Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Deckchair (for Bagpuss?)

An iconic symbol of traditional British seaside resorts, the chair in this photo was nowhere near a beach – it was for sale on a stall with a wide array of memorabilia and brik-a-brak.

I like to look at stalls and shops selling this sort of stuff. Occasionally they’ll have something I’m interested in purchasing (camera gear probably), but they are also a treasure trove of nostalgia and unknown stories. Wher did this deckchair come from for instance? Was it taken from a seaside beach at some point, or was it purposely bought for someone’s garden, or perhaps to take on days out so the cost and hassle of hiring a chair might be avoided? Similarly the Bahamas calendar hung up beside it? Who bought it? When did they travel there? How did it end up on this stall? (although I fear I know the answer in most cases…).

Often you will find children’s toys, whether abandoned as they grow out of them, or perhaps lost, like something from a Toy Story movie. Sometimes things that you might expect no-one would buy, such as the plastic radiotherapy mask that was also on this stall – whoever that belonged to, I hope they discarded it as part of a full recovery.

When I was a child I would watch Bagpuss on TV. For those unfamiliar with the show, it was a children’s programme about an antique shop owned by a girl named Emily. Within the shop were a number of children’s toys including stuffed animals, dolls, carved wooden bookends, a “marvellous, mechanical, mouse organ” and the eponymous Bagpuss himself, a pink and white saggy old cloth cat. In each episode, Emily would bring a lost item to the shop and the inhabitants would awaken (“When Bagpuss wakes up, all his friends wake up”!) and they would examine the item, someone would tell the charming tale of it’s history, and it would be mended (by the mice) and placed back in the shop window so that it’s owner might find it again. It was made by a British animation studion called Smallfilms who made a number of similarly nostalgic and charming shows. The creators of the shows were Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate, both of whom are sadly no longer with us, but whom countless grown-up children carry a small fond part of in their memories.

Stalls such of this always remind me of Bagpuss a little.

A saggy cloth cat
Brings back memories of youth
Now I’m saggy too

Take a seat

Yashicamat 124G & Shaghai GP3. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 4 September 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Cadillac Coupe

Still on the photos of vintage cars and the like made during my recent trips to a couple of traction / vintage rallies.

Today a 1952, series 62 Cadillac Coupe. I know this because it says so on the car’s license plate. 🙂

Once again, some very nice results from the pushed Shanghai GP3. Unfortunately more dust spots than normal, but I always seem to find this when I have lab developed film – the rolls I develop at home have far less dust surprisingly (although they do tend to suffer much more from drying marks).

No pink Cadillac
This one was rusty and worn
Perhaps on purpose

Cadillac Coupe
Cadillac Coupe

Yashicamat 124G & Shaghai GP3. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 4 September 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Posing in stovepipe hats

The three people in today’s photos caught my eye as I wandered around the collection of classic vehicles at the Smallwood Steam Rally last week. It was the tall stovepipe hats that attracted my attention initially as they could be seen from a couple of rows of cars away.

When I reached them they had all sat down for a breather beside a large trailer / RV. Rather than attempt a candid shot, I asked if they would allow me to make a portrait, to which they kindly agreed. I think the Yashicamat helped in this – TLRs are quite the attention grabbers in a way that a regular SLR or rangefinder probably wouldn’t be.

The photo is on Shanghai GP3, but shot at 200asa and push-processed. One of the other people at the rally with us that day had said it was his favourite film shot this way, and the results are pretty nice. Almost with a Fuji Acros look to them.

It was difficult to find developing times to push the film (at least with the developers I had to hand). While I found some suggested times, there was some variance depending upon where I looked. The other option would have been to use the standard 1.5x normal developing time for pushing a single stop. In the end I decided to take them to my local lab rather than risk messing things up – I thought I might have some nice pictures on the roll, plus it had been a 3-hour round trip to get to the rally, and I didn’t want to lose the photos.

The negs were a little on the thin side, but scanned really nicely.

Once upon a time
Engineers would wear these hats
When building marvels

At the rally in stovepipe hats

Yashicamat 124G & Shaghai GP3. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 4 September 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Mormon church & Christ Church

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.

Mormon church

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?.

Christ Church
Church or parish centre?

Minolta SRT 101b, Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 & Kodak Tri-X (expired circa 2000-ish). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8mins @ 20°

Taken on 31 August 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The Hub

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).

Passing The Hub

Hub lids

Olympus OM-2n, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 21 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

My local lab has re-opened!

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 sunlight

Olympus OM-2n, Tamron Adaptal 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 28 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Looking forlorn in the kitty cafe

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.

Looking forlorn in the kitty cafe

Olympus OM-2n, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 21 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

It’s too hot and my PC seemingly hates me.

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!

Chairs up

Olympus OM-1, F-Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Trafalgar Warehouse

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).

Trafalgar

There are 136 glass blocks visible in this next picture, in case anyone is remotely interested. 🙂

One hundred and thirty six glass blocks

Olympus OM-1, F-Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #12

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).

Pandemic scenes - Non-essential retail

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)?

Pandemic scenes - Coronavirus and construction

Olympus OM-1, F-Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 June 2020