35mm · Film photography · Photography

Walking man

I’ve been on my first business-focused trip today since spring 2020. I felt oddly anxious about the experience, not because of Covid or anything like that, but because I have not left my home for any work-based reasons in over two years (well, I did need to travel into town to get my faulty laptop fixed last year, but that wasn’t a meeting or anything, and it was only into my local building) and this trip involved taking a train journey to another city.

The day went well though and the biggest issue was the fact that the smart shoes I wore to go with my suit (which, while maybe not quite at the cutting edge of modern fashion any more, thankfully still fits) managed to rip the back of my heels open. This has clearly happened in the past but I’ve blanked it out of my mind until today – I know that it has happened before because there is a partially-used pack of plasters in my laptop bag from where I obviously had to perform field surgery the last time I wore the razor-backed shoes. I sat and mended my feet on a seat outside the station before I even got on the train! There’s nothing quite like a minor, but painful, injury to start the day…

I did manage to fit my 35RC into the laptop bag and, while I didn’t really have much time to take photos, grabbed a few shots on my way to and from the station. Not enough to finish the roll though, so it’ll be a while before I develop those.

Here’s another view of the University Arts Tower with the figure of a walking man neatly framed beneath a foreground tree. I hope his feet weren’t hurting.

Under the canopy

Olympus OM-1N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Agfa APX 100. Adox Adonal 1+25 6mins @ 20°.

Taken on 15 April 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

On the bench

I’m feeling quite tired today for some reason and can’t think of much to type for the blog, so I’m going to use that as an excuse for this shorter post. Hope you like the picture of the benches. Despite the title… NOBODY IS ON THE BENCH!!!! 😀

Benches

Olympus OM-1N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Agfa APX 100. Adox Adonal 1+25 6mins @ 20°.

Taken on 15 April 2022

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Sheffield University Arts Tower

One of the more noticable structures in Sheffield is the university Arts Tower. While it is not very tall when compared with towers in other cities (it’s not even the tallest building in Sheffield) at a mere twenty stories, the fact that it sits partway up the hillside beside Western Bank means that it is visible from far afield. It should be noted that far afield in this case is probably still not that far – Sheffield is a hilly city (said to be built on seven hills, like Rome) so the best views of the Arts Tower are from the north east where it can be seen from further down the flatter area around the Don valley. It can be seen peeking over the top of hills from various locations as well though.

Corner into blue

The building opened in 1965 and housed the Departments of Landscape, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Biblical Studies, and Architecture. There were eighteen arts departments located in the tower originally although, as the university and student body has grown, some of these have moved to new locations.

The Arts Tower

One of the most well known features of the building is the paternoster lift system, with many a tale being told of people going right over the top of the looping elevator system. Most of these are from people unaware of how a paternoster works and under the assumption that the unfortunate passengers would be somehow flipped upside-down as the lift reached its apex. They do make for better stories though. 🙂

It being such a focal point in Sheffield’s skyline, I’ve taken a good number of pictures of the tower which can be found here.

Entrance to the arts

Yashicamat 124G & Lomography Color Negative 100. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 16 April 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Houses, roofs, benches and an urn

The coming days will see a series of photographs made with my recently acquired Olympus OM-1N (a replacement for my faulty OM-1. You can read about how I came about it here, should you wish).

Palmerston Road

The camera appeared to be in full working condition, but needed new light seals, so this was its first outing after I’d replaced those. As I didn’t want to chance a roll of something expensive on an untested camera, and as I have no cheap bought-for-£1 Agfa Vista Plus left, I used the cheapest, but fresh, stuff I had to hand – some Agfa APX 100. As far as I’m aware this is just re-branded Kentmere 100 these days (although I think it used to be re-branded Fomapan 100 previously). The last time I shot some of this I developed it with Ilfotec DD-X and got some quite overdeveloped negatives (probably my fault). This time I decided to use some Adox Adonal instead and got better results.

Above

My old OM-1 had been converted to meter properly with a 1.5v cell, but this OM-1N still expects a 1.3v cell. I do have Wein cell that I could use but, again, as the camera was untested I didn’t want to crack open an expensive battery so I used a 1.4v zinc-air battery instead. I’m not sure how much this will have affected the metering but, on the whole, the shots came out quite well exposed with perhaps a little over-exposure present. The good news is that the camera worked perfectly.

Posted here today are three shots from the start of the roll. More to come this week.

Weston Park

Olympus OM-1N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Agfa APX 100. Adox Adonal 1+25 6mins @ 20°.

Taken on 15 April 2022

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Expiriment #1: Ilford HP5 (expired 1982)

This is the first in what I hope to be a series of posts in which I document the results from shooting some of the expired film I have in my stash – and I have quite a bit! However, in order to keep some sort of a leash on this exercise, I will only include film that is at least ten years past its use-by date.

For this first instalment, I’ve decided to send the Delorean back to 1982, back before Ilford added the “Plus” to it’s stocks, back before I’d even entered my teens, and show the results from a roll of HP5 that expired in December 1982.

I chose the HP5 for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I shoot the modern version of the film quite a lot, so was interested to see how they compare (even if it may be an unfair test given the age of this roll) and, secondly, because I have four rolls of this film all from the same year so this first one will serve as a useful test on how it performs before I shoot any more of it. While the person who I got the film from had kept the film frozen, I have no idea of it’s provenance before that.

The sensible thing would have been to shoot the film in, around, or at least fairly close to home. That way, should the experiment be a disaster, at least I wouldn’t have wasted too much time on it. But the weather was nice so I decided to head out into the countryside, to High Bradfield over on the other side of the city. It was a risk but, hey, you only live once, right? I also took a second camera loaded with a fresh roll of Ilford FP4+ as well but only took a single shot with it, so the weight of the expedition would rest on the forty year old HP5.

I loaded the film before leaving the house and almost immediately felt some mild panic when the Yashicamat’s film advance crank partially jammed after a few turns. But, after some gentle pressure, it continued to wind the film on to frame #1. Arriving at my destination, I shot five shots at High Bradfield before driving around the surrounding area and photographing anything that caught my eye. Most of the other pictures were taken around Broomhead reservoir further to the north, although none of the reservoir itself. I rated the film at 100asa using my usual half-a-stop of over-exposure per decade of expiry that I use for expired black and white films. All metering was via incident readings from my Sekonic L-308.

This is what old Ilford backing paper looks like. I’m not sure if the mottling is just a factor of its age.

As I went out early, I was home in time to get the film developed and decided to use some Adox Adonal for the job. Ordinarily I use Ilfotec DD-X when developing modern HP5+ as it controls the tones and grain really nicely but, as this was a roll of film decades past its best, I thought the Adonal might be a good choice as I’d read that it can help to reduce fogging where it exists on old films. I used a 1+25 dilution and developed the roll for six minutes, inverting for the first minute, and then for 10 seconds at the top of each remaining minute. After that I used a one-minute stop bath and then fixed for five minutes. I washed the film using the Ilford method and then a final soak in rinse-aid before hanging it to dry for three hours. I was very happy to see easily visible images on the negatives, albeit perhaps slightly thin ones. One thing that I noticed was that the strip of negatives had an unusual, waxy sheen (see the picture below). I’m not sure if this is a factor of the film (perhaps on a different base back then?), it’s age, or even my development (although the chems should all have been in good condition).

It’s perhaps difficult to tell from this picture, but the whole roll of developed negatives had an odd, waxy sheen to them.

So, on to the photographs.

Given the age of the film I’m very happy with the results. While the negatives were a little bit thin, this wasn’t a huge problem and I was able to rectify this for the most part during the scanning phase and in Lightroom (where I also applied my other usual processing and sharpening). The grain is much more apparent than I am used to with modern HP5+ but it’s possible that this is a result of my developing them in Adonal rather than the expired nature of the film – I’ve heard other’s speak about how Rodinal developers can emphasise the grain in HP5+.

I think that I’ll rate the next roll of this HP5 I shoot at 80asa, or maybe even 50asa, and I think I’ll develop the next one in DD-X to see what difference that makes, if any, to the grain.

Here are my favourite eight shots from the roll. The other four were all ok technically but I didn’t think they worked as well artistically.

Expiryment #1 - Ilford HP5 (expired 1982)
Expiryment #1 - Ilford HP5 (expired 1982)-2
Expiryment #1 - Ilford HP5 (expired 1982)-3
Expiryment #1 - Ilford HP5 (expired 1982)-4
Expiryment #1 - Ilford HP5 (expired 1982)-5
Expiryment #1 - Ilford HP5 (expired 1982)-6
Expiryment #1 - Ilford HP5 (expired 1982)-7
Expiryment #1 - Ilford HP5 (expired 1982)-8

Overall outcome: Success!

Expiriment #2 coming soon…

Yashicamat 124G & Ilford HP5 (expired 1982). Adox Adonal 1+25 6mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 May 2022

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Weston Park

Weston Park was the first municipal park in the city of Sheffield and formed from the grounds of Weston Hall. The hall itself would become Weston Park Museum incorporating the Mappin Art Gallery. The museum opened in 1875 and was extended thirteen years later.

The museum contains permanent exhibits on the local archeology, natural history, art, and social history, as well as regular temporary exhibitions.

The building was severely damaged by a bomb during the Second World War and the art gallery remained closed to the pubic in a damaged state until 1965.

As I type this, it’s a lovely evening outside. Just the other day, on the journey home from our coach trip, I commented to my wife on how nice the early evening light was and that I should really make a better effort to take advantage of it through the longer days of the summer. However, no matter how nice it looks, the effort required to get myself up and out after a day at work means I rarely do so. I must try harder! I am planning on heading out tomorrow to shoot one of the rolls of expired film I posted about last week though, so the photography itch will be scratched, albeit with no guarantee of successful images.

Weston Park museum
Edifice
Mappin art gallery

Yashicamat 124G & Lomography Color Negative 100. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 16 April 2022

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Bandstand low-down

I suffered a wet knee for the sake of getting today’s blog picture, but think it was worth the discomfort and the soft focus on the forground grass along with the faint glimmer of dew give a nice sense of depth to the image. I had some expectation that the photo might be marred by camera shake as I had to hold it slightly off the ground to get the composition I wanted and felt like I wasn’t holding it completely steady, but it turned out nice and sharp. TLR’s – the flippy screens of their day!

In the park in springtime

Yashicamat 124G & Lomography Color Negative 100. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 16 April 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The way to the works

My wife and I have been on a coach trip today – something we haven’t done for quite some time, a few decades at least! We normally drive when we have a day out, or rather I drive, and my wife takes the passenger seat, so the idea of someone else doing the work while I got the chance to look out the window and enjoy the scenery without fear of taking the car off the road was an appealing novelty.

We visited Skipton and Harrogate, both towns in North Yorkshire and the day was enjoyable. It’s been a very long day though and I haven’t had chance to upload any new photos or think of much to talk abou , so today’s picture is one from a previous set.

I didn’t take a huge number of photos on today’s trip, but the ones I did will show up here at some point assuming they’re any good.

The path to the works

Olympus XA-3 & Kodak Tri-X. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8mins 20°.

Taken on 09 April 2022

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Scooter

I liked the look of this scooter parked outside this shop, especially with the helmet and standard lamp visible in the window. I’m less happy at the fact that I caught my reflection in the glass though. I’ll occasionally go for a self-portrait but, on the whole, I usually do whatever I can to avoid being caught in reflections when taking a photograph.

Number six scooter

Yashicamat 124G & Kodak Gold 200. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 10 April 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Conisbrough Castle and war memorial

Today’s picture is of Conisbrough Castle with a war memorial in the foreground. I’ve had to tidy the image up somewhat as it had some noticable scratching (as did most of the roll of film) caused by the squeegee. I think I’ve managed to successfully remove most of the marks on this frame, although some of the other shots are something of a lost cause. I shan’t be using the squeegee again I don’t think.

I also posted a colour image taken at the same location a week or so ago.

Castle and memorial

Olympus XA-3 & Kodak Tri-X. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8mins 20°.

Taken on 09 April 2022