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
Millstone Edge, up above the lower Hope Valley in the Peak District is a location where quarrying for gritstone used to take place, withe the main ourput being the production of millstones. There are numerous signs of this former industry to be found, perhaps most notably in the number of abandoned millstones that litter the hillsides in this whole area of the National Park. Indeed, the emblem of the Peak District National Park is a millstone.
There are other indications of the former industrial activity to be found – there are still holes drilled into rock faces for the placement of never-used explosive charges, and also a number of building remains such as the stone shack featured in today’s blog post.
Quarrying for gritstone at Millstone Edge came to a close in the late 1930s.
Signs of industry Littering the stony crags Above the valley
While out in the Peak District the other week I took a brief wander into the birch trees close to Surprise View to look for potential photos. There are countless pictures to be had, but it’s not always easy to eke them out. I didn’t stay in the arera long and made just three or four photos including the two here today.
The first is of a bird-box affixed to one of the trees. There are a number of these boxes throughout the place, but this one has been damaged somehow – whether by human, animal, or natural forces I do not know. It’s a bit of a fixer-upper now though.
While I was making the photo of the bird-box I could hear the trees creaking in the wind around me, but it was only when I looked up that I noticed the soun was coming from a tree I was stood beneath. It’s trunk was broken partway up and a significant section of the upper part of the tree was swinging in the breeze. I don’t think it was at imminent risk of breaking free and landing on my head but I moved out of the way nontheless.
A broken tree trunk Swinging and creaking above I’m glad it stayed put
Just beside the car-park a wooden signpost points the way to the Surprise View scenic viewpoint at Millstone Edge. The signpost is weathered and host to mossy lichen. The view from the edge is pretty nice, looking down upon the Hope Valley / Derwent Valley area stretching away towards the Great Ridge and the Edale Valley to the north-west, and down towards Grindleford and beyond in the other direction. It can also be extremely windy, with strong gusts being pushed up the valley sides and onto unwitting sightseers (it nearly blew my wooly hat off on the day I made this photo!).
Looking for a view? Well head this way my good man I have a surprise!
The weather was bright and sunny, if somewhat cold, this morning, so I took advantage and headed out for a walk. As I often do, I picked a public footpath on a map and then planned a circular route. Today’s hike started and ended at Aston, a village on the eastern outskirts of Sheffield – a few miles from where I live. It took me through mostly agricultural land with views of Penny Hill wind-farm before heading over to the nearby M1 motorway, crossing the road via a bridge, before heading south and then west back to where I began.
The skies were blue and cloudless, and the light was bright. A few clouds would have been welcomed, but I’m not going to complain – it’s better than a blank slab of grey stratus. I managed to finish off two partially shot rolls of film – some Delta 100 in my OM-2n, and some Colorplus in the Sure Shot Supreme. As per usual, these will land on the blog at some point when I get them developed and scanned, but I have photos from three other rolls currently scanned and unpublished to come before then.
Today’s photo is another from the flyover not far from where I live. I’ve published a few photos of this structure before, including some from underneath like this one. On this occasion I really liked the diagonal shadows cast on the concrete supports.
I’ve mentioned being cornered by a herd of cows close to this location before and yesterday it seems someone was careless and left the gates to the fields open. A video appeared on Facebook showing cows on the road on top of the flyover narrowly avoiding being run over by a police-car last night! Thankfully I don’t think anyone or anycow was injured. I drove over the flyover on my way to Aston this morning and the cows were all down below in the field where they belong.
Adventurous cows Once up on the flyover Caused a commotion
Two photos of the same scene today. The first was made while I ummed-and-ahhed about whether to use a wider lens, only for the train to appear, so that clearly needed to be photographed while the opportunity was there. The second picture was made a minute later with the 50mm switched for the 28mm. I like both shots a lot, but the one with the train pips it, I think.
Distant viaduct Brick-built arches framed by a Willow in the field
Today’s post contains another of those photos that I am drawn to, but which other people probably think is rubbish.
So, if have to try and say what I like about it, it’ll probably be down to several factors: The contrast that the orange filter has given to the scene, particulalrly the clouds. The lead-in line of the fence, plus the tree framing the edge of the shot. The gate. The distant viaduct and pylon. And finally the car, which adds a hint of mystery.
If I have a complaint, it’s that I wish the top of the pylon hadn’t intersected with the bridge. I’m sure I framed it otherwise, but maybe I wobbled upon pressing the shutter.
Anyway, I like it.
Everyday scene But something is attractive And catches my eye
I detailed the events on the day the signal box at Beighton Station was demolished in this post here: The end of an era. At that point I’d not developed the roll of film that I shot when recording the event. So, today, here are the pictures from the weekend of the demolition, plus a photo made a week or so later showing how it now looks.