35mm · Film photography · Photography

Not thinking things through

I was paid today, so decided to combine my exercise with a trip to the cash machine at the local shopping mall. Knowing that cash machines are a pretty high-risk vector for transmitable viruses like COVID-19, I decided to protect myself by wearing a plastic glove. I bought the gloves recently as a means of avoiding physical contact on surfaces that others are likely to have touched – they’re just the thin plastic type that you sometimes find at petrol-stations to avoid getting fuel on your hands, or in sandwich-shops to allow the person preparing the food to avoid touching the ingredients. I would have felt uncomfortable buying surgical-style gloves (even had I been able to find any) given the recent shortages in PPE that have been encountered by frontline healthcare staff.

Sadly, I didn’t think through the process of withdrawing the money in a contactless fashion, and it quickly became apparent that next time some greater consideration of the process will be required.

I decided to wear a single glove, thinking that I’d only be touching the buttons with a single hand, and removed my card from my wallet, entered it in the machine, and then replaced my wallet in my right pocket (as I had nowhere else to put it). I could then enter my pin, select the amount I wanted to withdraw, and remove the cash with the gloved hand. All good so far.

However, I now realised that I would have to reach over into my right pocket with my left hand to get my wallet back out. I also realised that I couldn’t open my wallet with just my left hand and insert the cash without risking scattering it all over the floor. Also, and possibly key – I was holding the cash in the gloved hand that had touched the potentially compromised buttons on the machine, thus transferring any contamination onto the money I had to put in my wallet anyway! In the end I touched the outside of my wallet with the “gloved hand of contamination” in order to complete the task too.

Short of (literally!) laundering the money to clean it of anything harmful, I’m kinda stuck with the situation. Thankfully I can avoid touching the money again (at least until any pesky viruses might have been rendered harmless) and will certainly refrain from rubbing it all over my face or anything, so I think I’ll be ok (plus it’s probably absolutely fine and uncontaminated anyway).

Given that many places are dictating card-only transactions at present, it might have been better left in the account…

Unrelated to all this, here’s todays picture, a bingo hall in Sheffield city centre – somewhere else (along with the cinemas, theatres, gigs, bars, retaurants etc.) that’s likely to remain dormant for the next few months.

Bingo

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 1 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Luggage

Taken back at the start of the month, it’s hard to think how quickly the scene portrayed here would change. It’s now very unlikely that you will see people trundling luggage through the streets given the large scale reduction in public and private transportation. only today, Easyjet, a UK-based budget airline, announced that it would be grounding its entire fleet until further notice.

While the curtailment of my own photography due to the pandemic continues, I did take several photographs in the house today. A few weeks before this whole situation unfolded I bought a small, cheap, but effective collapsible mini-studio. While it’s quite small, it will be useful for taking macro shots of items. Today, however, I used my Minolta SRT 101b and 50mm f/1.7. Getting as close as the camera would allow, I was able to take photographs of some fruit and vegetables. While I don’t think I’ll be troubling the works of Edward Weston any time soon, it’ll be interesting to see how they turn out nonetheless. Also, each photo I take gets me a little closer to the point where I can have my first bash at home development, which (although still making me slightly nervous) I’m eager to try now I have most of the necessary equipment.

Luggage

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 1 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Eleven flights

As I briefly mentioned the other day, the skies are currently almost empty of aircraft, something noticeable on clear days. Today not so much as it’s mostly cloudy (and considerably chillier!) so the sight has been lessened somewhat. To mark the lack of flights, today I post a picture of eleven flights.

Of stairs.

As I type this I’ve not checked the news for today’s pandemic updates. I’m not planning on burying my head in the sand over the situation, but dwelling on a constant 24-hour news-cycle of reports on the pandemic are probably not great for mental health, so I’m going to try and get on with things as normally as possible, dipping into the news only when appropriate.

Today’s previously mundane, but now suddenly “interesting” activity was to go to the local supermarket for some things we needed. I only posted the other day about only going to get provisions once a week, and that seems to have fallen through straight away as my wife was unable to get all the things we needed yesterday. So, this morning, I drove to the local Sainsbury’s to get the things we were missing.

The branch of Sainsburys is attached to a shopping-mall close to where we live and there were plenty of car-parking spaces as most of the other shops in the mall are closed at present. The supermarket has implemented a queueing system that allows twenty people in the store at a time, which requires people to stand in the car-park outside in a zig-zag queue. The parking spaces make handy markers for keeping apart, and the was a gap of three or four metres between each person (or family). Everyone was behaving and, despite it being colder today, seemed in good spirits – chatting with their fellow shoppers and sharing news of what was open, where the treasured items (pasta and toilet rolls) might be acquired, and being generally good-natured. Despite the queue seeming quite long, I got into the store in the third block of people.

Stock on the shelves was pretty plentiful apart than a few items I noticed (pasta and dried rice), and I was able to get the things we needed, plus a few other items that we were running short on.

Eleven flights

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 1 March 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

No chips

Or fries, for my American pals. 🙂

I really will have to get some more Lomography Color Negative 400 when I get the chance. This was my only remaining roll, but I’ve found if produces wonderfully saturated colours, as with the red-painted frontage of the fish & chip shop in today’s photo.

As I type this, it’s day four of the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown. I have today and tomorrow off work and would under normal circumstances have taken the opportunity to go out and take some photos – probably shooting colour as we’ve had (in a cruel joke by mother nature) beautifully sunny weather all week – but alas we’re not able to do so at present. I didn’t even go out for a walk today as I have the rest of the week, intead deciding I’d spend some time tidying the garage which is full of loads of boxes that I’d placed in a storage unit when we moved house but which I then removed and brought home to save the monthly fees. It was difficult to get access to other things in the garage, so I’ve spent the day completely re-arranging it all to make better use of the space.

I also spent some time this morning looking at (and then ordering) the equipment I’ll need to start developing my own B&W film at home. I still have a few bits and pieces to acquire, but the changing bag and all the chems are on their way, and I’ve had someone kindly donate a developing tank which they will post to me when an opportunity arises to do so. I really don’t know that much about home developing, especially which of the wide range of chemicals would be best, but in the end opted for some Ilfotec DDX, Ilfostop, Ilford Rapid Fixer and some Ilfotol wetting agent. To be honest, I’m somewhat nervous at the thought of doing this, mostly because I’m concerned I’ll knacker a roll of otherwise nice photographs, but given how many other people manage to do this successfully, I think I’ll be ok if I pay attention to what I’m doing. I will, of course, let you know how I fared when the time comes.

No chips today

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 1 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A country lane. But where does it go?

I see roads like this and I just want to see where they lead. Sadly, on this day, I didn’t have the time to follow my curiosity, but it’s on my radar now. 🙂

This photo was taken a few yards from the picture I posted here on the 15 May. The two houses in that shot are just off frame on the right.

FILM - Lane

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 12 May 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A bride on the edge

On my visit to Curbar Edge last weekend I overheard a group of people exclaim “Look. Someone is getting married!“. When I looked over, sure enough, there was a girl in a wedding dress stood atop the crags.

It soon became apparent, however, that it wasn’t a wedding, but a photoshoot, with a guy taking photographs of the girl in various poses atop the gritstone edge. Whether she was due to get married soon and wanted some striking photos, or if it was just a random shoot I’m unsure but, whatever the case, I took the opportunity to take a few photographs myself – this isn’t something I see everyday, so wanted to record the moment as it happened.

I took several frames, but the one I’m sharing here today was the best, and I’m very happy with the way this one turned out.

FILM - Bride on the edge

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 12 May 2019