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.


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

Rural transport and the making of memories

Yep, it’s a bus stop. It’s quite a nice stone-built one though, and it’s in a beautiful location.

This is one of those photos that I like without it being of a traditionally photogenic subject. A bus stop is mundane, but this one looks like some sort of miniature bothy sat on a wide grass verge beside a country road.

I like the way the telephone wires lead out of the scene to destinations unknown.

I like the white laundry blowing on the washing line as it reminds me of the freshness in the air on the day I made the photograph.

I sometimes wonder how much a photograph engages it’s creator because it triggers memories? For other people, the stories need to be created. For me it brings the day I visited this place back to the front of my mind, and reminds me of the other things that happened on the day: How I was cross that it was cloudy on the morning I left the house, despite the weather forecast promising otherwise; how my mood lightened as the sun began to break through the cloud cover; remembering a long-ago school trip to one of the villages I passed; thinking my little car might struggle to carry my weight up a very steep hill; how myself and another walker struggled to follow the footpath (and he climbed a dry-stone wall and nearly did himself an injury on some barbed wire; how a man videoing Magpie Mine asked me if I would let him record my thoughts (I did); waiting ten minutes for clouds to move across the sky and balance out one of my compositions…

Maybe not a thousand words, but it’s not the half of what this picture says to me either.

Country bus stop

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Ilford Delta 400.

Taken on 16 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The size of a tree

I took these two photographs on my way back to the car after visiting Magpie Mine back in March. The light in the village here was lovely and I finished the roll of Delta 400 that was in my (somewhat tempremental – it sometimes decides that it’s won’t fire, until suddenly springing back into life a few minutes later) Sure Shot Supreme making photographs of some of the scenes.

I didn’t really pay heed at the time, but on seeing the scan of this first image it really brought home to me just how big trees can grow in comparison with their surroundings. This one towers above the house it stands beside and I wonder which of the two came first?

Giving trees a sense of scale

It’s not really a tall tree in the scheme of things either, there are much larger ones to be found – including true titans such as the giant sequoia’s that grow in the western US. I think that this one is a sycamore (judging by the texture of the bark at least), but it’s very possible that I’m wrong. There was a time when I was younger that, in true boy-scout fashion, I could readily identify a whole range of trees from their shapes, leaves, fruit, bark etc., but it’s a skill that has faded over time. I still know the obvious ones – oaks, chestnuts, maples – and I would recognise sycamores from their leaves and seeds – but I’m not sure I’d know an ash from a birch these days without looking it up. I have a book of British flora and fauna, so maybe I’ll see if I can refresh my knowledge.

Scenes that catch your eye

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Ilford Delta 400.

Taken on 16 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Developing, scanning and remembering a trip in the countryside

I’ve remained mostly housebound today, with the exception of a quick trip to the local shops for some food and other essentials – and as my wife was with me, that was in the car rather than walking it there as I usually do these days. I was amused to see that the car parked beside ours had been converted into an “RV”. I’ve seen plenty of vans that have been converted, but this was a family estate car that had a cooker, cupboard and fridge, along with electrical sockets fitted in the rear. It looked like a fairly professional job had been done, but I can only image the amount of back-twisting maneouvering that would be required to carry out tasks in a space maybe three feet wide by three feet high!

I spent the rest of the day doing some other film-related tasks.

Firstly, developing a roll of Delta 400 that I finished shooting about a week ago. The process went smoothly and the negatives look good (although I haven’t scanned them yet). Some of them do look like they have noticeable dust on them though, which hasn’t happened before, so I might have issues when I do get around to scanning them.

I also scanned a roll of Fomapan 100 that I shot during my trip to Magpie Mine a little while before the country entered lockdown. The shots on that roll look quite nice, and I will post some here later in the week. The camera I used for the roll, my Yashica Mat 124G, has developed some haze on the taking lens and is currently away for a service, but the shots on this roll aren’t, for the most part, showing any signs that they’ve been affected.

Today’s photo was taken on the same day as visiting the mine as I walked back to where I’d parked my car.

A place in the country

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Ilford Delta 400.

Taken on 16 March 2020