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

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Campervan thy name is Freedom

Well, it says Freedom on the side anyway. Not sure if that’s unique to this van, or the name of the model. 🙂

Freedom

I like how there’s a subtle drop off in depth of field in these two shots. They weren’t made with the aperture wide open either – I didn’t make a note, but think these might have been at f/5.6 as, while I’d intended to try and reduce the depth of field, the maximum shutter speed of 1/500 sec on the GW690 in combination with 400asa film and a bright day meant this wasn’t possible.

Freedom profile

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

Taken on 20 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

What If?

Today’s photos show the side of the Sheffield Hallam University building. The poem was added in 2007 as part of the “Off the Shelf” literary festival that took place. It was written by Andrew Motion, the British Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009.

Sheffield Hallam University

The poem is partially obscured in both these shots due to the trees and the temporary buildings, but the full piece reads as follows:

What If?

O travellers from somewhere else to here
Rising from Sheffield Station and Sheaf Square
To wander through the labyrinths of air,

Pause now, and let the sight of this sheer cliff
Become a priming-place which lifts you off
To speculate
What if..?
What if..?
What if..?

Cloud shadows drag their hands across the white;
Rain prints the sudden darkness of its weight;
Sun falls and leaves the bleaching evidence of light.

Your thoughts are like this too: as fixed as words
Set down to decorate a blank facade
And yet, as words are too, all soon transferred

To greet and understand what lies ahead –
The city where your dreamling is re-paid,
The lives which wait unseen as yet, unread.

Andrew Motion

Sheffield Hallam University

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

Taken on 20 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Ringinglow Roundhouse

Dating back to the late 18th century, this octagonal building functioned as a toll house and inn when originally constructed, sitting on the Sheffield to Ashby-de-la-Zouch turnpike at Ringinglow on the outskirts of Sheffield. It has also served as a general store and tea room in other times.

If you’re curious as to what the building looks like inside, there is still a listing online from the last time it was on the market here.

Toll house

Fujica GW690 & Shanghai GP3. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10mins @ 24°.

Taken on 23 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

In Lady Canning’s Plantation

This is one of the underexposed frames of Shanghai GP3 that I mentioned a few days ago – the least underexposed of the three and it’s been recovered for the most part in post-processing. The other two shots were also made within the trees of the plantation, so I suspect it was caused by poor metering on my part. The next wrst exposed shot has also recovered enough that I might post it too, but it’s noticably more contrasty than this one. The worst of the bunch is mostly “soot and whitewash” unfortunately.

Somewhere in the plantation

Fujica GW690 & Shanghai GP3. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10mins @ 24°.

Taken on 23 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Christmastime

The small hamlet of West Handley have decorated their phonebox and streetlamp for Christmas as usual. Santa seems to be re-purposed for various tasks as required, having had the face of previous UK prime minister, Theresa May in protest of Brexit on one occasion, and as an anti-fracking protestor on another. There are a number of other Christmas trees and festive decorations along the road that runs past the small group of houses that make up the settlement, and I expect it looks quite nice in the evening, although relatively low key in comparison with some of the extravaganzas of illumination that I’ve seen esewhere.

I’m still getting to grips with the rangefinder patch of the GW690 and have missed focus on Santa in the second shot. More practice needed!

Christmastime
West Handley Santa

Fujica GW690 & Shanghai GP3. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10mins @ 24°.

Taken on 23 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Wooden hut

Another shot from the “getting to know you” phase with my GW690. There will be a few rolls of me getting used to the camera, I think. I developed another roll today – this one some Shanghai GP3 I shot yeterday and a few frames are quite underexposed. I think all but one can be rescued (based on my scans so far), but I’m not sure what went awry. I suspect my metering is to blame though as it was only on a few woodland shots where the exposure issues occured. I sometimes think I should bite the bullet on a proper spot meter to avoid these problems, but those things are not cheap! Anyway, some of the GP3 shots will be up here soon.

This shot from my first roll of B&W through the camera isn’t too bad I don’t think – it’s pretty contrasty, but the scene was a mixture of shadowed areas punctuated by bright highlights, so it’s to be expected.

Shed

Fujica GW690 & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8mins @ 20°.

Taken on 20 December 2020