35mm · Film photography · Photography

Mablethorpe Rock

A couple of shots of Mablethorpe Rock, a shop that has been there as long as I can remember (or perhaps mis-remember).

Rock is one of those great British seaside traditions that is still going strong today –  although, personally, I don’t really like the stuff – it’s overly sweet, sticky, and feels like it will rot the teeth right out of my head as soon as I touch it.

For those not in the know, rock is basically sticks of boiled sugar. It traditionally has the name of the resort you buy it from cleverly running through the length of the stick – something that is done by adding pieces of different coloured sugar to form the individual letters during the manufacturing process while the substance is still soft and malleable – as can be seen in this film from 1957. As well as sticks, you will also find it shaped into all manner of other things – a cooked English breakfast formed out of pure sugar and served on a paper plate is another firm favourite.

Rock comes in a variety of flavours, but plain sugary-sweet, and peppermint are probably the best sellers. The fruit flavoured ones are best in my opinion (if forced to choose), but you can now find all manner of exotic varieties, including such culinary horrors as Tikka Masala flavour!

My favourite part about receiving a stick of rock – it was a traditional gift brought back when someone had been on holiday – was the little black and white photo of the resort that would be inside the clear plastic wrapper. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, these photos are now in colour.

As you can see from the bottom picture, the shop also sells ice cream, so I had one of those instead.

FILM - Mablethorpe Rock

FILM - In a seaside town

Olympus 35 RC & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 13 September 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Oddly appealing

Sometimes I make photographs that I like for obvious reasons. Maybe it’s the composition, the light, the subject, place or whatever. Sometimes though, I make a photograph that I like for reasons that I can’t quite put my finger on. Obviously there must have been something about the scene that caused me to take the image in the first place – these aren’t just random, shot from the hip accidents.

Todays photo is one such picture. I like it a lot but can’t put my finger on the precise reason(s) why. I guess it could be the way the scene is lit – there are plenty of shadows in the scene, but they’ve been lent a subtlety by the white painted gable-end of the house acting as a giant reflector and this has created some nice lighting. Maybe it’s the colours – it’s got a bit of that blue and orange thing going on, which is nice. The composition is ok – the tree in the background is nicely placed and the green pops in the scene. Or maybe it’s just little details – the satellite dish, the plants in the window, the garden shed with the barely-visible bins in front of it, or the flag.

Or maybe it’s just a combination of all these things that appeal specifically to me and my brain just said “Yep! That’s a nice photo!” and so I clicked the shutter.

It’s one of those images that I suspect many others won’t really take to, but it fires some circuits in me, and I’m even wondering what it would look like as a print.

FILM - White gable

Olympus 35 RC & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 13 September 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Painting (a part of) the town red

It was mid-morning when I took this photograph and the fish and chip shop had not yet opened for business (although there was a man off shot to the right who appeared to be making preparations to do so). Prior to opening some maintenance was taking place, giving rise to the gloriously saturated red doors in the image. These reds, along with the morning light (and subsequent shadows) and the lone painter busy at work, are what attacted me to make the photograph.

FILM - Painting the town red

Olympus 35 RC & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 13 September 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Chalets

These chalets sit along the promenade, just south of Mablethorpe town centre and behind Queen’s Park – which is where I stood to take this photo. It’s almost the same spot where I made the photo of the crazy golf course that I posted about a few days back, which is behind where I was stood when I took this shot.

I’ve got an older, digital photo of these chalets on my Flickr stream too – that one shot on my Nikon D3200 and 18-55mm kit lens back in September 2015.

I shot this whole roll of Portra 400 at 200asa and really like the way it’s handled the tones, with lovely cornflower blue skies while still keeping a good deal of pop in the primary colours.

FILM - One side water. One side park

Olympus 35 RC & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 13 September 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Crazy golf

In yesterday’s post I mentioned some of the attractions at Queen’s Park in Mablethorpe. One of those was the crazy golf course. It’s one of (I think) three courses in Mablethorpe. the other two being at the other end of the sea-front. All three courses have been there as long as I can remember – so since the 1970s at least – and most likely they were around for some time before too. All three have seen changes and updates.

The northernmost course was, for many years, an Arnold Palmer’s branded course.

There were a number of these Arnold Palmer courses at various seaside resorts around the country. These all had full branding in place with brightly painted red and white obstacles (most of the ones I visited had a windmill with spinning blades to putt your ball past) and professional-looking felt “greens” upon which the ball would roll smoothly and with precision. At the end of the course, the final hole gave a chance to win a free game if you got the ball in a central hole (which would ring a bell, alerting the staff to the fact). Missing this target would result in your ball being lost down an alternate, prize-less, chute and your game would be over. I still have a free game pass in my wallet that I won sometime during the 1990s. Alas, the course at Mablethorpe is under different ownership now (although it still looks pretty snazzy with it’s new pirate themed looks)

The other two courses had a more independent feel to them. The central course had obstacles that felt homemade, but inventive nonetheless, with a variety of brightly painted bridges, pipes, and chutes to get your ball through. The southernmost course always seemed the more basic of the three, less fantastical in nature and almost akin to a pub-game with pegs, chicanes, and barriers making up it’s obstacles (and there’s a part of me that remembers it having concrete “greens” too, upon which your ball might be prone to sudden disruption, although this might just be down to a faulty memory circuit).

Today’s picture is of this southernmost course as it is today, still in use (although not when I took my photo). Long may it live.

FILM - Crazy golf

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 13 September 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Little red boats

Queen’s Park at Mablethorpe sits just behind the promenade atop the sea defences and rows of chalets and consists of a boating lake, a paddling pool, a miniature railway, miniature (or “crazy”!) golf course, and a small funfair for younger kids. I remember spending one happy summer in the paddling pool sailing a toy boat that I’d had bought for me from a  toy shop (now sadly closed) in the town centre. The boat was battery operated and had a fan on the rear that would propel it across the water. It felt like the best thing ever at the time.

These boats are probably battery operated too.

FILM - Little red boats

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 13 September 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Looking out to sea

Looking out to sea seems to be an enduring calling to many people when visiting the coast, certainly in the UK, but also, I suspect, around the globe. Every seaside resort I’ve ever visited has benches and shelters along the promenade, along harbour walls, and atop cliffs and promontories, for the purpose of providing somewhere to rest while looking at the ocean beyond. Coin-operated telescopes provide the means of a close-up inspection, should something interesting be present on the water. There are car-parks designed in a such a way as to provide access to the view without leaving the comfort of the vehicle (and in the UK, given our tendency to inclement weather, this is perhaps wise).

I remember as a child visiting the beach with my grandparents in the rain. We would just sit in the car, eat sandwiches, drink pop or hot drinks from a thermos-flask, and watch the tide come in or retreat. If the weather was favourable, we’d get to venture onto the sand with our granddad, while grandma remained in the car, often with the aim of building a sandcastle that we could then subsequently watch be destroyed by the incoming waves while we sat back in the car. The castle fallen, and night beginning to fall, we’d return to the caravan for cocoa and bed.

There’s definitely a draw to looking at the sea, even on a calm day. Something about being at the edge of the world and imagining what might lie beyond some distant horizon (usually Denmark in our case, given the east coast of England was generally our destination of choice). Often times it’s older people who seem to do this the most. Perhaps the sea offers a glimpse of something else, something poignant, something nostalgic. Or maybe they just need a sit down more than the young.

FILM - Together

Olympus 35RC & Eastman Double-X.

Taken on 13 September 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

A final(?) set of Holga misadventures

Ok, before I start (not that I expect this to be an especially long post), I should point out that this is not an all-new set of misadventures with the Holga, rather some more from my previous set (where I’d accidentally knocked the camera’s exposure switch to “Bulb”). You can read about that here if you’d like. I’m hoping that this brings to an end my misadventures with this simple, but seemingly all too easy to mess up, camera.

The reasons this set are seperate from the last are:

  1. These are in colour, so that’s a good enough reason to seperate them.
  2. They were lab scanned, so I got them back a few days after posting my home-scanned black and white photos.

Out of the full set of twelve images there are maybe five or six that are worthy of sharing (although your mileage may vary), four of which are posted here today. A couple are reasonably sharp – the car and the church. The other two are notably blurred from “unintentional camera movement”, but one of those – the house – looks kinda neat in my opinion. The hotel is perhaps a borderline case though.

But anyway, here are the four I’ve chosen to share. I quite like them all, despite (or because!) of their failings.

FILM - Classic

FILM - Crux

FILM - Eagle

FILM - Quake!

Holga 120N & Fujifilm Pro 400H (expired).

Taken on 13 September 2019