35mm · Film photography · Photography

Up the Don

BAck to expired slide film once more, this time some Velvia 50 getting on for 20-years expired. As has been the case with previous rolls of untested slide film where I have more than one at my disposal, this was again shot mostly to test the results. Once again though, this doesn’t mean shooting test cards or anything like that, it’s just a case of shooting the roll at box speed to see how it performs with the hope that it all goes well and I get a bunch of interesting pictures as well as a knowledge of how the film fares. I can then update my settings and so on for future rolls of the same batch.

This Velvia 50 produced mostly well-exposed photographs but has a very warm tone to the results. I’ve reduced it somewhat in my scans but it still persists. It’s possible that Velvia just scans this way and that I need to modify my technique accordingly, or it might be a colour shift caused by the age of the film.

I’ll bear this in mind when shooting the other rolls.

This image shows the River Don in Sheffield where it flows past the Kelham Island area to the left of this scene.

A mirror surface
Broken by the ripple wakes
Of a pair of ducks

Up the Don

Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/18 AF-D & Fujichtome Velvia (expired 2003).

Taken on 13 June 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Through the tall grass and nettles

Today’s photo shows another angle of St. Peter’s church at Elmton. This was the view that I spotted as first approaching the village by road, but there was nowhere at this spot where I could park (the roads being quite narrow with no verge that I could pull onto), so I continued into the village and parked my car on the road beside the church. After making a few photos around the church itself I decided to walk back to the vantage point I’d seen earlier. I could have followed the road which, in this picture, passes the wall just in front of the church, heads to the left of the scene, and then takes a 90-degree turn back towards a place close to this spot. But there was a shortcut…

Looking at my maps app on my phone, it was apparent that there was a public footpath through this field which cut the corner. Sure enough, I spotted an old wooden footpath signpost and a stile built into the wall beside the field. Climbing the stile I set off across the field. It quickly became apparent that the grass was longer than I expected and also that very few people must use the path as there was no real evidence of it’s existence, not even in the form of some slightly flattened grass. Nontheless I perservered and made my way down the slope to where my map showed the path exiting the field. As I progressed, the grass in the field began to be joined by clumps of large hardy weeds that I had to skirt and also, worse, nettles! Given I was wearing a pair of cargo shorts, thoughts of stung legs came to the fore of my mind, and I had to take even more care over where I walked.

Eventually I reached the spot where I made this photo, and I ducked into the grass to allow it to provide more prominent foreground interest. It turned out to be the final frame on the roll, so I continued down to the corner of the field and the exit. Unfortunately the exit was conspicuous by it’s almost complete absence, with all that I could see was a rusty kissing gate almose buried in tall weeds and more nettles and then continuous growth for about the next ten feet or so. I could have walked back the way I came, which would have been a sensible option, but the thought of forcing my way through the high grass didn’t appeal, so I decided to chance the overgrown exit instead. It probably took me as long to do this as walking back throuh the field would have done.

I had to procede with great caution, carefully placing my feet as to squash the nettles away from my legs with each step. By some miracle I wasn’t stung a single time, although the final four or five feet involved me making a daring leap across a clump of nettles right where the verge dropped down onto the road. No doubt this would have looked highly amusing to anyone passing by, but thankfully no-one was around.

In the end I had to walk back via the road anyway, so maybe it would have been simpler had I used that route for both legs of the jaunt. But then what would I have written about today? Plus the picture was worthwhile, I think.

These stinging nettles
And not a dock-leaf in sight
A peril for legs

Beyond the tall grass

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 12 June 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The church at Elmton

This church – St. Peter’s – in the small village of Elmton, dates back to Norman times, although it was rebuilt in the 18th century. While I’m not an expert on churches, I found the design of this one to be unusual. Most churches tend to have either a pointed steeple, or a tower (usually with crenellations), so the sloped bell-turret roof stood out to my eye.

The hot weather continues here in the UK, although it is forecast to be a little cooler tomorrow. It doesn’t help that I’ve managed to come down with a summer cold during the heat! At first I was concerned, despite my vaccinations, that I might have contracted Covid-19, but having carried out two lateral-flow tests – both of which returned a negative result – it’s probably just a your bog-standard common cold. I guess that’s better, but I still feel worse for wear.

A cold in summer
Not really what I wanted
If the truth be told

St. Peter's

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 12 June 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Kissing gate

While walking through Pleasley Country Park, my route took me through this metal kissing gate. While not a quaint as some of the older wooden gates I’ve seen, it still made for a nice photos I thought.

The name “kissing gate” derives from the gate itself swinging freely, “kissing” the inside of the frame rather than needing to be latched to prevent livestock from passing through. When I was young however, I was told that it was traditional to kiss the person passing the gate with you. While a nicely romantic idea, I have sometimes had to pass through such gates at the same time as complete strangers, so probably not a practical suggestion! 🙂

Kiss from a stranger?
Perhaps not a good idea
In a pandemic

Kissing gate

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 12 June 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pleasley pit

I bit of a bumper set of pictues today, by my normal standards at least. All of them made during a walk around Pleasley Pit country park.

The park stands on the site of Pleasly colliery, which operated from the 1870s until 1983. The buildings were saved from demolition and in 1996 designated as an ancient monument. The surrounding land was reclaimed and regenerated into a park and wildlife habitat.

The remaining buildings now operate as a mining museum.

On the day I made these photos my intent wasn’t to visit the museum, but to browse the nearby car-boot sale that operates on Saturday mornings in the hope that there might have been some cameras to be had. Sadly, no cameras were to be seen (apart from some early-noughties digital point-and-shoots in a box on one of the stalls. As I had a my OM-2n with me, I decided to have a walk around the country park and take some pictures of the pit buildings. I only had a 50mm, so some foot-based zooming was required, but it worked out well. The museum wasn’t open this early in the day so I didn’t get to see inside. Perhaps another day.

Down there at Pleasley
A monument to mining
A reminder still

Pit buildings
At the pit head
Hiding
Near the exit
Smokestack once more
Three birds over the pit head
Colliery
Behind the trees
Coal facing
Backlit colliery

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 12 June 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Nettle by a wall

The warm weather continues here in the UK. I intended staying indoors all day, but had to go out with my wife to fetch some paint, which was enough to feel the heat. Yesterday evening we went out for a meal and the heat in the restaurant was intense – the place had a communal setup with a number of kitchens serving different cuisines to a central eating area. All the food and drinks had to be ordered via an app and would be delivered by each individual outfit, meaning that meals would arrive at different times for different people. As we ordered food from five different places in total, this took a while to sort out. The place was pleasant enough – in an old industrial building beside the river that has been converted – but there was no air conditioning and very little breeze to be felt through the open windows.

I enjoyed my food – a triple-patty buger on a charcoal bun – despite the heat, but my wife wasn’t particularly impressed – probably because she was practically melting!

Anyway, two people from our party had some fried chicken that they were unabe to finish, so we got the remainder to go and I ate it today. As some of it had a spicy coating, this hasn’t helped keep me cool…

A picture of a nettle today, bane of the bare legged walker.

Walk through the nettles
And then you will see, red lumps
Grow on shins and knees

Nettle wall

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 12 June 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Through the pasture

Although it probably doesn’t look it from the photograph, the grass in these pasture fields was quite deep – probably a good 8-inches at least. As the footpath was quite loosely defined it meant there was no especially well-trodden route through the fields and so I had to walk through swathes of the tall shoots, which was pretty tiring (especially given the adventure in Monk’s Dale not long before!).

Tired legs in long grass
Thighs powering through and up
On towards Tideswell

Over the pasture

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 May 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Various Tideswell scenes

Friday has rolled around again. It’s quite warm here in the UK at present (although probably pleasantly chilly in comparison with the temperatures the western US and Canada have been experiencing lately) and it’s almost time to jump in the shower to cool off and relax over the weekend.

High Nelly's Cafe
Family butcher

I’m hoping to get out and make some photos over the next couple of days, albeit without travelling too far. I’m slightly concerned that my foot, which started giving me pain after a run a couple of weeks ago, might have a stress fracture. I spent as much time as I could resting it (although helping my son move house last weekend probably doesn’t count) and it felt like it was getting better. However, since last night – for no particular reason I can discern – it seems to be letting me know about itself again. I shall take it steady and maybe slow down my usual brisk pace.

Recede
Between

Today I’m sharing a few photos made in Tideswell nearly two months ago. Most of my photos that day were shot on the Yashica Mat, but by the time I reached Tideswell I’d finished the two rolls of 120 film I had with me so fell back on the OM-2n as backup.

My foot hurts again
I hope it’s not serious
I need my freedom

Cottage and climbing plants
Clematis Cottage

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 May 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Botanical gardens

After visiting a photo exhibition at Weston Park Museum a few weeks ago, I took a circuitous route back to my car, snapping pictures of this-and-that (including the shot of the cobbled alley I showed on the blog yesterday). The route took me through the botanical gardens and I made the three pictures published here today.

I’ve not visited the botanical gardens that many times despite the duration of my abode in the city – I recall my nan talking about taking me when I was a small child, but I can’t remember anything about the visit beyond the feintest gossamer thin memory of the event. It’s somewhere I tend to forget is there, but I might try and explore it a little more next time I visit – there’s the remains of an old bear-pit in a part of the park I’ve not explored, and the glasshouse (while being closed to the public during the Covid-19 lockdowns) is another place where a nice photo or two might be had.

Giant emerald fronds
Take abode in the glasshouse
Heady, tropic scent

At the botanical gardens
One end of the glass house
Down to the fountain

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 May 2021