Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Traction engines

If there’s one thing that there are a lot of at a steam rally, it’s traction engines. Sure there are vintage vehicles of all types also on display, but I think it’s probably these coal-fired mechanical marvels that draw the crowds more than anything.

Traction engine

Yashicamat 124 G & Kodak Ektar. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 25 June 2022

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Red Mercedes

I think that the car featured in the photographs today is a Mercedes Benz 190 SL. I have worked this out by my usual detective pathway of looking at pictures online until I find one that appears t match. This means that I could be wrong about the model – sometimes there are subtle differences only apparent to an enthusiast (something which I am not). But, while not a car enthusiast, I do think they can make fine subjects for a picture of two, as usually becomes apparent around this time each year when I visit vintage rallies on the hunt for such things and subsequently flood my blog with the results.

Red Merc
Driver's seat

Yashicamat 124 G & Kodak Ektar. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 25 June 2022

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Frenchie the caravan

The annual Sheffield Steam Rally returned this summer after a two-year gap due to the pandemic, so I headed out to take some photos. I was blessed with some nice weather that really suited this roll of Kodak Ektar I shot with my Yashicamat 124G.

As well as the traction engines, vintage cars, tractors, motorbikes etc., there were a few old caravans on display too. I have a bit of a fondness for caravans as they bring back happy memories of staying in my grandparent’s caravan several times each year when I was younger. Their caravan was much larger than the one in today’s photograph – a six-berth – whereas the one here was (if I remember correctly) a three berth model. The caravans in the picture are also “tourers” that can be towed from place to place by a family car, whereas my grandparent’s was a static caravan that remained on the site permanently. Given their small size, seeing how beds are somehow conjured almost from thin air by converting seating and other parts of the interior fittings is quite impressive.

The pastel colours of the caravan on this sunny day really work well with the Ektar, I think.


Yashicamat 124 G & Kodak Ektar. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 25 June 2022

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography


Three horses on a carousel. I’m very happy with the colours I got when scanning this roll of Ektar. It’s the first time I’ve shot this film in a while and, based on the images I got, I hope to shoot more.

I’m less happy with the Fuji Velvia 100 that I’m attempting to scan this eveneing however. Despite having satisfactory results with this film scanned on my Plustek in the past, tonight the scans are a disappointment. Compared with the actual transparencies, the scans look dull and underexposed in comparison. I normally have a good success rate scanning 35mm E6 transparencies using this method, but something is off-kilter.

I usually use Vuescan when scanning slide film, but am resorting to Silverfast this time to see if I can get something I prefer using that method instead. Fingers crossed…


Yashicamat 124 G & Kodak Ektar. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 25 June 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Goodbye OM-1. Hello OM-1N.

My Olympus OM-1 camera has suffered an annoying fault for a while now. After firing the shutter the mirror will sometimes lock up. Advancing the film drops it back down but the shutter remains locked and the only way to release it is to advance the film a second time (which shouldn’t be possible with the OM-1). When this second stroke of the advance lever takes place the camera also fires the shutter. After this it can be used normally again for the next shot. The problem means that every other shot is wasted – or mostly wasted as the problem tended to be intermittent.

Fot no real reason at all, I decided to look at the camera again today (without a film in it) and discovered that the issue now occurs on ever shot taken. I like the OM-1 – it was the first SLR I bough when I got back into shooting film cameras again – so I decided it would be worth trying to get it fixed. As the person who I’ve used for repairs and CLAs in the past has now retired, I tried a local repair shop that I’ve heard works on analogue cameras.

Upon phoning the shop, the guy there was quick to tell me that the repair would be costly and that I’d be better off using digital cameras. Rather than slam the phone down in disgust (:)) I explained that I enjoy the experience of using film cameras and that I’m not unaware of the issues that come with using vintage gear. He then mentioned that he’d had a box of stuff come into the workshop, including an OM-1 camera, which he would let me have for £40 sold-as-seen. £40 is a good price for an OM-1 these days so I headed over to the shop to take a look, figuring I could always turn it down if it looked like it might not be working properly. As it turned out, the camera appeared to be working as expected, including the meter, and was in great cosmetic condition so, after chatting with the guy for a while, I headed home with the camera – an OM-1N to replace the OM-1.

The camera probably needs new seals fitting, and it’s missing the hotshoe. I’d though that I could just swap over the hotshoe from my OM-1 (they just screw on and off with a thumbwheel), but it wouldn’t fit and it turns out that the design must have been slightly revised between models. Still, I’ve not once used the hotshoe on the OM-1, so I won’t miss it, and I’m more bothered by the empty screwhole on the top of the camera than any loss of functionality.

The other difference is that this replacement is expecting the original 1.3v mercury battery to power the meter accurately, whereas my OM-1 had been converted to meter properly using readily available 1.5v batteries. This means that I’ll either have to get it converted, or adapt zinc-air hearing aid batteries instead (I could use Wein cells, but these are much more expensive than the hearing aid cells). It’s a bit of a faff, but nothing insurmountable though.

I’ll get the seals replaces when I get the chance and then take it out for a test run.

Today’s picture is from back in 2018, when I took my original OM-1 with me on holiday to Sorrento, Italy.

FILM - American bar

Olympus OM-1,  Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 & Kodak Ektar.

Taken on 24 August 2018

35mm · Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Day 365 – Twelve favourite photos from 2019

My initial plan for today’s post was to publish 12 photos that were taken this year but which haven’t featured in the blog, but on second thoughts I’ve decided to take the more traditional route. There might still be some that never appeared here before though – I tend to upload more stuff to Flickr than gets featured here – so aren’t you the lucky ones. 🙂

Today also marks the 365th consecutive blog post of the year – a target I attempted once before but which fell through when other events in my life took precedence. Not every blog was written on the day it was posted – in situations where I’ve been away from home I’ve pre-written blogs and then scheduled them to automatically publish (or made them live from my phone). Because of the way I link my photos from Flickr, I’ve found it’s a complete PITA to try and write and publish from mobile devices.

Anyway… Before I get on to the pictures, I just want to take the time to thank all who’ve viewed, interacted or commented on my blog over the year and to wish everyone a happy new year.

So, the photos…

January – This tree sits on the moors just south of Sheffield and is just a few metres from the roadside. It’s distictive shape made for an easy composition. Sadly the tree has now suffered damage – the last time I passed all that remained was the trunk as the upper branches have been broken off. 😦

FILM - In a lonely place (35mm)

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 AF & Fomapan 400. Taken on 20 January 2019

February – Eyes in the back of his head? One of the tenets of street photography is to be prepared and ready to catch that decisive moment when it occurs. Sadly, this is rarely the case for me and I’ve missed loads of potentially nice shots due to fumbling with the camera. This was one of the times I didn’t.

FILM - He's got eyes in the back of his head

Olympus 35 RC & JCH Streetpan 400. Taken on 15 February 2019

March – Portraiture is not something I have much of an interest in, particularly studio portraits (although I do enjoy looking at environmental portraits), so when an opportunity arose to photograph some models at the local camera club I wasn’t sure whether I’d enjoy it or not. While I can’t say it ignited any desire to take more portraits, I was very pleased with my results, one of which is below. It isn’t prefect (the creased backdrop lets it down a little), but the way the Sigma 105mm lens and the Kodak P3200 rendered the images is lovely.

FILM - WPS Model Session-2

Nikon F80, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS HSM & Kodak Tmax P3200. Taken on 19 March 2019

April – A gate on a public footpath through Edale in the northern Peak District National Park. I think this photo has a certain charm to it, there’s a sense of mystery as to where the path leads and what might be beyond the gate. This is from the penultimate roll of film through my Yashica Mat 124G last year. I shall have to rectify this situation and shoot with the camera again post haste!

FILM - A path near Edale

Yashica Mat 124 G & Fomapan 100. Taken on 20 April 2019

May – During May I visited New York with my family. It’s the second time I’ve visited (and I’d love to return – although I think my wife would prefer somewhere else in the US if we get across the Atlantic again) – I could have spent all day, every day just walking the streets taking photos. It was a family trip though, so I grabbed whatever I could. This is just a view down 7th Avenue after a rain shower, but it screams New York to me.

FILM - 7th Avenue

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Ilford HP5+. Taken on 28 May 2019

June – A box of pre-owned pool balls on a stall at the Sheffield Steam Rally. I think I might have said at the time that colour would have been a more obvious choice here, but I love the contrast given by the HP5+.

FILM - Balls

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 D & Ilford HP5+. Taken on 30 June 2019

July – The beach at Scarborough. My wife and I took a trip to the seaside and I shot a roll-and-a-half of film during the day. This is just a snap of the beach, the people enjoying themselves there, and some yachts in the sea beyond, but it has a nice “Martin Parr” feel to it that I like. It was also an opportunity to test the little Pentax Espio compact that I’d bought for £1 a fortnight before.

FILM - On the beach

Pentax Espio 140M & Fuji Superia 100 (expired 2008). Taken on 13 July 2019

August – Taken at the Lincoln Steam Rally – the first time I’d attended this event, but it was huge and I hope to go again in 2020. I shot four rolls of film on the day, but this Ektar shot of a vintage truck is a favourite. The almost 70-year-old Zeiss Mess-Ikonta continues to impress with it’s superbly sharp lens.


Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektar. Taken on 17 August 2019

September – A day trip to my childhood seaside haunt: Mablethorpe. It’s a place I’m always drawn back to, even though I’m always slightly disappointed that it hasn’t remained frozen in time as I remember it from when I was a child. Another day where several rolls of film were shot (including three botched rolls through my Holga because I had it set to bulb mode!). I’ve many photos from the day that I like, but this is the one that always springs to mind when I think back.

FILM - Water dragon

Olympus 35 RC & Kodak Portra 400. Taken on 13 September 2019

October – I took a trip to Doncaster racecourse with my dad, and this is one of the photos from the day. The weather was awful, with heavy rain all day, but oftentimes bad weather makes for good photos.

FILM - A day at the races

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 75-150mm f/4 & Ilford HP5+. Taken on 25 October 2019

November – This shot is potentially my favourite of the whole year. The simple but beautiful charms of the Holga coupled with a wonderfully foggy day made for some amazing photographic opportunities.

FILM - The path untaken

Holga 120N & Kodak Tmax 400. Taken on 30 November 2019

December – December is a little difficult as, as I type this, I have three rolls of film waiting to be processed still and there might be a showstopper on there (or possibly not), but this image that I took just before Christmas on a lunchtime walk is definitely worthy of the spot. It’s another Holga 120N image, but cropped to a 4×3 ratio (the bottom of the frame has a river in it, but it didn’t add a lot to the overall image and the landscape crop works much better. The way the Holga renders out-of-focus details is wonderful, and almost impressionistic in style.

FILM - Breaking through

Holga 120N & Kodak Tmax 400. Taken on 18 December 2019

So there you have it. Twelve favourite shots from 2019. As with any list like this it’s subjective, and if I were to do it again tomorrow several of the selections might change, but for now it will do.

One final word – I’ll proof read it later, so apologies in advance for any typos or grammatical goofs. 🙂

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Via Marina Grande

This is a photo I took in Sorrento, Italy back in August 2018. The image was on a roll of Ektar that had been left in my OM-1 and forgotten about. For various reasons I didn’t use the OM-1 for several months after the trip to Italy and I ony realised the film was still inside when I opened the camera back!

While a few frames were lost or suffered light leaks, most of the images were ok, including this one – a shot of Via Marina Grande, a narrow street that descends to the old marina.

FILM - The way to the old harbour

Olympus OM-1,  Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 & Kodak Ektar.

Taken on 24 August 2018

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Golden balloon

Back in August I visited Renishaw Hall, a local stately home. The main reason for my visit was to take some photographs in the Italianate gardens for a photo comp I’m involved with. My photo did pretty badly, as it turned out, so from that point of view the visit (and £8 entrance fee) was a bit of a waste of time, but I still enjoyed the day and it might be nice to visit again when the autumn colours are in better evidence.

Anyway, I took some other photos during the visit, including shooting half a roll of Ektar. For some reason, several of the Ektar shots are very contrasty with little shadow detail – looking almost like underexposed slide film – but some came out ok, including this one.

FILM - Golden chairs Golden balloon

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektar.

Taken on 26 August 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

American classic

The route I took on my day trip to Mablethorpe the other week takes me through South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, and then Lincolnshire. I take the same route (as much as is possible) that my granddad used to drive when he and my grandma took us all to their caravan as children. It’s a bit of a ritual and I’d feel like I’d somehow betrayed the memories if I took any short-cuts. A couple of the towns the journey passes now have bypasses (Worksop and Louth), but I still stick to the original “proper” route, even though it adds time. Doing otherwise would remove a bit of the nostalgia that the trip always generates (plus, while the roads through Worksop are not especially scenic, the town of Louth in Lincolnshire is lovely and taking the bypass would be a downright shame).

Another village along the way is Glentham. It looks a nice enough place, although I’ve never ventured of the main road that cuts through it. At the eastern edge of the village is a garage that I’ve noticed before but never stopped to photograph. There is an interesting set of vintage petrol pumps in the window. On this occasion, there was also a lovely bit of Americana in the shape of a vintage Chevy station wagon / truck . I’d love to tell you precisely what the model is but, alas, I didn’t take the details. Some Googling points towards it being a Styleline though. Happy to be corrected on this!

The morning sunlight on the car, garage, and the pumps was lovely, so I took a u-turn the first chance I got and turned around to get the picture.

It feels somehow fitting to photograph the car with a 1950s camera.

FILM - American classic

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektar.

Taken on 13 September 2019