35mm · Film photography · Photography

The smallest camera I own

A few shots today from my new (to me) Olympus XA3 which I acquired a month ago. I’ve shot three rolls with it so far and the results from each have been pretty impressive. It’s a low-frills camera, but it makes up for it with a sharp lens and tiny form factor – a benefit both in its portability and also because the film transport is so short that I’ve gotten 39 shots a roll from it each time!

The photos from this first roll were made on a walk around the edge of the city centre and intended mostly to test the camera for oparating problems / light leaks etc. (of which there are, thankfully, none) so expect a bunch of slightly randon pictures of buildings and anything else that caught my eye on the day in coming posts.

Random city scenes
Just the things that catch my eye
While taking a walk

Graffiti and bike
The old bus garage
The Leadmill

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 16 May 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Miner’s strike graffiti

I used to live not too far from Orgreave when I was younger and still lived at home with my parents. Orgreave was the site of a coal mine and coking plant and was a location made infamous when, during the 1984-84 UK miner’s strike, it was the site of clashes betweek striking miners and police – an event that bacame known as the Battle of Orgreave.

Some of my friends witnessed the events that took place, watching from the vantage point of the railway bridge above where the clashes took place. I missed it all by dint of me being on a week-long school trip.

During the whole period of the miner’s strike, a variety of industial action took place across the coalfields of the UK, and graffiti appeared in support of the striking miners. So it was with some amazement to find a few weeks ago, while out for a walk with my dad, that some of the graffiti I remembered seeing back when I was a teenager is still present and highly legible.

If anyone could be said to be at the head of the conflicting sides during the dispute, then it would have to be Margaret Thatcher, then UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party – also known a The Tories – for the government, and Arthur Scargill, leader of the powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It is these opposing forces celebrated and denounced in graffiti form here.

I’m not sure what paint was used, but it has certainly stood the test of time!

Back when we were young
Youthful adventures happened
In places like this

Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti

Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 4 April 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Street art

It’s too hot to sit at my PC typing this evening, so this will be quick post.

A couple of pieces of street art a stone’s throw from each other – you can see the second piece in the first picture if you look closely.

Fight!

I’m not sure of the artist of the first, but the second is by Phlegm and decorates the rear of the building that housed the now sadly departed Rare & Racy store. It closed because the building was compulsorily purcheased for re-development, but years have passed and not a sign of this has yet appeared.

Phlegm around the back

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Agfa APX100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10.5 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 23 July 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

No cycling. No horses. Up yours. :)

I made this photo back on the 23rd May and posted about the walk I’d taken on the same day. In that post there’s a section about me accidentally going off my planned route and ending up in some private woodland. The tree in today’s photograph was one of the first things I saw when entering.

Clearly some cyclist or horse-rider has taken umbridge with the suggestion that they are not allowed in the woods and had responded with a coarse, but good natured retort. It made me smile and take the time to make the photograph.

I wondered how the Yashica Mat would cope with the light as the bright sun was directly in frame – if partially obscured by branches – and I half expected a lot of lens-flare or loss of contrast in the shot. As it turned out, it’s coped very well and I really like the glow around the disk of the sun as well as the backlit trees in the woodland.

The sunlight was so bright that it’s light crossed over into the next frame on the roll of film!

 

No cycling. No Horses. Up yours -)

Yashica Mat 124G & Shanghai GP3 (expired). Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10 mins @ 24°.

Taken on 23 May 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Bright colours for dark times

It’ll not be too long before my (more) usual posting of black and white photos resumes, but for a while at least I’ll post more of these colourful and saturated Lomography Color Negative shots. It suits the lovely weather we currently have here in the UK and maybe some sunny photos will lift people’s spirits in some small way. Today’s photo is of the gable-end of a row of shops just down the road from Harrison Cameras in Sheffield. I took if from the base of a block of flats just behind – and raised a little above – the building and the light was being reflected back on the scene in an attractive way. I like how the hedge on the left is illuminated such that it mirroes the green bins at the opposite side of the frame.

In today’s COVID-19 update, it would seem that both our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock have tested positive for coronavirus infection. While i don’t wish serious illness upon either of them, it might be a situation that helps to convince some in the country of the seriousness of the situation. At present, while the lock-down is noticeable in the quietness of the streets – particularly at night – there still seems to be a decent amount of activity on the streets.

We’ve been told by the government that we should stay indoors for all but essential reasons: to buy essential shopping; for medical reasons (including provision of care for someone we’re responsible for); to travel to work (but only where this is essential and working from home isn’t an option); and for one period of exercise (such as a walk, run or cycle).

I think some people are using this as an excuse to carry out other pastimes under the guise of exercise – I saw a post from someone on Facebook who had gone into the countryside with not only a camera, but also a drone. While the person may have been safely able to avoid other people, there is always the small chance that something could go wrong – even a simple flat-tyre – which would then require the assistance of others. Taking a local walk with a camera in your pocket would seem a reasonable thing to do (as long as the exercise is the primary goal and you can avoid close contact with others), but driving out to beauty-spots feels a little like taking liberties.

As for us, we will only shop for food on a single occasion each week (although I guess it could be necessary to visit more than a single retailer) – we can manage without certain items if needed, so a single trip to the shops reduces our contact with others. We, thankfully, don’t have any medical requirements that we need to leave home for. My dad is elderly, but fit and active, and my sister still lives at home with him anyway. I work from home, so no need to travel for that, although my wife works in a key role that requires her to travel to her place of work each day still. She drives, so isn’t at risk from others on public transport at least. As for exercise, I have been going out for a walk, but haven’t the past couple of days. We’ve got an exercise bike in the garage (that can now be used again following yesterdays garage tidying activities!), so I’ll use that if required. Whle I can go out for a walk while easily avoiding others, I feel like maybe I shouldn’t unless absolutely necessary, so I’ll see how that goes.

I’ve tidied and cleaned my home-office today. I work in there, but it also houses my PC and scanner that U use for my photos. Hopefully my next scans will not feature constellations of stars across them from all the dust spots! 🙂

Somewhat to my surprise, most of the home-developing stuff I ordered yesterday has already arrived (although I still don’t have a developing tank yet, which is kinda important) so, once I get the final bits and pieces I’ll be in a position to ruin develop my own film. Or at least I will when I’ve finished a roll – my shooting rate seems to have declined a bit this week…

Pink gable

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 1 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Graffiti on the flats

This is the top / southern end of the Park Hill flats – the entire complex was built according to the topography of the city (which, like Rome, is built on seven hills according to local folklore) so that every floor of the multi-storey building was accessible from ground level without the need for stairs or lifts (although there are plenty of those too).

This end of the complex has not yet been reached by the Urban Splash re-generation project that is renovating and re-purposing the flats and other spaces for modern accomodation and businesses and some of the metal panels protecting the ground-floor flats has been used to host colourful graffiti art.

In other news, I’m expecting that the UK is likely to be placed under a much more stringent lock-down soon because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it could be that my photography is limited somewhat (although some house-bound projects can be found I’m sure). I’ve enough photos to keep this blog going each day for months and months, so I have no plans to stop posting, but the supply of recently taken photos might be limited.

Maybe this will be a good time to learn how to develop my own film…

Maisonette graffiti

Samsung Fino 60S & Kodak Colorplus.

Taken on 1 March 2020