35mm · Film photography · Photography

Below a crooked spire

As I’m still top-and-tailing my camera review post (it’ll no doubt be a crushing disappointment after I’ve carped on about it so much over the last week or so…) so I’ll drop in a few photos I took inside St. Mary and All Saints church in Chesterfield a couple off weeks ago. This is the church famous for it’s crooked spire, a phenomenon believed to be caused by uneven heating of the lead in the stucture by the sun. While I’ve made a number of photos of the spire and outside of the building in the past, I’ve only ventured inside on two or three occasions – including this one.

I quite enjoy making pictures of the artefacts and ephemera within churches. Theres a wonderful sense of history to be had. As church interiors are often quite dimly lit, and as the use of tripods or (especially) flash are generally forbidden, I decided to shoot some Ilford HP5+ pushed to 1600asa. While this increased the grain and contrast a little, I’ve found that HP5+ handles both very well and they are not overwhelming at all.

Crooked
The famous Crooked Spire, viewd from a southerly aspect. This shot was made on an ealier visit using my Minolta SRT-101b, Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 using some expired Kodak Tri-C Pan film.
Socially distanced nave
The nave of the church looking east to the altar. Note the now de rigeur Covid-19 social distancing sign.
Font cover
A stout wooden cover atop the font.
Eagle
A lectern in the form of an eagle.
Organ pipes
The pipes of the church organ.
Awaiting musicians
Chairs and music stands.

Various statues, shrines and other paraphernalia of the church.

Figurines-2
Jesus in a window
Double helix
Artefacts

Nikon F80, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS HSM & Ilford HP5+ (@1600asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 13mins @ 20°

Taken on 5 September 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Bathroom light

A possibly familiar composition today for anyone who’s read earlier posts on my blog. It’s a photo of our bathroom window taken from a similar position as the Holga shot in this post from back in March.

I think I prefer the Holga photo if I’m honest, with it’s low-key look and inky black shadows, but I like this one too. The pair of spectacles adds something and the hint of green foliage through the frosted glass window pane is nice as well.

In the bathroom

Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Kodak Gold 200.

Taken on 31 May 2020

35mm · Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

A walk on a wet day

About a month agao I went for a walk on a Saturday morning. I planned my route the evening before and checked the weather, which all my apps informed me would be overcast but dry after some early rain. My path would take me from a place about 20 minutes drive away called Lindrick Dale. It’s a place I’ve walked from once before, albeit when I was a teenager – so over thirty years ago now! That particular walk had been somewhat ill-fated…

Myself and two of my friends had decided to catch the bus there and then walk over to the Chesterfield Canal (we were all into fishing at the time and were curious as to what the canal would be like to fish in. Although I never fished it, it was like some sort of angler’s fantasy with countless huge fish visible in the water!). From there, we would follow the towpath to the town of Worksop and then catch the bus home. It was a hot summer’s day and we were not really prepared to do much other than our planned walk so, when we got to Worksop and discovered that the bus service had stopped running, we were in a pickle. None of us had anyone who could drive out and pick us up, so we ended up having to walk home, hungry and thirsty, for the entire 14-mile distance. I remember the blessed relief when we found a shop that was open – a rarity in the UK on a Sunday afternoon in the 1980s – and were able to buy a can of cold pop each. I’m not sure I’ve ever had such a welcome drink (except maybe the one I had when I finally reached home, feet aching and exhausted, later that evening).

On this recent occasion I planned on walking some of the same route again, though with the benefit of knowing I had my car to get me home at the end of the walk. Still, there had to be a degree of ill-fate I suppose, and this time it came in the form of rain. As usual, the 21st century weather forecasting technology let me down. A couple of minutes after leaving the car and beginning to walk, the heavens opened. I continued walking a while longer – I’d worn my waterproof hooded jacket so my top half was nice and dry. Unfortunately my trousers were only water resistant and it soon became apparent that they would get very wet if I didn’t take shelter. So, with a degree of annoyance at the weather forecasters of the world, I hurried back to the car to sit it out.

Eventually the rain eased off and it looked like it might stay that way, so I headed out again. The weather was still gloomy, but there was a pleasant freshness to the air from the heavy rain, laced with the scents of vegetation. Following the narrow road through Lindrick dale led to a footpath that skirts the southern edge of Lindrick golf course and I grabbed a quick photo of one of the greens. I was up a small slope above the green and I might have been better served if I’d gone down to make the photo, but it is what it is.

Four or fore

It’s probably worth noting at this point that most of the photos featured in this post are snaps from my walk taken with my Nikon F80 and 50mm lens. I’m not sure that any of them are great photos, but they serve well enough as illustrations. I also had my Yashica Mat 124G and some of those photos are more, er, artistic (some have been featured on the blog already here and here).

A little further on I stopped to take a photo of the canal feeder stream which winds it’s way through the landscape for a mile or so from the River Ryton until it empties into the Chesterfield canal. I find something interesting about these sorts of man-made waterways – they remind me of some sort of fairground water-ride on a grand scale. I’m not including most of the Yashica photos in this post, but I’ll let this one sneak in as it shows the canal feeder (shot on Fomapan 100 film).

Canal feeder

The path then entered an area of woodland and thankfully it was when I was beneath the shelter of the trees that the rain started again. It absolutely heaved it down and I was forced to loiter in the woods for a good twenty minutes before it stopped enough to venture out again.

The path now took me past an interesting looking farm that I made a mental note of as a possible future photo opportunity (in nicer weather!) and then continued towards a nearby railway line with a pedestian crossing place. Unfortunately, this section of path was bordered by tall grasses which were now saturated with rainwater. It’s remarkable the volume of water that plants can hold on their leaves and stems and my legs were soaked by the time I reached the railway crossing. Thankfully, the other side was an open field leading up to the canal at Turnerwood. There was a nice looking old greenhouse on this section that was also added to the photo-op file of my memory banks.

My plan had been to walk from here to nearby Shireoaks and then back on a long loop around the golf cours. However, my wet trousers forced the decision to take a shorter route back to the car instead. So, from Turnerwood, I walked west along the canal towpath and shortly afterwards made this photo of a moored barge.

Early morning barging

A little further along the path and I saw a curious horse watching me from the other side of the water.

It's that horse again

And, a little further again, some lock gates that were nicely lit by the sun which had peaked through a gap in the cloud.

Lock gates and reflected trees

This section of the canal has a long series of locks and I made a number of photographs with the Yashica Mat. Eventually I reached a bridge over the canal that marked the place where I would lead the towpath and head back towards Lindrick Dale. This involved crossing the railway line once again and then walking up a long, slighty muddy and slippery path through a field of growing crops. Here I took a couple of the photos posted in the blogs linked further up this piece.

A paved farm road at the top of the footpath made for easier walking and I followed it over a railway bridge and past a house stood alone in the countryside. The road dipped downhill and just as it veered right, under a railway bridge, I noticed a field of cows to my left. There was a stream at the foot of the field with a simple wooden bridge. The stream also passed under the railway embankment through a culvert and te next three shots show the scene. The field was laced with cowpats and I was fortunate that my luck held out for once and I didn’t tread in any!

Footbridge from a cow field

An entrance

Another view of the footbridge

Crossing back over the stream and under the railway bridge, I was now on the home stretch back to the car and was soon back on the narrow road through Lindrick Dale. There are some lovely houses here and I expect that they cost a pretty penny.

Past the posh houses

There is some private, manicured land at the bottom of the dale with stretches of lawn, lovely shrubs and trees, and the odd swing set. Colour film, even on this dull day, would have better served me here.

Swings beside the lawn

The final shot of the set, taken just before I got back to my car, is one of the expensive houses perched high on the edge of the dale.

House on the edge

Better conditions might have made for a better walk (and maybe photos too), but it was enjoyable for all its discomforts and I was glad to have taken the time.

Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Ilford XP2 Plus.

Taken on 6 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Early walk and late frost (a couple of months ago)

A couple of quick photos today from one of the regular routes I walked back when lockdown was still in full force, perhaps a couple of months ago now (although it doesn’t feel that long). It was a nice morning but there was a chill in the air and the remains of a light frost were still evident in places the sun hadn’t yet found.

I liked this rotted-out fence post in which new life was making its presence known.

New growth in old

And another fencepost, this one surrounded by an average and ordinary selection of grasses and weeds, but which the frost made appealing.

At the bottom of a fence post

Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Ilford XP2 Plus.

Taken sometime in late April / early May 2020 (I think)

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Empty skies

As air travel has been reduced by a huge amount in the current pandemic situation, it means the skies are almost devoid of aircraft where I live. I’ve seen a couple, but today’s clear blue skies have been exactly that – clear and blue – with nary a cloud nor a contrail to be seen. With that in mind, today’s picture is a reminder of what they look like. 🙂

Today marks the second full day of lock-down (although it’s not being officially called that by the government) here in the UK. As we’re still allowed to leave the house for exercise (only once a day, by yourself or with people from your immediate household), I managed to get out for a walk again at lunchtime. I’m treating these very much as walks first and foremost as the exercise is beneficial, but as I always carry a camera when I go out, I will still take photos while out if the opportunity arises and it doesn’t mean putting myself or anyone else at risk of unnecessary contact.

My walk today took me through an industrial estate where a number of businesses are still operating and, as it was lunchtime and the weather was nice, there were people eating their food outside at one place, albeit sat a good three or four metres apart. I’ve taken to crossing the street if I see someone approaching, and it’s noticeable just how much people are fearful of getting too close to one another. We had a delivery to the house yesterday and the driver, after seeing me coming to the door, retreated to the bottom of the drive before I opened it.

Sadly, although understandably, my local film-processing lab announced today that it will be closing it’s doors and stopping production for the time-being, so any film I do shoot wil need to be sent elsewhere – although I am still looking into home developing (though only if I can get any kit and chems delivered, I suppose).

Work remains, for me at least, much the same as it did before this started as I work from home full-time anyway. The main difference is having the boys at home now that school has closed. My wife still has to travel to work as she is in a key-worker role, although she has the next few days off.

The lock-down in the UK is scheduled to be reviewed in three weeks time, but I would be very surprised if it’s lifted at that point. I think we’re in it for quite some time.

Contrail

Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 2 February 2020