35mm · Film photography · Photography

The obligatory launderette photo (plus a Lipca Rollop update)

It seems like it’s almost the law that you must make photographs of launderettes if you see them. That, or petrol stations (often at night). So, taday I’ll share a photo of a launderette.

I can see the appeal though, there’s something interesting about the places. They often have a sense of faded glory about them, many of them having fallen away as more and more people bought domestic washing machines. There’s still a demand though, whether it be for full service washes, or when you need to launder a bulky item like a quilt that simply won’t fit in the machine at home.

I remember my mum taking me in a launderette on a number of occasions when I was little. It was fascinating place for a young boy, full of buttons, dials, coin slots, washing powder dispensers, and a long row of heavy-duty washing machines and tumble driers full of other people’s clothes spinning round-and-around. The air would be filled with the warm scent of detergent and fabric conditioner and, if I was good, I would get a hot-chocolate in a plastic cup from the vending machine mounted on the wall.

I think the lunderette in my post today probably does good trade. I expect that seaside towns, particulalry those with large camp and caravan sites, have a strong demand for laundry services.

In other news, I shot another roll through my Lipca Rollop II yesterday, this time with a makeshift felt skirt fitted to the lens standard to attempt to combat the light leak. Alas, it didn’t work, three frames show the same arc of light as before. Now I need to decide what to do with the camera – when it works (usually when focussing on items further away) the lens is sharp and produces very nice images. Unfortunately, despite this, the fault means I can’t rely on it fully. I’m not sure that I want to pay for a repair as I have another, fully-working, TLR anyway, so I might sell it on as a working, but faulty camera.

Almost obligatory launderette photo

Canon Sure Shot Z135, Kodak Gold 200. Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken on 11 September 2020

11 thoughts on “The obligatory launderette photo (plus a Lipca Rollop update)

  1. I’m really enjoying all the photos from this roll of Gold 200. Once again, your results with the Plustek and Grain2Pixel are excellent. I imagine it’s coming in a future post, but the interior shot of the arcade you posted on Flickr is superb.

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      1. Grain never hurt anyone! Haha, seriously though, grain is good. It’s what truly sets images made on film apart from digital, in a way that cannot be convincingly replicated. So that said, I really like the Space Invaders shot too! Since you obviously didn’t use flash for it, whereas it appears you did for the Wheel of Fortune one, it provides a distinctly different look and feel. I’m actually amazed you were actually able to get a sharp photo in a dimly lit arcade without using flash. Great stuff!

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      2. I don’t mind grain at all either, although I maybe like it less on colour photos. I think in the case of the Space Invader shot, some of it is digital noise introduced when scanning and editing the image though. It’s not too noticeable unless you zoom right in however.

        I’m also surprised at the sharpness! I was half-expecting this to be softened by camera shake or have the movement of the sprites on the screens blurred by a slow shutter speed, I think the meter must have registered the bright part of the screens and set a relatively fast shutter speed.

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      3. Yeah, it’s an unfortunate thing, but I’m afraid a certain level of digital noise is an inevitability when scanning film. It varies, and tends to be much worse with frames containing areas without a lot of density (like the Space Invaders one). It just is what it is.

        Still, your Plustek, Grain2Pixel, and your follow up LR editing all came together and produced some mighty fine images. Even though there is some apparent noise, the organic structure of the film grain is still coming through loud and clear, especially when viewed on a screen with the same pixel density as a nice quality print (~300 DPI).

        Regarding the metering, whatever happened, it was the right thing! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Ellen. I have a book that contains nothing but photos of launderettes from the London area. They have a faded beauty to them. I also noted with mild interest when reading the book the way that they are spelt “laundrette” AND “launderette” over here. I’m not sure which (if either) is a typo. 🙂

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