Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

At Shireoaks station in the “wrong” light

Four photographs today that I made at Shireoaks railway station a few weeks ago. My wife popped into a nearby shop, so I decided to finish my roll of HP5+ at the nearby empty station.

Shireoaks signal box

It was a hot afternoon and the wrong time to be making photographs. The wrong time if you base everything you do on “rules” that is. It’s generally accepeted that midday is not the best time to make photos. This time of day, particularly in mid-summer, means the sun will be high overhead casting harsh illumination onto scenes. The light will be very bright, with harsh highlights and shadows. But is this always necessarily a bad thing?

At Shireoaks station

It’s all very well seeking out golden hour, when the light can be undoubtedly beautiful, and I’m a great lover of low sunshine and the warm light and long shadows it provides, but sometimes it isn’t possible or desireable to catch these conditions. And what if you want a photograph to depict bright midday conditions?

At Shireoaks station

While these photos are of a mundane scene – a small, modernised, rural railway station devoid of travellers – they record the time I was there perfectly. Maybe there will be better images to be had in different light or circumstances, but these provide a visual record of my memories of the time. and looking of them I can feel the heat of the platform, the smell of warm concrete, the whole sense of a hot day. I’m glad they were taken in the “wrong” light.

At Shireoaks station

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 12 July 2020

3 thoughts on “At Shireoaks station in the “wrong” light

  1. These are great shots. When shooting most black and white film stocks, I actually prefer shooting in harsh midday sun (T-MAX 400, P3200, and Delta 3200 excluded). I like the contrast and the blazing highlights on metallic surfaces; clouds tend to be much more interesting than earlier or later in the day too.


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