The clunky coin-operated telescope – a staple of the seaside resort in the UK (and probably all over the world – there were loads of them dotted around when I visited New York for instance, although were fancy binocular variants). They always seem awkward to use. Big heavy lumps of metal and glass on stiff supports with a limited range of movement. The optics are often full of debris, giving a nostalgic, cataract-ridden view of whatever you manage to point them towards. They probably promise more than they tend to deliver, but I’m happy they’re there, especially when they look beautiful against the blue summer sky as this one does.
Say what can you see? Out on the beach and the seas And up in the skies
The sign for the Fun Park stands out vividly against the lapis-blue of the summer sky. At least when shot with this roll of expired Fuji Sensia. I don’t think it was quite so vivid in reality, but who cares about that?
In summertime skies A bright glory of colour Welcomes visitors
I tend to find seaside arcades a bit of a letdown nowadays. They mostly seem to contain kiddie rides, prize grab games, slot machines, and coin cascades. These things all have their charm, and when my kids were younger, would be a genuine source of amusement (and a drain on my wallet), but something has been missing for a long time now… Videogames.
It may be a coincidence of my age, but the arcades are largely synonymous with, well, arcade games. Even when I was quite small I remember early games like Pong, Boot Hill, Sea Wolf and Night Driver among others. Then I was around for the real emergence of games: Space Invaders, Asteroids, and a little later, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Defender and a whole slew of others. It was heaven.
The arcades would ring with the electonic sounds of the games, flashing attract sequences, and simple 8-bit tunes bleeping, blooping, and crashing as they drew players into this world of light and sound. A single £1 note would, when changed into coins, provide ten games on the machines. Sometimes this would be gone in a fragment of time if you chose difficult games that you were ill-prepared for, but if you knew your stuff you could play for a long time on such meagre funds.
As the years progressed games advanced in graphical and sonic fidelity. Gameplay became more complex. Multi-player experiences appeared (Gauntlet anyone?), and the cabinets gained features. But as the arcades advanced, so did home gaming systems. For a while they trailed their arcade big-brothers, but in the 90s the advent of the Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation finally drew level. Now you could truly have that arcade experience at home (well, except you missed tha cacophony of sound, the atmosphere, the groups of fellow games and all the other joys of being in an arcade).
Sadly, this meant the gradual decline of the video arcade. New machines became ever more specialised with light guns, custom cabinets that the player could sit in to fully experience the action, and all manner of other bells and whistles that were difficult, if not impossible, to recreate in the home. And the pricper play increased. Where once that £1 would have given you ten credits, not you got a single game for the same price, often with no guarantee that it would last any longer. Slowly, the arcade floorspace that had once been given over to rows of individual game cabinets was reclaimed by other attractions.
The heritage of the video arcade still remains, and there are nods to the Space Invaders and Pac-Man games of old, with large attractions that, upon gaining a score, spew tickets that can be exchanged fro prizes and novelties. It’s not the same as getting your name on the top of the score table though.
Please insert a coin To defeat the invaders You puny Earthling
This boatyard in the British seaside town of Bridlington is at the top end on the car-park where we left our car for the day. It was a little difficult to get an angle I was happy with without some of the parked cars encroaching on the scene. I’m not unhappy with this one though and think the three men make the scene work nicely. Once again, lovely colours from expired slide-film too.
Today I’ve been out trying out a new digital camera. As this blog is about my film photography I doubt I’ll post any results from it here, but I might dust off my sister blog (which I haven’t updated in years) for the occasional post. The camera is a Ricoh GR III – a high-end compact camera with a fixed 28mm f/2.8 lens and an APS-C sensor. The camera is tiny (comparable to my Olympus XA3) and so will be easy to take with me on trips, even if I have a film camera with me too. It’ll probably be used mostly for (attempts at!) street photography and other urban architecture type stuff, but who knows? It won’t mark any reduction in my film output, I don’t think.
Blue boats and blue skies Out of their environment Yearning for the seas
While most of the photos I made on my walk around the Tideswell area were black and white images shot on HP5+, I also took a couple of colour photographs too. These were courtesy of my Canon Sure Shot Supreme, which I’d tossed into my coat pocket before I’d left the house. I kinda wished I hadn’t taken it along as it continually banged, worryingly and annoyingly, into limestone rocks every time I climbed a stile. Luckily it didn’t seem to take any critical knocks though.
The two photos were shot on a roll of expired Fuji Sensia 100 reversal film. After successfully shooting my previous roll of expired slide film (some Kodak Elite Chrome) with the Sure Shot Supreme, I decided to use it again with the Sensia and shoot it at box speed. As with the Elite Chrome I have some more rolls of this same film so this was essentially a test to see how it fared. Most of the roll was shot over the following couple of days on trips out with my wife, but these two pictures of a farm on the hillside above Miller’s Dale were the first ones I made.
As withe my previous rolls of 35mm expired slide film, I seem to have lucked out with some decent results. Although a little bright in places (the white painted farmhouse was in full sunlight), nothing has been blown out and the colours are pleasing.
More expired slide film To be well tried and tested And prove it still works
I’ve had quite a full and busy weekend, but not much time for any photography. I have finished scanning another roll of 35mm film though, leaving me with just another two rolls yet to scan. This makes a total of six rolls of film (4x36exp 35mm & 2x12exp 120) from which I’ve not published a single image as yet. At least I can relax in the knowledge that I can feed the blog for a few weeks without running out of new photos should I need to. I’ll probably have shot more before that happens though…
Plenty of pictures Waiting in the photo bank Soon to be seen here
Like a Borg Cube descended to Earth, this angular structure sits adjacent to the River Don behind Savile Street. The circular “portholes” and horizontal bands break up what might otherwise be a plain and undistinguished structure. I like the way it looms in the picture both above and below the water.
Angular it stands A monolith by water Blue and grey tower