Oddshots #4

Once again, apologies for my somewhat slower paced updating of the blog. In order to at least post something to keep the blood flow going, here’s another in my occasional Oddshots posts – just a single image that doesn’t really fit in a bigger post, or perhaps something from the archive.

This one was taken a week ago following a trip to the local cathedral (which had opened it’s doors to a local photography group for the evening). After the visit came to a close I walked back to the car to find that the street where I’d parked was bathed in gorgeous evening sunshine. Hawley Street consists of a row of terraced houses that were spared damage in the blitz, and the light on them was lovely.  It’s only the contemporary cars (and maybe the odd street sign and road marking)  that really date this image – it might otherwise have been taken 75 years ago. I’m not disappointed by the cars in the shot – they themselves will add a nice historical air as the photo ages.

FILM - On Hawley Street

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Oddshots #3

Another of my occasional quickie posts featuring just a single shot. This time taken in York’s National Railway Museum with my Olympus OM-1, F Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. The subject is a selection of glassware from the Great Eastern Railway Company which was housed in an exhibition case in the Flying Scotsman area of the museum. It was very dimly lit in there and so a wide aperture and slower shutter speed were required (1/30s handheld) to get a sufficient exposure. I’ve cropped the photo slightly as there was a distracting bit of silverware encroaching in from the right of the frame that I didn’t like.

The shallow depth of field lends it a bit of an abstract air and it’s a photo I like (I am a sucker for these sorts of pictures though).

FILM - Glasses

Oddshots #2

Another of the occasional posts featuring a single shot, which I’m posting today primarily because I wanted to keep the flow of posts going on the blog, but haven’t yet gotten around to sorting out the pictures from the roll of Ektar I shot yesterday.

So, here’s a random shot from a while back. It was taken in Manchester while I was attending a training course, and as I was early on this particular day, I decided to take a circuitous route to the building where the course was being held. During the walk I spotted this little scene. It was the bicycle chained to the parking meter that drew my eye, but as I composed the shot I noticed the mini parked further up the street and made sure I included it in the frame, and I think the double-yellow (or grey in this case) lines lead you up to it and then to the distant tower of the crown court building.

The two people add a dash of interest. It’s a shot that I think will age nicely as, although the parking meter and Mini are contemporary to now, they’ll look pleasantly old-fashioned a few decades hence.

The camera used to take the shot was my cheapo Olympus Superzoom 105 G loaded with Fomapan 100. It’s not the sharpest of cameras, but it’s a very handy size and shape to just throw in a coat pocket when I’m out and about and, although I’ve not used it since finishing the roll of Fomapan, I can see myself picking it up again in future for similar trips out. The main downside I found was that the flash is automatically triggered in low light unless you first disable it, and I got at least a couple of unexpected flash bursts that I wasn’t expecting.

FILM - Bicycle

Oddshots #1

Occasionally, I might have a single image to post, maybe something unusual or special, or just an oddment that’s slipped out of a set. Rather than saying nothing about them, I thought they might make for good “quickie” posts.

The shot here is one that was taken a few weeks ago, but which I’ve only just uploaded to Flickr (mainly because I’ve been spending a lot of time with the Yashica Mat). It was taken with a Pentax P30T and Rikenon 50mm f/2 lens combo on Agfa Vista Plus 200 – a film that can usually be bought for £1 a roll [24 exp] in the UK’s Poundland discount store chain. Poundland Agfa (as it seems to be known amongst some ‘togs) may be cheap, but I quite like the results it produces – a little grainy and edging towards the magenta, it can produce particularly nice results in sunny conditions, I  think.

Because it’s so cheap, it makes a good ‘test’ film for new cameras that you don’t want to risk with something more expensive. In this case, it was the first outing for the P30T, a camera I’d bought purely because I had the Pentax K-mount Rikenon 50mm lying around without a body to affix it to. The lens came with a Ricoh KR-10 that I’d bought at a flea market, but the focusing screen was mis-aligned and beyond my current powers to fix. I still have the KR-10, but it seems to have slipped into further disrepair, with the shutter now failing to fire even with fresh batteries. Ah well, at least the lens seems ok.

I took the camera for a walk around town and shot all 24 frames of the Agfa, and was very happy with the results. The P30T (which I use in aperture priority mode), is compact, light, and fits well in my hands, and the images were all nicely sharp and well exposed.

The shot below is of the Soundhouse, a building owned by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Music. It’s an unusual building with a look of a piece of studded furniture. After a bit of tweaking, I decided to convert the shot to black and white as I preferred the look. Apart from a couple of scratches I’ve noticed on the image since uploading it (I might go back and fix those, so don’t worry if you can’t see them!), I like the shot. The building’s unusual shape and its black textured exterior make it stand out nicely in the frame. The composition is maybe a little tight at the bottom though. Oh well.

FILM - Living in a box