35mm · Film photography · Photography

Unintended stories

I took this photograph looking down onto the beach from the promenade at Bridlington. I wasn’t quite quick enough to keep the woman at the top of the picture within the frame. At first I was disappointed that I’d not taken the shot quicker but, on reflection, I think the way it’s framed with her partially exiting the top of the shot is more interesting. It’s added a small sense of mystery to the image I think.

On the beach they wait
A sandcastle mystery
Unfolds before us

On the sand

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 May 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Sitting on a wall in a seaside town

After yesterdays photo of a coiled heap of rope on a harbour wall, today there’s a picture of two fellas on a harbour wall (albeit a different section). This trip to Bridlington has, so far, been my only visit to the coast since last autumn. I’ll hopefully get at least a couple more visits before the summer comes to an end though. Because I don’t go too often it always has a charm, and there are always things to photograph.

The British seaside
The beach, the sea, the sunshine
And some fish and chips

Coastal conversations

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 27 May 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A butcher, a baker, but no candlestick maker

A couple more photographs from our damp, grey day in Knaresborough. The town centre isn’t particulalrly large but, like many market towns, it has an appealing selection of independent stores which are a refreshing change form the same branded chains you tend to find taking over larger towns and cities.

When in Knaresborough
We came across a pie shop
And treated ourselves

Outside the butchers
Outside the bakers

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 26 May 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A man walks down a street…

A man walks down a street. It could be the guy in the photo, or it could be me – I walked down a lot of streets on this day.

This is probably going to be my last photo from this roll of expired Elite Chrome 200, but it delivered a bumper crop of photos with almost the whole roll being good enough to publish. Whether anyone else feels the same way is open to question, but that doesn’t really matter.

I’ve loved the results this roll gave, the colours are wonderful, the colours rich but not brash, even if not completel accurate to the scenes they portray. Shooting slide film on a point-and-shoot compact was fune too. Will I do it again? I’m not sure. The exposures on all the images is great, even though the camera is 35 years old, with the only downside being a slight softness on the images – I’m not sure why this is the case as the lens on the camera usually produces nice, sharp results. It could just be my post-processing though, or maybe my pickiness.

I have two more rolls of this same stock in the freezer, plus a couple of the 100asa variety too, and I’m looking forward to shooting more when the time is right.

Expired E6 film
It’s potential sat waiting
For twenty years now

Twinmney

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Kodak Elite Chrome 200 (expired 2003).

Taken on 17 April 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Heading into town

Another one of those quick posts today – I’ve only just finished work and am ready for the weekend and don’t really have it in me to type much this evening. A shower, a change of clothes, and an night of vegging out watching TV all beckon.

So here’s a trio of consecutive images made while walking back towards the city centre during a walk a few weeks ago. This is London Road, a street chock-full of colourful restaurants, takeaways, and businesses. It’s always an interesting place to make a photgraph.

Let’s get around town
We’ll be seeing and hearing
The sound of the crowd

The top of London Road
Into town
Near Harrison's

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Kodak Elite Chrome 200 (expired 2003).

Taken on 17 April 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Walking in the snow

I made this picture about a minute after some idiot decided to put their foot down to overtake a slow moving tractor, thereby driving through a pile of wet, slushy snow on the side of the road closest to me and spraying it all up my legs in wet clumps. Lookily I’d worn some water resistant trousers and so the impact was reduced. Most people have grey matter inside their heads. Some people have brains resembling something of a different colour unfortunately.

Wet snow on wet roads
Plumes of heavy slush made by
Selfish car drivers

Walking on snowy days

Holga & Ilford HP5+ (@800). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 January 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Signs of flooding

This is the corner of The Fat Cat, a pub in Sheffield’s Kelham Island area – somewhere I seem to make a lot of photographs, despite living nowhere near the the place.

The Fat Cat dates back to the Victorian era, being built in 1850. As a result of it’s age, and it’s position close to the course of the River Don, it was affected by the flood in 1864 when Dale Dyke resevoir collapsed catastrophically, killing over 240 people as the water descended it’s course to the centre of the city.

One-hundred-and-forty-three years later the pub was once again engulfed by flood water, this time caused by torrential rain. Three people lost their lives in this event.

The pub has two markers painted on it’s wall denoting the water level of both floods.

High-water mark at The Fat Cat

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8mins @ 20°.

Taken on 1 November 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The bridge on the River Wye

My apologies. Today’s choice of photograph was almost 100% selected so I could use such a cheesy pun as a title. 🙂

No sign of Alec Guinness here though, just people enjoying the riverbank footpath alongside the River Wye as it flows through Bakewell.

It’s one of those photos where it looks like the people in the shot are looking at you as you take the picture but which, upon closer inspection, they’re looking elsewhere. The guy appears to be testing the capacity of his pocket to breaking point!

The bank of the Wye

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 18 September 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Crucible & Covid-19

One of two theatres adjacent to one another in Sheffield city centre, the Crucible is the younger of the pair, dating from 1971 (the other, The Lyceum, dates back to the late 19th century). It’s probably most famous for being the host venue for the World Snooker Championship since 1977.

Passing the Crucible

As I write this today, Sheffield (and the rest of South Yorkshire) has been put on notice that we will be moving to the Tier 3 “Very High” level for Covid-19 restrictions at the weekend. While, for the most part, these won’t make much of a difference to what I do (it’s nothing like as restrictive as the full lockdown we had earlier in the year), it does place a restriction on mixing with people outside your immediate family or support-bubble, so it’ll mean I can’t see my dad for the next few weeks (assuming it’s lifted by then).

It also means that I’m not supposed to travel from the Tier 3 area to areas at a lower level of alert. This is disappointing as I have a week’s leave coming up and had planned to make a visit or two to the Peak District National Park. While I can still access part of the park (some of it falls within Sheffield, and South Yorkshire’s borders), it’s a relatively limited area and doesn’t include the places I’d hoped to go to. As I would be travelling in a private vehicle and not interacting with anyone, I’m not sure that there’s a problem or that I would be risking any sort of trouble, but I guess I’ll see what happens before making a decision one way or the other. If not, there are plenty of other places within South Yorkshire that I can visit, and not just the bits within the Peak District. I have a project that I came up with the idea for over a year ago, so maybe I can make a start on making the pictures for that.

Crucible theatre

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Kodak Ektachrome 100 EPP (expired at some unknown date).

Taken on 17 September 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

The seeming pointlessness of weather apps (and gaining a new camera as a result).

This morning I decided to get up early and go make some photographs. A lot of trees are starting to turn and there are some gorgeous colours to be seen in their foliage – colours that would look extra nice in the light of an early morning sun. The weather forecasts over the past few days – right up to when I went to bed last night in fact – had stated that it would be cloudless first thing today, with duller weather coming later, and the dew point indicated a chance of mist. When I woke up, I took a look out the window to see how it looked and, sure enough, the skies were free of cloud to a degree, although there was still quite a lot about. So I got dressed, grabbed my camera and tripod, and had a quick breakfast. When I stepped out of the front door twenty minutes later the sky was covered with cloud from horizon to horizon.

I briefly considered just going back inside, getting undressed again, and getting back into the warm bed. But I didn’t. In for a penny, in for a pound as the saying goes and, even without the clear skies, I still thought there might be a chance of mist in the river valley where I planned to go.

There was no mist.

I have several weather apps on my phone. None of them seems to be any better at correctly forecasting the weather than a pine-cone or bit of dry seaweed hung outside the door. One of them once told me that the location where I was experiencing pouring rain at that very moment was actually in full sunshine. If they can’t tell you what the weather is doing in the present, what hope do they have at predicting the future? Anyway, rant over.

Deciding against making any photos in the dull, unflattering light – no point wasting film – I decided instead to drive to a nearby car-boot sale. It would be the first time I’ve visited a boot sale this year. Partly due to lockdown, but also because I’ve just had other things to do at weekends. I always have a slight frisson of expectation when I visit these places. The dream of picking up a Leica or a Hassleblad for next to nothing, that sort of thing. The dream didn’t come true today, sadly, but I did find another film camera, the only one I saw on all the stalls. It looked in nice condition – boxed with the manual – and the seller only wanted £1 for it, so I decided to rescue it.

It’s not a camera I wanted or needed at all – it’s a fairly nondescript 35mm compact – a Fujifilm DL-270 Zoom Super (catchy name, eh?), with a 35-70mm zoom that starts at a slow-ish f/5.6 and goes downhill from there as you zoom in, granting f/11.2 at the long end. It look s like the sort of camera that someone who wanted to take pictures but lacked any interest in photography would have bought in the 90s. But, for the low price, I’ll give it a go and see how it performs (maybe on a bright day though!). The last camera of this ilk that I used, a Samsung Fino, made surprisingly sharp pictures. Hopefully Fujifilm stuck a decent (if slow) lens inside.

As a bonus, there was a boxed roll of Fuji C200 in a box on the same stall, and the seller kindly threw it in with the camera. I expected it to be expired by fifteen years or something, but it only expired in July this year. Even if the camera is a bust, I still got a bargain roll of pretty fresh film! On top of that, there’s also a roll already in the camera. When I stuck a battery in when I got home (the included battery being dead), it powered up and showed frame 1 on the LCD. This probably means one of three things:

  1. The roll of film is completely unused. Bonus!
  2. The roll is partly used, but the counter has reset due to an elapsed battery. I’m not sure if this would happen though.
  3. At some point someone has opened the back of the camera while it had the film inside, resetting the counter and probably ruining the film. This is the option I think is most likely (although the other, fresh, roll of film I got with it might indicate otherwise). I believe the camera is one of thosa that unloads the entire film when inserted and then rewinds each exposed shot back into the cannister though, so any shots already on the roll might be safe (whatever they might be), but the unexposed remainder might be toast.

Whatever the case, I’ll shoot the roll that’s inside and then, depending how I feel, maybe another. After that, unless it stuns me with the results, I’ll likely pass it on to someone else. But at least it will live on.

And finally, nothing to do with the rest of the post, here’s a nice colourful photo I made with the Yashica Mat the other week…

Now Then Then Now

Yashica Mat 124G & Kodak Portra 160.

Taken on 14 September 2020