35mm · Film photography · Photography

Ghost riders

On my wander around town on a very wet Saturday morning last weekend I took a number of photos of people sat on buses. The damp weather meant the windows were fogged with condensation making the passengers within dimly rendered – dependant to a greater or lesser effect on whether they’d wiped the glass clear with their hands or not.

FILM - Ghost riders #1

These photos are hardly original – I own a copy of Nick Turpin’s lovely book “On the Night Bus” for instance, which does this sort of thing with far greater aplomb and dedication than my half-hour or so spent. And well before Turpin’s work was made, there were other photographers doing much the same – Saul Leiter being a great example.

FILM - Ghost riders #2

Nevertheless, most photographic endeavours these days is likely to involve walking in the footsteps of others to some degree, so I don’t feel any shame in my lack of originality – rather that I took their work as inspiration and made some photographs that I like on an otherwise inclement day for taking pictures.

FILM - Ghost riders #3

I was using autofocus for all these shots, and it was clearly something of a challenge for the camera. The first shot is a complete miss on all levels (although I was moving at the time I took that one) and the others seem to focus on the window, or perhaps just beyond. Whatever the case, the effect is very nice, rendering the subjects as indistinct apparitions with features hidden by a fog of moisture.

I’ve said it before on here, but once again – bad weather is very often a good time to make photographs. Next time I get similar conditions and a change to get out with a camera, I think I’ll try to make more of these.

FILM - Ghost riders #4

Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 15 February 2020

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