Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Rainy day

I fianlly got around to developing a new roll of film today, so I have fresh images to use in the blog. I’ve also got the two rolls I shot yersterday, but one of those will be going to the lab (it’s a roll of Provia 100 and I don’t have the means to develop it at home), and the other (a roll of FP4+) will wait until next weekend. I have 12 potential shots from the roll I developed today though. Or I will when they’re all scanned – I’ve only had time to scan the first three shots so far.

This one was taken a couple of weeks ago on a trip to Doncaster with my wife and sister-in-law. My aim was to try and get “rainy” photos as that’s the theme for the photo-comp this month. Heavy rain had been forecast, so all looked like it might be good to get a bunch of suitable pictures but, in the end, this is the only one I got. I took two more shots on the day, but neither of them feature much rain. The problem was that, while it had rained earlier, when we arrived it had stopped again so all I had to play with was damp streets and heavily-overcast skies. I felt somewhat annoyed by this betrayal by the weather – made worse by the fact that I had to hang around for ages while my wife and her sister did some shopping. Luckily though, the heavens opened for a short while and I was able to get the picture below. It was a very quickly grabbed image, but it fits the theme. It’s not really rained much since that day (at least not when I’ve had opportunity to go out with a camera), so this image will have to suffice.

Knowing it was going to be a glomy day I decided to push the HP5+ to 1600asa to enable useable shutter speeds without opening up the aperture too much for what I wanted to achieve.

Rainy day

Yashicamat 124G & Ilford HP5+ (pushed to 1600asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 13mins @ 20°

Taken on 8 January 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

People sat in cars

The weather at the Astle Traction Engine Rally the other week was dull and rainy. While this meant there were umbrellas in abundance and raindrops of automotive paintwork – both attractive subjects for a photograph – it also made the act of making photos was far more troublesome, especially without the benefit of a weather-sealed camera.

It also meant that a lot of the exhibitors could be found sat inside their vehicles to escape the damp, as in this Rover 100 and Rolls Royce Wraith.

Sat in your dry car
Looking out at passersby
Don’t want to get wet

Bonnet up
Sat in the roller

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6D & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 August 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Down a wet cobbled street

The Kelham Island area of Sheffield has provided me with pretty good pickings from a photographic point of view and it’s often a place I’ll head to if I’ve got some camera time but no real idea of where to go. The area isn’t huge but there are still parts of it that I’ve not seen. Plus, the ongoing gentrification means that there are always new things popping up down there.

It’s a little sad to see the old industry converted into apartments, but the industry was mostly gone anyway and the other option would probably have been a decline into dereliction. At least this way a lot of the architectural heritage survives with new purpose.

It was a day of changeable weather when I made this photo and five minutes earlier I’d had to rush for shelter (along with a few other people) when the heavens opened. The rain on the floor in the photo is the evidence of the downpour.

My small umbrella
Under the onslaught of rain
Was insufficient

Rainy-day cobbled streets

Fujica GW690 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 4 July 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Ghost riders

On my wander around town on a very wet Saturday morning last weekend I took a number of photos of people sat on buses. The damp weather meant the windows were fogged with condensation making the passengers within dimly rendered – dependant to a greater or lesser effect on whether they’d wiped the glass clear with their hands or not.

FILM - Ghost riders #1

These photos are hardly original – I own a copy of Nick Turpin’s lovely book “On the Night Bus” for instance, which does this sort of thing with far greater aplomb and dedication than my half-hour or so spent. And well before Turpin’s work was made, there were other photographers doing much the same – Saul Leiter being a great example.

FILM - Ghost riders #2

Nevertheless, most photographic endeavours these days is likely to involve walking in the footsteps of others to some degree, so I don’t feel any shame in my lack of originality – rather that I took their work as inspiration and made some photographs that I like on an otherwise inclement day for taking pictures.

FILM - Ghost riders #3

I was using autofocus for all these shots, and it was clearly something of a challenge for the camera. The first shot is a complete miss on all levels (although I was moving at the time I took that one) and the others seem to focus on the window, or perhaps just beyond. Whatever the case, the effect is very nice, rendering the subjects as indistinct apparitions with features hidden by a fog of moisture.

I’ve said it before on here, but once again – bad weather is very often a good time to make photographs. Next time I get similar conditions and a change to get out with a camera, I think I’ll try to make more of these.

FILM - Ghost riders #4

Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 15 February 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography


A shot taken a couple of days before Christmas in typically wet UK December conditions. It was raining quite heavily when I took this so I perhaps rushed the shot a little. With hindsight I should have either gotten lower or angled the camera down to get more of the reflection in frame (and at the same time removing some of the somewhat uninteresting sky). I have thought about cropping it, but in the end decided not to.

I do like it though, and think it might be worth a re-visit if there are similar wet conditions (and an empty car park) again at some point.

FILM - 19

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 23 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A day at the races

About three weeks ago I visited Doncaster races with my Dad. I’d bought him an experience day voucher for his birthday earlier in the year and, as he’d not found anyone else who wanted to go with him (I’d assumed he’d have gone with one of his pals), I said I’d go. By the time this happened, there was only one event still available before the coucher was due to expire, the Vertem Very Different Stockbrokers Raceday on 25 October. As this was a Friday, I booked a day’s leave.

FILM - Looking for a winner

The voucher gave us access to the County Enclosure at the racecourse. This meant no denim, no trainers or sportswear, and the requirement to wear a collared shirt. It also granted us a £5 voucher each for a drink, as well as a free race programme.

FILM - Bookies

When the day arrived, the weather was pretty atrocious with heavy rain forecast for the whole day. When we arrived there were very few people in the outside areas of the enclosures other than those wishing to place a bet at the trackside bookies, or those armed with umbrellas. Most people seemed to be inside watching proceedings on television screens. This seemed somewhat pointless as, as my dad said, they might have well just gone into a local betting shop to do this rather than pay the entrance fee for the racecourse.

FILM - Equine athletes

We decided to cash in our drink vouchers before doing anything else (first things first, right?). My dad’s beer was covered by his, but the cider I asked for came to more than the allocated £5 and I had to put another 20p to the cost. It wasn’t even a particularly nice cider either. Nonetheless, we found ourselves a table with some free seats and sat down to look at the programme an pick the winners(!). After choosing some likely looking prospects (my dad came armed with a sheet of tips from a bloke he knows) we moved over to the County Enclosure ready for the first race.


A few minutes before the race was due, we went outside (where it was still raining heavily) to watch the event. Although the bottom tiers of the stands were soaked (see my earlier post for an idea of how wet they were), the higher levels were sheltered enough to have dry seats, so we headed up there.

FILM - Rainy racedays

I think there were seven races scheduled for the day. We didn’t bother with the first, which only had four runners, and we left before the final two races, but the others followed a similar pattern of us watching from the dry section of the stands (where I took a number of photos); retreating indoors to place further bets / take shelter; then repeating the process for the next race.

FILM - By a nose

Although I have little interest in horse-racing, and even less experience in picking winners, I didn’t fare too badly on the day. While I didn’t break even, a couple of good results (including a win!) meant that my losses came to only a few pounds – and I’d written off all my stake money as likely to be lost beforehand anyway, so anything less than a total wipeout was good news. I’m not sure that my dad’s tips played any better than my “stick a pin in it and hope for the best” technique.

FILM - Winner

Overall I enjoyed the day and I’d like to do it again (albeit in better weather).

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 75-150mm f/4, Zuiko 28mm f/3.5, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 25 October 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Road-crossing reflections

People waiting to cross cast their reflections on the wet road surface.

It’s one of those photos where I noticed after scanning the negative that someone appears to have spotted me when I took the photograph (three people in this case!). It’s a little difficult to tell for certain, and some of them might just have been glancing in my direction, but I always get an “I’ve been spotted!” feeling when I notice such things.

I was hardly being covert to be fair – stood on the oposite side of the road with a camera to my eye. 🙂

FILM - Crossing the road in the rain

Olympus OM-1, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (pushed to 800asa).

Taken on 26 October 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Wet seats at the racecourse

A week ago I visited Doncaster Racecourse with my dad. I’d bought him the trip for his birthday earlier in the year expecting that he’s go with one of his friends, but when that fell through, I decided to go with him myself. I’ll almost certainly be posting more photos from the day – my interest in horse races is negligible, but my interest in photographing such events is considerably higher and I shot about half a roll (despite the conditions) – but, for now, this post has just a single image.

I think it illustrates quite well the weather on the day of our visit – rain, rain and, yep!, more rain.

The stands are on three levels and I would expect them all to be at least partially polulated normally, but on the day in question only the uppermost tier had anyone present as all the rest were subject to the rain falling on the uncovered section (and blowing under the shelter onto the next level). As you can see, they were not busy. 🙂

FILM - Wet seats

Olympus OM-1, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (pushed to 800asa).

Taken on 25 October 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Standing in the rain outside Grand Central Terminal

After our visit to the WTC Memorial, we caught the subway back to midtown and got off the train at Grand Central Terminal. After grabbing a few snacks from the food court on the lower level, we decided head back to the hotel.

Upon approaching the exit we noticed people entering the building with umbrellas, or with significant signs of being caught in the rain, and upon exiting found that it was absolutely tipping it down.

While we waited for the rain to ease off, we sheltered under the road bridge outside the south entrance, and I took a few photographs, including this one.

I know many photographers who complain when it rains, but for me it’s always a treat to be able to get photographs in this sort of weather. The way the floor suddenly becomes a diffuse mirror for light and clolour, and the way people behave and take shelter makes for very interesing photos in my opinion. There’s obviously some work to be done to ensure you and your camera are not soaked, but the effort is definitely worth it, don’t you think?

FILM - Outside Grand Central in the rain

Canon Sure Shot Z135  & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 26 May 2019