Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Powerlines, foxgloves & ferns

A couple more photos from my Dale Dyke reservoir hike, both featuring one of my regularly shot subjects: power lines.

These were the third and final shots from the roll respectively. I’m really happy with the first shot – the foxgloves add some nice, distinctive foreground interest.

Foxgloves and the transmission of power

I like the composition of the second image, but the foreground ferns are out of focus. I can’t remember if I’d opened the aperture deliberately to get a shallow depth of field, or if it was an accident – it’s not a shot that really benefits from a narrow depth of field if I’m honest.

Cresting the hill

Yashica Mat 124G & Fomapan 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 22 June 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Uninspired

I had the day off work today and had planned a trip out into the countryside. Alas, the weather had other plans and the day was one of those with a solid sheet of blank grey sky. To make matters worse it also kept raining. Not proper, people-with-umbrellas rain though, but the fine, almost mist-like, rain that just hangs about in the air and gets onto every surface – especially cameras and the front elements of lenses!

So I changed my plans and drove into town instead. Today would be my first trip into the city centre since the non-essential retailers were allowed to open their stores last Monday (and only the second time since lockdown began in March!). Although early, I’d expected more people and traffic that there was – having seen pictures of crowded streets and shops in the media, I thought there might be something similar afoot – but there were very few people about. More than my previous, pre-shops-re-opening visit, but still not many – not even many people travelling into work. The largest groups of workers I saw were construction workers, of whom there were a significant number apparent around town.

Today’s trip was different to the last though in one simple way – I was uninspired. Whereas on my previous visit last weekend I saw photographs everywhere, today I saw few, and the ones I made (I shot around half a 36 exposure roll of HP5+) felt for the sake of it rather than anything I expect to be good when they are developed. Usually, shooting a full roll of film is no problems, but today I left defeated.

It was the first outing for my newly acquired Olympus OM-2 too and perhaps getting to grips with the slightly different fuctionality when compared to my familiar OM-1, had an impact on my photograph making. I’m hoping I might get to finish the roll over the weekend (and I have an extra day off on Monday too) and that the next outing will see me in better spirits.

Today’s photographs are from the dust-spotted Fomapan roll of doom that I’ve spoken about in recent posts. It took me ages to get rid of all the speckles, so I hope someone likes them. 🙂

A gap in the crops

Rainy day lane

Yashica Mat 124G & Fomapan 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 6 June 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Over the fields

Have I posted a photo of some power-lines recently? I’m pretty sure I must have – because I post pictures of them all the time!

Well here’s another one – this is the FINAL pre-lockdown photo I took, the last frame on the roll.

It’s the same field where I took the shots I posted here, back in November of last year.

Over the fields

Yashica Mat 124G & Kodak Plus-X (expired 2008).

Taken on 22 March 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Weekend stuff

Today has been a somwhat uneventful day. I haven’t left the house, and the only photography-related activity has been reading my Portraits of America book, reading some blogs, and loading a roll of Fomapan 100 into my Bronica ETRSi (but not, so far at least, making any photographs with it). I did also upload a couple more shots to Flickr from the roll of Hp5+ I developed on Friday, one of which you can see in this post.

Yesterday, while not exactly exciting, was more eventful. My wife needed to pick up some things from the hospital and, as she was unsure if she’d be able to find a parking space outside the ward (and would otherwise have a lengthy walk), asked if I would drive her there. This was a reason for me to both drive the car – something I’ve barely done in over a month – and also, because we took our small car (which has been sat on the drive for weeks), give it a run to get some charge in the battery and get some movement in it’s parts. While hardly the trip of a lifetime, it was nice to be able to venture further from home for once.

Then, yesterday afternoon, I decided to combine a walk with picking up some things my wife had been been unable to buy during the weekly supermarket shop. I decided to get some decent exercise by taking a circuitous route around the area, looping around to the shopping centre, and then back home. At around 3.5 miles it wasn’t a really long walk, but I kept up a brisk pace throughout and got some good fresh air and exercise.

I also had the Sure Shot Telemax in my cargo-pants’ pocket, and managed to finish the roll of Delta 400 that it contained. Just a few snapshots as I walked, but maybe something worth a second look when I get around to developing them. The roll ended rather abruptly at frame #32 because I think the camera’s frame-counter has developed a fault – it sometimes jumps back to a lower number, or (in this case) miscounts how may shots have been taken. It’s done it before, but I don’t think it’s actually lost any images, still producing the expected 36 or 37 photos.

Today’s photo has both railway lines and power lines, and is the sort of composition that the Holga seems to eat up for lunch.

Lines

Holga 120N & Ilford HP5+ – Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins

Taken on 9 April 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

On a lunchtime walk

While I’ve not listed any new year’s resolutions this year (I’ll only go and break them anyway), one thing I do aim on doing is losing some weight (ha ha ha) and part of this process will be to try and get out and walk more often. I’m fortunate in that I have a country park within easy walking distance of home which has a footpath that makes a circuit around two of the lakes there. In all it’s around four miles to walk from home, around both lakes, and back home again (although a mile can be shaved from that by skipping the path around the smaller lake).

While the park is a good thing to have on the doorstep, it’s not the most inspiring location for photography – or at least the sort of photography that I favour. The park has been in existence for almost forty years now and was built on reclaimed mining land. The trees and shrubs planted at its inception are well into adulthood but, despite this, the way that they are arranged (in small, impenetrable, copse-like, groupings) means that most of the park is open grass that slopes gently to the lakeside. While this gives good lines of sight across the water, the views aren’t ones I find especially inspiring, especially as the park sits in a bowl of hills, most of which have easily visible and bland-looking suburban housing or industial buildings on them.

Despite my moaning here, I’m grateful the park is there, and it will undoubtedly be the venue for some of my walks. I think it’s only fair that I challenge myself to achieve some nice photos on my visits.

I’m also fortunate to have a number of other pleasant walking locations within 5-15 minutes drive from home, and I plan on making use of those too. The agricultural land where these lie is criss-crossed with public footpaths and rights of way and I’ve found that even the most unlikely looking paths can throw up some surprisingly beautiful photo opportunities if you take the time to look for them.

Today’s photo was taken just above Renishaw golf course. The hills in the distance have plenty of buildings, but the mist on the day did a great job of obscuring them and making the scene look far more rural than it is.  The power-lines and farm track make for a couple of great leading lines, and it’s the sort of scene that works a charm when photographed with the Holga.

FILM - They play golf down there

Holga 120N & Kodak Tmax 400.

Taken on 18 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Yet more pylons

Yeah, yeah, I know, more pylon / powerline photos. But I make no excuses as I still think they make for excellent photographic subject matter.

Both shots here are 1:1 crops because my OM-1 created a partial double-exposure when winding on the frames (which it did again later in the roll too). Fortunately, these two shots didn’t suffer (and maybe even benefited) from the crop.

FILM - Along the National Grid

FILM - Reflections of power

Olympus OM-1, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford XP2 (expired).

Taken on 17 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

On an overcast day

I guess that this is a direct follow on to yesterdays photos, although this one was taken earlier – within a few minutes of the flooded field photograph that I posted a week or so back.

Once again, you will see the appearance of powerlines in the picture. While they add to the composition , they (and the tree and the road) were not the primary reason for taking the photo. That honour goes to the second bush from the right. You can’t tell from this black and white conversion, but it was a vivid autumnal orange, and attracted me to the scene. Alas, the uniform overcast grey sky meant that the colour image was a little drab, even with the splash of orange, so I went for the conversion instead, where the powerlines, tree and road make the shot.

FILM - Overcast

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Kodak Colorplus (converted to B&W).

Taken on 9 November 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A compulsive attraction to power?

Nine days. a whole nine days… That’s how long I managed to go without posting more photos of powerlines. I wonder if there’s a name for this weird attraction to them as photographic subjects? There are definately a number of groups devoted to the subject matter on Flickr – I know this because I post my pictures to them sometimes!

I’m probably over-egging this a bit to be fair – it’s not as though I go out of my way to take pictures of them deliberately. I never plan a day out to travel around photographing pylons or anything like that. It’s just that I find that they have a look to them that appeals.

FILM - Empty fields

Sometimes, as in the case of the photos today, it’s their surroundings – this time following a route across empty autumnal fields in a way the evokes big empty spaces and calls Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman to mind. It’s a false evocation – here in the UK you’re rarely more than a few miles from civilisation, or at least evidence of such, but that’s one of the beauties of a photograph – they can tell other stories than their reality.

FILM - Empty fields-2

I did wonder about leaving these as colour images. They were shot on a dull, ovecast day with flat light and of a largely muted colour scheme – the only real colour being a soft yellowy beige of the autumnal cropped grasses in the fields – which did have it’s own faded charm. On the whole though, I prefer the black and white versions.

FILM - Empty fields-3

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Kodak Colorplus (converted to B&W).

Taken on 9 November 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Waterlogged field

After yesterday’s flooded field photo, today I present a field that is merely waterlogged.

The photograph has some similarities to the previous one beyond the water, namely the powerlines marching across the fields into the distance.

See! I told you I had a thing abouth photographing powerlines – this is three days on the trot that they, or similar transmission equipment, has featured.

As it no doubt will again.

FILM - Over yonder way

Holga 120N and Kodak Tmax 400 (expired).

Taken on 9 November 2019