35mm · Photography · Film photography

In the corner of the cemetery

A local cemetery has the small building depicted in today’s photo stood in its corner. While the cemetery is fully-enclosed by a hedge (with a gate to allow public access), this corner is also open to the street allowing a photo to be made without much obstruction. I’ve photographed the same building a few times now as a nearby tree casts lovely mottled shadows across the brickwork when the conditions are right. I’m not sure of the building’s function – I don’t think it’s a chapel or anything like that – but it’s probably used for storing equipment used to manage and maintain the cemetery grounds and graves. I did go into the cemetery once to take a closer look, but saw that there were some people tending a grave nearby, so left again in order to respect their privacy.

My injured leg is feeling better today (though not to the extent that I will attempt to run on it!) so I went for a walk. I was able to maintain a decent pace without any significant discomfort (although maybe a little when climbing and descending the steps of the railway bridges). It will likely be at least a week before I consider running again, but I managed to make a few photos while out walking today, which I likely wouldn’t have done had I been out for a run.

Today’s haiku:

Single traffic bridge
Awaiting my turn to cross
A boy slips in mud

In the corner of the cemetery

Pentax P30T, SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 December 2020

35mm · Photography · Film photography

Lines

Quite a lot of power-line shots on this roll. Wooden poled for the most part on the first half from my Christmas Eve countryside walk. Pylons to come soon form the latter half.

Day eight of my haikus. Something a little more cryptic for today.

Red box in the mail
One-hundred-and-twenty-eight
k of memory

Continuity

Pentax P30T, SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 December 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Oh flock…

So, my first week of Couch-to-5k has taken a dip on day three where it appears that I’ve gotten myself a calf strain. I managed to walk home ok but the pain has increased since (at least when I move around) and the range of movement has reduced. Absolutely brilliant, eh?

I’m dissapointed that I will likely now have to put the running off for a while. Not because I’ll miss the activity itself – running isn’t something I can say I love doing – but because I do want to increase my fitness and, more importantly, support my son as he runs too. I’ve no idea how long the injury will take to heal before I can run again (even assuming it is a calf-strain. I’ve not spoken to a healthcare professional about it as yet, so it might be something else), but online self-diagnosis suggests it can take up to six weeks to fully recover. Bah!

Like a cramp, it felt
as I tore my calf running
Excercise. What Fun…

At present I can’t really even consider going for a walk until it heals a little as I’m moving about like a pirate with a wooden leg at the moment. I should have stuck to walking!

Here’s a flock of birds and some power lines from a few weeks ago when I was able to move around uninjured. 🙂

Flock in flight

Pentax P30T, SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 December 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Steps into a field

Another thin skim of snow greeted me when I awoke this morning, although it had melted a few hours later and bright blue skies appeared. Had I not been working I might have gone for a walk and made a few pictures, but that wasn’t the case. In the event, I still grabbed a couple of images later in the afternoon when I saw some of my wife’s ornaments catching the afternoon sunlight. I used the Yashica Mat with the close-up lens set. Still ten more frames to shoot though, so it may be a while before they see the light of day (well, for a second time!).

Today’s haiku:

In the USA
Georgian Democrat double
Turn the Senate blue

And to finish, another picture from the Christmas Eve walk.

Steps

Pentax P30T, SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 December 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Lockdown part III

Well here we are again. The whole country locked down tight for the third time in less than a year (although, to be honest, the second lockdown was less severe and I didn’t really notice any difference). We’re now back to staying indoors except for essential reasons such as shopping for food / medicines; work (if you can’t do so from home); to provide care (or to escape danger); and for exercise no more than once a day (in your local area).

I gues it will mean my photography is limited once more to things at home, or opportunities I have when out for a walk. I’ve just started Couch-to-5k this week, but at this early stage it’s all I can do to keep running and making photos is the last thing on my mind on those outings. Maybe that will change as I become fitter.

I still have a pretty large archive of images that have never been featured on the blog, so I won’t run out of things to post, but I do think that I might run out of new things to post depending on when, where, and how I am able to get out with a camera. I’ll just have to see what happens, I guess.

I like this time of year for photography. Murky weather can make for very atmospheric shots, and pleasant days are blessed with low-angled sunshine. As the lockdown is set to last until mid-February at least (when the government hopes to have the four highest priority groups of people vaccinated), and probably into March, it looks like I will miss out on these conditions for the most part (or will at least need to get more creative and better inspired by my local area). As for my own vaccination, looking at the numbers of people elligible and where I sit in the priority list (basically just above all the fit and healthy young people who aren’t even included), it will probably be just before Christmas 2021 when I get my own jab!

I do hope that this summer will be less restricted than last at least though. Not because I want to sit on busy crowded beaches or visit touristy hotspots, but just to have the freedon to hop in the car and go somewhere nice for the day. I mean, I’d like that freedom any time of the year, but the summer would do for now.

Hope you are all keeping safe and healthy out there.

I’ll leave you with today’s haiku and another photo from Christmas Eve when I was able to go for walks a little further afield.

On my desk I see
Two green frogs on a keyboard
Are they musical?

Wooden stile

Pentax P30T, SMC Pentax 35mm f/3.5 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 December 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Over the hill

My two week’s leave came to an end and today marked my return to work. The last things I did before the Christmas break seem distant and yet the two weeks seem to have flown by in an instant!

Work resumed today
I now need to remember
What it is I do

Another Christmas Eve walk photo today. I saw this house / farm peeking over the growing crops in this hillside field and thought iw ould be nice picked out with the telphoto lens. The footpath through the fields was a somewhat nerve-wracking experience as it had a thin skein of surface mud that threatened to take my feet out from beneath me! I don’t thinks I would have gotten hurt, but muddy and wet would be unwelcome all the same. Luckily I managed it to the bottom intact.

Just over the rise

Pentax P30T, SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 December 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A horse of course

I decided to go for a walk on Christmas Eve. I’d received some gifted Pentax (and Pentax mount) cameras a few weeks previously but, sadly, all of them has some fault or other that has dissuaded me from using them so far – The Pentax ME Super looked to be in best condition, but has an annoying issue where the mirror will lock up sometimes, necessitating a firm slap on the base with my hand to get it to return. It also needs new light seals and I haven’ had the inclination to fiddle about cutting and fitting new pieces of foam yet.

The cameras came with a bunch of Pentax K-mount lenses though, so I decided I would try them out on my P30T. On this occasion I took three of them with me: an SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.7; An SMC Pentax 35mm f/3,5, and; a Takumar-F Zoom 70-200mm f/4-5.6.

I shot a number of photos with all three lenses while out (although the zoom probably got more use than the others) and I’ll be posting some of the resulting images here over the next few days. Today though, a couple of frames from the start of the roll where a horse kindly provided its services as a model.

The walk ended on a festive note when a few flakes of snow began to fall. None of them settled, and none fell on Christmas day (although we got a dollop a few days later), but it felt good nontheless.

Before the images though, today’s haiku. Hopefully it speaks for itself as to what I did today…

I need to get fit
My first Couch to Five K run
My knees are aching

And now the horse. 🙂

Horsey
Where they live

Pentax P30T, SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Stonefaced

Christmas is over
The decorations are down
For another year

My haiku’s have made it to day two! I’m not sure exactly what topics I’ll cover with each – maybe an alignment with the rest of the day’s post but, more likely I suspect, as a kind of poetic journal refelecting something that has happened in my life or the world each day.

As you may guess from today’s, we took down our Christmas decorations this morning. This used to be a pretty depressing activity for me in the past as I would feel pretty down about the holiday period being officially over. In recent years though it seems to be affecting me less. I wonder if it’s because, as my children grow older, Christmas has changed. The magic of Father Christmas delivering presents is a thing of the past (at least until such a point as we become grandparents I suppose), and it doesn’t feel the same as when the boys were little. Plus, the way that time seems to fly by as a get older, it will be Christmas again in about five minutes …

Today’s photo is another made on the moors above Lady Canning’s Plantation next to a small cluster of rock outcrops known as The Ox Stones. I’m not sure where the name comes from, but there used to be an Inn known as Oxdale Lodge nearby, so perhaps livestock were grazed, or moved through the land by drovers?

From this angle, the stone has a face. A rock-face. 🙂

Stonefaced

Fujica GW690 & Fomapan 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 23 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Hello 2021

My first blog post of the new year.

Looking further down the line I’m hoping for at least a partial return to normaility later in the year. As more of the population are vaccinated against Covid-19, so I hope that restrictions will be lifted and more freedom restored. Just the though of being able to hop in the car and drive somewhere without first having to check which tier it is in will be nice. Hell, just going to a restaurant even!

But at this immediate point in time that all still feels like some ways off. The restrictions remain, vaccinations have not really touched the majority of the population yet, and there’s likely to be an increase in cases and fatalities as we move into January. Brexit has happened, but the less said about that sorry state of affairs the better, I think . I’m also back at work next week and have a busy month ahead of me. This is a good thing, but despite a fortnight’s leave over Christmas, the strange circumstances in which we still reside mean that I don’t feel particularly rested.

Apart from some confectionery, the gifts I received for Christmas sit as yet untouched in a small pile on my office desk and, if previous years are anything to go by, it may be months before I actually find the time to enjoy them – mostly because ,when I do have some free time, I feel overwhelmed by all the things I’d like to do and then end up procrastinating about which to choose until I end up doing not much of anything! I feel I need another week of post-holiday leave or something to just do stuff.

As for photography, I still have pictures made in 2020 to develop and scan, but I’m not sure what will be the first thing I do photographically in 2021 as yet. I’m feeling a little uninspired if I’m honest. I’m sure the inspiration will return, and it’s not a winter thing – I know may photographers despair of the dull and, some might say, miserable conditions brought by a British winter, but I really don’t mind them. The conditions suit different types of photos is all. I will be making a second zine in the coming months though, so I need to put on my thinking cap to decide on the contents.

I don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions as such, as they tend to fail more often than not, but this year I am going to attempt to not only lose some weight (something I know I can do), but also get fitter by doing C25K with one of my sons. Both should be positive activities I think (if not the easiest for me!).

Well, that’s a slightly gloomy post isn’t it? Please don’t let me bring anyone down. In order to lift things a little, I’ve decided that I will try to add a haiku to each day’s post this year. So here’s the first Please don’t judge my verse too harshly. 🙂

A new year is here
I hope it’s better than last
I’ll cross my fingers

And here’s another (slightly underexposed, but still quite nice) photo of the trees on the edge of Lady Canning’s Plantation. It is a photo blog after all.

Plantation's edge

Fujica GW690 & Fomapan 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 23 December 2020

35mm · Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Day 366 – Twelve favourite photos from 2020

It’s that time of year again when my feed becomes full of everyones review of the year-type posts, and it’s interesting and inspiring to see the work that people have produced as well as their thoughts on the past twelve months.

I’m not going to warble on too much here about the shape of the past year – you’ve all lived through it and know the name-of-the-game, plus, if I’m honest, I’ve left writing this post to the eleventh hour and am running out of time. That’s me – Mister Organised! 🙂

But suffice to say, I’ve known better years, and I think the thing to do now is look forward to better times to come. So here’s to a happier and less “interesting” 2021!

Below are my own selction of favourite photos made this year. If I were to pick again another day, in another mood, these might mostly change to something else, but as a snapshot of my favourites as of today, here they are…

January – I’ve often commented on my blog how much I love a misty, foggy day for photography, and so my first image from 2020 falls right into this bracket. Early morning at Rother Valley Country Park, a short walk from where I live but somewhere I don’t visit all that often because it feels like I’ve seen it all before. Shots like this one serve as a reminder that even the most familiar locations can still throw a beautiful image our waty if we take care to look for it and make the most of the conditions.

FILM - Lone

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 AF & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed. Taken on 22 January 2020

February – A gloomy, rainy day walking around Sheffield city centre with my F80 led to me making a few images of people partially obscured by the condensation covered windows of buses. I’d planned on making more images in the same vein but, so far at least, I haven’t managed it yet.

FILM - Ghost riders #3

Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed. Taken on 16 February 2020

March – Regular readers of my blog will know that I have an affinity for power lines and electricity pylons as photographic subjects. Not as record shots – I don’t find them that interesting – but because I find there is something appealing and evocative in the way they cross the countryside, leading to some far destination – perhaps to power a TV, or boil a kettle for some unknown person’s cup of tea. This was from my final pre-lockdown roll of film and was developed by the lab the day before it closed for a few months. From this point on, almost all of my black and white film was developed by myself.

Over the fields

Yashica Mat 124G & Kodak Plus-X (expired 2008). Lab developed. Taken on 22 March 2020

April – While this is supposed to be a selection of favourite photos from the year, this one is chosen more as being indicative of the situation we found ourselves in during most of spring. The UK was under a national lockdown, non-essential retail was closed as were schools. There were shortages of hand-sanitiser, latex gloves, pasta, and even toilet-rolls. The freedom to roam was largely removed except for work (where it wasn’t possible to do so from home), shopping for food and other essentials, to provide care for the vulnerable, and for exercise. The latter option was when most of my photography took place, carrying a camera when I went for local walks, grabbing opportunistic images where possible. As I write this, I’m pretty sure we may be headed back into a similar set of restrictions soon as the second wave – predicted (but perhaps not properly planned for) – takes hold.

Pandemic scenes - Playgrounds closed

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°. Taken on 11 April 2020

May – It was the month of my ill-fated initial foray into 6×9 medium format with a Zeiss folder that had an unfortunate alignment problem that caused the images to be soft at the edges. It was also, at the end of the month, release from the lockdown, granting freedom to travel a little further afield for photography. The image I’ve chosen is a definite favourite from the month and one that perhaps symbolises the new found sense of freedom and promise that I felt.

Gateway to yonder

Yashica Mat 124G & Shanghai GP3 (expired). Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10mins @ 24°. Taken on 22 March 2020

June – I’d had this roll of expired Ektachrome knocking around for a while and decided to take it alon on a walk around Dale Dyke reservoir. My main camera on the day was the Yashica Mat, but I took along the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta to shoot the slide film. I didn’t really have high hopes for it based on my previous roll of expired E6, but the roll came out pretty nicely. On it was thsi picture of what looks like a tiny palm tree, but is just some bracken. I’m still not sure if it was just stuffed there by a passerby, or if it had taken root atop this piece of wood. I’m erring to the former though – those rocks look distictly “placed”.

The world's smallest palm tree

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektachrome E200S (expired 2003). Lab developed. Taken on 22 June 2020

July – I took a drive out to North Leverton windmill, a location I’d not visited before and which (until I did a search for “windmills” online) I didn’t know existed despite having driven a road only a mile or two away on multiple occasions. I took a number of close shots of the building, but this one from a neighbouring field is my favourite, I think.

Windmill and fence

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 7mins 45 secs @ 22.5°. Taken on 25 July 2020

August – This replica of the classic Ford Gran Torino from 70s TV classic, Starsky & Hutch, was parked in the market square of Chesterfield when I went for a wander around back in august. I’d just started using the Grain2Pixel plug-in to convert my colour negatives at this time, and it made a great job of this Kodak Gold.

Starsky & Hutch Gran Torino

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Kodak Gold 200. Lab developed. Taken on 31 August 2020

September – Another month, another roll of expired slide film. Ektachrome again, but a different emulsion this time. I was enamoured by the colours I got from this roll – a subtle, pastel, Portra-like set of tones. It’s often said that flat blue skies do a photo no favours, but in this case I like the look very much. There’s a subtle graduation that works well against the light brown bricks of the building.

Tarmac confluence

Yashica Mat 124G & Kodak Ektachrome 100 EPN (expired 2008). Lab developed. Taken on 14 September 2020

October – Yet more expired film – you might think it was all I shot! I made quite a lot of autumnal shots this year but this stands out as a strong favourite. It was made in the Limb Valley on the outskirts of Sheffield on a day where I was testing both the expired film AND my recently acquired 50mm f/2.8 MC Zenzanon lens. Both performed at and above expectations. I nearly didn’t go out on the day either. I’m glad I did!

Autum in the Limb Valley

Bronica ETRSi & Fujifilm Superia 100 (expired 2008). Lab developed. Taken on 28 October 2020

November – A beautiful foggy morning in early november saw me out with the Bronica and the 50mm lens again. I pushed the HP5+ a couple of stops to give me some extra versatility in the dim light and was very happy with the results. I made several photos of trees in a small plantation (immediately behind me in this shot), but this frame showing the river disappearing into the mist with a stand of teazels in the foreground is the one I’ve picked.

Foggy Rother

Bronica ETRSi & Ilford HP5+ (@1600asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 13mins @ 20°. Taken on 7 November 2020

December – The biggest surprise of the year, photographically, was the set of results I got from this little Fuji point-and-shoot. I’ve mentioned this before, but it was a car-boot sale find and cost me just £1. The roll of film from which this frame is taken was already in the camera when I bought it. I wondered if it might be partially exposed, but it turned out to be unused apart from a few fogged frames at the beginning, and this shot was made on a beautifully lit morning early this month at Rother Valley Country Park. Who needs expensive cameras!

Swan and willow

Fujifil DL-270 Zoom Super & Kodak Colorplus. Lab developed. Taken on 4 December 2020

So there you go. Twelve favourite shots from each month of 2020. I wish a very Happy New Year to you all!