Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Signage on the trail

The path beneath the bridge in the background of this photo leads to Rother Valley Country Park and the signs in the foreground identify the southern route along the Trans Pennine Trail. As the lockdown continues so I become ever more familiar with this area close to where I live. The next announcement about restrictions is scheduled for Monday when we may find out when some of them may start to be lifted. I’m not expecting a full return to freedom, or even an immediate losening of the rules, but it will be good to have more information at least.

Freedom to exercise
But no more than once a day
Like a gilded cage

Trans Pennine Trail signage

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 8 February 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography


These arches form part of the same bridge I showed in yesterday’s post, just to the south of the metal span. The ground dips down significantly below the arches and I believe that people use it (and the surrounding trails) for mountain biking.

Beneath the arches
Tracks and trails of bicycles
Muddy evidence

Going south

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 1 February 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Below and besides an old bridge

Part of the network of disused and dismantled railway lines that used to run where the Trans Pennine Trail and Rother Valley now reside. This metal bridge is derelict with much of it’s bed missing and it’s brickwork coated with graffiti. It makes for interesting photographs though.

Beneath a disused bridge

I’m unsure of when it was constructed but it appears to have been after 1910 and before 1945 from examining old maps of the area. While I suspect that, from an environmental angle, it left something to be desired, I expect it would have been an impressive and dramatic sight to behold steam locomotives about their business in the area.

Steam locomotives
Steam and smoke filling the air
Passed this way before

Beside a disused bridge

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 1 February 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Stick structures

Over the past few years, when walking in wooded areas, I’ve noticed a number of structures appear. They appear to be rudimentary shelters made from branches, although they probably do little to keep the elements out. I’ve seen them in a number of different places, but have never seen anyone building them which lends them a slightly spooky Blair Witch Project air.

The branches used to build them, im my local area at least, seem to be from woodland management – lots of trees have been trimmed in the last year or so. In a lot of cases these cuttings are left piled up like lumber, perhaps to be collected at a later date, or maybe to form an environment suited to small mammals and invertebrates. Some of the cuttings go on to create these structures though.

I’m sure there’s a perfectly mundane reason for them, but I also kinda like the idea of a miniature Stonehenge / Easter Island type mystery about them.

Who might sleep inside
A home made of drafty sticks
Little pig maybe?

Stick den

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 1 February 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day

The clock depicted in today’s post used to hang on my office wall. There it would faithfully tell the time as I worked. I wear a wristwatch and have accurate clocks on my phoe and computer, but a big analogue clock on the wall is quick and easy to read. It was powered by batteries and had a steady tick which, while going unnoticed by myself, would sometimes be commented on by people on phonecalls (especially my old colleague Ken) who asked if I had a grandfather clock or something!

Even a stopped clock

One day late last year I stretched up my arms while yawning and managed to accidentally nudge the clock off the hook from which it hung on the wall, sending it plummeting to the floor where it shattered into many peices. While the mechanism still worked, the plastic case was pretty much knackered. Amazingly, the glass front of the clock didn’t break.

When I took the clock outside to throw it in the bin I had the sudden bright idea of keeping it, leaving it to the elements besides the bins, where it would weather and mature into a possible future photo opportunity. There was life in it yet!

Just before one, time stopped

So, today’s pictures mark a few attempts at doing so. The clock has attained some level of dirt and grime which take away the sleek sheen of plastic that it had before. I don’t think these are the best photos I might achieve – they were a bit of a spur of the moment thing – but the clock isn’t going anywhere just yet and, like a fine wine, it will continue to mature with the passing of time (pun intended). 🙂

Tick-tock clock no more
Moved to a higher purpose
To be photographed

As time runs out

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 1 February 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Atop the Eagle Stone

I’m jumping back in time by a year or so for today’s photo. I’m on the cusp of scanning and uploading some recent images that will likely form tomorrow’s post, but until I get that done I’ll dip into the archive. Hopefully it’s not a shot I’ve published before (I don’t think it is).

It depicts the Eagle Stone, a large boulder that stands alone above Baslow Edge in the Peak District. A footpath passes closely by and it no doubt gets lots of attention, but on this day at the start of the year, the temperature was cold and the wind was blowing gustily – especially along the nearby crags – and there were not many folks about.

As I approached the stone I saw a small group of people near its base. Then, as I got closer, a man appeared on its top. He first lay on his back and took a selfie, before calling his girlfriend to talk about where he was. Then, after taking a drink and standing to survey his surroundings, he clambered back down the edge of the rock, jumping down the last six feet or so (my less supple physique gave an internal groan as I watched this happen, imagining the damage it might have done were it attempted by me!). The other people with him were, I believe, his parents and a sibling, and I passed a few comments before they moved on and I made some more photos of the rock sans human presence.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the main tolls the current lockdown is having on me personally is the loss of freedom to roam, and I look forward greatly to the day when I can visit places such as the Eagle Stone once again.

Above Baslow Edge
A stone stands stark on the land
A challenge is set

FILM - Eagle Stone refreshments

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford Delta 400.

Taken on 4 January 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Bridge ends

A couple of photos today showing two ends of the same bridge. I’d like to say what these brick structures are officially called but Googling didn’t turn anything up other than “parapet” and that doesn’t feel right. The bridge in question is brick-built, but the edges of the deck are metal railings rather than a completely formed of bricks.

Whatever they might be called, I liked the way they looked in the light.

Names of things unknown
I know there must be a term
But it’s out of reach

Bridge end
Another bridge end

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 21 January 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A walk down the Trans Pennine Trail

I’ve got a couple of days off work, making for a long weekend. I’d decided long in advance that I would use these two extra days to take a walk or, more specifically, a long walk. Due to the current lockdown restrictions, I’m still limited in where and how I can travel, but local exercise is permitted so I decided to go for a hike along the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) on the stretch that heads south to Chesterfield. My plan was to walk to Renishaw, then head along the road towards Eckington, before cutting through Renishaw Golf Course and looping back to the trail for the return leg.

The weather forecast looked promising, with a hope of some sunshine, but the temperature was still forecast to be low, -1° as I left the house, so I wrapped up warm.

I took the Yashica Mat 124G with me along with three spare rolls of film. I also had a few frames left to shoot with the Canon Sure Shot Supreme that’s been in my coat pocket through the winter, and I took an extra roll of 135 in case I finished the existing one. My light meter and a bottle of water finished off the stuff I carried.

This section of the TPT runs along a disused railway line, crossing a number of bridges (and going beneath a few others), and there’s even the remnants of the disused Killamarsh Central station along the way, complete with the northbound platform and pedestrian footbridge. It also runs alongside the Cuckoo Way for part of it’s length – the Cuckoo Way being the towpath beside the Chesterfield canal. Much of this length of the canal is derelict and clogged with vegetation, but there are still stretches with water, which today was frozen over with a frosting of snow laid on the surface.

To the west of the trail lies the valley where the River Rother snakes it’s way northwards and recent heavy rain has left large swathes of the floodplain submerged in water, again now coated with a layer of ice. One of the footpath spurs down into the valley that I’ve walked before was completely blocked by this floodwater, but I ventured to its edge to make a few photographs.

I managed to shoot shoot two full rolls of 120 through the Yashica (as well as finishing the roll that was already inside when I set out) AND finish the roll of C200 in the Sure Shot. I now have a backlog of four rolls of B&W to develop, plus the roll of 135 colour to send to the lab. You’ll be seeing many of these pictures on the blog shortly (I hope!).

In total I was out of the house for around four hours and (if my phone is to be believed) walked for the best part of nine miles and my legs and feet are now letting me know just how hard they worked… It was a good walk and good to be out of the house in the fresh, bright air for so long. I saw plenty of robins along the TPT, plus a few squirrels re-stocking their winter supplies. I might also have quite a nice picture of a horse as well if I didn’t mess things up somehow.

The only downer was when a roll of film didn’t load properly, necessitating my re-spooling part of it while stood in the middle of a field. I hope I’ve not introduced any light leaks onto the film, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Thanks to the nature of film photography, I can’t show you any shots for the walk until I get them developed and scanned, but they’ll probably start landing in a week or so as I get through my backlog. So, to illustrate a little what the day was like, here’s an older photo from three years ago made during a walk around Linacre reservoirs.

A walk in the woods

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 20 January 2018

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography


This photo was taken atop one of the many disused railway bridges in the area. This particular bridge is a solid brick-built structure (with metal railings), but there a few around that are steel-built that have gradually decayed. Probably not to the extent that they’re likely to collapse (and I’m sure that they must be surveyed, if just for the safety of people walking nearby), but probably enough that I wouldn’t want to walk across them. One bridge (of which I have some, yet to be developed, photos ) has been fenced off to prevent people crossing it, but that one’s definitely in a poor state with most of it’s surface having long since disappeared.

Peeling cracked paint
Atop the old railway bridge
Looks like reptile skin

This corrosion

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 21 January 2021