35mm · Film photography · Photography

Trees and drystone walls

Two photos of scenes only a stones-throw apart – up on the western edge of Padley Gorge.

Lone pine

There’s at least one more photo of this same wall to come in a future post, but that one was made with the GW690 where these are born of the OM-2n.

How many rocks are here?
Hundreds, though across the land
There are millions

Drystone wall

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Driven to abstraction

As I type this it’s after 11pm here. I normally write these blog posts much earlier but today got waylaid trying to successfully scan some Portra 160 negatives. I thought I had a good system in place for getting the colours how I wanted them, but somewhwere along the line that particular train has left the tracks, and my scans looked like crap.

My process has been to scan as a linear tiff file and then invert using the Grain2Pixel plugin in Photoshop but today, for some reason , it’s made the colours look horrible on the frames I’ve scanned so far. So, after messing around for a while, I’ve resorted to EpsonScan of all things. While I use this Epson software very successfully for my B&W medium format scans, I’ve never been too happy with the results for colour photos. Today, however, it seems to have made the best job so far.

I found this blog post by Colton Allen about scanning colour negatives with EpsonScan that has proven extremely useful and given me some pretty decent results. If I can figure out the issue with Grain2Pixel I’ll resume using that (and will use it on a roll of Colorplus I’ve yet to scan – but that’s 135 format and will be scanned with my Plustek, so a whole different ball game anyway), but for now I’ll use EpsonScan for this roll

I’ll post the Portra photos in an upcoming post, but today no colour faffing is required for this black-and-white abstract image of a birch tree reflected in a water.

Wibbly wobbly tree
Gelatinous in water
Shimmering beneath

Reflected birch

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Old signs of industry

Millstone Edge, up above the lower Hope Valley in the Peak District is a location where quarrying for gritstone used to take place, withe the main ourput being the production of millstones. There are numerous signs of this former industry to be found, perhaps most notably in the number of abandoned millstones that litter the hillsides in this whole area of the National Park. Indeed, the emblem of the Peak District National Park is a millstone.

Stone hut

There are other indications of the former industrial activity to be found – there are still holes drilled into rock faces for the placement of never-used explosive charges, and also a number of building remains such as the stone shack featured in today’s blog post.

Stone hut

Quarrying for gritstone at Millstone Edge came to a close in the late 1930s.

Signs of industry
Littering the stony crags
Above the valley

Stone hut

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A broken bird-box and a creaky tree

While out in the Peak District the other week I took a brief wander into the birch trees close to Surprise View to look for potential photos. There are countless pictures to be had, but it’s not always easy to eke them out. I didn’t stay in the arera long and made just three or four photos including the two here today.

The first is of a bird-box affixed to one of the trees. There are a number of these boxes throughout the place, but this one has been damaged somehow – whether by human, animal, or natural forces I do not know. It’s a bit of a fixer-upper now though.

Broken bird-box

While I was making the photo of the bird-box I could hear the trees creaking in the wind around me, but it was only when I looked up that I noticed the soun was coming from a tree I was stood beneath. It’s trunk was broken partway up and a significant section of the upper part of the tree was swinging in the breeze. I don’t think it was at imminent risk of breaking free and landing on my head but I moved out of the way nontheless.

A broken tree trunk
Swinging and creaking above
I’m glad it stayed put

Creaky tree

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The way to Surprise View

Just beside the car-park a wooden signpost points the way to the Surprise View scenic viewpoint at Millstone Edge. The signpost is weathered and host to mossy lichen. The view from the edge is pretty nice, looking down upon the Hope Valley / Derwent Valley area stretching away towards the Great Ridge and the Edale Valley to the north-west, and down towards Grindleford and beyond in the other direction. It can also be extremely windy, with strong gusts being pushed up the valley sides and onto unwitting sightseers (it nearly blew my wooly hat off on the day I made this photo!).

Looking for a view?
Well head this way my good man
I have a surprise!

Surprise View

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 29 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Diagonal light and a sunny hike

The weather was bright and sunny, if somewhat cold, this morning, so I took advantage and headed out for a walk. As I often do, I picked a public footpath on a map and then planned a circular route. Today’s hike started and ended at Aston, a village on the eastern outskirts of Sheffield – a few miles from where I live. It took me through mostly agricultural land with views of Penny Hill wind-farm before heading over to the nearby M1 motorway, crossing the road via a bridge, before heading south and then west back to where I began.

The skies were blue and cloudless, and the light was bright. A few clouds would have been welcomed, but I’m not going to complain – it’s better than a blank slab of grey stratus. I managed to finish off two partially shot rolls of film – some Delta 100 in my OM-2n, and some Colorplus in the Sure Shot Supreme. As per usual, these will land on the blog at some point when I get them developed and scanned, but I have photos from three other rolls currently scanned and unpublished to come before then.

Today’s photo is another from the flyover not far from where I live. I’ve published a few photos of this structure before, including some from underneath like this one. On this occasion I really liked the diagonal shadows cast on the concrete supports.

I’ve mentioned being cornered by a herd of cows close to this location before and yesterday it seems someone was careless and left the gates to the fields open. A video appeared on Facebook showing cows on the road on top of the flyover narrowly avoiding being run over by a police-car last night! Thankfully I don’t think anyone or anycow was injured. I drove over the flyover on my way to Aston this morning and the cows were all down below in the field where they belong.

Adventurous cows
Once up on the flyover
Caused a commotion

Diagonal light

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 25 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Washland scenes

A couple of photos made on Woodhouse Washlands, both showing a fenced off conservation area. I once became trapped as night fell at this location when a herd of cows blocked my escape!

Out on the washlands
And what is that shape I see
A distant pylon

A row of rushes
Conservation area

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 25 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A willow, a viaduct, and a train

Two photos of the same scene today. The first was made while I ummed-and-ahhed about whether to use a wider lens, only for the train to appear, so that clearly needed to be photographed while the opportunity was there. The second picture was made a minute later with the 50mm switched for the 28mm. I like both shots a lot, but the one with the train pips it, I think.

Distant viaduct
Brick-built arches framed by a
Willow in the field

A willow and a passing train
Without the train

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 | G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 25 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Over and under a flyover

Today’s post contains another of those photos that I am drawn to, but which other people probably think is rubbish.

So, if have to try and say what I like about it, it’ll probably be down to several factors: The contrast that the orange filter has given to the scene, particulalrly the clouds. The lead-in line of the fence, plus the tree framing the edge of the shot. The gate. The distant viaduct and pylon. And finally the car, which adds a hint of mystery.

If I have a complaint, it’s that I wish the top of the pylon hadn’t intersected with the bridge. I’m sure I framed it otherwise, but maybe I wobbled upon pressing the shutter.

Anyway, I like it.

Everyday scene
But something is attractive
And catches my eye

Over the flyover

Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 25 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The last days of Beighton Station

I detailed the events on the day the signal box at Beighton Station was demolished in this post here: The end of an era. At that point I’d not developed the roll of film that I shot when recording the event. So, today, here are the pictures from the weekend of the demolition, plus a photo made a week or so later showing how it now looks.

The last days of Beighton Station
On the day before the demolition took place, fencing was erected around the area and the road had been closed to all but foot traffic and bicycles.
The last days of Beighton Station-2
There were a considerable number of contractors around, all in bright orange hi-vis clothing. Some from Network Rail, but also from a number of other companies involved in the work.
The last days of Beighton Station-3
The last days of Beighton Station-4
The following day, Sunday 15 March, the mesh fencing had been replaced by something more sturdy. As the work took several days to complete, these small cubicles were placed at either side of the tracks, presumably as shelter for overnight workers or security guards.
The last days of Beighton Station-5
A truck delivers the large metal skip into which the remains of the signal box would be loaded.
The last days of Beighton Station-6
Still intact, but only for a few seconds longer…
The last days of Beighton Station-7
Spectators and workers gather to see the event unfold.
The last days of Beighton Station-8
The demolition begins.
The last days of Beighton Station-9
Some people moved down the side of the signal box to get a better view.
The last days of Beighton Station-10
The roof has gone completely.
The last days of Beighton Station-11
The last days of Beighton Station-12
The claw does its work.
The last days of Beighton Station-13
The upper section has almost gone now.
The last days of Beighton Station-14
Still sheathed in plastic, the new warning signs await their work to begin.
The last days of Beighton Station-15
The upper part of the signal box has now gone completely. Work continued to remove the brick lower section and remove the frame from the building, but I didn’t stay to photograph that.

The last days of Beighton Station-16
And here’s how it looks now that work has been concluded. No signal box any more. There is apparently a radar-controlled system now in place to detect anyone on the crossing. The barriers cannot lower until it is clear.

Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 20 / 21 & 25 March 2021