35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #8

I think that this little run of pandemic-related photographs might be coming to an end shortly. I have a few more yet to post but, as it feels that the country is pretty much out of lockdown now following the latest set of relaxation measures on the existing rules, I’m not sure that I will take many more. Hopefully my fears that this easing of the lockdown are misjudged and that I’m not going to be back posting a whole new set of pictures from lockdown phase 2 in a couple of months time. Having seen pictures of huge crowds of people flocking to the usual beaches and beauty spots to enjoy the good weather in the news today though, I won’t hold my breath.

A couple of photgraphs from the local kid’s park posted here today. I’ve shown some from here previously, but these tie quite nicely into the news that competitive sport is being allowed in the UK from 1 June. This will have to take place behind “closed doors” which means no crowds of spectators will be present at the events for obvious reasons.

Pandemic scenes - no sports

Similarly, people will be able to exercise together in groups of up to six people while observing social distancing measures, meaning that some other recreational team-based sports may now be possible.

Empty pitch

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 20 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #7

One of the significant changes due to the UK lockdown was the closure of non-essential retail. The local shopping mall, which has a large selection of stores, including big-name reatil outlets, a market hall, and a variety of other independent traders, has been largely shut down as a result. The two photographs posted today were made while queueing to get into Wilkinsons, a store permitted to open during lockdown. I think I went in to buy some anti-viral disinfectant wipes.

As the store was operating the now-familiar system of only allowing a limited number of customers inside at any one time, the queue stretched past a number of other, closed, shops, including ToyTown, where a large plastic knight seemed to be guarding against unwanted intruders.

Pandemic scenes - Guarding Toytown

Once inside Wilkinsons, my route through the store took me down the confectionery aisle, where I noticed the locked down pick’n’mix sweets and made the second picture.

These photographs were made almost six weeks ago now and the UK government have announced that non-essential retail can re-open for business (with social distancing precautions in place) on 15 June. Some members of the government’s own advisory council, SAGE, have warned against this (and other loosening of restrictions). The country is still recording 8,000 new infections each day and the R number is hovering perilously close to 1 (if it goes above this it indicates that each infected person is passing on the disease to more than one other person, which means the numbers of infected will increase). My fear is that the loosening of measures is premature and being done for political reasons, not public health, and that we could very well be paying the price for it before long.

Pandemic scenes - Pick & Mix

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 19 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Springtime churchyard

Following on from yesterday’s photograph of the barred church entrance, here are a couple of photos of the churchyard itself.

Churchyard blossom

The light was very nice on the day these were taken and the blossom on the trees glowed in the sunshine. It was an occasion where I really wished I had a roll of nice colour film in the camera. I had Ilford Delta 400 though, so the colours will have to remain in your minds eye.


Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #6

This photo was actually taken around six weeks ago but the church still remains closed. Like so many other places, there is the now familiar A4 printed sign on the door alerting visitors to the reasons for closure.

Although the UK government is pressing ahead with removing the restrictions imposed undel lockdown (with an announcement that non-essential retail will be allowed to re-open in the middle of June) there is no information yet on the status of venues that allow people to gather.

The church is not a place I visit often and I don’t think I’ve been inside since my children were at middle school and performed a nativity or harvest festival or somesuch in there. I do enjoy visiting churches though and very much admire the architecture, furnishings, artworks and sense of history that they evoke. This church, The Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Beighton dates back to the 12th century.

A little over ten years ago the pews were removed from the building and replaced with modern seating (and a toilet and kitched were installed). While this gives a great deal more flexibility to the building and means it can be used for a variety of purposes beyond services, it does make it far less interesting inside than it used to be.

Pandemic scenes - Church

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 April 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Monochrome wildflowers

Back to work today after four days off. No photography stuff today other than a bit of scanning.

The coronavirus situation in the country continues to apall with the shameless incompetence and double-standards at play in our so-called government. Apologies for mistakes are not a sign of weakness, they are a sign of strength. Respect is earned by those who accept and learn from their errors, not by those who obfuscate and pass the blame, no matter whether I support their broader views or not.

I wonder how long deceit, failure to accept responsibility and lack of accountability can last until something has to give? Sadly, I suspect a long time. There’s a tribalism in politics that has grown in recent years where groups of people hitch their allegiance to one wagon or another and refuse to get off, no matter the road it takes. It’s a terrible “us and them” situation that fosters the worst in people. I despair of it.

Anyway, this is a photography blog, not some political rant, so here’re some flowers.


Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 & Fomapan 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 7 May 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Multiple exposure

A few weeks back I wrote a post about how I’d messed up with my Bronica and made an accidental multiple-exposure (it really doesn’t feel that long ago – I could have sworn I wrote the post a week back at most!). Anyway, the gist of it was that I’d accidentally switched the multiple-exposure lever on instead of the mirror lock-up when taking a long exposure. This resulted in me unknowingly making several exposures on the same frame of HP5+.

I had low hopes for the result and expected it to be a complete write-off. However, it isn’t… Surprisingly, the photograph has turned out interesting (in an obviously imperfect way).

The main subject is the signal box in the village that I’ve photographed on a number of occasions before. However, the other shots have resulted it being overlaid with foliage and cobwebs. It now looks oddly reminiscent (to me, at least) of something you’d find in Stephen King’s story, The Mist, where a secret government experiment opens up a rift to another dimension. From it flows a mysterious mist and within it are…things.

Anyhoo, here’s the photo in question.


Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 & Fomapan 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 6 May 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

A quarter pint of cola

Do you ever have those times where the creative urge just strikes? Times where you need to make a photograph even though you can’t go out and there’s nothing much to photograph indoors but your eye catches something and you just think “Yeah, that’s a picture.“? Well, today’s photograph is from one of those times.

I’m not sure whether I was just in a trigger happy creative flush, but something made me get the shot. The subject is a half-full glass of (flat) cola sat on the cabinet where my printer sits (and which has some books and other gubbins perched atop it too). The glass has been through the dishwasher on multiple occasions, and it shows. What was once clear is now permanently etched by the washing process, leaving a finery of scratches across its surface. I think it was these bright marks highlighted against the darkness of the beverage that made me think there was a photograph waiting to come out.

The Bronica and the 75mm Zenzanon have made for a sharp image and the Fomapan 100 (this is the first roll of this emulsion I’ve home developed in the DD-X I use) has produced lovely tones. It’s probably not a photo that anyone would ever want on their wall, but I’m quite struck by it for some reason. Mundane for the win once again.

Quarter-pint of flat cola in a scratched glass

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 & Fomapan 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Walking in the Moss Valley again

I’ll post a few more shots from the roll of expired Lloyds Pharmacy 200 today. Probably the last ones I’ll post from this roll unless I stick up a few odds-and-ends at some point. Tomorrow will likely mark the return to black-and-white.

I’ve been writing more diary-type posts recently and I’m wondering if I should illustrate them differently, or delay their contents – they’ll probably work better if they contain photographs from the events depicted, rather than stuff I already have to hand. The downside being that the events documented in words will likely be dated by the time I post them as it’s rare that I’ll shoot, develop, and scan a roll on the same day I shoot it.

Graveyard path

I got up early today (for a Saturday, at least) and drove out to the Moss Valley again for a walk. I’d mapped out my route the night before and the app on my phone optimistically suggested it would take an hour. I can only assume that the app doesn’t take hills into consideration when calculating walking speed. Or stopping to make photographs, for that matter.

It was the first time that I’ve taken this particular route, or part of it anyway – the latter half involved a section of footpaths that I’d walked last year, albeit from a different starting point. It started off simply enough with a pleasant stroll alongside The Moss, the small river after which the valley is named, and I stopped to make a few photos of the river.

House in the morning light

Soon, however, it was time to leave the valley bottom and ascend to the highest part of the route – a climb of over three-hundred feet. While I wasn’t worried that my heart would explode or anything, I was properly sucking in air by the time I completed the initial, steepest part of the climb. Shortly afterwards I discovered that I’d gone off-route into some private woodland (although a sign informed me that walking was allowed – good job I’d left the bikes and horses at home!). A quick check of my map showed me that this path would still bring me close to where I’d intended, so I carried on rather than turn back.

After exiting the woods and then skirting some fields of growing crops, the path took me towards a route through a farm that would exit onto the road where I needed to be. Or so I thought. Upon reaching the farm a sign on a gate informed me that I shouldn’t proceed further as the farm was self-isolating. I wondered for a moment if I shouldjust chance it and hurry the short distance through the farm, but I decided that I’m not that sort of person and so, with a sigh, turned around and went back the way I’d come.

Checking the map again showed another path I could take – this one would add about a half-mile to my journey, but at least it would be unseen territory and, hey, I was intending to get some exercise anyway, so what the hell.

Twenty minutes later and I was back on track on the planned route with the additional bonus of (apart from one short, but steep stretch) it all being downhill back to the car now.

I shot my twelth frame as I got back to the bottom of the valley (I had an extra roll of film in the bag, but decided the one roll would do for today) and finished the short distance back to my car. It had been a pleasant, if tiring, walk and I felt good for taking it. I’ll hopefully develop the roll tomorrow (today’s developing was set aside for the roll of HP5+ I shot the previous time I walked in the Moss Valley last weekend).

Beighton Gospel Hall

Nikon F80, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS HSM & Lloyds Pharmacy 200 (expired 2008).

Taken on 21 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Drifting further into the abstract

As it’s a public holiday here in the UK on Monday (Spring Bank Holiday or, as it used to be known when I was a kid, Whitsuntide) I decided to extend the weekend futher and book today off work as well. As my wife is currently nursing an injury, my morning consisted of doing the weekly grocery shop and then, when I got home, helping with the housework. Not quite what I’d hoped for when I booked the day’s leave. Still, being positive, at least those chores are now done and I can spend the next three days doing mostly what I please.

The trip to the supermarket was a little stressful – while I’ve been in the local Sainsbury’s store on several occasions since the lockdown and social-distancing measures were enforced, this was my first trip to Morrison’s. Perhaps because the aisles are less spacious in Morrison’s, and perhaps because they were allowing more shoppers in at a time, the place felt crowded – certainly in comparison with my experiences at Sainsbury’s. There was little hope of maintaining a constant two-metre distance anywhere other than the queue for the checkouts (or the queue to get in). A good number of people didn’t seem to care anyway and I caught myself holding my breath on more than one occasion in some sort of futile attempt to ward off viruses! In the end, a task that takes my wife an hour (even under current conditions) took me almost two, and I was duly chided for it when I got home.

After unpacking the shopping, it was onto the housework – although there wasn’t too much to be done, thankfully. Once complete, I had some lunch and then undertook a couple of photography chores. I have a roll of HP5+ that needs to be developed, so I loaded that into the tank ready to dev it tomorrow. All went well getting it onto the spiral, but the bit of tape that holds the film to the backing paper evaded my fingers and stuck itself to the film. Whether this was on a section of exposed emulsion, I’m not sure, but I’m bracing myself for at least one knackered negative. After this, I scanned a roll of Fomapan 100 that I developed last weekend. This is the first roll of Foma that I’ve home devved in the Ilfotol DD-X so I was curious as to the results, and I’m pleased to see that they look good. I like Fomapan 100 and I’m glad the DD-X does it justice. It’ll be a while before any of those see the light of the blog though as I’ve got a bunch of other stuff I’ve already scanned but not yet published.

Today’s photo is another shot from the expired roll of Lloyds Pharmacy 200 shot over Easter. It’s another abstract, this time of a ridged golden vase that holds a bunch of artificial flowers.

Bands of gold

Nikon F80, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS HSM & Lloyds Pharmacy 200 (expired 2008).

Taken on 11 April 2020