Changeable weather #2: The dry(ish) part.

Following on from the last post, here are the remainder of the shots taken on Saturday 27 May.

Shortly after I finished taking the photos in part one, and after walking up towards the West Street / Glossop Road area, the sun decided to re-emerge and bathed everything in bright, and pretty humid, conditions.

I’d intended to got to the pedestrianised area between the old Henderson’s Relish building and the new university buildings that stand in the spot where the old Jessop’s maternity hospital once stood. The area is in the process of gentrification at the hands of the university and is none the worse for it. As much as I like to see old architecture remaining in place, the new buildings either incorporate the old, listed, architecture, or are modern in a pleasing way that makes for interesting photographs. The university bioincubator facility has a little sculpture / garden thingy in between the buildings that was catching the light nicely too.

Rather than describe each shot, I’ll drop a selection below. As with the previous post, these are a mixture of Yashica Mat 124 G / Kodak Ektar & Olympus 35 RC / Kodak Colorplus photographs.

FILM - Brass bottles

FILM - Holes and bottles

FILM - Underneath

FILM - Bicycles

FILM - Approaching the diamonds

FILM - Things with droplets

FILM - Outside the bioincubator

After this batch of shots, I started to walk back towards town down the back streets that run parallel to the main West Street drag. The remnants of the rain made for a nice reflection of a green doorway in the side of St. George’s lecture theatre (a deconsecrated church). I took two shots of this, one with the last frame of Ektar in the Yashica Mat, the other with the 35 RC.

FILM - I saw this after the rain

FILM - Green door reflection

The rest of the day’s shots were with the 35 RC, and I’m pretty happy with a number of them, especially the last two of the set below (the guy walking past the university building and the “No Entry” road marking).

FILM - Up and over

FILM - Portobello 1

FILM - Subject to surveilance

FILM - His head in a star

FILM - No Entry

The final shot below, is of the Q-Park car park building off Rockingham Street. Sheffield has its fair share of mid 20th century brutalist design car-parks, as do most towns and cities in the country, but recently seems to have acquired several of far more interesting design, such as this one.

FILM - Wavy

Probably back to black and white stuff for the next post.

Changeable weather #1: The wet part.

I went up town last Saturday with the primary intention of taking some photographs (although I did have a secondary mission to pay the deposit for a restaurant booking that my wife had made). The weather was bright and warm, with some fluffs of cumulus (and some bigger wodges of cloud on the horizon) littering the sky. This was not to last.

Despite the conditions remaining the same during the twenty minutes of so it takes to drive into the town centre, literally as soon as I got out of the car, one of the aforementioned “wodges” of cloud was threatening the day with its massive dark bulk. The weather forecast app on my phone said not a word about rain though, so I fed the parking meter and set off to get some pictures.

The weather forecast app tells lies.

I got the following shot of an old cutlery works entrance.

FILM - Eye Wit

Then I followed the street leading to the back. There I started to line up another shot when I felt a few spots of rain – not heavy at this stage, but enough to potentially get on the lens and spoil the picture (indeed, a single fat droplet fell right into the open top of the Yashica Mat leaving a wet splash on the focusing screen). The only available shelter was a small doorway that was presumably a point of egress from a fire escape or something. It was approximately 18 inched deep, so enough to provide adequate shelter, but with the downside of having a noticeable air of urine odour to put up with. Still, beggars can’t be choosers, and literally seconds after stepping into the doorway, the heavens opened and rain began to pour down as though someone had turned on am enormous  shower in the sky. The heavy rain lasted maybe five minutes, but then took another ten to abate completely, so I remained in my shelter for quite a while. During this time I took the following shot. It’s a little out of focus, but it’s not a great shot anyway, but is included here as a memory of the moment nonetheless.

FILM - When I was trapped by the rain

The next shot was taken from right outside my sheltering spot )it is directly to the right of where I took this photo).

FILM - The cobbled way

It’s interesting to see how the tarmac has worn from the streets in this area, revealing the original cobbled surface beneath. As well as the Yashica Mat, I also had my Olympus 35 RC with me, still loaded with the remaining frames of the roll of Kodak Colorplus I’d been shooting previously, and it was with this that I got the shot below (my sheltering place can be seen at the bottom left of the frame).

FILM - Another one of those things

Further along this same street, I took the next shot of some graffiti. The shot is quite nice (if you like this sort of thing) with lots of texture and detail. The small red shape that can be seen at the bottom of the boarded-up window is actually a small door that has been affixed and is labeled “The home of Abdul the world’s smallest muslim”. Whether Abdul is a fictional character in the mind of the artist who added the doorway, or represents a real person (though presumably not small enough to fit through this small doorway!), I know not, but it adds some additional interest to the shot.

FILM - NSFW?

A couple more street shots from the same area are next, one from the Yashica Mat, the other form the 35 RC. There’s a slight John Bulmer-ish feel to the second shot in terms of the colour and conditions that I like.

FILM - Egerton Lane

FILM - No Parking Loading

It’s interesting to think that, although relatively lightly traversed nowadays, that these streets would have been hives of activity at one time, with many hundreds of people employed in the area.

The last shot of this batch is taken again with the 35 RC, although I did a black and white conversion on the Colorplus as I liked the result better than the original colour image.

FILM - Gate 6

The weather was to brighten up again shortly after taking this last shot, and I’ll document the remaining pictures in the next post.

Barnsley & Elsecar remnants

I mentioned in the last post that I’d also had my Olympus 35 RC with me on the trip to Barnsley and Elesecar Heritage Centre. Most of the roll it contained was shot subsequent to that day and will probably form the basis for another post soon, but here are some shots from that same trip (plus a few  bonus extra pictures that were not).

I like the 35 RC, it’s capable of some nice results and has the great bonus of being absolutely tiny. This means it’s easy to take on trips and also means I can usually get an extra shot or two out of a roll (although I only managed 36 from this 36 exposure roll this time). The film used was Kodak Colorplus 200, Kodak’s budget offering. I’d not used this before but liked the look of the film in other people’s shots (where it had a slightly vintage, 1970s look to it, I thought) and I have to say I’m pretty happy with the results. I like the look of the film and it seems to have less noticeable grain than the other low-cost film I often use – Agfa Vista Plus 200. On the downside, it was an absolute pain in the backside to scan, with the entire roll having a defined bow along the length, and necessitated me scanning just one strip at a time, and then only two or three frames at once as I had to use some pieced of card to flatten the negatives in the holder. In the end I estimate it took at least four times longer to scan than other 35mm films I’ve used. And I still have a couple of rolls left – good job I do like the look then, eh?

The first set was taken in Barnsley in the car park where I’d left my car before attending the photo exhibition, and as I was saving the remaining frames of Ektar that were in my Yashica Mat for Elsecar, I fired off a number of snaps with the Olympus. There’s a bit of lens flare on the second shot, which is a shame, as I like it otherwise, but the third shot with the red fire sticker is may fave of these three.

FILM - Feels like another country

FILM - Buildings with flare

FILM - Flaming 6

The next small batch are from Elsecar Heritage Centre. I took a shot of the same phone box with my Yashica MAt 124 G and there’s a clear difference in tones between the Colorplus shot below, and the medium format Ektar image, with the Ektar practically vomiting saturated colours from the frame! However, of these three, the window with the teddy bear is, I think, the best.

FILM - Lighting up the sky

FILM - Phonecalls and sweets

FILM - Looking out

And finally, a few bonus shots. The first two pictures (of the cactuses and camper-van planters) were taken at Wentworth garden centre a couple of days before my trip to Barnsley, while the rhododendron is in my back garden.

FILM - Cacti

FILM - Campers

FILM - Rhododendron-2

So, there you have it. It was nice to use the 35 RC again, and the results from the Colorplus were pleasing. I’ve another batch (taken elsewhere) to post about soon, so  keep your eyes peeled!

Doors, doors, doors…

I’ve not finished off any rolls in the past week, so this post is from a trawl through my archives (which only really go back to last summer, film-wise).

I’ve noticed that I often take photos of doors, doorways, windows etc. I don’t think I’m alone in this, and there are entire Flickr groups dedicated to just this subject, but I thought it might make a decent subject for a blog post. I’ll limit the post to shots taken on film, and just those where the door is the focal point of the image (or at least a significant part of it) and will give a little background (in so far as my memory allows) on where and, perhaps, why I took each photograph. They’re shown in rough chronological order, oldest first.

#1

First of all, apologies for the quality of this scan. It has loads of dust and marks on it. Partly, no doubt, due to my not doing a great job when scanning it, but mostly because this entire roll came back from being processed in quite a sorry state. Almost every shot had odd marks, smudges, scratches and horrendous blobs of dust-like artifacts on the negatives themselves. It was as though the roll had been fallen down the dusty back of the processing machine and then been scraped back out from underneath with someone’s shoe. Indeed, I’ve never used this particular place for processing since, and now instead use Peak Imaging, who do a marvellous job.

Anyway, this shot was taken at the Lincolnshire seaside town of Mablethorpe – a regular and frequent holiday destination throughout my childhood and teenage years thanks to my grandparents having a caravan nearby – in September 2016 and this house stood out due to the interesting collection or artifacts surrounding the door. The film used was Agfa Vista Plus 200 (converted to B&W in Lightroom) and it was shot on my Olympus 35 RC.

FILM - Public warning not to trespass

#2

This shot was taken in September 2016, again with my Olympus 35 RC. The film used here was an expired roll of Kodak Ultra 400 (which expired around 2004). The film suffered from some additional grain and I think I ought to have overexposed it a little more to compensate (I think I overexposed it by a single stop), but was otherwise ok. I didn’t notice any significant colour shifts or other faults, although I’m by no means the expert on such matters. I still have a few rolls of this expired film left to shoot.

The door in the picture is in Elliot House on Sylvester Street in Sheffield. The building is now converted to apartments, but used to be part of the Joseph Elliot & Sons cutlery works that was based on the same street (although very little now remains, and the cutlery firm closed in 1990).

Fun with expired film - Roll #1, shot 20

#3

Taken in early October 2016, these doors are the main entrance to the central glass house in Sheffield Botanical Gardens. The glass houses are grade II listed structures and were built in 1837-38. They were renovated and re-opened in 2002 which is why the clock above the doors is dated as such.  This is another Olympus 35 RC & Agfa Vista Plus 200 photograph.

FILM - The entry to the glasshouse

#4

This was taken on the same day as the shot above. Same camera, same roll of film. It was taken on a road near the botanical gardens and I liked the autumnal look of the leaves piled up on the path and the encroaching holly bush. It’ll not win any prizes but, hey, it fits the theme of todays’ post.

FILM - Autumn's doorway

#5

Taken in November 2016 at Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Britain’s last surviving functional roundhouse. The venue is closed at present due to National Lottery funded renovation work that is being carried out. I discovered this to my detriment after driving out for a visit earlier this year without checking the website, only to discover it was closed when I arrived (I ended up going to Bolsover Castle instead). While I’m not particularly a rail enthusiast, I do find that museums such as this offer lots of nice photo opportunities, so are well worth a trip. The shot below is, again, on Agfa Vista Plus 200, but this time shot with my Olympus OM-1, which I’d recently acquired. The lens used was a 50mm F Zuiko f/1.8. I like the way red comes out on colour film (see #2 above), so this was an easy shot, helped by the nice light on the day in question. I particularly like the inclusion of the smoker’s bench and associated “fag-ends” bin, although I’m not sure that dropping cigarette ends into what looks like a plastic container is a good idea. I suppose it might’ve been full of water though – I’m sure these things were carefully considered by the good people who keep the roundhouse going!

FILM - Where the smoke break takes place

#6

Guess the film… Yes! It’s Agfa Vista Plus 200 again! This time shot with my Olympus Trip 35, which is a great little camera with a nice, sharp lens. This is in Paradise Square, Sheffield (if only I’d stepped to right slightly, you’d have seen the full street name for yourselves! Oh well…). This was taken in January on one of my first film-only outings following the (mostly digital) 366 project I did through 2016. The light was great and I went out with my Lubitel 166 U and the Trip and shot a full roll through each.

Paradise Square is a cobbled square surrounded by Georgian houses built through the 1700s. Thankfully it survived the bombing raids that ruined or destroyed much of the city’s historic architecture the Second World War. It now seems to be mostly home to a variety of solicitors and accountancy firms.

FILM - The corner of Paradise Square

#7

This is the doorway of St. Peter & St. Paul’s church in Eckington, Derbyshire. The church dates back to the 12th century, although has had modifications in the intervening time. I hadn’t gone out to intentionally photograph the church, but I parked my car right outside and the afternoon light was lovely, so I took a couple of shots, one of which you see below. This is the first ‘true’ black & white shot from this set, being shot on Ilford FP4 Plus with my OM-1.

FILM - The path to redemption-

#8

Another church doorway, this time St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic church at Handsworth, Sheffield. My wife had an appointment on our way out on a shopping trip, so I decided to go for a walk rather than sit in the car, and I liked the look of the tree’s shadows cast upon the church wall. The camera I had to hand was an Olympus Superzoom 105 G, which is a point-and-shoot compact that was produced around the turn of the century. I bought it for £2 at a camera fayre and it had a partially used toll of Kodak Gold 400 still inside. This was one of the shots taken to use up the remaining frames. As the camera used doesn’t have any way to change the film speed setting, the expired film was shot at box speed and as a result came out with considerable grain. As a result, I decided that B&W worked best for this (plus a crop to a square). For the curious, the other shots on the part-used film consisted of several photos of the (presumably) previous owners’ cat in a kitchen, plus a series from trip to Scotland (After a bit of larking around on Google Maps, I was able to place the specific location of several of the Scotland pictures, which was nice).

FILM - Shadows on the church

#9

Another shot from the £2 Superzoom 105 G. This one is on Fomapan 100. The doorway in the picture is set in the side of the Manchester Crown Court building, and is a suitably imposing entrance. This was taken in April 2017 while I was attending a training course nearby.

FILM - Doors

#10

Taken while waiting for the train to Manchester to attend the training course I mentioned above. This entrance to the hidden luxuries of the first-class lounge is on one of the platforms of Sheffield’s Midland Station. Shot on our old chum, Agfa Vista Plus 200, and with a Konica Pop camera (the third of the £2 cheapies I picked up at the camera fayre). The camera still had batteries in when I bought it, but they’d leaked and had corroded the battery terminals enough to prevent the electrics from working. Thankfully, if you like a challenge, you can shoot the camera manually by using Sunny 16 guidelines. Although the lens is fixed focus, and the shutter speed is locked at 1/125 sec, you can alter the aperture between f/4 and f/16 by a combination of the ASA setting switch and whether the flash is in it’s up or down position. I know it all sounds a bit Heath-Robinson, but it works nonetheless!

FILM - Not for the likes of me

#11

Olympus OM-1 again and another B&W conversion on Agfa Vista Plus 200. This is the entrance to Chesterfield town hall. The framing is maybe a little tight on this at the bottom, but I think I might’ve just about gotten away with it.

FILM - Three ways in

#12

Broad Lane, Sheffield. I liked the weathered, graffiti-scrawled look of this particular door. It was taken with a Pentax P30T on (you guessed it!) Agfa Vista Plus 200. I had to stand in the road to get it in shot using the 50mm Rikenon f/2 lens that was attached to the camera.

FILM - Quiet

#13

Not far from the door above, is the next one, not a dissimilar shade of blue, on Trippet Lane. They could almost be related! Again, the weathered look drew my eye, and this one has a nice bit of sticker-art affixed. Same camera, same roll of film.

FILM - Inside Number 9(0)

Well, there you go. This turned out to be a longer post than I expected. Thirteen shots in all (I hope no-one is superstitious!). At the rate I photograph scenes like this I ought to have enough for another bakers’ dozen in about a year’s time!