35mm · Film photography · Photography

Slide film blues

There’s an amazing richness to be had photographing blue skies on colour reversal film. Just look at those lapis tones in the sky above Hooton Pagnel church in this picture. There’s a tad of vignetting added by the Sure Shot Supreme’s lens which adds some even deeper tones to the corners.

Into the blue

Canon Sure Shot Supreme. Fujichrome Provia 100 (expiry unknown). Lab developed. Home scanned.

Taken 5 Feb 2023.

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography


Apologies for the somewhat curtailed post yesterday. I wasn’t a happy man.

Following a pleasant day out at Newark Air Museum on Friday, I set about developing four of the large format photographs I’d shot. After the process was complete and I saw the images as I hung them to dry I was met with immediate disappontment. There were significant faults on the photographs, taking two seperate forms.

Firstly, the scenes I’d been careful to compose were all out of kilter. Objects that were perfectly framed or centred were no longer in the positions I’d intended when I made the pictures. I can lay the blame for this on two factors: First, the tripod centre column was not tightened fully, so I think I must’ve caused it to rotate slightly when inserting the film holders. Second, because I was having difficulty getting the film holders fully into place, requiring additional force and exacerbating the problem with the untightened tripod.

Secondly, despite me thinking the issues I’d had previously with light leaks were behind me, they clearly are not. Each shot exhibited problems with light leaks. I think the proble lies with the camera rather than the film holders or my technique as the light leaks are identical on each shot, despite using several different holders. Upon developing the other four sheets today I sufferd the same issue, more light leaks in the same configuration, except these are worse as the HP5+ is more sensitive than the Fomapan 100 used in the original four shots, making the effect much more pronounced.

Obviously this was a huge disappointment, and to say I was unhappy is cutting it light. It was a 70-mile round trip, plus entry costs, added to the spoiled film. The worse part is that it was the first nice day I’ve had for ages when I’ve had chance to go somewhere farther afield with a camera. I don’t get as much time to do this as I’d like so to have the time wasted to a large degree (and that includes two one-hour film developing sessions) is probably the hardest part to bear.

To try and be positive, I did have a nice day at the museum and took time to look at the exhibits without a camera in front of my face all the time. I also had my Sure Shot Supreme with me and shot about half-a-roll of HP5+ with that, so those will hopefully turn out ok, meaning it won’t be a complete bust, photographically speaking.

I’ve looked at the Fomapan 100 shots again to day and have managed to Lightroom / Photoshop a lot of the light-leaks form the shots and, with some cropping, got a few pictures that are probably worth posting. But they’re not the shots I intended. Whether I’ll be able to recover anything from the more severely spoiled HP5+ photos, I don’t know. I haven’t even bothered to scan them yet, such is my disappointent.

The photo below wasn’t a disappointment – this was taken at Hooton Pagnell a couple of months back and is the entrance to the church. It was quite a tricky exposure, but one I’ve been fortunate enough to make a good job of. Sometimes things work out ok, thankfully.

Church entrance

Bronica ETRSi & Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 PE & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins 30 secs @ 20°

Taken 5 February 2023.

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

All Saint’s church, Hooton Pagnell

As I’ve been posting pictures of churches over the past few days, I might as well post another. This one wasn’t shot on 4×5 large format, instead it’s a small-by-comparison 6×45 medium format ratio. Despite the smaller negative, the Bronica ETRSi still produces very nicely detailed photographs, such as this one of All Saint’s church in the village of Hooton Pagnell.

I managed to get out and make more photos today. Amazingly, given my usual poor luck when it comes to the weather, it was a beautiful spring day – all blue skies and (later on) fluffly little cumulus clouds. I had a momentary mini panic this morning when I woke to see the lovely conditions but without having a clue where to go to take advantage of them. In the end I decided to visit Newark Air Museum and take some large format photographs of the old aircraft they have there. I exposed 8 sheets of 4×5 and also managed to finish off a roll of 35mm HP5+ in the Canon Sure Shot Supreme that I had in my coat pocket. I’ll try and develop some of the 4×5 pictures tomorrow all being well.

All Saints church, Hooton Pagnell, South Yorkshire, UK

Bronica ETRSi & Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 PE & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins 30 secs @ 20°

Taken 5 February 2023.

4x5 Large Format · Film photography · Photography

St. Peter’s Church, Thorpe Salvin (including an exciting hidden pigeon challenge!)

Another church, and another named after St. Peter just a couple of days after I posted a photo of its namesake at Elmton.

Quite a difference in architecture between the two buildings though.

When dust-spotting the scan I spotted a lone pigeon hiding in the scene. Can you spot it? You’ll probably need to click through to Flickr to see the full resolution version in order to find it though.

I’m now very much looking forward to the four days off work that the extended Easter weekend will bring. I’m hoping to do some more photography if the weather remains decent.

St. Peter's Church, Thorpe Salvin, UK

Chroma 4×5. Fujinon NW 135mm f/5.6 & Fomapan 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 12 mins @ 20°

Taken 2 April 2023.

35mm · Film photography · Photography

False autumn

There’s a definite autumnal feel to the picture in today’s post, I think, despite it being made in early February.

It’s the colours that do it, lots of browns and oranges here in the buildings, bricks, and boughs.

No-one else around

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400. Lab Developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken 5 February 2023.

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Methodist New Connexion Chapel

This is the Methodist New Connexion Chapel in Sheffield. I’ve photographed the building before and the area – another part of sheffield where new construction is booming – is rapidly changing to something new. Many of the buildings that were present last time I walked past have now vanished to be replaced by blocks of apartments. But this chapel remains.

The building dates back to 1828, built three decades on from the founding of the church by Sheffield man Alexander Kilham after seceding from the Wesleyan Methodists. Early in the 20th century the church would become part of the United Methodist Church.

Methodist New Connexion Chapel

Bronica ETRSi & Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9 mins @ 20°

Taken 5 February 2023.

4x5 Large Format · Film photography · Photography

Continuing the 4×5 journey

Another couple of shots taken this week and then developed today. The good news is that I’m now fully confident that the light leak issues I had before are now resolved. The bad news is that I think I somehow managed to load these two sheets incorrectly. Not in a significant way, but negatives from both sides of the film holder indicate the the sheet wasn’t aligned properly and the photos are wonky as a result. You can see what I mean in this photo of the negs on my lightbox – if you look at the film border you can see how it’s out of whack:

I’m not sure how I managed to do this and, to be honest, I didn’t even realise it was possible! None of the other sheets I’ve loaded have suffered from this problem so I will have to keep an eye on things in the future. Sadly it means that the side-on picture of the church is spoiled as the wonky frame has chopped the top off the church – this is made worse when scanned as the border isn’t included in the scan.

The other image was retrievable though as I’d not framed the subject so tightly. The good news is that these were really just a couple of final test shots to make sure everything was working ok. I think I’ll make sure not to tightly frame my subjects for the time being though, just to be safe.

Here’s the shot that worked ok. If you click through to Flickr you can see that there’s a lot of detail.

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Beighton, South Yorkshire

Chroma 4×5. Fujinon NW 135mm f/5.6 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9 mins @ 20°

Taken 15 February 2023.

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

The other side of the Don

Behind the fence and trees flows the River Don. Across the river stands New Testament Church of God (formerly Holy Trinity Church). The chimney and large brick building to the left of the frame is Aizlewood’s Mill, which I wrote about the other day.

Just across the river

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 PE & Fujifilm Pro 400H. Lab developed. Home scanned and and converted using Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 5 February 2023.

4x5 Large Format · Film photography · Photography

Hitting a 4×5 roadblock

Since taking posession of my Chroma 4×5 camera I’ve exposed 12 sheets of film. Two of those were complete write offs due to, ahem, user error. Some shots have looked good – not necessarily artistically so, but technicaly pleasing (at least given my current level of skill with the camera) – but quite a few have been beset by light leaks. When I developed four sheets the other day I was disappointed to see more light leaks. Two of the shots had significant leaks, the other two less noticeable, but the defect looked very similar to some of the other frames that had suffered similar problems.

My initial though was that there was a problem with one of my film holders, but on sharing the images with some other large format users, they all pointed to the problem being caused by light getting behing the film holder when it was in the camera. One way to test for this is to put a light source inside the camera in a darkened room and see if light can be seen escaping. By doing this I was able to see than no light was getting out behind the film holder but that there was a very fine strip of light visible where the camera back is magnetically attached to the body. The gap appears to be razor thin – a small fraction of a millimetre – but if light is getting out, then light can get in too.

I wondered about trying to finagle a fix – maybe putting strips of tape in the join, or maybe a shaped piece of light seal foam, but then I contacted the guy who manufactures the camera and he very kindly offered to take a look at it and see if he can identify the problem. So I now need to find a sutable carton, pack it up, and get it shipped across to him for a (hopefully!) fix.

So I’ll be shooting smaller formats for now. Not that I was ever going to give up on 135 and 120 in any case.

Here are two of the affected shots from the Chroma. The first one has little impact, but that’s possibly due to the busier nature of the scene. The second shot shows the light leak more noticeably on the left side of the image. Other shots are much more badly affected than these. While I’m disappointed by the light leaks, I can at least see than my ability to get things properly focused with the camera and its movements is improving. Still work to do, but much improved on before. I’m also impressed by just how much detail the 4×5 film can resolve.

Steetley chapel
Steetley chapel

Chroma 4×5. Fujinon NW 135mm f/5.6 & Fomapan 100. Fomadon R09 1+50 9 mins @ 20°

Taken 28 January 2023.