Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Vintage sidings

This is the railway station at Elsecar Heritage Centre. It forms the departure point for trains running on the Elsecar Heritage Railway, the only heritage line in South Yorkshire. At this time of the year the line runs “Santa Specials” where you are able to enjoy a trip on a train (consisting of vintage carriages usually pulled by steam locomotive) and the children are visited by Santa who gives them all presents during the journey (adults get a hot-chocolate or a mulled wine). While my own children are too old for such things now, I have fond memories of taking them on these trips when they were younger.

There was no sign of the steam loco on the day I took this and the station itself was closed, so this photo was taken through the gates at the level crossing just beyond the station. Fog and mist always adds a wonderful quality to photos, I think.

I took an almost identically composed picture with the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta just before this one. That’s a nice photograph too and much sharper due to the Zeiss glass, but I think the Holga shot just pips it to the post. Maybe because it’s more contrasty – the Holga’s single shutter speed and limited aperture control largely dictates the final exposure of the image, and I think this slightly darker one wins out in that respect. The Holga’s vignetting and soft edge focus also works very well to draw your eye into the frame, which is often an attractive compositional feature.

FILM - Vintage sidings

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 30 November 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

At the edge of the reservoir

This photo was taken shortly before the picture of the flying gulls that I posted yesterday. It’s one of several I took (this one and yesterday’s with the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta, and the others with the Holga 120N).

There were a significant number of birds present. Most of them were out on the water as I approached, but they’re obviously used to being fed by people as, as soon as I appeared, the whole lot of them swam or flew straight to the shoreline and right up to my feet. They then all flew away suddenly in a cacophany of flapping wings when a lady with a dog turned up. As soon as they saw she had a big container of food for them they soon came back though, completely ignoring the dog.

I nearly had a mishap while taking these. There was a “No Swimming signpost that I thought might make a nice image, but the muddy floor was extremely slick underfoot and I almost went down on my back when my feet slipped. In the photo, the floor looks like a gravel surface, but this is misleading – it’s actually a thin layer of slippery mud with leaves dotted through it. Thankfully, my ninja-like reflexes saved the day.* 🙂

Both this and yesterdays photo both managed to find their way into Flickr Explore this morning, although the one with the flying gulls dropped from the list later on.

FILM - Reservoir's edge

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 30 November 2019

* Ninja-like reflexes = lumbering middle-aged bloke who got lucky this time.

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Autumn bandstand

I visited the town of Barnsley on Saturday. There are three photo exhibitions currently on show at the Barnsley Civic that I wanted to see. The one that attracted me initially was Broth Tarn, a collection of gritty northern street photography by Sean O’Connell. It was featured in The Guardian newspaper recently and looked to be right up my street. O’Connell has an Instagram feed that features his work here.

The other exhibitions were Barnsley Markets 1982 – 1987 featuring photographs by Harry Brooks taken in the 1980s of, you guesed it, Barnsley Markets, and North: Fashioning Identity  which explores nothern identity and fashion which features work by many photographers, including Peter Mitchel and John Bulmer. While the latter exhibition wasn’t my prime reason for the visit, I very much enjoyed the experience (and took a few photos while exploring the photos and displays).

While I’ll likely be publishing some of these photos, this is pretext to today’s pictures which were taken later in the day when I stopped off at Elsecar Heritage Centre on my journey home. By this time, despite the lovely early morning sunlight at the start of my trip, a thick fog had descended across the entire region, and fog’s not something I like to miss if I get the chance, so I set off to get some more images before I headed home.

Across from the heritage centre is a park and Elsecar Reservoir, and in the park is a bandstand. I loved the way it looked in the fog, backed by misty skeletal trees and flanked by empty benches. I’m a Stephen King fan, and the scene evoked the bandstand in the fictional town of Castle Rock where a terrible event takes place in the novel The Dead Zone.

As well as the Zeiss, I also had the Holga with me and took further pictures with that, so they might turn up in a post in the coming days too.

FILM - Castle Rock evoked

FILM - Late autumn atmosphere

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 30 November 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Padley Gorge

Padley Gorge is a steep sided wooded valley situated in the north east of the Peak District national park, not far from nearby Sheffield. The sides of the gorge are packed with interesting twisty trees and the ground is littered by gritstone boulders of all sizes, many of which are covered by moss and lichens. Burbage Brook runs down the middle of the valley, carrying runoff from the moorland above. It really is a beautiful place.

When I visited last weekend we’d had a considerable amount of rainfall over the preceding weeks and the brook was in spate. It’s always nice to see, even when the flow is gentle, but when the water is a torrent it’s very impresive indeed.

Despite the somewhat grim weather meaning I had to keep putting my (non-weather-sealed) cameras back in the bag at frequent intervals, I had a really nice time walking to the bottom of the gorge – where there’s an excellent cafe the does a great job of filling the bellies of passing hikers – and then back up to the top where I’d parked my car.

FILM - Beautiful Padley Gorge

FILM - Burbage on Velvia

FILM - Twisty-turny

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 & Fujifilm Velvia 50.

Taken on 23 October 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Mossy topped rock

I shot my first (ever) roll of Velvia last weekend, and today’s picture is the first of them that I’m posting. It’s a fairly simple shot of some autumnal leaves atop a mossy rock.

I underexposed most of the shots as I wanted to try and get nicely saturated colours, and they’re definitely there on the transparencies. Scanning them satisfactorily on my Epson V550 flatbed has taken some work though and they’ve needed quite a bit of Lightroom faffery to get them close to looking like the originals.

I think part of this is down to shooting it in somewhat gloomy conditions – I think I’ll try shooting something in better (or at least sunny) weather next time. I also noticed that a number of photos are a little soft. I have a feeling that this is down to the longer shutter speeds that I needed. Although I was using a tripod, I have a feeling that I ought to have made use of the mirror lock-up switch for these to prevent vibrations.

Oh well, I’ll try that next time.

FILM - Punk rock

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 & Fujifilm Velvia 50.

Taken on 23 October 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

A walk in Whitwell Woods

The weather has been typically November-ish of late which, for the UK, means grey, wet and somewhat miserable. I’ve got several rolls of slide film with “Autumn” written all over them, but I’m starting to think that it’s going to be a somwhat lacklustre year for the colour. We’re in a situation (or at least we are in the part of the country where I live) where many of the trees have already turned and lost their leaves, while others are still largely green.

Despite this, there was a short break in the grey weather on Sunday, so I took a trip out to Whitwell Woods to see if there was anything to be seen and photographed. It was my first trip out with the Bronica in a few months (I think only the third time I’ve shot it, for that matter), and the first time shooting it without the metered prism and speed-winder / grip. As I took a tripod and lightmeter with me I didn’t envisage this being an issue, and it wasn’t.

That being said, my slight unfamiliarity with the camera resulted in my wasting three shots at the start of the roll, and for a couple of shots where I decided to open the 75mm lens to it’s widest f/2.8 aperture, largely missed focus. I’m not sure why this was as, although the depth of focus is pretty narrow at this aperture – particularly when the subject is close to the lens – I was confident that it was in focus in the viewfinder (with a split-prism screen). I think I might set up a test shot in a controlled environment to see if it was user error, or something else.

The woods themselves were very pleasant to walk through, although the paths were a bit squishy, and here are a few pictures.

FILM - Whitwell autumn

FILM - Lost in a forest all alone

FILM - Shattered

FILM - Autumn bokeh

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 & Fujifilm Provia 100.

Taken on 3 November 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pumpkins and leaves

I know I posted a shot of some pumpkins a few days back, but it actually IS Hallowe’en today, so I don’t think another one will hurt. Plus there’s a bonus shot of some colourful leaves (a potential candidate for a nice, difficult jigsaw puzzle perhaps). 🙂

Both these were shot on a roll of Fuji Superia 100 which expired in 2007. I’m pretty happy with the results – I shot it at 64asa. A good job really, as I bought a bunch of it in from someone and have another nineteen rolls in the freezer.

FILM - It's Hallowe'en!

FILM - The colours of autumn

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Fuji Superia 100 (expired 2007).

Taken on 17 October 2017