Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Deckchair (for Bagpuss?)

An iconic symbol of traditional British seaside resorts, the chair in this photo was nowhere near a beach – it was for sale on a stall with a wide array of memorabilia and brik-a-brak.

I like to look at stalls and shops selling this sort of stuff. Occasionally they’ll have something I’m interested in purchasing (camera gear probably), but they are also a treasure trove of nostalgia and unknown stories. Wher did this deckchair come from for instance? Was it taken from a seaside beach at some point, or was it purposely bought for someone’s garden, or perhaps to take on days out so the cost and hassle of hiring a chair might be avoided? Similarly the Bahamas calendar hung up beside it? Who bought it? When did they travel there? How did it end up on this stall? (although I fear I know the answer in most cases…).

Often you will find children’s toys, whether abandoned as they grow out of them, or perhaps lost, like something from a Toy Story movie. Sometimes things that you might expect no-one would buy, such as the plastic radiotherapy mask that was also on this stall – whoever that belonged to, I hope they discarded it as part of a full recovery.

When I was a child I would watch Bagpuss on TV. For those unfamiliar with the show, it was a children’s programme about an antique shop owned by a girl named Emily. Within the shop were a number of children’s toys including stuffed animals, dolls, carved wooden bookends, a “marvellous, mechanical, mouse organ” and the eponymous Bagpuss himself, a pink and white saggy old cloth cat. In each episode, Emily would bring a lost item to the shop and the inhabitants would awaken (“When Bagpuss wakes up, all his friends wake up”!) and they would examine the item, someone would tell the charming tale of it’s history, and it would be mended (by the mice) and placed back in the shop window so that it’s owner might find it again. It was made by a British animation studion called Smallfilms who made a number of similarly nostalgic and charming shows. The creators of the shows were Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate, both of whom are sadly no longer with us, but whom countless grown-up children carry a small fond part of in their memories.

Stalls such of this always remind me of Bagpuss a little.

A saggy cloth cat
Brings back memories of youth
Now I’m saggy too

Take a seat

Yashicamat 124G & Shaghai GP3. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 4 September 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Mirror man

This is one of those photos that I have high hopes for when I first see the negative but which, on closer examination, is let down by some technical problem. In this case the man in the mirror is slightly out of focus. Now there’s a good reason for this – the photo wasn’t a posed portrait, it was a candid shot which involved me crouching down to get the correct angle on the mirror and then capturing someone’s refelction as they walked past. People would be in the mirror for a fraction of a second, so no time to nail the focus and I just went with what looked right in the brief moments that someone passed through the frame.

I still like the picture a lot, but wish I’d have nailed the focus better. The pose is bang on though and I don’t think I could have gotten anything better.

Man in a mirror
Seeing a reflection of
A photographer

Here comes the mirror man

Yashicamat 124G & Shaghai GP3. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 4 September 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Cadillac Coupe

Still on the photos of vintage cars and the like made during my recent trips to a couple of traction / vintage rallies.

Today a 1952, series 62 Cadillac Coupe. I know this because it says so on the car’s license plate. 🙂

Once again, some very nice results from the pushed Shanghai GP3. Unfortunately more dust spots than normal, but I always seem to find this when I have lab developed film – the rolls I develop at home have far less dust surprisingly (although they do tend to suffer much more from drying marks).

No pink Cadillac
This one was rusty and worn
Perhaps on purpose

Cadillac Coupe
Cadillac Coupe

Yashicamat 124G & Shaghai GP3. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 4 September 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Posing in stovepipe hats

The three people in today’s photos caught my eye as I wandered around the collection of classic vehicles at the Smallwood Steam Rally last week. It was the tall stovepipe hats that attracted my attention initially as they could be seen from a couple of rows of cars away.

When I reached them they had all sat down for a breather beside a large trailer / RV. Rather than attempt a candid shot, I asked if they would allow me to make a portrait, to which they kindly agreed. I think the Yashicamat helped in this – TLRs are quite the attention grabbers in a way that a regular SLR or rangefinder probably wouldn’t be.

The photo is on Shanghai GP3, but shot at 200asa and push-processed. One of the other people at the rally with us that day had said it was his favourite film shot this way, and the results are pretty nice. Almost with a Fuji Acros look to them.

It was difficult to find developing times to push the film (at least with the developers I had to hand). While I found some suggested times, there was some variance depending upon where I looked. The other option would have been to use the standard 1.5x normal developing time for pushing a single stop. In the end I decided to take them to my local lab rather than risk messing things up – I thought I might have some nice pictures on the roll, plus it had been a 3-hour round trip to get to the rally, and I didn’t want to lose the photos.

The negs were a little on the thin side, but scanned really nicely.

Once upon a time
Engineers would wear these hats
When building marvels

At the rally in stovepipe hats

Yashicamat 124G & Shaghai GP3. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 4 September 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

The cheerful Fiat

I think it’s the balloon that does it but there’s a definite cheerful look about this Fiat 600. The front of the car itself (something which resembles a face in pretty much all vehicles to a greater or lesser extent) also has a somwhat feline aspect, the chrome bars and logo resembling a nose and whiskers. Or is it just me?

A car has a face
Anthropomorphisation
Is what it’s called

Fiat 600 and happy balloon

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 August 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

A coupla Chevy’s

More vintage rally photos, this time a couple of vintage Chevy pickup trucks. I’m no expert on such things (as I’ve pointed out more than once on this blog), and I’m British and these are American trucks to boot, but a bit of Googling has given me the models. At least I think it has. As always any expert opinions correcting my errors are gratefully received.

Anyay, the first is, I believe, A Chevrolet AK, which were produced between 1941 and 1947, placing this particular vehicle near the end of that production run.

Chevy AK

The second truck is around three decades younger being (again, I believe) a Chevrolet Blazer. I’m tentatively dating this one to the late 70s – 1977 onwards – due to the 5×3 grid on the radiator grille. Again I could be talking out of my backside though!

Maybe I hould have asked the truck, although it has a slightly worried looking expression… 🙂

Chevy Blazer

American trucks
Gas guzzling automation
Moving the masses

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 August 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Isetta 300 bubble-car

Last weekend I visited another vintage rally, this time the Smallwood Vintage Rally in Cheshire. It was a little smaller than the Astle Park event I visited a few weeks earlier and missed on some exhibits like the persiod funfair rides – there was still a funfair but it was mostly modern attractions. I doubt I would travel across the country to visit it again (hopefully the more local events will be back next year), but it was good to meet up with some fellow photographers I know via an online photography forum. As we all shoot film cameras, and as a few of us had proposed bringing folding cameras along, an informal competition was devised where we would each attempt to photograph something from the same decade as the camera.

I still had just over half-a-roll of HP5+ in my 1950s era Zeiss Mess-Ikonta, so would use that for the challenge. I also took my Yashicamat 124G on the day. As the Yashicamat if much easier to use than the Zeiss, I endeavoured to use up the partial roll in the folding camera first and completely forgot about the competition. Luckily though, one of the pictures I made was of a bubble-car that, upon later research, turned out to be an Isetta 300 manufactured and first registered in 1959, just squeaking through the competition rules. There’s no prize, and probably not even any judging, so I didn’t have anything to lose, but I’m glad I got something that fit the bill anyway.

50s bubble-car
Fifties made, like my camera
Here to save the day

Isetta 300

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A trip to the vets

I woke up this morning to an unpleasant shock.

Usually, when I go downstairs, I’m greeted by our cat. He’s either on the back garden when I open the blinds, or is waiting inside the utility room. He’s almost always awake and ready for his breakfast. This morning he wasn’t there when I opened the blinds, but as it had been raining I wasn’t surprised, and when I opened the door into the utility room he was laid in his bed, waking at the sound of my entry. At first I wondered about this slightly unusual occurence, but then my eyes alighted on a stain on the edge of his bed and, swiftly after, some blood on his forepaw and a lot of blood around his nose and mouth.

Bending down to get a closer look I could see he’s suffered some sort of injury. My first though was that he’d been in a fight with another cat, or perhaps a bigger animal. Whatever the case, I was alarmed and quickly grabbed my phone to ring the vet’s out-of-hours service. I was able to get an appointment for him to be seen at 10am. While his face, particularly his lower lip, looked to be a mess, he was walking around and not limping. He was very subdued though and showed no interest in being fed.

He was quite vocal in his cat-carrier during the car ride to the vets, which in a way was a relief. He never likes trips in the car like this and the fact he was making is displeasure known was much better than silence. After arriving at the vets – due to Covid restrictions – we had to wait outside and explain to a member of staff what the problem was. Someone then came and collected him from us and told us to wait and that they would call on my wife’s mobile phone when the vet had assessed his condition. After a 15-minute wait, we got the call. The vet was under the belief that he had been struck by a car as he had some damage to his claws and pads which is a common injury in such events. He looked to have taken a knock to his head which raised concern about injuries to his bones -perhaps a fractured jaw – but the vet was confident that this wasn’t the case. He’d not shown too much distress or signs of extreme discomfort when being examined and his reactions, alertness, and vitals were all good. He had a nasty graze on his cheek and lower lip and a bruised tongue however.

The vet advised a dose of pain relief and anti-inflamatory, along with further liquid pain medication for us to administer from the next day – although we were to watch and make sure he was eating and drinking. Because of the discomfort with his tongue and mouth, there is a chance he may need to go back to the vets to be tube-fed is he can’t manage to eat and drink himself. While I’ve not seen him eat anything yet (he’s been asleep most of the day) he did have a decent drink of water from his bowl earlier, which was good to see.

We’ve decided to restrict him to the house this evening (and dug his old litter tray from the garage!) so that we know he’s safe overnight. Fingers crossed he will be on the mend soon. It’s at times like these when you realise just how much these little friends weedle their way into your life and heart.

Not much of a photography post today I suppose, but it is what it is.

Cats can be worries
Attempting to use nine lives
In their adventures

Love cats

Yashica Mat 124G, close-up #1 lens & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 10 January 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

North to Hudson Yards

We’ve had a visitor this evening, so just a quick post today. I’ve dug a picture made a couple of years ago during our trip to New York from the archive. It depicts the view north up 10th Avenue from the High Line where it crosses the junction with W 17th Street.

So, New York New York
Great place to make some photos
Maybe I’ll return
?

FILM - North up 10th Avenue

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

Taken on 27 May 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Holgacolor

I like my Holga camera. I find, despite its lo-fi credentials – plastic lens, single shutter speed, being built like a cheap toy etc. – that it can produce some sublime photographs when used to its strengths. It’s notable in my case though, that this generally tends to be where black-and-whitefilm is concerned. While I’ve probably not shot enough colour film with the camera for this to be a fair comparison, I’ve found my non-B&W results to be less impressive.

Holgacolor-6
Holgacolor-4

For this roll, it probably doesn’t help that it’s an expired film with some colour shifts (albeit nothing too bad), and one that I had some trouble scanning to my satisfaction to boot. It might also be argued that the images I made are not my best from a compositional point-of-view either – I’m not sure I was seeking to get the best from the roll, rather than just using it up.

Holgacolor-5
Holgacolor-3

Whatever the case, I don’t think these work as well as they might have done in B&W. I don’t hate them, but the feel a bit “meh” at the same time. I’ll leave it up to anyone who reads this to make up their own minds on the matter.

A plastic piece of junk?
Beauty is more than skin deep
I think you might find

Holgacolor-2
Holgacolor

Holga 120N & Fujifilm Superia 100 (expired 2008).

Taken on 17 July 2021