This is the cricket ground in Queen’s Park, Chesterfield. This photo was made on my first ever visit to this location, early one Sunday morning (the same Sunday when I took the picture of the Austin A90 featured in yesterday’s post). It’s quite a nice park, with a pond, bandstand, a glasshouse (seen to the middle right of this photo), as well as the cricket ground itself. I believe that the park extends with sports fields beyong the trees you can see in this picture. It’s pencilled into my mental list of interesting places to make photographs, should I be in the vicinity again.
Unexpected park On a Sunday morning walk Pleasantly perceived
A few weeks ago (well, a month to be accurate) I wend to a local car-boot sale early one Sunday morning on the lookout for old camera bargains. There were none – one stall had an old digital compact, and another had one of those cheap 35mm film panoramic cameras – the ones that use a mask to basically crop a 35mm frame down to a thinner output – but nothing I was interested in spending any money on.
As I’d planned to go somewhere afterwards and shoot some film, I had my OM-2n with me. As I walked through the cars parked on the field beside the boot-sale area I noticed this old Austin rally car, so made a photo.
Today my wife and I visitted Knaresborough, an attractive market town in North Yokshire, about sixty miles or so north from where we live. It’s not a place I’ve visited before but it was a lovely location to wander around, looking in the local shops, having a bite to eat, and making some photographs (which will appear here on theblog in due course). Having just started to scan the first roll I shot through my recently-acquired Olympus XA3, I’m very pleased with the results – no signs of any faults and the photos are lovely and sharp – so I decided to take it with me on the trip. It’s tiny size is a definite boon! I did have another camera in she shape of my Canon Sure Shot Supreme – that one mostly because I have a roll of expired Fuji Sensia loaded that I’m wanting to test (I have a few more rolls of the same film so this is the guinea-pig roll to see how they look shot a box speed). All told, and despite some gloomy, if not unexpected for the UK, rainy weather, we had a nice day out.
In amongst the cars Of people looking to bag A bargain or two
A few weeks back I went for a walk around Rother Valley Country Park with my dad. While walking around the northerly of the two main lakes I spotted this intersting looking vehicle.
Wandering closer with the aim of getting a photograph or two the owner noticed me and came over for a chat. The truck is a customised Land Rover that has been named Sprocket the Hotrod. It’s currently fashioned into a pickup configuration and there are plans to add a similarly designed trailer.
This custom Land Rover Was parked beside the lakeside Grabbing attention
I have a week off work and aim to get some photography in the bag while I have the chance. Today I decided to head out into the Peak District and go for a hike.
I chose a location that I’ve not visited before, the village of Tideswell. Or, rather, Tideswell would be on my route. I studied my map beforehand and planned a circular path that would take me from Tideswell Dale car-park (about a mile below Tideswell itself), down the dale to the bottom where it meets Miller’s Dale. The route then followed the River Wye up Miller’s Dale until I would head north up Monk’s Dale. At the top, where the dale meets a road, I’d head back east and then cut through the footpaths in the pastures back to Tideswell, and then back to my car.
The hike would be around six miles, albeit with a lot of altitude to lose and gain along the way, including some steep climbs. While not a long hike, I knew that my backpack and tripod would add some weight and make it more strenuous than if I were travelling light. The part I didn’t really factor into my plans was the trail through Monk’s Dale. Whereas the earlier sections of the walk had been on well defined and surfaced tracks, the path through Monk’s Dale is somewhat more basic. For much of the dale it hugs the stream that runs down the valley and is very scenic, but today, after quite a lot of heavy rain, the path was quite slick with surface mud and I had to keep careful watch on my footing. Further up the valley though is where it got more serious…
Here the path enters into a steep-sided section of the dale which is densely wooded. Over time, the limestone cliffs on either side have shed rocks and boulders which litter the valley bottom and the footpath becomes a half-mile endurance test where every step is a potential sprained ankle, broken hip, or worse! My hiking boots have a nice tread that grips well on many surfaces but, as I found out today, not on worn limestone rubble. It probably took me the best part of an hour to traverse this section of the route, the trees all heavily matted with thick coats of almost orange moss, and I was beginning to think I’d actually lost the footpath and was now just clambering over rocks beside the stream bed (luckily, the water that had been flowing further down the valley was no longer in evidence here, presumably taking an unseen subterranean route through the porous limestone).
I was becoming quite hot from the exertion and sweat was dripping down my face and at one point I almost took a tumble, thoughts about how long I might lay there undiscovered if I became incapacitated flashing across my mind. Thankfully, if this had been the place where I took a fall, I’d have been seen as I then noticed a man nearby examining plants in the undergrowth a little further up the path – he was the first, and only, person I saw on this whole section of the walk, the only other evidence of anyone having passed by being a set of someone else’s footprints that I noticed from time to time in the mud. I stopped to catch my breath, wipe the sweat from my brow, and chat with the man for a while. He’s been to a dental appointment that morning and decided, as he was passing on his way home, to take a look at the valley as it was the first time he’d visited in some time. He was able to tell me that I was maybe more than half-way through the difficult stretch (I’d have preferred to be near the end, to be honest :)) and at least reassure me that this was, indeed, still the actual path.
Continuing along the trail, the way began to become a little easier, albeit still with treacherous footing and the occasional fallen tree to clamber over or duck under, and I eventually managed to reach the open field close the the road. While the worst was behind me, the road itself had a punishing camber that really made my thighs put in the work. The remainder of the route took me through a patchwork of pasture fields back over to Tideswell. I eventually reached the village and found a cafe where I bought myself a sandwich and a slice of “farmhouse slice” – a very tasty shortcacke concoction filled with a selection of juicy dried fruits to eat when I got back to the car – my treat for all the effort!.
The remainder of the route was all downhill back to the carpark and it was with a real sigh of relief that I sat back in the car.
I shot a couple of rolls of film through the Yashica Mat 124G, plus several frames of 35mm with my OM-2. As ever with my blog, these will turn up somewhere down the way after I go through my existing rolls (I have a pretty strict, OCD-style, queuing system for publishing photos if you hadn’t noticed! 🙂
Anyway, to keep things on a bit of a related track, here’s another Peak District photo, this one of Over Owler Tor and a different part of the park. These are gritstone rocks and my boots don’t slip on those!
How long would I lay Undiscovered in the woods If I took a fall?
This wooden telephone pole (I still have an urge to call them telegraph poles, despite that mode of communication having fallen into history) sprouts from a bushy hedge. The base of the pole is becoming hidden by encroaching branches, and tendrils of ivy are starting to reach higher up the structure.
The pole serves a double purpose, also acting as the host for a streetlamp – a charmingly vintage-looking one with its little flourished curl where it holds the lamp.
Weathered wooden pole So many seasons pass by Cracking its structure
The film photography competition I partake in each month has “Accurate” as its theme this month and my entry is the following shot of my Silva compass sat atop an Ordnance Survey map. It was a pretty rushed shot if I’m honest. I shot two frames and the whole exercise took less than five minutes including digging the map out of a cupboard. Of the two photos, I like this one the best.
Although I favour Ilford HP5+ over Tri-X – especially now that the latter costs almost twice as much! – I had a roll of Tri-X Pan in my OM-2n so that had to serve the purpose. The film is almost 20-years expired and I shoot it at 200asa (I have a few rolls of it still) and it produces decent results. In this case I think the greater contrast from the Kodak film has resulted in a better photo than I might have had from HP5+.
The biggest downside with the film is how much it curls when developed and dried. It coils up like a spring AND has a longitudinal curl as well. This makes it pretty difficult to get into the negative holder for my scanner – it’s easier to get my cat into his box for visits to the vets!
A map of contours Like my roll of Tri-X Pan Twisting and curving
I have a camera review planned for the blog sometime soon, I’d hoped to have written it before now but – even though I’m off work this week – I’ve not gotten around to it yet. The thing with having a week off is that I have a lot of stuff I’ve planned to do while I have the chance. Probably too much stuff.
While some of it I’ve achieved (including cleaning and shooting the camera I plan to review) , others – including some mundane, but desireable things like just watching some movies and reading some of my big pile of photobooks – have yet to be done. And I really want to do some of those mundane but relaxing things before work comes beckoning again. I might get chance to write the review tomorrow. Or I might not.
In the meantime, there might be a series of short posts while I figure out what I’m doing with my time. So, today, here’s a picture of a dog outside a cafe…
Parked a short distance from the Starsky & Hutch Gran Torino that I posted a picture of yesterday, was this Simca 1000 Rallye.
I don’t know a lot about cars and don’t have a great deal of interest in them beyond their ability to get me from A to B (and their suitability for photographing), so Simca isn’t a marque that I’d really heard of before (although the later Talbot brand was familiar). They were a French company founded in 1934, manufacturing cars for the next several decades. From the late 1950s Chrysler started to acquire a stake in the business to form part of their Chrysler Europe organisation until it collapsed in 1977. Peugot picked up what remained but the Simca brand faded from use.
A chap on a forum commented on this photo, saying he had learned to drive in a Simca 1000 – although not the souped up Rallye model seen here. He was surprised to see this one in such condition as they were apparently not vey well constructed in terms of bodywork. As the Honest John car review website states: “These cars suffer from widespread rust but are bulletproof in the engine and gearbox department.“.
I did consider sliding across the bonnet (or should I say “hood”?) when I saw this Ford Gran Torino in full Starsky & Hutch colour-scheme, but I’d have either ended up sprawled unceremoniously across the front, or on my backside on the floor. I’d have been risking a potential beating too I think! 😀