35mm · Film photography · Photography

Steps and stairs

I was wondering what picture to post today, especially as I’ve almost exhausted my current supply of fresh pictures (the ones that are scanned that is – I have a couple of rolls waiting to undergo their analogue to digital transformation, plus three rolls waiting to be developed AND another couple of rolls in cameras with just a handful of frames remaining to be shot).

So, I picked out the two below which have some thematic connection at least.

Stairwell
Steps

Olympus 35 RC & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 7 & 11 May 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Magpie sheep

I’m not sure of the reason – although the humid weather might be a cause – but I’m feeling particularly stressed-out today, a feeling that has increased during the afternoon. Despite this, I did manage to develop a roll of film during my lunchbreak, and also started scanning som 120 Kodak Gold negatives when I finished work (although that process was not going smoothly, so I packed it in before my stress levels increased further).

I’ve not much to say about today’s picture other than this large fibreglass sheep was stood outside a shop I passed when on a day out with my wife last month. It was striking enough to make a picture.

Sheep

Olympus 35 RC & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 11 May 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Chequerboard and Flickr Explore

I guess that this is a similar picture to the one I posted yesterday. This one is overexposed though. It’s overexposed because I mistakenly set the 35 RC to an f/2.8 aperture instead of the A (for auto) setting that would allow it to meter correctly in it’s standard shutter-priority mode. As a result this picture (and a couple of others) got far too much light. The other couple I’ve discarded in terms of posting them anywhere but I still quite liked this shot so I did what I could to recover it.

The photo also appeared in Flickr’s Explore section today, which I was a little surprised by. I get pictures selected for Explore on a reasonably regular basis (probably one a month or so) but they are rarely the photos that I think are my best. In fact, they’re often the ones I like the least. I have no idea how Explore selects it’s photos.

Whenever I get a photo in Explore I always get lots of comments from people congratulating me on the achievement. I’m grateful if people like my photos, but these people rarely seem to then venture into my feed to look at the other (arguably better) pictures. It’s almost as though anything not in Explore is somehow sub-par and not worth bothering with.

I don’t tend to look at Explore very often – usually it’s only when one of my pictures is featured and I’m feeling nosey as to how far down the selction it appears. There are a lot of very nice photos featured, but there are also a lot of obvious pictures too, as well as some bizarre choices from time to time. However, if I do find one I really like then I will go and look at the feed of the photographer as sometimes this introduces me to new bodies of work I really enjoy.

Chequerboard pattern

Olympus 35 RC & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 7 May 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Punchbags

These punchbags were in a room adjacent to one of the leather chairs I posted pictures of yesterday. Although I never saw anyone punching them, each time I went past the three bags would be swinging slightly. Clearly ghosts were to blame. There can’t possibly be any other rational explanation to this mysterious event. 🙂

Punchbags

Olympus 35 RC & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 7 May 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Between journeys

Back near the start of May I visited the Photo North photography festival in Manchester. Rather foolishly I didn’t allow enough time to enjoy it thoroughly and, to make matters worse, the train there was delayed too. As a result, instead of walking to the location as planned, I ended up grabbing a taxi. The light in the station was really nice as I made my way to the cab rank, and I grabbed a few photos, including the one published here today.

Window seats

Olympus 35 RC & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 7 May 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Tinkling the ivories

Many railway stations here in the UK, or at least the larger ones with sheltered concourses and departure areas, tend to have a piano (sometimes several) on which members of the public can exercise their musical talents (or lack thereof). This one is at Manchester Picadilly station – and there’s at least one more at this station.

This is a shot from the first roll I’ve shot through my Olympus 35RC in far too long. My XA3 seems to have gotten much of the love over the past year, but even before I got that camera, the 35RC had languished for longer than I liked. I’ve shot this roll with it and currently have a half-finished roll of FP4+ loaded. It’s a great little camera and deserves some use.

Tinkiling the ivories

Olympus 35 RC & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 7 May 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The end of an era

Today marked the end of the road (or should that be rails?) for the Beighton Station signal box. It’s demolition has been planned for some months now and, despite campaigns to save it, it was demolished this morning.

My wife and I walked down yesterday afternoon so I could make a few photos while it was still intact, although surrounded by wire fencing. A conversation with one of the contractors on site revealed that the demolition was planned for today at 8am. So, my alarm set for seven, I rose this morning, fed the cat, and drove down to see the event take place.

I needn’t have gotten out of bed so early as not much was happening. There were a lot of contractors on site – a dozen or more at least, and the method of the box’s destruction – a large CAT excavator with a claw attachment – could be seen parked a little way down the railway tracks. The tracks have been closed to rail traffic for the duration of the activity, and the level crossing is only open to foot traffic. As well as the workmen, there were a few locals there to witness the demolition, at least two of whom I discovered had worked in the signal box in the past. There was a bit of excitement when a large metal skip was delivered to take the remains away, but still nothing much was taking place. The box still had the Beighton Station sign affixed which needed to be removed as it has apparently been promised to the local lifestyle centre as a souvenir.

It was quite cold at the location, especially while standing still, so I decided to take advantage of the slow progress and pop back home to grab a quck breakfast before returning. This is where things went off-plan…

Getting back to the car, I turned the key in the ingnition and… nothing. Despite the car having started perfectly an hour or so before, the battery was now almost completely dead. The radio would come on, but the engine wouldn’t turn over at all. My choices were not to either go back to the demolition and sort the car out afterwards, or call the breakdown service to get it back on the road again. As today was Mother’s Day here in the UK and we were planning to go out for something to eat at luchtime – don’t get excited, the lockdown restrictions meant that the day would be celebrated by my wife, our sons, and I treating ourselves to a drive-thru burger while sat in the car. These plans meant that I needed to get the car sorted out as soon as possible. The breakdown company stated that it would be 2-3 hours and that I would get a call twenty minutes before the recovery vehicle arrived. My plans of seeing the demolition of the signal box slipping away, I decided to walk home, get some breakfast and wait for the call.

The walk home took about 10-15 mins and then, liteally a minute after getting there, I received a text saying the breakdown recovery vehicle would be with me in 10 minutes! Not having time to get any breakfast, and thankful that we have two cars, I asked my wife to drive me back down to where the other car was parked. The recovery vehicle arrived at exactly the same time we did, and I crossed the road to speak to the driver. After popping the bonnet, he ran some tests on the car battery which revealed itself to have a faulty cell, necessitating a replacement. The options were to get one fitted there and then, or to be towed to a garage or branch of Halfords to get the work done. Given the paucity of time available to me I decided to let the recovery service replace and fit a new battery as this would get me back on the road straight away.

Soon I was back home and munching a hasty breakfast of granola before heading back to the signal box to see if work had begun (or, knowing my luck, that I had missed the whole thing). When I got there I was pretty much right on time though. While I’d missed the removal of the Beighton Station sign – which I’d hoped to record with a photo – the excavator was only just about to start its work.

I spent the next half-hour making photos of the gradual demolition. There were more people around by this time, many of them making photos or recording video, and I made a couple of dozen images of the scene until the building was down to its lower brick section. My time running short, and the roll of film at an end, I decided to head back home.

I have a busy week ahead, so doubt I’ll get to develop the film until next weekend, but I’ll be sure to post a series of pictures depicting the day’s events once I have the negatives scanned. In the meantime, here’s a picture of the box I made back in November 2016.

Beighton Station box
A witness to many years
I bid you farewell

Signal Box G2P-2

Olympus 35RC & Dixons branded 200asa film (expired June 2004). Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken in November 2016