35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #11

I had wondered if I might have come to the end of this series of pandemic-related photographs given the relaxing of the lockdown here in the UK, but I’ve got a few new images of scenes in the new, post-lockdown world.

The weekend before last was the final one before non-essential retail was allowed to re-open on the 15 June, so I took a trip up town to see how things looked before the shops returned to life.

 

Down empty alleyways

The town centre was largely empty, with the largest groups of people I noticed being construction workers and homeless folks. It was a little eerie and the weather – dank and grey – felt more akin to a winter’s morning than one approaching the summer solstice. There were pigeons in the Peace Gardens and I wondered if they’ve been forced to work harder for their dinners given the lack of humans feeding them or dropping scraps?

 

Pandemic pigeons

The city has been given new signage outside some shops (although it seemed somewhat hit and miss as to which shops did – it certainly wasn’t all of them), and benches and the like feature signs requesting they not be used, or to keep your distance from others.

 

Queue here

I’ve made a couple more trips since this one (and still have more pandemic-related photos from this roll yet to upload), so I guess this series will continue for a while yet.

Olympus OM-1, F-Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Pandemic scenes #1

I took this photograph not long after the start of the UK’s lock-down. People can be seen observing social distancing while queueing to enter the superstore to buy groceries and other essentials. The store was operating a “twenty at a time” rule when this photograph was taken, but this changed the following day so that is was limited to twenty individuals instead of groups (couples etc.). The system worked efficiently and the waiting times were quite short.

Apart from items like pasta, hand-sanitiser, paracetamol and other previously panic-bought items, the store was well stocked with most goods.

As the lockdown has continued, and panic-buying has (thankfully) subsided, most stores are largely back to normal in terms of the stock they are carrying. The social distancing rules are well implemented and most customers now understand how they work. In some ways, and despite the fact you have to queue to enter the store (admittedly something I’ve not had to do in bad weather yet), the lower numbers of people in the shops makes for a nicer experience

Pandemic scenes - Social Distancing

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Ilford Delta 400 – Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins

Taken on 28 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Figures in a gallery

Another sculpture in The Hepworth (and, yes, once again I didn’t make a note of it’s title or the artist’s name because I am an idiot…). I took two photographs of this scene, one with the figures in focus, and the one published here, with the sculpture sharp and the couple out of focus. I definitiely prefer this one – partially because of the effect, and also because the pose they’re in is much nicer in this shot.

I decided to take a walk before I began work today and got out for about half-an-hour. Although still lovely and sunny, the temperature has dipped considerably since Sunday and there was a distinct chill in the air. Although it wasn’t too early, the sun was still low enough to cast some beautiful light, especially on the local churchyard with is currently full of blossoming trees.

I had a Canon Sure Shot in my pocket, so took a few photos during my walk. The blossoms made me wish I had some colour slide film in the camera rather than the Delta 400 that I’d loaded.

Orbit

Minolta SRT 101b, Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+ (@800).

Taken on 14 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Bank holiday scanning

I’ve spent much of the afternoon listening to music while scanning the roll of film I developed yesterday. I’ll post about my second attempt in another post (once I’ve uploaded some of the pictures), but suffice to say it all went well on the whole.

The OCD part of my brain likes to do things in a certain way, so it’s a little on edge that I’m scanning and uploading my home devved rolls before some of the lab devved rolls that were shot earlier. It’s hardly ruining my life or anything, but there’s still a niggling sense that I’ve broken some sort of rule.

The truth is that any rule I’ve broken is one that I’ve abitrarily set myself anyway. Maybe I should just set a new rule that states that I should learn not to worry about such silly things and just, like, chillax man. 🙂

Today’s photo is an earlier one – from my trip to The Hepworth gallery before the lock-down came into force.

Ston R

Minolta SRT 101b, Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+ (@800).

Taken on 14 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Tiring developments

Today’s post will be shorter than those from the last week or so, mostly because I’ve had a busy day and want to kick back and put my feet up for a bit. When I say busy, it’s not that I’ve been doing any heavy lifting or anything, but today was my first attempt at developing lack and white film at home, and it’s been kinda mentally tiring as I’ve tried to get everything right and not mess the whole thing up.

The good news is that I have some negatives that (from first glance) look ok. They’re currently hung in the shower drying (there’s an irony in that statement, surely…) so the proof will be when I come to scan them.

I’ll post the results and an account of my experience in a forthcoming post, but suffice to say that not everything went to plan…

Until next time, here’s someone admiring a nude in The Hepworth.

FILM - In front of a nude

Minolta SRT 101b, Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+ (@800).

Taken on 14 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

People and shadows in a gallery

It’s now been a week-and-a-half since the COVID-19 lock-down measures were put into place here in the UK. So far, things are ok – as a full-time home-based worker, I’m used to not leaving the house to commute to work, and social-distancing from my colleagues is the normal state of things anyway apart from when we have face-to-face meetings (which are all stopped now in any case). As a result, the lock-down measures are not inducing any sort of cabin-fever at this stage.

I must confess however, that I’m missing being able to go out where I want. I’m taking walks most days to get some exercise and fresh air, but even places that would be just a short drive away are starting to feel like slightly exotic destinations. The thoughts of driving out into the countryside (or even just into the city centre) are tantalizing given the “so near, yet so far” forced remoteness of even relatively mundane destinations. I’m estimating that the current lock-down will last through to the end of May at the earliest, so a good eight more weeks of this yet.

Still, things could be worse – returning home from my walk this lunchtime one of our neigbours, who has two young children, was out on his drive cleaning the paving. I said “Hi” (from a safe distance) and enquired as to how they were all doing. “I’m sick to death of watching Frozen” was one of his responses…

Another photo from The Hepworth today. I didn’t have high hopes when I took this picture as it was very dimly lit in this part of the gallery (to protect the prints and other artwork on display), so I had to shoot it wide open at f/1.7 at 1/30sec. I was expecting camera shake, but it’s nice and sharp, even if the shallow depth-of-field has rendered the man slightly out of focus.

Gallery shadows

Minolta SRT 101b, Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+ (@800).

Taken on 14 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Luggage

Taken back at the start of the month, it’s hard to think how quickly the scene portrayed here would change. It’s now very unlikely that you will see people trundling luggage through the streets given the large scale reduction in public and private transportation. only today, Easyjet, a UK-based budget airline, announced that it would be grounding its entire fleet until further notice.

While the curtailment of my own photography due to the pandemic continues, I did take several photographs in the house today. A few weeks before this whole situation unfolded I bought a small, cheap, but effective collapsible mini-studio. While it’s quite small, it will be useful for taking macro shots of items. Today, however, I used my Minolta SRT 101b and 50mm f/1.7. Getting as close as the camera would allow, I was able to take photographs of some fruit and vegetables. While I don’t think I’ll be troubling the works of Edward Weston any time soon, it’ll be interesting to see how they turn out nonetheless. Also, each photo I take gets me a little closer to the point where I can have my first bash at home development, which (although still making me slightly nervous) I’m eager to try now I have most of the necessary equipment.

Luggage

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 1 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

No chips

Or fries, for my American pals. 🙂

I really will have to get some more Lomography Color Negative 400 when I get the chance. This was my only remaining roll, but I’ve found if produces wonderfully saturated colours, as with the red-painted frontage of the fish & chip shop in today’s photo.

As I type this, it’s day four of the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown. I have today and tomorrow off work and would under normal circumstances have taken the opportunity to go out and take some photos – probably shooting colour as we’ve had (in a cruel joke by mother nature) beautifully sunny weather all week – but alas we’re not able to do so at present. I didn’t even go out for a walk today as I have the rest of the week, intead deciding I’d spend some time tidying the garage which is full of loads of boxes that I’d placed in a storage unit when we moved house but which I then removed and brought home to save the monthly fees. It was difficult to get access to other things in the garage, so I’ve spent the day completely re-arranging it all to make better use of the space.

I also spent some time this morning looking at (and then ordering) the equipment I’ll need to start developing my own B&W film at home. I still have a few bits and pieces to acquire, but the changing bag and all the chems are on their way, and I’ve had someone kindly donate a developing tank which they will post to me when an opportunity arises to do so. I really don’t know that much about home developing, especially which of the wide range of chemicals would be best, but in the end opted for some Ilfotec DDX, Ilfostop, Ilford Rapid Fixer and some Ilfotol wetting agent. To be honest, I’m somewhat nervous at the thought of doing this, mostly because I’m concerned I’ll knacker a roll of otherwise nice photographs, but given how many other people manage to do this successfully, I think I’ll be ok if I pay attention to what I’m doing. I will, of course, let you know how I fared when the time comes.

No chips today

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 1 March 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Sunshine on the Sun Inn

Spring is pretty much upon us and soon that lovely low winter sunshine will have retreated for another year, its effect only available to the early-birds and night-owl’s amongst us as we get further into summer. So here’s a photo of springtime early-morning sunshine bathing an appropriately named pub.

Sun Inn

Minolta SRT 101b, Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 27 February 2020