The church that can be seen behind the wall and trees in this photographs is St. George’s. It is one of a trio of Commisioner’s Churches built in the city under the 1818 Church Building Act. The construction of these churches was funded following parliamentary vote.
St. George’s was consecrated in 1825 and operated for over 150 years before being declared redundant and closing in 1981. After standing unused for a number of years, the church was purchased by the University of Sheffield and now houses a lecture theatre and student accommodation.
This photograph shows Sheffield University Arts Tower on the left with three of the blocks of flats next to Netherthorpe Road (there’s another block not visible in this image). Between the two blocks on the right the tower of St. Vincent’s church can just be seen through the gap.
I’ve been on my first business-focused trip today since spring 2020. I felt oddly anxious about the experience, not because of Covid or anything like that, but because I have not left my home for any work-based reasons in over two years (well, I did need to travel into town to get my faulty laptop fixed last year, but that wasn’t a meeting or anything, and it was only into my local building) and this trip involved taking a train journey to another city.
The day went well though and the biggest issue was the fact that the smart shoes I wore to go with my suit (which, while maybe not quite at the cutting edge of modern fashion any more, thankfully still fits) managed to rip the back of my heels open. This has clearly happened in the past but I’ve blanked it out of my mind until today – I know that it has happened before because there is a partially-used pack of plasters in my laptop bag from where I obviously had to perform field surgery the last time I wore the razor-backed shoes. I sat and mended my feet on a seat outside the station before I even got on the train! There’s nothing quite like a minor, but painful, injury to start the day…
I did manage to fit my 35RC into the laptop bag and, while I didn’t really have much time to take photos, grabbed a few shots on my way to and from the station. Not enough to finish the roll though, so it’ll be a while before I develop those.
Here’s another view of the University Arts Tower with the figure of a walking man neatly framed beneath a foreground tree. I hope his feet weren’t hurting.
I’m feeling quite tired today for some reason and can’t think of much to type for the blog, so I’m going to use that as an excuse for this shorter post. Hope you like the picture of the benches. Despite the title… NOBODY IS ON THE BENCH!!!! 😀
One of the more noticable structures in Sheffield is the university Arts Tower. While it is not very tall when compared with towers in other cities (it’s not even the tallest building in Sheffield) at a mere twenty stories, the fact that it sits partway up the hillside beside Western Bank means that it is visible from far afield. It should be noted that far afield in this case is probably still not that far – Sheffield is a hilly city (said to be built on seven hills, like Rome) so the best views of the Arts Tower are from the north east where it can be seen from further down the flatter area around the Don valley. It can be seen peeking over the top of hills from various locations as well though.
The building opened in 1965 and housed the Departments of Landscape, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Biblical Studies, and Architecture. There were eighteen arts departments located in the tower originally although, as the university and student body has grown, some of these have moved to new locations.
One of the most well known features of the building is the paternoster lift system, with many a tale being told of people going right over the top of the looping elevator system. Most of these are from people unaware of how a paternoster works and under the assumption that the unfortunate passengers would be somehow flipped upside-down as the lift reached its apex. They do make for better stories though. 🙂
It being such a focal point in Sheffield’s skyline, I’ve taken a good number of pictures of the tower which can be found here.
Yashicamat 124G & Lomography Color Negative 100. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.
Tucked away from the glasshouse in Sheffield Botanical Gardens sits the Grade II listed bear pit. The pit was constructed in 1836 to house a black bear and, later, two brown bears. Local legend has it the a child fell into the pit and was killed in 1870. It is said to be one of the finest surviving bear pits in the country thanks to it being preserved by it’s later use as a gigantic compost pit!
There is still a bear in the pit, although this one is made of rusty steel, its colour perhaps not dissimilar to a real bear’s fur.
I took a trip to Manchester today to visit the Photo North exhibition. It’s been quite a tiring day.
The exhibition was good, but my planning was not, and it would have been much better had I booked earlier / later trains for the outbound and return journeys as, as it stood, I felt somewhat rushed, especially when the train in the morning was delayed by a half hour! Oh well, I still visited and I managed to attend the screening of a documentary on Picture Post magazine, which was interesting and enjoyable.
I shot about half a roll of film while out – using my Olympus 35RC, a great little camera, but one I’ve not used for a while – but when I came out of the exhibition the weather had changed from bright contrasty sunshine to flat grey conditions, so I held off shooting more. I have another trip to Manchester planned in a month or two’s time, so hope to make more photos then.
In the meantime, and completely unrelated to the rest of the post, here are four photos of Sheffield Botanical Gardens that I scanned this week.
The tall chimney of the Veolia Energy Recovery plant stands sentinel over these walls on industrial streets to the east of the city centre. I was shooting a roll of expired film on the day and, when I left the house, the sky was clear and full of light. Unfortunatley, by the time I’d parked and started walking, the sky was mostly covered by cloud. This wasn’t ideal – I don’t like shooting colour film in overcast conditions at the best of times, but even less so with expired film.
As it is, the results aren’t too bad and the grit of the film perhaps suits the conditions. I have more shots from this same roll to come – mostly shot in good light – and the grain is equally prevalent on those too. I have a second roll of this same stock left to shoot and think I’ll overexpose it next time, which is what I normally do with expired C41 film (using the one stop of over-exposure per decade of expiry guidance). I didn’t do that on this occasion as I’d been told the film was fridge stored and wanted to see how it looked shot a box speed.
Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & TruPrint FG+ (expired 2005). Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.
I suspect, like many people, I was pleasantly surprised when Kodak recently revealed the re-introduction of it’s Kodak Gold emulsion in 120 format. I’d long wished that Kodak or Fuji might relaese one of their consumer emulsions in this format, so was glad to hear of its imminent release. I was also pleased to see that it would retail for less than it’s other colour films although, given the skyrocketing cost of C41 at present, it still sells for more than Ektar did not so long ago. Nevertheless, I decided to treat myself to a pack of five rolls.
My pack of film arrived in the mail at the start of the month and, last weekend, on a sunny spring morning, I decided to go out and see what I might photograph on a roll of it. I didn’t want to go on a big day out, so decided to head to the botanical gardens in Sheffield with the intent of maybe getting some pictures of the plants in the glasshouse.
After arriving I took a picture of one of the university buildings on the street where I parked my car. It’s not the best picture, but the colours caught my eye.
The next image was of a house with a cuppola near the entrance to the botanical gardens. This shot I’m really happy with. I like how the cuppola is framed nicely with the tree branches, and also the conifer is similarly framed on the right of the image. Plus the light was great.
It was at this point that I discovered that the gardens don’t open until 10am, so I had some time to kill (it was only around 9:20am when I got there). So I decided to walk up the street beside the park and then head over towards Endcliffe Park instead. On this street I noticed a vintage motorcycle and got another photo. I’d have liked to open up the aperture to get more separation of the bike from the background but, even with relatively slow 200asa film, the light was too bright and as the Yashicamat has a maximum shutter speed of 1/500sec, I had to stop it down further to avoid overexposure. It’s a pity about the bins, but what can you do?
Just up the road from the bike was this house with a brightly painted door that I liked the look of.
Close to Hunter’s Bar roundabout, just below Endcliffe Park, is a row of attractive old houses largely hidden from view by large shrubs, but I was able to get a nice angle on them. Again, the light was lovely, and I like the church tower that peeks up behind them in the background.
Just inside the park is this lovely house. It’s the arts-and-crafts style park pavilion and lodge building, dating to 1891. The building has Grade II listing status.
I took a walk up Rustlings Road which runs beside the park – making several photos along the way with my XA3 that I had tucked away in my jacket pocket – before then wandering back through the park itself along the footpath. There are a couple of millponds here – evidence of the area’s industrial past – where I remember catching small fish in a net on a day out with my nan back when I was little. The ponds are filled with water from Porter Brook which runs down the valley before joining the River Sheaf in the city centre close to the railway station. Near the bottom of the park, where the large playing field is, sits a cafe. It was very busy on this sunny morning with many people sitting outside in the seating area across the path.
And finally, after leaving the park and walking up Brocco Bank, I finally arrived at my original intended destination – the botanical gardens. By this time I only had a single frame of the Kodak Gold remaining to be shot, and I made this picture of the gatehouse.
All the pictures were scanned on my Epson V550 flatbed using Vuescan to create RAW DNG files. These were then converted to positives with Negative Lab Pro. I’m still getting the hang of NLP, but I’ve got a group of settings that seem to be producing quite nice results for Kodak Gold (although I do still tweak them further in Lightroom afterwards).
I’m happy with the results I got from this first roll of Gold in 120 format and look forward to shooting more of it.
Yashicamat 124G & Kodak Gold 200. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.