35mm · Film photography · Photography

Passing the signal box again

When your movements are limited, as they are during the coronavirus lock-down, you find yourself passing the same places more often than you usually would.

While there are undoubtedly plenty of alternative routes I can take while out exercising, even giving the restricted radius I can stay within on foot, I’ve found myself passing the signal box and level crossing at Beighton Station a number of times in the past week or two. It was only a little over a month ago that I last posted a photograph of the same location in fact.

Perhaps this weekend, when I’ll hopefully have a little more time to spare, I might allow myself a longer walk and venture someplace different for a change.


Beighton Station

Today marked the first time that I’ve loaded a roll of 120 film into my developing tank. Mt previous experience consists only of the tow 35mm rolls I’ve loaded and developed (and a few tests with a sacrificial 35mm roll). While both of those produced successful outcomes (today’s photos amongst them), loading the film onto the spirals was not straightforward, with both rolls requiring several attempts in the changing bag.

With that in mind, I was expecting the roll of 120 HP5+ to be a bit of a headache given its broader width and potential to flex more, but I needn’t have worried. It loaded easily and the whole task took me about 5 minutes from putting my hands in the bag. Of course I’ve yet to develop the film, so I maybe shouldn’t count my chickens just yet, but all being well, I’m pretty happy with how it went.

I’ve also changed the blog theme today. I think the new one has slightly larger images as standard, which is good. I’ll see how it goes though, and I might change it back if I decide I’m not keen.


Beighton Station closer

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400 โ€“ Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins

Taken on 12 April 2020

11 thoughts on “Passing the signal box again

    1. Iโ€™ve heard the same from others, which is why I was a little anxious about the 120. Maybe I just fell lucky this time (although I certainly hope they all go as smoothly). Still, until I develop it, who knows. For all I know, it might not be on the spiral correctly or something! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ


  1. Don’t get too anxious if the film gets jammed in the spiral and you find yourself having to take it apart in the changing bag to reload. I’ve encountered this on a few occasions and I’m always surprised how ‘robust’ the film can be – especially 120. I think I’ve only ever had one ‘crease mark’ that’s apparent – and then as you’ve noted elsewhere, it’s possible to correct the problem when scanning. If you have a second dev tank or other large object, (bottle, jar, box etc.) it can be helpful to put that into the changing bag as well. This gives a bit more ‘head-room’ to play with inside the bag. Hot hands are the greatest potential problem on warm days – always land the tank before the room temp gets up! Oh, and snipping the corner off the start of the film seems to be doubly helpful with 120.
    By contrast, 5×4 is a doddle… ;0)
    I very much enjoyed your pics on the Emulsive posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I developed the roll this lunchtime and was pleased to see it neatly wound on the spiral after washing the negs. Your suggestion about getting more headroom in the bag is a good one – I’ve found myself fighting against a collapsing bag a couple of times and, while not a huge problem, it was kinda annoying.

      Thanks for your comments on the article. It’s the first time I’ve published something on a site like Emulsive so I’m glad that you enjoyed looking at it.


  2. Even if you pass it everyday, it has a wonderful look and atmosphere to it. One of those places that would be fun to shoot over and over again different light and weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Christopher. It is a nice thing to have fairly close to home, and I’ve photographed it several times now with various cameras. I think, come the autumn, trying to photograph it on a misty morning might be nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Did you write about loading film onto reels somewhere else? I feel like I’ve commented on something you wrote already. Anyway, wherever that comment was, I was braggadocios of my ability to get 35mm film onto the reel in a heartbeat. Since then it’s been some real suffering, haha. I shoulda kept my mouth shut. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mark. Yeah, I published the story of how my first attempt at home developing went on Emulsive. I’ve just seen your comment there this morning. Most of the rolls I’ve developed since that first time have been 120 so I’m probably slightly more parcticed in getting that format onto the spirals now. It’ll be interesting to see how I fare next time I have some 135 to develop. ๐Ÿ™‚


    2. Hi Mark. I’ve always found the hot weather makes loading (inside a changing bag) more difficult – both for 35mm and 120. The hands get hot, when the film ‘snags’ you get annoyed, so the hands get hot etc., etc. I had a problem yesterday, partly due to the temperature and partly due to using the AB dev. tank spools. They don’t have the same ‘lead-in’ moulding as the good ‘ol Paterson spool (to avoid design copyright infringement?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’ve not had too many hot days here in the UK yet this year, but I’m making it a course of action to load any films first thing in the morning when the house is at its coolest. If I ever get to the state where I’m too hot and bothered to carry out the task then my backout plan is to place the film in the tank loose, securely fit the lid so it’s light-tight, and then have another attempt when the conditions are better.

        Liked by 1 person

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