Thanks Chris. I will include a link back to you.
    My narrative for Orion’s Belt is about “Three”.

    I have a clear view early in the wee hours of Orion’s Belt from my patio where I start my day. some people use a string of beads or a worry stone sort of item while meditationg or praying. The three brillant stars of Orion’s Belt bring those far away close to me in early moring solitude.
    that is the gist…. some what setimental I supose but writing and exercise of the craft requires all perspectives.
    You are very kind to respond so quickly and share your work. You can see the narative in a day or so at the national blog po month page. For other creative writingsin a few days see :

    Thanks again, Chris. I do appreciate your kindness very much.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:05 PM

  4. Welcome back…great shot and the story behind the strainers is interesting! I firgure if the big nuclear bomb doesnt get me, then Yellowstone will blow or the New Madrid fault will bring a massive earthquake …I’m sure there’s something else too 🙂

    September 6, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    • Yeah, but I’ve learned to just take it as it comes. We all die someday, right?

      September 6, 2010 at 2:34 AM

  5. Wow…they really thought through the design of the shelter. I don’t know that I would have considered strainers…and I don’t know why the idea of a shelter appeals to me other than it would be a great place to watch football on Sundays. With a blanket, of course.

    9,000 gallons of diesel…

    Glad you are back.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    • You have no idea. That shelter has just about anything you’d ever need – including about 50 years worth of food.

      September 6, 2010 at 8:25 PM

  6. Finally, you are back!
    I was a bit worried to be honest…

    After I had a phase during which I shot several black and white Polaroid 664 peel-apart films I went back now to Agfa APX 100 for my Nikon SLR – this is the only bw 35mm film (besides the APX 400) you still get here in town.
    Here you can see the first picture:
    More to come soon, after I have found some time for scanning…

    I think I will try out some Ilford XP2 next – read mostly good things about it (as long as one doesn’t develop oneself, which I don’t). Do you have any other recommendations?



    September 7, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    • APX 100 is a really good film. I’d recommend Fuji Neopan 400. It’s cheap and has really good contrast. Ever tried Kodak Tri-X 400? Very sharp.

      September 8, 2010 at 2:08 AM

      • Thanks a lot for the recommendations! 🙂

        September 8, 2010 at 11:00 AM

  7. James Gahl

    happy dance! happy dance! chris is back! happy dance!

    by the way, this is strange . . i was a kid during the 50s, so i don’t remember the soviet scare thing, but my father was in college then. he said it was a crazy time.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:56 AM

    • The difference is, EVERYONE was building shelters back then.

      Oh, and, yes, I’m definitely back. 😀

      September 10, 2010 at 2:51 AM

  8. Pingback: Fallout Shelter – Blast Door « I Heart Film

  9. Pingback: Fallout Shelter – Monitor « I Heart Film

  10. Pingback: Fallout Shelter – Pump Belt « I Heart Film

  11. I’m glad you are back posting too and what a series!

    September 28, 2010 at 6:51 AM

  12. Pingback: Fallout Shelter – Old Sneakers « I Heart Film

  13. Pingback: Fallout Shelter « I Heart Film

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