35mm · Film photography · Photography

Lone figure

I like the sense of scale in this photo. I’ve never really considered how tall these trees are before, but the figure in the distance gives some sense of their size. There is, to be fair, a little bit of perspective to take into play – the person in the shot is beyond the leftmost bit of the trees, but not by too far.

FILM - Figure

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 22 January 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Dogwalker

Continuing my series of photos from the misty morning walk I took a couple of weeks ago, here’s someone walking their dog. Without the mist this would have been rubbish, I think, but as it stands the conditions plus the grainyness in this photo (and the ice filled potholes) work pretty well.

One thing I’m unsure about is the stuff in the upper-left of the image. At first I thought it was a mark on the film, but then I realised that it’s actually part of the cable-waterski equipment at the lake. I find it a little distracting and did consider cloning it out, but then I would have felt deceitful – I have a particular attitude to cloning stuff out of my photos. I’ll happily remove small distractions or fix flaws, but there comes a point where, even where could make a success of it, it feels like I’ve gone too far and have altered the reality of the scene too much. And so I decided that the cables would stay in the shot, even if they perhaps spoil it a little.

But hey, it game me something to talk about in today’s post. 🙂

FILM - Dogwalker

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 22 January 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Still and misty waters

This is a photograph the lake at Rother Valley Country Park, not too far from where I live. It’s not generally a place I find condusive for taking photos because, while it’s good for walking, running, cycling etc., and there are a variety of watersports (as well as waterfowl) to enjoy, it’s location means that any sort of wide shot features the surrounding hills, most of which have either houses or industrial units upon them. While I’m sure there are plenty of great photos to be had, I’ve probably been spoilt by familiarity and don’t tend to find it very inspiring.

On misty days however, all that (literally!) fades away and the place takes on a wonderful serenity. The background distractions melt away into the haze leaving much more subtle sights.

Today’s photo is one of a pair I took at this spot. The first one shows just a ripple as the coot decided to dive beneath the surface just as I pressed the shutter. This one was taken shortry after it re-emerged.

FILM - Still

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 22 January 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Suburban sunrise

A couple of weeks back I awoke to a beautiful misty morning. Alas I was at work that day – plus I had to get the kids sorted for school – so I thought it would be another one of those occasions where I feel robbed of the opportunity to take advantage of the conditions. Thankfully however, the mist persisted past the time the kids left the house and left me a short window of opportunity to get out and make some photographs.

I managed to get to the local country park, which is just a short distance from home (you’ll see some of those pictures in the coming days, hopefully), and today’s picture is of some houses sat beneath the rising sun which I passed on my way.

FILM - Suburban sunrise

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 22 January 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

I waited and waited but no train came

This photograph was taken from almost the same spot as yersterday’s image – atop a railway bridge – that one depicts the view to the right from here.

I stood atop this bridge waiting for a train to enter the scene for almost 15 minutes, but none made its presence felt. As I’d walked to this location, three trains had passed in quite close proximity, so I’d hoped for another, but nada. After a while, my legs began to feel the chill so I decided to move on, sure that as soon as I got beyond range I’d hear the sound of another locomotive and curse my decision to move, but (surprisingly, given my usual luck) I didn’t.

Before I left though, I took this photo. Part of me thinks it’s better without a train anyway.

FILM - To unknown places

Holga 120N & Kodak Tmax 400.

Taken on 18 December 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

On a lunchtime walk

While I’ve not listed any new year’s resolutions this year (I’ll only go and break them anyway), one thing I do aim on doing is losing some weight (ha ha ha) and part of this process will be to try and get out and walk more often. I’m fortunate in that I have a country park within easy walking distance of home which has a footpath that makes a circuit around two of the lakes there. In all it’s around four miles to walk from home, around both lakes, and back home again (although a mile can be shaved from that by skipping the path around the smaller lake).

While the park is a good thing to have on the doorstep, it’s not the most inspiring location for photography – or at least the sort of photography that I favour. The park has been in existence for almost forty years now and was built on reclaimed mining land. The trees and shrubs planted at its inception are well into adulthood but, despite this, the way that they are arranged (in small, impenetrable, copse-like, groupings) means that most of the park is open grass that slopes gently to the lakeside. While this gives good lines of sight across the water, the views aren’t ones I find especially inspiring, especially as the park sits in a bowl of hills, most of which have easily visible and bland-looking suburban housing or industial buildings on them.

Despite my moaning here, I’m grateful the park is there, and it will undoubtedly be the venue for some of my walks. I think it’s only fair that I challenge myself to achieve some nice photos on my visits.

I’m also fortunate to have a number of other pleasant walking locations within 5-15 minutes drive from home, and I plan on making use of those too. The agricultural land where these lie is criss-crossed with public footpaths and rights of way and I’ve found that even the most unlikely looking paths can throw up some surprisingly beautiful photo opportunities if you take the time to look for them.

Today’s photo was taken just above Renishaw golf course. The hills in the distance have plenty of buildings, but the mist on the day did a great job of obscuring them and making the scene look far more rural than it is.  The power-lines and farm track make for a couple of great leading lines, and it’s the sort of scene that works a charm when photographed with the Holga.

FILM - They play golf down there

Holga 120N & Kodak Tmax 400.

Taken on 18 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Yet more pylons

Yeah, yeah, I know, more pylon / powerline photos. But I make no excuses as I still think they make for excellent photographic subject matter.

Both shots here are 1:1 crops because my OM-1 created a partial double-exposure when winding on the frames (which it did again later in the roll too). Fortunately, these two shots didn’t suffer (and maybe even benefited) from the crop.

FILM - Along the National Grid

FILM - Reflections of power

Olympus OM-1, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford XP2 (expired).

Taken on 17 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

In suburbia #3

A third batch of suburban scenes – this time in black and white – that I shot just before Christmas. I never give up the chance to take photos on misty or foggy days unless I have no choice, so while this was only a quick half-hour walk, it still deliverd a handful of nice photographs.

FILM - In Suburbia #8

FILM - In Suburbia #9

FILM - In Suburbia #10

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 & Ilford XP2 (expired).

Taken on 17 December 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Vintage sidings

This is the railway station at Elsecar Heritage Centre. It forms the departure point for trains running on the Elsecar Heritage Railway, the only heritage line in South Yorkshire. At this time of the year the line runs “Santa Specials” where you are able to enjoy a trip on a train (consisting of vintage carriages usually pulled by steam locomotive) and the children are visited by Santa who gives them all presents during the journey (adults get a hot-chocolate or a mulled wine). While my own children are too old for such things now, I have fond memories of taking them on these trips when they were younger.

There was no sign of the steam loco on the day I took this and the station itself was closed, so this photo was taken through the gates at the level crossing just beyond the station. Fog and mist always adds a wonderful quality to photos, I think.

I took an almost identically composed picture with the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta just before this one. That’s a nice photograph too and much sharper due to the Zeiss glass, but I think the Holga shot just pips it to the post. Maybe because it’s more contrasty – the Holga’s single shutter speed and limited aperture control largely dictates the final exposure of the image, and I think this slightly darker one wins out in that respect. The Holga’s vignetting and soft edge focus also works very well to draw your eye into the frame, which is often an attractive compositional feature.

FILM - Vintage sidings

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 30 November 2019