35mm · Film photography · Photography

Over the M1 and past a barn

This follows on directly from my post a couple of days ago about my walk over the fields near Aston. Another four photos from the middle(ish) section of the walk.

It was dry on the day of the walk and the ground was firm, but there were reminders of how the conditions can change when wet weather has occured, both in the shape of these tractor tracks, and also the signs of footprints in the dried surface of the footpath.

Tracks
Dry ground

Across another field the path splits – turning right and heading south along the western edge of the mortorway, or left where I walked up an incline to the bridge across the M1. Just before crossing the bridge I made a photo of a farm track where it ran through a stand of trees.

Through the trees

Crossing the motorway in the crisp spring light, I made another picture, this time of the road heading north. A little further up is the junction where the M18 splits to take drivers north-east to Doncaster, Robin Hood Airport, and on to Goole. The M1 itself bends westwards to split the gap between Sheffield and Rotherham, crossing the River Don over Tinsley Viaduct close to the Meadowhall shopping mall, before turning back north to Barnsley, Wakefield and Leeds.

M1 North

After crossing the motorway, the footpath cut to the right and south towards a nearby farm. The farm had a large open-sided barn which made opportunity for another couple of pictures.

Barnyard
Open barn

I did make one final photo on this roll of Delta 100 a little further on where a line of poplars framed a nice wooden door and cottage. Sadly the film snapped while loading it onto the spiral and so that frame was lost.

I’ve more photos still to come from this walk, but they’re colour pictures so I’ll post them another day.

A big wooden barn
It’s sides open to the wind
Contents blown away?

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 | G-Zuiko Auto-W 28,, f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 5 April 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Trees and drystone walls part deux

A week ago I posted a couple of photos of trees stood beside a drystone wall at the edge of Padley Gorge. In that post I mentioned that I had another photo made at the same location yet to come, so here it is today.

A gap in the wall
Reveals an excited birch
Waving its branches

Through a gap in the wall

Fujica GW690 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Down a lane and up to the wind farm

A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk along a previously unexplored path. The route took me from Aston, a village / district on the easternmost edge of Sheffield, north over the fields towards Penny Hill Wind Farm, then cuting to the east to cross the M1 motorway on a farm bridge. From there, back towards the south, across the M1 at the busy Junction 31 roundabout, and through Aston again to where I began.

There will be a number of photos to come from this walk in the next few days and I shot both black-and-white and colour images. Today’s post features a quartet of photos from the first half of the walk.

This first image is the lane from Aston down to a farm at the bottom of the dip. In the distance, at middle-left, one of the large wind turbines at Penny Hill can be seen peeking above the trees.

The first leg of the walk

Climbing the hill past the farm up to the top of the ridge brings the turbines into more prominence, as well as a mobile transmitter and another antenna of some sort over on the left of the frame – at night this one can be seen lit with red aircraft warning lights.

Skirting the field

Approaching the mobile tower, the turbines now take prominence along the top of the ridge, although they are still quite some distance away.

Turbines

Heading east across the fields towards the nearby motorway, I turn and make a photo of the path along which I have walked.

The way I came

Out across the fields
Feeling the bite of the air
Crisp and cold and bright

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 | G-Zuiko Auto-W 28,, f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 5 April 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Miner’s strike graffiti

I used to live not too far from Orgreave when I was younger and still lived at home with my parents. Orgreave was the site of a coal mine and coking plant and was a location made infamous when, during the 1984-84 UK miner’s strike, it was the site of clashes betweek striking miners and police – an event that bacame known as the Battle of Orgreave.

Some of my friends witnessed the events that took place, watching from the vantage point of the railway bridge above where the clashes took place. I missed it all by dint of me being on a week-long school trip.

During the whole period of the miner’s strike, a variety of industial action took place across the coalfields of the UK, and graffiti appeared in support of the striking miners. So it was with some amazement to find a few weeks ago, while out for a walk with my dad, that some of the graffiti I remembered seeing back when I was a teenager is still present and highly legible.

If anyone could be said to be at the head of the conflicting sides during the dispute, then it would have to be Margaret Thatcher, then UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party – also known a The Tories – for the government, and Arthur Scargill, leader of the powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It is these opposing forces celebrated and denounced in graffiti form here.

I’m not sure what paint was used, but it has certainly stood the test of time!

Back when we were young
Youthful adventures happened
In places like this

Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti

Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 4 April 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

New Topographics

In 1975 an exhibition named New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape was held in the International Museum of Photography in New York City. It featured works by a number of photographers – the Americans Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, Nicholas Nixon, John Schott, Stephen Shore, and Henry Wessel, Jr., and the German couple Bernd and Hilla Becher. Each photographer exhibited 10 photographs.

New homes

New Topographics presented a different way of photographing landscapes, eschewing the traditional natural environments and instead presenting images of scenes with a clear human footprint, such as industry, suburbia, gas stations, parking lots and the like.

New Topographics

While I only came across the term in recent years, and at no point set out to be a “new topographer”, it’s clear that many of my photographs fall into the style. I’ve no doubt found influence in the works of photographers who were in turn influenced by the works of the artists presented in the original exhibition, although of the ten, I only have photobooks by Stephen Shore (though there are undoubtedly works by the others collected in other books in my collection).

It’s a style that doesn’t appeal to all. For many, the subjects of such photographs are ruinous blots on the landscape, detracting and imposing on the traditional bucolic scenes more often considered as landscape photography. But I have a place in my heart for both.

Grass fields and blue lakes
Overlooked by new homes
It was once a mine

Power to the people

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 4 April 2021

Uncategorized

Spooky Gang

“Spooky Gang” reads this partially complete graffiti on a concrete barrier beside the River Rother. In the background, up on the hill, Treeton church looks down upon the scene.

Down by the river
On concrete blocks is written
Spooky graffiti

Spooky Gang

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 4 April 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Boulder

Adjacent to Owler tor stand this lone boulder. I’m not sure if it it has a name, even a local one not on maps, but it’s quite a distinctive lump of gritstone.

Near Owler Tor

The crack / groove angled around its midriff is quite striking and can produce the impression of faces in the stone depending on where you stand and the angle of the light.

Near Owler Tor

In this final image there is a strange beady-eyed visage at the bottom left corner of the rock. Or at least there is to my eyes.

Pareidolia
Seeing faces in objects
That are not alive

Near Owler Tor

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Owler Tor

Owler Tor stands a mere stone’s throw from Surprise View carpark. Unlike its namesake Over Owler Tor which sits up on the hillside in the opposite direction, Owler Tor is accessed by simply crossing the road, passing through a wooden gate, and then walking to the nearby boulders.

On nice days and, especially, weekends it’s difficult to get a photograph that doesnt have at least one person in the frame. The main part of the tor is easily climbed and there are generally groups of people taking in the view and grabbing selfies from the summit. There were a few people around when I made the shot featured here today, but patience, timing, and that old standby – the awkward photographer’s stance – allowed me to keep them out of the frame.

Climbing Owler Tor
An irresistable draw
For its visitors

Owler Tor

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Trees and drystone walls

Two photos of scenes only a stones-throw apart – up on the western edge of Padley Gorge.

Lone pine

There’s at least one more photo of this same wall to come in a future post, but that one was made with the GW690 where these are born of the OM-2n.

How many rocks are here?
Hundreds, though across the land
There are millions

Drystone wall

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Driven to abstraction

As I type this it’s after 11pm here. I normally write these blog posts much earlier but today got waylaid trying to successfully scan some Portra 160 negatives. I thought I had a good system in place for getting the colours how I wanted them, but somewhwere along the line that particular train has left the tracks, and my scans looked like crap.

My process has been to scan as a linear tiff file and then invert using the Grain2Pixel plugin in Photoshop but today, for some reason , it’s made the colours look horrible on the frames I’ve scanned so far. So, after messing around for a while, I’ve resorted to EpsonScan of all things. While I use this Epson software very successfully for my B&W medium format scans, I’ve never been too happy with the results for colour photos. Today, however, it seems to have made the best job so far.

I found this blog post by Colton Allen about scanning colour negatives with EpsonScan that has proven extremely useful and given me some pretty decent results. If I can figure out the issue with Grain2Pixel I’ll resume using that (and will use it on a roll of Colorplus I’ve yet to scan – but that’s 135 format and will be scanned with my Plustek, so a whole different ball game anyway), but for now I’ll use EpsonScan for this roll

I’ll post the Portra photos in an upcoming post, but today no colour faffing is required for this black-and-white abstract image of a birch tree reflected in a water.

Wibbly wobbly tree
Gelatinous in water
Shimmering beneath

Reflected birch

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021