35mm · Film photography · Photography

Architecture through winter branches

Another photo of the Derbyshire County Council complex at Matlock. There’s a very dark and moody look to the whole set, a combination, I think, of the metering on the XA3 trying to find the right exposure between scenes that consist of dark buildings and trees and much brighter foggy skies, and also my use of this roll of almost 20-years expired Tri-X Pan. Pushing the film a stop (while shooting at the 400asa box speed) to compensate for its age has also increased the contrast and grain. It’s a look I’m not unhappy with though.

Natural and unnatuaral structures

Olympus XA3 & Kodak Tri-X Pan (expired 2003 – shot at box speed and pushed a stop in development). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°

Taken on 18 December 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Farewell Clumber Park

It’s the last of this batch of photos made at Clumber Park in today’s blog post. “Phew“, I hear you say.

Today was my first day of leave for the Christmas period and my wife and I went out for lunch. We visited Thorpe Salvin, a small village to the east of Sheffield where a pub / restaurant named The Parish Oven is located.

I’ve been to Thorpe Salvin on a number of occasions as it’s a good place to make photos, being within a nice walking distance of the Chesterfield Canal and the Cuckoo Way footpath that runs along it’s length, but I don’t recall visiting the pub before (although my wife tells me that we did once, back when our eldest was young).

The pub is nice, but I think they were having problems with the heating as it was freezing inside and a lot of the other diners all had their coats on – something we similarly decided was a good course of action. The waiter plugged a small fan heater in for us though which took the edge off the chill, and once the food arived we were warm enough.

We both chose the same item from the menu, a chicken, chorizo, and leek pie, which was very good and came with some extremely tasty thick-cut chips and a small pot of mushy peas. When we paid the bill we were presented with a mystery envelope containing a discount voucher for our next meal – assuming we visit again in January. The envelope can’t be opened beforehand to reveal the discount awarded but it will be at least 10%, and can be as much as 100% (if we are very lucky…).

So, the last photo from this roll today and it’s The Old Parsonage again. Something different tomorrow, I promise.

The Old Parsonage frontage

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 6 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

The Old Parsonage

I’m really eking out the photos from this roll I shot at Clumber Park. This is the same building that featured in yesterday’s post and also this one from the 16th December. I do have another roll ready to scan now though, and another that has maybe a couple more frames to shoot before I develop it. Those should – contents depending – see the blog into the new year with fresh images.

I’ve finished work for the Christmas period now and am not back until the first week in January. I’m hoping to get out and make photos, although there is a cloud of potential Covid restrictions hovering overhead at present – our government dithering about whether to introduce them before or (most likely) after the proverbial horse has bolted. While I don’t want restrictions, I also really don’t want a massive new wave of infections that means people suffer more and for longer. I’m going to attempt a day out with the camera this week while I have the chance.

The Old Parsonage

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 6 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Clumber clock tower

I’ve not been feeling well today. This is typical as I was supposed to have met up with friends for some pre-Christmas beers. In a way I’m slightly glad I couldn’t go out as, due to the rapidly escalating number of omicron variant Covid cases, being in a busy pub wasn’t the place I’d have liked to be, but at the same time, I’ve not seen my friends face-to-face for a long time, so I was disappointed not to have met them.

The weather over the past couple of days has been foggy – conditions I love for photography – but which I’ve been largely unable to take advantage of: Today because I was ill, and yesterday because I went out with my wife, my eldest, and his girlfriend (although I did manage to grab a few pictures on the XA3 that I’d taken in my coat pocket).

A few days in work this week and then I’m off for the Christmas period, so I’m hoping I get some opportunities to go out and make photos.

Here’s a picture of the clock-tower at Clumber Park.

Clock tower

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 6 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Running out of new photos

I’m really eking out the shots from this roll. The number of photos I’ve made over the past three months has been minimal compared with what I’ve done previously, and I’m about to run out of new stuff to publish soon (in the next few days in fact). I’ve talked about this before, but have always managed to get some more in the can before that happened, but this time it will be pretty tight and I might have to fall back on the archive.

I start the best part of two week’s leave in a few days time though, so I’m hoping that I can get out and do some proper photography and fill the tanks a little. We shall see.

My new laptop arrived this morning. Thanfully this one a) isn’t filthy and, b) actually works. It’s currently restoring my backed-up data so I’m hoping I’ll be largely back to normal operations by the start of next week (just in time to go on leave…). As is always the case, while I’ve been getting the new machine set up, the weather outside has been (not frightful) lovely and it would have been a great day to head out with the camera. This afternoon the clouds closed in and we now have mist as the evening draws in. Part of me is tempted to go out and do some nightime photography, but I have to cook food for everyone today and I doubt I will still feel like going out when that’s all sorted. Got a day out tomorrow though, so maybe I’ll get some pictures then…

By the tree a bench

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 6 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

More laptop woes

My replacement laptop arrived today. It didn’t work. And so the saga continues.

The replacement machine arrived this morning and I made the swap for my old, faulty laptop. I was somewhat dismayed when I saw the replacement as it was covered in scratches and other cosmetic marks and I commented on the delivery man that it looked like it had been through the wars. Still, I need a working machine and I had no option but to make the swap. The first thing I did was to give the case a good wipe down with some disinfecatant wipes. This removed the majority of the surface dirt, although not the scratches. Then I opened it up.

The inside was disgusting. It looked like a laptop that someone had used as an ashtray, or perhaps left it open in a dusty shed for years. It was absolutely filthy. Again, I gave it a thorough clean with disinfectant wipes before then giving the whole machine a further scrub with some isopropyl alchohol to remove the remaining crap. Eventually it was in a reasonable state – although still far from the like-new condition that I’d managed to keep my old laptop in. It really makes me wonder how some people look after things so poorly?

Once cleaned, I took it up to my office to start the process of getting it connected. The first problem I noticed was that it didn’t have a VGA output. While I know time has moved on and such things are passe now, it did mean that I had no way to connect it to the older of my two monitors. The second problem was more significant. Upon powering up the machine I was presented with a message informing me that the power-supply did not have sufficient wattage to power the laptop. This meant I had to call the service desk once more to find out how to proceed. You can only imagine my delight when I was told that they would have to swap out the laptop and PSU as a pair for another machine! I now have to wait until tomorrow for another replacement to be delivered, but with the added annoyance that I spent half-an-hour of my own time cleaning a filthy machine that I’m now going to hand straight back. I’m not a happy person about this.

So, moaning over, I suppose I’d best post a picture on my blog that is supposedly about photography. It’s another from the Clumber Park outing and this one is perhaps my favourite from the roll.

House with a bay

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 6 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Cash for gourds and a trip to the cinema

Another photo from Clumber Park, this time of a selection of gourds for sale.

My replacement laptop has still not arrived. I rang about it this morning and was told that it will be tomorrow. So, being restricted in what I can do at work I decided to book the afternoon off and go see the new Spiderman film.

Given the rapidly rising numbers of Omicron covid cases I was a little concerned about sitting in a packed auditorium, and the cinema I normally use (which only charges £4.99 for an adult ticket) was almost fully booked for all showings, with just the odd seat available amongst otherwise full rows. So I decided to look at another chain instead. This one charges more than double the price for adults, but (perhaps unsurprisingly!) there were far more empty seats to choose from, so I decided to pay the extra and hope that it wouldn’t fill up too much.

As it happened, while the central block of seats was quite busy, the blocks to either side were much emptier and the person closest to me was a good two metres away and the others even further, so I was quite relaxed about the risks present.

The film was really enjoyable, if maybe not up there in the top tier of the MCU movies.

Cash for squash

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 6 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Plants on a shelf

Today’s post sounds like some sort of rubbish sequel to Snakes on a Plane. 🙂

It’s been a pretty slow day at work today, mostly because I’ve only really had my phone to use to try and do any work, which has limited my options somewhat. I’ve not heard anything about when my replacement laptop will arrive yet, but I’m hoping it might be tomorrow.

My mojo has been largely absent over the past few months where photography has been concerned, but I’ve found myself watching photography videos on YouTube again over the past week and it’s lighting a pilot beneath me and driving some inspiration to get out with the camera. I’m not back to that sense of compulsion to make photographs that I’ve had in the past just yet, but I’m hopeful that will return in time too.

Plants

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 6 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Outside the greenhouse and broken laptops

Today has been something of a letdown. In the continuing saga of my attempts to get my laptop upgraded to a new build I went into the office to meet up with the engineer for the installation. My attempt to install the build myself a couple of months ago ended in failure, and there have since been three other attempts – all abortive for one reason or another – until today, when I finally met the engineer to get the work sorted.

Unfortunately it failed, and this time in a more impactful way, with the outcome being that the computer is now bricked. So I’m now without my laptop and unable to work (beyond accessing email and other apps on my phone) until I get a replacement machine. Thankfully this shouldn’t take too long and might even be as soon as tomorrow, but I’ll still need to restore my data and get things set up properly before I can get back to normal, so I reckon it will be Wednesday at the earliest before this is all done, and possibly later.

Luckily, this week seems quieter than normal – not sure if people are already getting ready for Christmas – and I don’t have too many things that will be badly impacted by the disruption, although I had a bunch of jobs I wanted to catch up on while I had a bit of breathing room. Last week would have been much worse had it happened then though, so in a way I’m glad that the appointment that was supposed to have taken place then was cancelled.

Today’s picture is of the greenhouse / glasshouse at Clumber Park again.

Greenhouse tree

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 6 November 2021