Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

An end to autumn’s colour

Ok, maybe not the most autumnal shades here – more a yellow green than fiery shades of red and orange – but it’s probably the last shot from this year’s clutch of seasonal images where the trees still bear foliage. Today, as I type this, most of the leaves have fallen, littering the pavements and roadsides where they’ll release that rich scent of autumn so evokative of this time of year. There are still some late straggling leaves on the limbs of silver birches – some still green in fact – but most trees have revealed the skeletal form of their branches now.

I still have autumnal images yet to come, but they are of the misty, damp, almost monochromatic feel of late autumn as it rolls over into winter.

On an autumn street

Yashica Mat 124G & Lomography Color Negative 100. Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken on 10 October 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Drama from religion

The two photographs today show the former Glossop Road Baptist Church, the first with its steeple rising from between autumnal trees in the back gardens of the stone houses (now mostly owned by the University and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals) on Claremont Place.

Spire

The church is now owned by Performance Venues, a small group who run this and two other venues (the Octagon and Firth Hall) in conjunction with the University of Sheffield. It is now known as the Drama Studio.

Drama studio

Yashica Mat 124G & Lomography Color Negative 100. Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken on 10 October 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Autumn in Weston Park

Early last month, on a bright sunny day, I took a walk around Weston Park, Crookes Vally Park, and the surrounding areas. I took my Yashica Mat 124G loaded with some Lomography Color Negative 100 film, and my Sure Shot Telemax containing some Kodak Gold (the results from which I’ve been posting here over the past week or so).

This was the first time I’ve used the 100asa Lomography Color Negative variant, although I’ve shot several rolls of the 400asa version and liked the results. As is my current process for medium format colour films, these have been home-scanned as linear tiff files with my V550 using Vuescan, and then converted to positives using the free Grain2Pixel Photoshop plug-in. I found that, while the initial conversions looked pretty good, I’ve still had to tweak them to get them looking “right” – or at least as “right” as my own eyes reckon they should be. Grain2Pixel is a very good piece of software, especially given it is free-of-charge, but I do find that I have to remove colour casts sometimes depending on the film I used. The scanner (Epson V550 for medium format / Plustek 8100 for 35mm) can also make a difference too.

Occasionally, certain frames from a roll produce very odd results – oftem at odds with the rest of the shots from the same roll. I tried using the trial version of Negative Lab Pro to compare with the Grain2Pixel results on some of these and it also went slightly crazy – with colour tones looking very odd. All the shots here today were pretty straightforward to deal with though.

Anyway, the three photos today are all from the Lomgraphy 100 roll, shot with the Yashica, and all three made in Weston Park (with the museum visible in the first, the bandstand in the second, and the nearby Univesity Arts Tower in the third). Autum was underway, but the trees still held onto most of their leaves and a good amount of green at this point.

Beneath a maple
Weston Park bandstand
Forever arts

Yashica Mat 124G & Lomography Color Negative 100. Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken on 10 October 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Autumn gold

Three autumnal images, all taken almost a month ago now – once again, where does the time go?!

The first two are in an out-of-town industrial estate. I’d spotted them on the way to where we were going and then made my wife wait in the car while I photographed them on our return. I always carry a compact camera in my coat pocket at this time of year for opportunities such as this. I try to carry one in the warmer months too, but having the need to wear a coat gives better opportunity to carry a pocketable camera.

Autumn maples
Golden

The final photo in today’s post was made on a seperate outing, but was taken on another industrial estate not far from home – I can’t remember if I was out dropping a film off to be developed or visiting the postal sorting office, but it was one of the two.

I have a feeling that my Telemax might have developed a light leak on the lens assembly. It’s displaying minor, but noticeable signs of leakage at one corner of the frame, although easily fixed in Photoshop. It’s similar to, but not as severe as, the leak I had on the Samsung Fino compact I tried a while back. The Telemax is the only camera in my collection (other than my Instax Mini) that I have owned since new – a gift from my parents around 1990-ish. I might have to retire it if the leak persists (although I shan’t get rid of it – I have an attachment to it now).

Fire in the sky

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Kodak Gold 200. Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken on 10 October 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Misty on the wetlands

A couple of photographs serving as a direct follow on from yesterday’s pictures of the flyover – the first taken when I was stood almost beneath it, the second featuring it as a subject.

The misty morning

I wasn’t sure the second would work as it was shot with the sun directly in frame. While there’s a little flaring, the Telemax’s lens has coped admirably though.

Into the sun

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Kodak Gold 200. Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken on 29 September 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Whirlowbrook Hall

On my walk up the Limb Valley last week, the first place I came across was Whirlowbrook Hall. A grand-looking manor house that was built back in 1906. Originally a family home, its grounds were opened to public access in 1951.

The building is now used as a venue for weddings, conferences, and other events.

Whirlowbrook Hall
A seat at the other side of the pond
Autumnal bench

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Fujifilm Superia 100 (expired 2008). Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken on 28 October 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Autumn in the Limb Valley

I took some leave last week in the hope that I would be able to get out an about capturing some autumn colour before the leaves fell, but this was hampered by the pincer movement of a Tier 3 Covid-19 restriction being placed on our county and my old friend, bad weather. The Tier 3 restrictions prevented me leaving the borders of South Yorkshire, but there are still many, many other places I can go make photos within the boundary. It was the dull, rainy weather that was the main anchor on my activities. While I subscribe to the saying: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”, my cameras are sadly not weather sealed so, no matter how suitable my atire may be, the use of vulnerable camera gear forms an Achilles heel.

So, when there was a break in the weather on the Wednesday morning, I decided to make the most of it and set off for the Limb Valley, a wooded area to the south-east of the city that rises into the hills at Ringinglow at the edge of the Peak District. I’ve never walked the valley before and only realised it was ther because I saw some photographs a colleague of my wife had posted. Not having any better plans, it seemed a good place to visit.

Autum in the Limb Valley

I decided that I would use the opportunity to test the newly acquired Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC lens that I’d bought to use with my Bronica ETRSi. I had been looking for a wider-angle lens on and off for a while to complement the 75mm f/2.8 that came with the camera. I missed out on one a few weeks ago when I was outbid at the last moment, so when I saw this one with a buy-it-now option for half the price of the one I missed out on I got in there fast.

Autumn arboreal

The lens was described as having had a lot of use, with some loss of paint on the barrel. It also said that there was some slight haze in the centre of the glass. I examined the photos that were shown on the auction and felt happy with the cosmetic condition – as long as it works properly, I don’t mind a few scrapes here and there. The haze wasn’t very apparent in the photos so I decided to take a chance and clicked the button to make the purchase.

Forest shades

Upos arrival, I can’t really find anything to complain about. The cosmetic wear is nothing serious, and I can’t see any sign of the haze at all, and it hasn’t (that I can see, at least) made its presence felt in the photos I’ve made so far.

Beech glow

I also decided to use the outing to try out some more expired film that I’ve recently picked up – a few rolls of Superia 100 in 120 format. It’s a consumer grade film, but there are precious few options for non-professional colour film for medium format now, so I decided I would take a chance on it. The scans from the negatives tended towards a green cast slightly, but I’ve beebn able to sort that out in Photoshop without any real issues and I’m generally happy with the results for the film.

Woodland bridge

On the whole I’m really happy with the results from this outing. So much so that I moved them up my pile of stuff to scan and publish (I normally do this in a pretty strict chronological order – blame mild OCD or something:)). It means that they get published pretty close to the period of autumn in which ther were produced.

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Fujifilm Superia 100 (expired 2008). Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken on 28 October 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Vintage sidings

This is the railway station at Elsecar Heritage Centre. It forms the departure point for trains running on the Elsecar Heritage Railway, the only heritage line in South Yorkshire. At this time of the year the line runs “Santa Specials” where you are able to enjoy a trip on a train (consisting of vintage carriages usually pulled by steam locomotive) and the children are visited by Santa who gives them all presents during the journey (adults get a hot-chocolate or a mulled wine). While my own children are too old for such things now, I have fond memories of taking them on these trips when they were younger.

There was no sign of the steam loco on the day I took this and the station itself was closed, so this photo was taken through the gates at the level crossing just beyond the station. Fog and mist always adds a wonderful quality to photos, I think.

I took an almost identically composed picture with the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta just before this one. That’s a nice photograph too and much sharper due to the Zeiss glass, but I think the Holga shot just pips it to the post. Maybe because it’s more contrasty – the Holga’s single shutter speed and limited aperture control largely dictates the final exposure of the image, and I think this slightly darker one wins out in that respect. The Holga’s vignetting and soft edge focus also works very well to draw your eye into the frame, which is often an attractive compositional feature.

FILM - Vintage sidings

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 30 November 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

At the edge of the reservoir

This photo was taken shortly before the picture of the flying gulls that I posted yesterday. It’s one of several I took (this one and yesterday’s with the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta, and the others with the Holga 120N).

There were a significant number of birds present. Most of them were out on the water as I approached, but they’re obviously used to being fed by people as, as soon as I appeared, the whole lot of them swam or flew straight to the shoreline and right up to my feet. They then all flew away suddenly in a cacophany of flapping wings when a lady with a dog turned up. As soon as they saw she had a big container of food for them they soon came back though, completely ignoring the dog.

I nearly had a mishap while taking these. There was a “No Swimming signpost that I thought might make a nice image, but the muddy floor was extremely slick underfoot and I almost went down on my back when my feet slipped. In the photo, the floor looks like a gravel surface, but this is misleading – it’s actually a thin layer of slippery mud with leaves dotted through it. Thankfully, my ninja-like reflexes saved the day.* 🙂

Both this and yesterdays photo both managed to find their way into Flickr Explore this morning, although the one with the flying gulls dropped from the list later on.

FILM - Reservoir's edge

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 30 November 2019

* Ninja-like reflexes = lumbering middle-aged bloke who got lucky this time.