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

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Mirror man

This is one of those photos that I have high hopes for when I first see the negative but which, on closer examination, is let down by some technical problem. In this case the man in the mirror is slightly out of focus. Now there’s a good reason for this – the photo wasn’t a posed portrait, it was a candid shot which involved me crouching down to get the correct angle on the mirror and then capturing someone’s refelction as they walked past. People would be in the mirror for a fraction of a second, so no time to nail the focus and I just went with what looked right in the brief moments that someone passed through the frame.

I still like the picture a lot, but wish I’d have nailed the focus better. The pose is bang on though and I don’t think I could have gotten anything better.

Man in a mirror
Seeing a reflection of
A photographer

Here comes the mirror man

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

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Ringinglow Roundhouse

Dating back to the late 18th century, this octagonal building functioned as a toll house and inn when originally constructed, sitting on the Sheffield to Ashby-de-la-Zouch turnpike at Ringinglow on the outskirts of Sheffield. It has also served as a general store and tea room in other times.

If you’re curious as to what the building looks like inside, there is still a listing online from the last time it was on the market here.

Toll house

Fujica GW690 & Shanghai GP3. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10mins @ 24°.

Taken on 23 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

In Lady Canning’s Plantation

This is one of the underexposed frames of Shanghai GP3 that I mentioned a few days ago – the least underexposed of the three and it’s been recovered for the most part in post-processing. The other two shots were also made within the trees of the plantation, so I suspect it was caused by poor metering on my part. The next wrst exposed shot has also recovered enough that I might post it too, but it’s noticably more contrasty than this one. The worst of the bunch is mostly “soot and whitewash” unfortunately.

Somewhere in the plantation

Fujica GW690 & Shanghai GP3. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10mins @ 24°.

Taken on 23 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Christmastime

The small hamlet of West Handley have decorated their phonebox and streetlamp for Christmas as usual. Santa seems to be re-purposed for various tasks as required, having had the face of previous UK prime minister, Theresa May in protest of Brexit on one occasion, and as an anti-fracking protestor on another. There are a number of other Christmas trees and festive decorations along the road that runs past the small group of houses that make up the settlement, and I expect it looks quite nice in the evening, although relatively low key in comparison with some of the extravaganzas of illumination that I’ve seen esewhere.

I’m still getting to grips with the rangefinder patch of the GW690 and have missed focus on Santa in the second shot. More practice needed!

Christmastime
West Handley Santa

Fujica GW690 & Shanghai GP3. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10mins @ 24°.

Taken on 23 December 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Moored on the Cuckoo Way

I took this shot while using up the final frames on this roll of Shanghai GP3. The walk along the towpath beside the Chesterfield Canal is known as The Cuckoo Way and can be followed from Chesterfield all the way to the point where the canal enters the River Trent, approx 50 miles away.

Although it was a very hot and bright day, the place where this canal-boat was moored was in shadow from the trees beside the canal towpath and I had to open the Zeiss to it’s widest aperture to get a decent shutter speed on the 100asa film.

I don’t normally shoot the camera wide open as it performs better when stopped down, plus the uncoupled rangefinder design can make it a bit of a best guess for fine focusing.

In this case though, the boat was far enough away for the focusing to not be too much of a concern and I quite like the way the lens has rendered the scene. It’s hardly some kind of “bokeh monster”, but has given a nice hint of seperation in the focus.

Moored on the Cuckoo Way

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Shanghai GP3. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10 mins @ 24°.

Taken on 31 July 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Another church – Grove St Methodist church, Retford

After mentioning yesterday that I seem to photograph a lot of churches, here’s another one. I didn’t realise that this was a church until just now, when I looked up the location on Google maps. On the day the photo was made, I just noticed an impressive looking building. I didn’t actually go around the front of the structure, where the purpose of the building would have been revealed, instead turning right and heading towards the town centre after taking the shot.

Imposing structures

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Shanghai GP3. Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10 mins @ 24°.

Taken on 25 July 2020