35mm · Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Day 365 – Twelve favourite photos from 2019

My initial plan for today’s post was to publish 12 photos that were taken this year but which haven’t featured in the blog, but on second thoughts I’ve decided to take the more traditional route. There might still be some that never appeared here before though – I tend to upload more stuff to Flickr than gets featured here – so aren’t you the lucky ones. 🙂

Today also marks the 365th consecutive blog post of the year – a target I attempted once before but which fell through when other events in my life took precedence. Not every blog was written on the day it was posted – in situations where I’ve been away from home I’ve pre-written blogs and then scheduled them to automatically publish (or made them live from my phone). Because of the way I link my photos from Flickr, I’ve found it’s a complete PITA to try and write and publish from mobile devices.

Anyway… Before I get on to the pictures, I just want to take the time to thank all who’ve viewed, interacted or commented on my blog over the year and to wish everyone a happy new year.

So, the photos…

January – This tree sits on the moors just south of Sheffield and is just a few metres from the roadside. It’s distictive shape made for an easy composition. Sadly the tree has now suffered damage – the last time I passed all that remained was the trunk as the upper branches have been broken off. 😦

FILM - In a lonely place (35mm)

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 AF & Fomapan 400. Taken on 20 January 2019

February – Eyes in the back of his head? One of the tenets of street photography is to be prepared and ready to catch that decisive moment when it occurs. Sadly, this is rarely the case for me and I’ve missed loads of potentially nice shots due to fumbling with the camera. This was one of the times I didn’t.

FILM - He's got eyes in the back of his head

Olympus 35 RC & JCH Streetpan 400. Taken on 15 February 2019

March – Portraiture is not something I have much of an interest in, particularly studio portraits (although I do enjoy looking at environmental portraits), so when an opportunity arose to photograph some models at the local camera club I wasn’t sure whether I’d enjoy it or not. While I can’t say it ignited any desire to take more portraits, I was very pleased with my results, one of which is below. It isn’t prefect (the creased backdrop lets it down a little), but the way the Sigma 105mm lens and the Kodak P3200 rendered the images is lovely.

FILM - WPS Model Session-2

Nikon F80, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS HSM & Kodak Tmax P3200. Taken on 19 March 2019

April – A gate on a public footpath through Edale in the northern Peak District National Park. I think this photo has a certain charm to it, there’s a sense of mystery as to where the path leads and what might be beyond the gate. This is from the penultimate roll of film through my Yashica Mat 124G last year. I shall have to rectify this situation and shoot with the camera again post haste!

FILM - A path near Edale

Yashica Mat 124 G & Fomapan 100. Taken on 20 April 2019

May – During May I visited New York with my family. It’s the second time I’ve visited (and I’d love to return – although I think my wife would prefer somewhere else in the US if we get across the Atlantic again) – I could have spent all day, every day just walking the streets taking photos. It was a family trip though, so I grabbed whatever I could. This is just a view down 7th Avenue after a rain shower, but it screams New York to me.

FILM - 7th Avenue

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Ilford HP5+. Taken on 28 May 2019

June – A box of pre-owned pool balls on a stall at the Sheffield Steam Rally. I think I might have said at the time that colour would have been a more obvious choice here, but I love the contrast given by the HP5+.

FILM - Balls

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 D & Ilford HP5+. Taken on 30 June 2019

July – The beach at Scarborough. My wife and I took a trip to the seaside and I shot a roll-and-a-half of film during the day. This is just a snap of the beach, the people enjoying themselves there, and some yachts in the sea beyond, but it has a nice “Martin Parr” feel to it that I like. It was also an opportunity to test the little Pentax Espio compact that I’d bought for £1 a fortnight before.

FILM - On the beach

Pentax Espio 140M & Fuji Superia 100 (expired 2008). Taken on 13 July 2019

August – Taken at the Lincoln Steam Rally – the first time I’d attended this event, but it was huge and I hope to go again in 2020. I shot four rolls of film on the day, but this Ektar shot of a vintage truck is a favourite. The almost 70-year-old Zeiss Mess-Ikonta continues to impress with it’s superbly sharp lens.

FILM - ERF

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektar. Taken on 17 August 2019

September – A day trip to my childhood seaside haunt: Mablethorpe. It’s a place I’m always drawn back to, even though I’m always slightly disappointed that it hasn’t remained frozen in time as I remember it from when I was a child. Another day where several rolls of film were shot (including three botched rolls through my Holga because I had it set to bulb mode!). I’ve many photos from the day that I like, but this is the one that always springs to mind when I think back.

FILM - Water dragon

Olympus 35 RC & Kodak Portra 400. Taken on 13 September 2019

October – I took a trip to Doncaster racecourse with my dad, and this is one of the photos from the day. The weather was awful, with heavy rain all day, but oftentimes bad weather makes for good photos.

FILM - A day at the races

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 75-150mm f/4 & Ilford HP5+. Taken on 25 October 2019

November – This shot is potentially my favourite of the whole year. The simple but beautiful charms of the Holga coupled with a wonderfully foggy day made for some amazing photographic opportunities.

FILM - The path untaken

Holga 120N & Kodak Tmax 400. Taken on 30 November 2019

December – December is a little difficult as, as I type this, I have three rolls of film waiting to be processed still and there might be a showstopper on there (or possibly not), but this image that I took just before Christmas on a lunchtime walk is definitely worthy of the spot. It’s another Holga 120N image, but cropped to a 4×3 ratio (the bottom of the frame has a river in it, but it didn’t add a lot to the overall image and the landscape crop works much better. The way the Holga renders out-of-focus details is wonderful, and almost impressionistic in style.

FILM - Breaking through

Holga 120N & Kodak Tmax 400. Taken on 18 December 2019

So there you have it. Twelve favourite shots from 2019. As with any list like this it’s subjective, and if I were to do it again tomorrow several of the selections might change, but for now it will do.

One final word – I’ll proof read it later, so apologies in advance for any typos or grammatical goofs. 🙂

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Winter sun

Low winter sunshine is a wonderful thing. It makes scenes you might otherwise walk on past simply glow. This is a relatively ordinary terrace of houses, but the light is gorgeous. It illuminates things with a crisp, warm light and casts relief onto every surface. Lovely.

FILM - emedies

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Fujifilm Superia 100 (expired 2008).

Taken on 5 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

St Peter and St Paul’s

This is St Peter and St Paul’s church in Eckington, NE Derbyshire. I spotted the glorious light falling on it while I walked around getting images of suburbia (see the last two days’ posts for those).

I’m really happy with the way this is lit – the brightly illuminated tower and spire sitting atop the shaded entry, the light and shadow on the left-hand tree, and the lovely greens of the Yew tree – and all topped off by the blue sky and orange/brown fallen leaves.

FILM - St Peter and St Paul's

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Fujifilm Superia 100 (expired 2008).

Taken on 5 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

In suburbia #2

A second trio of shots taken while walking around local suburban areas. The first was taken on the same day as those in yesterday’s post, the others a couple of days later. I’m not sure that these scenes would work under different conditions (although I guess maybe in fog, or at night could be interesting), but the low winter sun (and the long, deep shadows it casts) that we get in these northern latitudes makes things nicely photogenic.

While posting yesterday’s images I had the Pet Shop Boy’s “Suburbia” running through my mind. Today it was “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire.

FILM - In suburbia #4

FILM - In suburbia #5

FILM - In suburbia #6

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Fujifilm Superia 100 (expired 2008).

Taken on 2 & 5 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Record breaker

By the end of today this is likely to be my most viewed photograph on Flickr (in the fifteen years or so that I’ve had an account on there). It managed to get into Explore today and, while I’ve had quite a few photos in Explore before, I think this one is the closest to the top of the page I’ve ever had – it’s the 25th photo in Explore today. It’s far from the highest in terms of favourites though (it has 100 at the time of writing, although that’s still a huge amount compared to what most of my photos get – I usually get 10 to 20 faves on average).

That said, I’m not really someone who seeks faves and likes. I do feel good when I get them, but I don’t take photos for that reason, so it’s not a big deal if they don’t get heaps of attention. I might have mentioned this before, but it always seems to be the case that the photos that I really like, and which I think might deserve special attention, are rarely (if ever) the ones that get into Explore. It always seems to be something slightly random. It’s not to say I don’t think they’re good shots, but they’re not the ones I’d expect to get in there.

EDIT: In the time it’s taken me to write this, it’s now surpassed my previous most viewed image (this one, which had 15,614 views, should you be interested).

FILM - el Periodico

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 17 June 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A man sat below a yellow wall

I guess that today must be “literal blog post title” day or something. In my head, at least.

This is what I assume to be a vacant lot in Barcelona, in the Gothic Quarter. The wall at the rear of the shot certaily has that “not intended for public view”-look about it, all rough concrete and clearly visible lines where the floors once stood.

Someone, however, has decided to paint it a bright yellow. It’s has a mustard tint to it in this Portra 400 photo, although I seem to remember it being more vivid at the time (this could be my brain frazzling out bad memories though). Whatever the case, I thought it was worth a photo, especially with the chap in the chair.

FILM - Below a yellow wall

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 17 June 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Red No. 7

Inside the Maremagnum shopping mall at Barcelona marina were this pair of Ferrari’s. I don’t have a great deal of interest in cars, but they often make for great photographic subject matter and I liked the colour and light so took the picture. It was amusing to see just how many men took selfies or got someone else to take their photo in front of the cars. This included me too, as my wife took a shot of me on her phone. 🙂

FILM - Formula GT

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 18 June 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The look

This photo captures a girl giving a somewhat scathing look at her colleague. Or at least that’s what you would assume looking at the photograph in isolation.

It’s something that we see regularly in the media – particularly the press and news sites that make use of still images – where an image will be chosen to suit the tone of the article in which it is used: a sneaky look on the face of a politician the paper is opposed to; the beaming faces of parents with their healthy new baby; the triumph or despair on the faces of athletes; the shadowedy, unkempt look of someone charged with criminal offences. Each representing just a fraction of a second in that person’s existence, and each picked as being the right image to match the tone of the story being told. How often would another photograph, taken just an instant before or after the one selected change the whole feel of the image?

In my photo below, it looks very much like a dissaproving glance is being given, but the reality of the situation is that these girls were smiling, laughing and apparently getting on like the best of friends. My single captured instant is just out of context. It’s a fairly innocuous example, but it goes to show that, while a picture may paint a thousand words, the slightest movement in time can result in a whole new story being told.

FILM - Red aprons

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 17 June 2019