Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Logs in the water

I took a bit of a risk getting these two shots. Although the footpath alongside Burbage Brook was only a few feet above the water at this location, in order to get in position to make the pictures I had to clamber over some wet rocks. My walking boots generally grip rocks just fine, especially the coarse gritstone that is prevalent in this area, but one boulder was deceptively slippery. It hid it’s treachery well, looking no different to it’s companions, but it was as though it had been greased.

Thankfully I was taking my time and using my extended tripod as a surrogate walking pole so I was able to keep my balance, but it could have been a different outcome had I been less cautious. A fall might have meant a soaked or broken camera, a possible twisted (or even broken) ankle or, right at the top of the scale, a full-on Laurel and Hardy-style pratfall into the water leading to who knows what injuries.

But I was fine. A bit of mud on my hands was about the extent of my discomfort. I am thankful.

Waterlog(s)
Turmoil

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford Delta 3200. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9.5mins @ 20°

Taken on 23 December 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Scaly woodland beast

Beside one of the footpaths in Padley gorge stands the remains of a twisted tree. Little more of the trunk is left but it’s something of a focal point on the path as the wood is embedded with hundreds (or more) coins which have been hammered into the surface and bent over (or perhaps they were bent over before they were knocked in). The result is an odd and intriguing texture that resembles the scales of some beast, like a serpent or a dragon.

Woodland beast

The effect is even more pronounced when viewed from the right point of view as the broken tip of the trunk resembles a horned face (or I think it does anyway). On this day it had a conifer branch leant against it giving it a slightly festive air given it was a couple of days before Christmas.

Copper scales

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford Delta 3200. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9.5mins @ 20°

Taken on 23 December 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Twist

Here’s another couple of photos of a grnarled and twisted tree on the upper slopes of Padley Gorge. I’ve photographed it before, including this digital shot made on the same day. The whole area is filled with interesting trees to be photographed and, when the weather is right – especially with some mist present – the opportunities just seem to multiply.

Today was my last day off before returning to work tomorrow. Before Christmas I’d intended to go out with a camera on a few occasions but, apart from the day I made the shots featured here, I’ve not done any photography beyond making pictures of my family. I’ve instead just spent a lot of time watching TV and playing videogames. I do have the itch to get out and make new pictures, and today had some lovely winter sunshine I could have taken advantage of, but sometimes it’s nice to just chill out and relax with other things and I’m glad to have taken the time to do so this Christmas.

Analog twist
Dark perch

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford Delta 3200. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9.5mins @ 20°

Taken on 23 December 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Twisting trunk, the end of Christmas, and Covid

Another Padley Gorge photo today, again of a tree right up near the top of the wooded area where it opens out into heather and bracken covered moorland. There was another photographer making pictures of this same tree when I was there, so we were being careful not to get into one another’s shots.

Today was the day the Christmas decorations came down. I think the intent had been to dismatle them tomorrow but we ended up with a gap in the schedule this afternoon, so got it over and done with. I always used to find taking the decorations down a horribly depressing task, like it was making real the fact that the festive period and all the buid-up was done, and it was just back to work / school / wet and cold January days with not much to look forward to in the immediate future. It would really get me down and the house would look bare and empty with all the trees, lights, garlands and other trimmings packed away.

I don’t seem to feel it nearly so much now (and, if I’m honest, the excitement in the run up to Christmas either). I’m not sure exactly why this might be. Perhaps a sign of getting older? Maybe the fact that our kids are not so young and some of the magic has disappeared? Whatever the case, I don’t feel down like I used to. While I don’t want to lose my fondness for Christmas, losing the post-Christmas blues is not something I will complain about too much.

Both of my kids who still live with us have now tested positive for Covid-19. One late last week, the other today. Neither of them seem particularly ill – they have cold-like symptoms but not much else – and they’re still playing video games and watching the stuff they find entertaining. My wife and I are (so far) still testing negative. It’s actually something of a mystery how the first one managed to be infected – he hasn’t left the house since mid-December and the only visitor we had prior to him starting to feel ill was his big brother who came over on Christmas day (but he’s not been positive either). I’m assuming that either my older son, or my wife and I were infected but asymptomatic at some point and passed it on, or we’ve brought something contaminated into the house. It’s a bit of a puzzle to be honest.

Sinuous

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford Delta 3200. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9.5mins @ 20°

Taken on 23 December 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Can’t see the wood for the fog

A couple of days before Christmas I took myself out into the Peak District national park. The weather forecast showed fog, with rain expected later in the day, so I headed to Padley Gorge in the hope of getting some nice woodland scenes.

Padley Gorge looks great at pretty much any time of the year, being a steep sided valley filled with tumbles gritstone boulders, twisted and gnarled trees, and the peat stained waters of Burbage Brook cascading through the bottom on its way to Grindleford and it’s appointment with the River Derwent beyond. In the fog though, well those twisty trees take on a whole new level of character and the place feels like something out of a Tolkien story.

I shot a full roll of Ilford Delta 3200 film during the outing, as well as making a number of digital photos with my little Ricoh GRIII compact (the image stabilisation on this little camera is excellent, and I am able to drop the shutter speed down to 1/8 second handheld and still get sharp images, making it an excellent companion to other cameras). I decided to shoot the Delta a stop over at 1600asa and to then develop it at box speed. It’s a grainy film, but I thought that it might suit the murky conditions that presented themselves on the day.

I’ll be sharing a number of these shots over the coming days, and here to start us off are a couple of eerie looking large trees that stand at the head of the gorge.

Above the gorge
Great old one

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford Delta 3200. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9.5mins @ 20°

Taken on 23 December 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Walking beside the Wye

This photo was made on our first visit to Bakewell in almost a year. I last visited back in October last year. I’d planned on going out again when the autumn colour kicked in properly but the country was thrust into a series of “tiers” based on Covid-19 infection rates and I was unable to travel beyond our local area.

While it was nice to get out there again on this day the weather wasn’t the best, being dull and rainy while we were there. I shot twenty frames with the XA3 and got a few nice pictured despite the conditions, including this one looking up the River Wye.

I was very busy with work and sorting our cat out after his recent accident, so stumped up to have this and another roll lab developed to save me the time.

A trip to Bakewell
On a dull and rainy day
Can still be quite nice

Along the Wye

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 16 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Through the pasture

Although it probably doesn’t look it from the photograph, the grass in these pasture fields was quite deep – probably a good 8-inches at least. As the footpath was quite loosely defined it meant there was no especially well-trodden route through the fields and so I had to walk through swathes of the tall shoots, which was pretty tiring (especially given the adventure in Monk’s Dale not long before!).

Tired legs in long grass
Thighs powering through and up
On towards Tideswell

Over the pasture

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 May 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Various Tideswell scenes

Friday has rolled around again. It’s quite warm here in the UK at present (although probably pleasantly chilly in comparison with the temperatures the western US and Canada have been experiencing lately) and it’s almost time to jump in the shower to cool off and relax over the weekend.

High Nelly's Cafe
Family butcher

I’m hoping to get out and make some photos over the next couple of days, albeit without travelling too far. I’m slightly concerned that my foot, which started giving me pain after a run a couple of weeks ago, might have a stress fracture. I spent as much time as I could resting it (although helping my son move house last weekend probably doesn’t count) and it felt like it was getting better. However, since last night – for no particular reason I can discern – it seems to be letting me know about itself again. I shall take it steady and maybe slow down my usual brisk pace.

Recede
Between

Today I’m sharing a few photos made in Tideswell nearly two months ago. Most of my photos that day were shot on the Yashica Mat, but by the time I reached Tideswell I’d finished the two rolls of 120 film I had with me so fell back on the OM-2n as backup.

My foot hurts again
I hope it’s not serious
I need my freedom

Cottage and climbing plants
Clematis Cottage

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 May 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A farm above Miller’s Dale

While most of the photos I made on my walk around the Tideswell area were black and white images shot on HP5+, I also took a couple of colour photographs too. These were courtesy of my Canon Sure Shot Supreme, which I’d tossed into my coat pocket before I’d left the house. I kinda wished I hadn’t taken it along as it continually banged, worryingly and annoyingly, into limestone rocks every time I climbed a stile. Luckily it didn’t seem to take any critical knocks though.

Farm

The two photos were shot on a roll of expired Fuji Sensia 100 reversal film. After successfully shooting my previous roll of expired slide film (some Kodak Elite Chrome) with the Sure Shot Supreme, I decided to use it again with the Sensia and shoot it at box speed. As with the Elite Chrome I have some more rolls of this same film so this was essentially a test to see how it fared. Most of the roll was shot over the following couple of days on trips out with my wife, but these two pictures of a farm on the hillside above Miller’s Dale were the first ones I made.

As withe my previous rolls of 35mm expired slide film, I seem to have lucked out with some decent results. Although a little bright in places (the white painted farmhouse was in full sunlight), nothing has been blown out and the colours are pleasing.

More expired slide film
To be well tried and tested
And prove it still works

Farm

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Fujichrome Sensia 100 (expired 2003).

Taken on 24 May 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

The descent into Tideswell

The final three photos I made during my walk around Tideswell Dale, Miller’s Dale, Monk’s Dale and then across the meadows back to Tideswell itself. The final three photos from the Yashica Mat at least – I also shot a few more frames with the OM-2n which had spent most of the day tucked in my backpack.

The skies were beginning to get more threatening by this stage and veils of rain could be seen falling to the south and west. Luckily though, I managed to avoid all the showers. Unluckily, the chip shop where I thought I might treat myself to a well-deserved lunch, was closed. 😦

I wanted some chips
But instead had to go for
A tuna sandwich

Meadow gate
Down the lane to Tideswell
The Flat

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 May 2021