35mm · Film photography · Photography

Industry and entertainment

Beside the Don Valley Centertainment complex – which houses a multiplex, bowling alley & arcade, kid’s play area, and a selction of restaurants – are industrial streets. This is the east-end of the city where, in it’s industial heyday, the bulk of the steel industry resided. There are still steelworks in the area, and more as you head down river towards Tinsley and Templeborough, but much of it has now become history.

I’m not sure what the building in today’s picture used to house – I’m sure my dad would know, and I’ll ask him next time I see him – but it’s now the home of a scaffolding hire and sales business.

Wood and steel

Olympus XA3 & Kodak Tri-X Pan (expired 2003 – shot at box speed and pushed a stop in development). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°

Taken on 15 December 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Cosmos

I made this picture back in late November I think – it’s on a roll that was shot over the space of a few weeks with my Olympus XA3, which I’d been keeping in my coat pocket. It was taken from the car-park across the road from these buildings on the day I went into town for one of my attempts to get my laptop rebuilt. I was heading towards the stairwell when I noticed the shot and liked the way the buildings stoof against the sky with the central tower flanked by the smaller buildings on either side.

The film was a roll of expired Tri-X dating back to around 2003. I’ve shot a few rolls of this and found that it likes an extra stop of exposure. For the previous rolls I just exposed it at 200asa and then developed it normally, but as the weather was a little gloomy on the day this roll was loaded, I decided to keep the extra stop of speed and push it a stop in development instead. I’m quite happy with the results. The grain is quite pronounced, but I’m not afraid of a bit of grain.

The worst thing about this film is how much the negatives curl when developed. Not only do they coil up like a spring, there is also heavy bow to the film along its full length. This made cutting and sleeving the negatives troublesome, but this was not nearly as problematic as trying to get them into the negative holder to be scanned. The Plustek holders are pretty good at keeping negatives flat – I doubt I would have gotten anywhere with my Epson holders – but you still need to get them in and aligned before it can be closed to hold them in place. Somehow I managed it though, although I’ve only scanned two strips so far.

Cosmos

Olympus XA3 & Kodak Tri-X Pan (expired 2003 – shot at box speed and pushed a stop in development). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°

Taken in November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Alpine Lodge

Another in my set of unseasonably snowy November photos. The last in the set in fact.

This temprary bar forms part of the Christmas Markets (or did – I’m not sure if they’re still there) and is situated in the Peace Gardens beside Sheffield town hall (the building at rear left). The other building is the Mercure Hotel, part of the St. Paul’s Square complex that was built on the site of the old town hall extension.

There’s a fountain beneath where the bar is sat, so I hope it didn’t get unexpectedly turned on!

Alpine Lodge

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Christmas tree

My wife put up our Christmas tree and the trimmings on Monday. Normally I would help with this, but my input this year consisted mainly of carrying all the boxes downstairs. This was mostly because I had to travel into my local office on the day for my fourth attempt at getting my laptop upgraded to a new build. It fell through again, so there will now be a FIFTH attempt next Monday. I could provide details of the whole sequence of events, but they’re really not very interesting.

So, back onto the decorations, my main involvement this year will be to put up the exterior lights on the front of the house, which I think I’ll do this weekend. It’s not too difficult – we have a small first storey roof that runs across the front of the house, so it’s just a matter of using the step-ladder to attach some clips to the guttering and then attach the lights. Probably about a half-hour’s work. We shall see…

The photo today is of the big Christmas tree in Sheffield town centre outside the town hall. It doesn’t seem as tall as the ones I remember from my childhood, although whether this is just one of those misrememberings that you get when recollecting childhood memories, I don’t know.

Christmas tree

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Bronze women

This sculpture stands beside the City Hall in Sheffield City Centre. It’s named Women of Steel and commemorates the women who took up roles in the city’s steel works during the first and second world wars. I’ve photographed the statues on a number of occasions and they’ve featured in the blog at least once before (here).

My OCD brain at first showed alarm at the fact that I’ve both chopped off a bit of the closest woman’s arm, and also not gotten her in focus (I was shooting at quite a wide aperture), but my rational brain overrode the concerns because, frankly, it looks just fine.

Steel duo

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Festive wheel

The Christmas market is in Sheffield this year again – I don’t think it was there last year due to the pandemic lockdowns that were in place. The market has had quite a lot of complaints on local social media apparently (although I’ve learnt to try and avoid local social media lest I gnash my teeth to powder at the ignorance and general crappy attitudes that prevail). Apparently it doesn’t compare favourably to previous years, or in comparison with the markets in some other places around the country. Too many food stalls and not enough gifts and other non-edible gifts are amongst complaints I’ve heard.

I think we should be grateful that the current situation is allowing the market to take place at all. It might not be at it’s best (although it looked pretty much like every other UK Christmas market I’ve visited) but maybe let’s give it a bit of leeway given the current global situation.

It’s very rare to see these markets with snow present (apart from the fake variety) as it’s unusual that we get any before Christmas. Even though it was wet and slushy and mostly gone, it was definitely a little bit festive to see these seasonal (not really) weather conditions.

Festive ferris

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Numbers

We managed to get out today for out family meal, my son having recovered from yesterday’s hangover. We chose an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant in the town centre and, while I didn’t eat too much, I still feel quite full now as I’m typing this. The plates in the restaurant aren’t huge – perhaps to reduce the amount of waste coming from people overestimating just how much they can eat – but I still managed four platefulls of food. The first was a plate of turkey and vegetables – a small roast dinner basically. The next two contained a selection of Chinese food, and the final one some dessert in the form of some apple crumble and custard, and a piece of pineaple pie.

After the food we went to a nearby pub for a drink, and there I tried some mango cider. I don’t normally go for sweet, fruity ciders, but this one was very nice and we might try and track dome down to guzzle over Christmas. Even my wife, who generally doesn’t consume any alcoholic drinks at all, thought it was very good too.

Somewhere we didn’t go was the Mecca Bingo hall seen in the picture in today’s blog post. This is another one of those places that I’ve photographed a number of times before, mostly because I think the chequerboard of numbers on the sides of the building make for an interesting picture.

Numbers

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Park Hill flats in snow

This is the second version of this post. The first one was about how the short and gloomy winter days are getting me down somewhat this year, but it made for somewhat depressing reading, so I scrapped it.

The days can be very gloomy during the winter though – it’s just after 4pm as I write this and it’s almost fully dark outside. Normally this wouldn’t be the case for another hour at this time of the year, but we’ve got some heavy rain today and the clouds have blocked what little natural illumination we might otherwise have had.

We were due to go out shortly for a family meal, but one of my boys went out with friends last night and had a few celebratory drinks too many so we’ve had to cancel and re-book as he has had a hangover all day. With the wisdom of age I can easily preach to him about the foolishness of drinking too many beers and the price that comes with them, but I’ve got plenty of hangovers of my own under my belt from when I was young which prevent me getting on too high a horse. So the meal will take place tomorrow instead when hopefully we will all be in a fit state to enjoy it.

My other son will now be having some takeaway pizza instead which, from the look on his face when I told him, I think he prefers anyway. Not sure if the rest of us will have the same (or if Mister Hungover will want some – pizza is great at the end of a night out drinking, but I can’t remember if it maintains its allure the following day), but we shall see shortly.

Today’s picture is of Park Hill Flats, a sheffield architectural landmark that has featured here on the blog on a few occasions previously. I made this photo after the shot of the magick studio, and before the picture of the pigeons I posted yesterday. It was taken from the footbridge over the road and shot through the railings.

Park Hill flats

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 November 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

The birds

I knew I had to get a photo of these pigeons as soon as I saw them. If I’ve counted right, there are one-hundred-and-eighteen of them perched on the overhead cables (including the two in flight). Normally when I see something like this they’ll all fly away before I get chance to take the picture, but on this occasion I was blessed with a flock tolerant of my presence. I guess city pigeons are generally quite accepting of people though, and they were pretty much out of reach up there on the wires anyway. I suspect that, had I dropped some fod on the floor, the whole lot of them would have descended!

The tram has a slight blur as I wanted to maximise my depth of field, so had to use a slower shutter speed (I think it was 1/125s, but it might have been 1/60s.

Overhead wires

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 November 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Derelict pubs

I’ve posted photos of abandoned pubs on this blog on a number of occasions before. So here are a couple more. The Durham Ox and Ye Old Harrow are within a stone’s throw of each other on Cricket Inn Road and Broad Street (these are effectively the same road, but the name changes partway along its length). The Durham Ox is in a sorry state of affairs with most of its roof missing and I suspect it will not be long before it is demolished. The Ye Old Harrow, while looking somewhat rough around the edges with broken windows, boarded up doors, and graffiti, appears to have been sold and will hopefully find new life in some form.

There’s a photograph of the Durham Ok made in 1981 by John Davies, which shows the pub in different times. The city was undergoing a lot of development at that time and over the next couple of dacades as a lot of the heavy industry gradually moved on and the city became more service-led.

No-one drinking now
So many pubs are now gone
Only shells remain

This way to the derelict pub
All out of beer
Ye Old Harrow

Nikon F80, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 24 July 2021