Continuing with an irregular theme of churches that I photograph without ever using them for anything else…
This is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon church not too far from Chesterfield town centre and I usually pass it if when visit the town. It’s a modern building, but looks great when it catches some nice light.
Across the road from the Mormon church is Christ Church, a building I didn’t even realise was of religious use until I stopped to photograph it when I saw how it looked in the morning sun. According to Google the main building is a parish centre rather than a church, although the entrance at the south side of the building is clearly labelled as Christ Church, so perhaps it’s multi-purpose?.
A couple of pictures of The Hub, home of Sheffield University’s Student’s Union. This was a museum – the National Centre for Popular Music – when it was originally opened in 1999. It closed a little over a year later due to lack of visitors (including myself).
The local lab that I use for developing has re-opened. Well, in actual fact it opened weeks ago, but I’ve only just spotted that the walk-in reception has now opened again too, meaning I can drop off and collect films without faffing about paying (and waiting) for postage.
Given I’ve been developing my black and white film at home since the lockdown took place, it’s likely that I won’t use them as much as I used to, but today I had a roll of Provia 100F to get developed – I don’t have the chems for E6 film, not do I really want the faff of the temperature control involved. I also had a roll of HP5+ that I was going to develop myself but, as I won’t get the chance until after next weekend, I decided to take the lazy option and pay for it to be devved on this occasion.
I’ve not scanned either roll yet, but the Provia shots look nice and, while I’m not an expert at reading negatives, the HP5 shots look good too – something I’m pleased about as I took a few shots without realising I’d accidentally knocked my light-meter’s ASA setting to 800!. I’ll try scanning both rolls with Vuescan on my Epson this week to see how they compare with my usual Epsonscan process.
Today’s photo is as hot of a building in the city centre. I liked the play of sunlight on the windows. It’s one of a number of photos I made with the 28-70mm Tamron Adaptall lens that came with the OM-2n when I bought it, but it’s quite soft in comparison with my Zuiko lenses, so I think I’ll sell it on. It hasn’t fared too badly with this scene though.
In recent years there have been a significant number of cat cafes open in the UK. These are regular cafes, but home to several cats. The idea being that you get to enjoy a coffee and some cake while watching, stroking and (if they’ll let you) cuddling the cats. You usually have to book a place as they’re very popular and entry to the premises is controlled through an airlock-style double door system to prevent mass escapes.
As with so many other things however, the cat cafes have been hit by the pandemic and lockdown. While some may be starting to re-open now, when I passed this one a few weeks ago it was still closed for business and this little lady was looking forlornly from the window.
As Lightroom and Photoshop have decided that this extremely hot and humid day would be the perfect time to test my patience by stealing all my PC resources thus making even the simplest copy-and-paste action into a chore, this will be a short post (it took nearly 40mins to back up the catalog! Why! Why do this to me today!!!). If you don’t see any more for a while it’s because my PC has met with an unfortunate accident and fallen out of the window!
It’s extremely hot anf muggy here today. Despite having a fan blowing air all day, working hasn’t been much fun. As a result, I’m going to keep it short today so I can enjoy the bliss of a cool shower!
A couple of photographs of Trafalgar Warehouse near Sheffield city centre, a former warehouse building dating to the1930s which now serves as an events venue (presumably closed at present due to the pandemic).
There are 136 glass blocks visible in this next picture, in case anyone is remotely interested. 🙂
14 June was the day before the reopening of non-essential retail stores in the UK. Signs were apparent in windows, both those of retailers re-opening on the 15th, and also those who would remain closed for now. Debenhams, a UK department store, was one of those re-opening it’s doors and there was a sign in the window of it’s cafe area (although I don’t think that this part of the store will resume business just yet).
Elsewhere, there are still signs of the contruction project to renovate and re-develop part of the town centre into a new “retail quarter”. I wonder how the impact of the pandemic will affect the plan, particularly if retail is slow to return to previous levels (if it ever fully recovers)?
While walking around the eerily empty town centre a couple of weeks back, my route took me behing the town hall building. There I noticed a door which looked like it might make for an interesting photograph. The door itself is labled “Town Hall” via a plaque afixed to the wood, but carved into the masonery on the lintel above the entrance is the word “Disinfectants”. In all my years of living here in Sheffield, I’ve never noticed this before.
A quick bit of searching online reveals that this dates back to the Victorian period and formed part of a strategy to rid the city of the disease and vermin which would have been rife in some of the slum conditions that existed at the time in industrial cities. As the poorest members of society would not be able to afford the cost of purchasing disinfectants themselves, these would be given out by the local authority via this entrance to the town hall building.
I had wondered if I might have come to the end of this series of pandemic-related photographs given the relaxing of the lockdown here in the UK, but I’ve got a few new images of scenes in the new, post-lockdown world.
The weekend before last was the final one before non-essential retail was allowed to re-open on the 15 June, so I took a trip up town to see how things looked before the shops returned to life.
The town centre was largely empty, with the largest groups of people I noticed being construction workers and homeless folks. It was a little eerie and the weather – dank and grey – felt more akin to a winter’s morning than one approaching the summer solstice. There were pigeons in the Peace Gardens and I wondered if they’ve been forced to work harder for their dinners given the lack of humans feeding them or dropping scraps?
The city has been given new signage outside some shops (although it seemed somewhat hit and miss as to which shops did – it certainly wasn’t all of them), and benches and the like feature signs requesting they not be used, or to keep your distance from others.
I’ve made a couple more trips since this one (and still have more pandemic-related photos from this roll yet to upload), so I guess this series will continue for a while yet.
My favourite photographer’s quote originates from Garry Winogrand: “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed“.
This quote pretty much encompasses why I make many of my photographs. I’ll see something, be it a scene or an object, and I’ll be inspired to see how my camera will render it as an image. How will the lens make it look?; What if I use a different aperture or focal length?; What about the film I’m using – how will it render the contrast / grain / light / colour? etc.
I’ll still make pictures of more obvious, traditional compositions, but even then the impulse is still the same – how will it look as a photograph? It means that pretty much anything might be a suitable subject for a photograph to be made, whether a beautiful landscape, or a dirty, rainwater-filled plastic cup left on a window-ledge after someone’s night out. Anything can catch my eye. Given that all my photos are made with an audience-of-one in mind – namely myeself – everything is good. I’m sure that some people will wonder what the hell was I thinking when I raised the camera to my eye, but all that needs to be understood is that I saw a photograph that, to me, was worth creating.
Today’s photgraph falls firmly into this remit. The first shot on a roll of HP5+ I shot last weekend, depicting the box of “wonky veg” that was sat in the window of a ground-floor flat close to where I’d parked my car. The rising-sun motif, the grain of the wood, the Pepsi can, and the slightly dirty window all caught my attention.
This is the first roll of film I’ve pushed and then home-developed, and the Ilfotec DD-X has done a great job.