35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #10

A slightly larger selection of photographs today made up of most of my remaining pandemic-related pictures. I have a few others, but I’m not sure if they’re worth posting or not.

As retail opens up and the lockdown measures ease, there might be opportunities to make more photographs relating to the situation (and if the whole thing goes belly-up, there might be a whole bunch of new lockdown pictures too!), but for now this is the last of what I have to show.

The photos were made over three seperate outings, using two different cameras (and film stocks). The first three follow on directly from the trig point images I posted yesterday, being made on the same walk. The first shows the KFC restaurant at the local retail park. This place would normally be full of cars at the time I walked past, but on this day is was completely deserted. I think it may have re-opened for drive-through sales now but on this day it was shut. The McDonald’s to the right of the image was similarly closed (although it was part way through renovation as the lockdown took effect, so won’t reopen until that is complete anyway). There’s a Pizza Hut off the edge of the frame to the left too, but that was also closed. Probably good for people’s cardiovascular systems though.

Empty at the chicken place

After walking past the KFC I dropped down to the shopping mall to get some items from Sainsbury’s. The usual socially-distanced queue was in effect and took me past these signs on the store window close to the entrance. The rightmost sign is for the Big Night In, a television special made by the BBC where the majority of the performances came from the act’s own homes. You can just make out the ghostly reflections of other socially-distanced shoppers in the window too.

Pandemic scenes - Please queue here

Walking home I passed by a local pub restaurant, closed up since before the lockdown started. Like many similar venues, the noticeboard features a thank you message to NHS and other key workers.

Pandemic scenes - Thank you

This next photo was taken from practically the same spot as the second picture in this sequence, but on a different day. It shows the supermarket’s promotion of technology to make it easier for people to avoid contact with others while in the store.

Pandemic scenes - Stop the spread

And finally, this is one of the children’s play areas at Rother Valley Country Park, the gates taped up, warning notices applied, and fastened shut with plastic cable ties.

Pandemic scenes - No dogs, no children, no-one

Shots 1-3. Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 25 April 2020

Shots 4-5. Pentax P30T, Rikenon 50mm f/2 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 April & 2 May 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #9

The British Isles is dotted with triangulation pillars. These “Trig points” were placed by the Ordnance Survey as a means of triangulating locations when mapping the country back in the 1930s. They can be found all over the country and are generally marked on Ordnance Survey maps (certainly the 1:25,000 scale Explorer maps at least).

Todays post shows a trig point a mile or so from where I live. I’ve known it was there for a long time, but had never walked up to it before this occasion. While the pillar is the usual concrete obelisk, this one has a significant number of rocks, stones and pebbles deposited around it’s base, many of them decorated with pictures and messages.

Pandemic scenes - Trig point

During the Covid-19 pandemic many of these messages are in support of the NHS and frontline workers. Some of them are brightly coloured and this was an occasion where colour film might have been a more suitable choice.

Pandemic scenes - Trig point leavings

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 25 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #8

I think that this little run of pandemic-related photographs might be coming to an end shortly. I have a few more yet to post but, as it feels that the country is pretty much out of lockdown now following the latest set of relaxation measures on the existing rules, I’m not sure that I will take many more. Hopefully my fears that this easing of the lockdown are misjudged and that I’m not going to be back posting a whole new set of pictures from lockdown phase 2 in a couple of months time. Having seen pictures of huge crowds of people flocking to the usual beaches and beauty spots to enjoy the good weather in the news today though, I won’t hold my breath.

A couple of photgraphs from the local kid’s park posted here today. I’ve shown some from here previously, but these tie quite nicely into the news that competitive sport is being allowed in the UK from 1 June. This will have to take place behind “closed doors” which means no crowds of spectators will be present at the events for obvious reasons.

Pandemic scenes - no sports

Similarly, people will be able to exercise together in groups of up to six people while observing social distancing measures, meaning that some other recreational team-based sports may now be possible.

Empty pitch

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 20 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #7

One of the significant changes due to the UK lockdown was the closure of non-essential retail. The local shopping mall, which has a large selection of stores, including big-name reatil outlets, a market hall, and a variety of other independent traders, has been largely shut down as a result. The two photographs posted today were made while queueing to get into Wilkinsons, a store permitted to open during lockdown. I think I went in to buy some anti-viral disinfectant wipes.

As the store was operating the now-familiar system of only allowing a limited number of customers inside at any one time, the queue stretched past a number of other, closed, shops, including ToyTown, where a large plastic knight seemed to be guarding against unwanted intruders.

Pandemic scenes - Guarding Toytown

Once inside Wilkinsons, my route through the store took me down the confectionery aisle, where I noticed the locked down pick’n’mix sweets and made the second picture.

These photographs were made almost six weeks ago now and the UK government have announced that non-essential retail can re-open for business (with social distancing precautions in place) on 15 June. Some members of the government’s own advisory council, SAGE, have warned against this (and other loosening of restrictions). The country is still recording 8,000 new infections each day and the R number is hovering perilously close to 1 (if it goes above this it indicates that each infected person is passing on the disease to more than one other person, which means the numbers of infected will increase). My fear is that the loosening of measures is premature and being done for political reasons, not public health, and that we could very well be paying the price for it before long.

Pandemic scenes - Pick & Mix

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 19 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Springtime churchyard

Following on from yesterday’s photograph of the barred church entrance, here are a couple of photos of the churchyard itself.

Churchyard blossom

The light was very nice on the day these were taken and the blossom on the trees glowed in the sunshine. It was an occasion where I really wished I had a roll of nice colour film in the camera. I had Ilford Delta 400 though, so the colours will have to remain in your minds eye.

Churchyard

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #6

This photo was actually taken around six weeks ago but the church still remains closed. Like so many other places, there is the now familiar A4 printed sign on the door alerting visitors to the reasons for closure.

Although the UK government is pressing ahead with removing the restrictions imposed undel lockdown (with an announcement that non-essential retail will be allowed to re-open in the middle of June) there is no information yet on the status of venues that allow people to gather.

The church is not a place I visit often and I don’t think I’ve been inside since my children were at middle school and performed a nativity or harvest festival or somesuch in there. I do enjoy visiting churches though and very much admire the architecture, furnishings, artworks and sense of history that they evoke. This church, The Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Beighton dates back to the 12th century.

A little over ten years ago the pews were removed from the building and replaced with modern seating (and a toilet and kitched were installed). While this gives a great deal more flexibility to the building and means it can be used for a variety of purposes beyond services, it does make it far less interesting inside than it used to be.

Pandemic scenes - Church

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Routine stuff

A long day at work today so we decided to have takeaway for tea – the plan was to get pizzas delivered, but the local pizza shop has closed for the time being apparently, so I ended up going out for fish and chips. Because of social distancing, the queue stretched from the doorway of the shop (where the staff are taking payment and handing over your order) right around the corner with everyone spaced out at sensible intervals. I was stood queueing for at least twenty minutes.

After eating, I had just enought time to clear away my film developing stuff (I developed a roll of HP5+ at lunchtime and after washing the equipment, I left it to dry on the sink drainer), and then grab a quick shower before calling our eldest, who lives in a different part of the country now.

Apologies that this is somewhat concise, but I’m tired and want to just hit the sofa and veg out. 🙂

Today’s picture is of a corner house that I passed while out exercising a week or so back. It’s a bit of a mundane scen, but the way it was lit and arranged called out to me, so I made a photograph.

House on a corner

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400 – Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins

Taken on 12 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Passing the signal box again

When your movements are limited, as they are during the coronavirus lock-down, you find yourself passing the same places more often than you usually would.

While there are undoubtedly plenty of alternative routes I can take while out exercising, even giving the restricted radius I can stay within on foot, I’ve found myself passing the signal box and level crossing at Beighton Station a number of times in the past week or two. It was only a little over a month ago that I last posted a photograph of the same location in fact.

Perhaps this weekend, when I’ll hopefully have a little more time to spare, I might allow myself a longer walk and venture someplace different for a change.

 

Beighton Station

Today marked the first time that I’ve loaded a roll of 120 film into my developing tank. Mt previous experience consists only of the tow 35mm rolls I’ve loaded and developed (and a few tests with a sacrificial 35mm roll). While both of those produced successful outcomes (today’s photos amongst them), loading the film onto the spirals was not straightforward, with both rolls requiring several attempts in the changing bag.

With that in mind, I was expecting the roll of 120 HP5+ to be a bit of a headache given its broader width and potential to flex more, but I needn’t have worried. It loaded easily and the whole task took me about 5 minutes from putting my hands in the bag. Of course I’ve yet to develop the film, so I maybe shouldn’t count my chickens just yet, but all being well, I’m pretty happy with how it went.

I’ve also changed the blog theme today. I think the new one has slightly larger images as standard, which is good. I’ll see how it goes though, and I might change it back if I decide I’m not keen.

 

Beighton Station closer

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400 – Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins

Taken on 12 April 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #4

One of the things I’ve heard mentioned on more than one occasion since this whole thing started – and particularly since the lock-down began – is that this feels like something from an apocalyptic movie.

In many regards though, things are much the same as normal – especially for someone like myself, who worked from home before this started anyway – the spring weather is nice, the air is clear and, if you venture outside, every day feels like you’ve gotten up early before anyone else is out and about, such is the reduction in traffic and pedestrains. It’s quite pleasant really.

And then you see the signs.

Affixed to cemetery gates, and on the noticeboard at the local park.

“STAY AT HOME” they proclaim. Adherence is a requirement to “protect the NHS and save lives”.

And the seriousness of the situation is re-cemented in the forefront of your mind.

Pandemic scenes - Playgrounds closed

STAY AT HOME

Stay safe and keep well everyone.

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400 – Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins

Taken on 11 & 12 April 2020