Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Through a willow and into the sun

This willow stands at the lake’s edge at Rother Valley Country Park and I’ve photographed it on more than one occasion – there will be more photos of it to come soon, in fact!

It was a bright morning, with a hint of mist on the water and a touch of frost on the ground. I had a few frames left on the roll of HP5+ that I was pushing to 3200asa in my Bronica ETRSi, so I took a walk down to the lake before work.

The sun was low in the sky, peeking under a blanket of high cloud, and casting long shadows across the ground, so I decided to shoot into the light and use the branches of the willow to block the bulk of the glare. A small star of brilliance peeks between the branches.

Rother Valley willow

Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford HP5+ (@1600). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 20mins @ 20°.

Taken on 26 November 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Fallen willow

One more photo from Woodhouse Washlands. This willow tree has suffered some sort of catastrophe at some point, it’s tunk ruptured and folded down to ground level, but such is the tenacity of the tree that it lives on, thriving boughs rising at angles from the fallen section.

I was pleased with the results here. I opened up the aperture to soften the otherwise distracting background, but didn’t have a tripod, so had to carefully hand-hold the shot to maintain focus on the texture in the broken wood.

Fallen willow

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 10 October 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Riverbank hawthorn

This hawthorn tree stands beside the River Rother and its twisted trunk made for an appealing photograph. I had to duck beneath the tree’s canopy to get this picture and, as I had no tripod, open up the aperture to get a good shutter speed (and also to throw the river and far bank out of focus).

Riverside hawthorn

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 10 October 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography


I’m not sure why, but for some reason yesterday’s post didn’t appear in the WordPress Reader feed. So if you’re interested is seeing some autumnal woodland photographs, you can find them here.

Today’s post will be shorter, with just a single photo taken from the same roll as yesterdays shots – the last frame on the roll in fact. This tangle of exposed roots beside the footpath caught my eye as I walked back to where I’d parked the car. I think it’s one that would have worked well in black and white too.


Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Fujifilm Superia 100 (expired 2008). Grain2Pixel conversion.

Taken on 28 October 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A skeletal tree before lockdown #2

As I type this the country is awaiting a briefing from the Prime Minister where he is expected (based on a leak earlier in the day) to announce a new national lockdown to combat the escalating rates of Covid-19 infections. It’s expected to last a month at least.

While I don’t know the details yet, it’s possible that any photography may one again be limited to photos I can make while out taking exercise. Not ideal for the point of view of my passtime, but fully acceptable if it helps slow the spread of the disease (although I’d prefer we hadn’t gotten back into this state in the first place).

The location of today’s photo is within excercise distance, so maybe I’ll make more photos of this individual subject if wider travel is prohibited.


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

Taken on 18 September 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Sun-dappled monochrome woodland

Making black and white photographs in woodland, or any other place featuring large areas of green foliage, can sometimes be tricky. Without well defined subject matter I find tht such scenes can become a mass of mushy grey textures. Differing shades of green that are easily discernible to the eye merge into less defined shades of varying brightness.

So I think a clearly defined subject is important, either seperated by brightness, contrast or texture, or isolated in some way, such as it’s placement in the composition, or by using a shallow depth of field to add separation.

I think the photo today uses a bit of both techniques. The trunk that is the point of focus is isolated here by the light that falls on it (or rather doesn’t) – there’re splashes of sunlight, but overall it is darker than the background where more light is falling. I also opened the aperture to throw the tree into focus while leaving everything else softer.

I’m happy with how the shot turned out – I have a number of similar photos from other outings that didn’t work as nicely!

in the shady forest

Yashica Mat 124G & Fomapan 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 22 June 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

No cycling. No horses. Up yours. :)

I made this photo back on the 23rd May and posted about the walk I’d taken on the same day. In that post there’s a section about me accidentally going off my planned route and ending up in some private woodland. The tree in today’s photograph was one of the first things I saw when entering.

Clearly some cyclist or horse-rider has taken umbridge with the suggestion that they are not allowed in the woods and had responded with a coarse, but good natured retort. It made me smile and take the time to make the photograph.

I wondered how the Yashica Mat would cope with the light as the bright sun was directly in frame – if partially obscured by branches – and I half expected a lot of lens-flare or loss of contrast in the shot. As it turned out, it’s coped very well and I really like the glow around the disk of the sun as well as the backlit trees in the woodland.

The sunlight was so bright that it’s light crossed over into the next frame on the roll of film!


No cycling. No Horses. Up yours -)

Yashica Mat 124G & Shanghai GP3 (expired). Ilfotec DD-X 1+9 10 mins @ 24°.

Taken on 23 May 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The size of a tree

I took these two photographs on my way back to the car after visiting Magpie Mine back in March. The light in the village here was lovely and I finished the roll of Delta 400 that was in my (somewhat tempremental – it sometimes decides that it’s won’t fire, until suddenly springing back into life a few minutes later) Sure Shot Supreme making photographs of some of the scenes.

I didn’t really pay heed at the time, but on seeing the scan of this first image it really brought home to me just how big trees can grow in comparison with their surroundings. This one towers above the house it stands beside and I wonder which of the two came first?

Giving trees a sense of scale

It’s not really a tall tree in the scheme of things either, there are much larger ones to be found – including true titans such as the giant sequoia’s that grow in the western US. I think that this one is a sycamore (judging by the texture of the bark at least), but it’s very possible that I’m wrong. There was a time when I was younger that, in true boy-scout fashion, I could readily identify a whole range of trees from their shapes, leaves, fruit, bark etc., but it’s a skill that has faded over time. I still know the obvious ones – oaks, chestnuts, maples – and I would recognise sycamores from their leaves and seeds – but I’m not sure I’d know an ash from a birch these days without looking it up. I have a book of British flora and fauna, so maybe I’ll see if I can refresh my knowledge.

Scenes that catch your eye

Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Ilford Delta 400.

Taken on 16 March 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Power station

Five minutes before this shot was taken the whole structure was enveloped in steam. I quickly made my way to a vantage point where I could get a photograph of the spectacle but, alas, it didn’t reoccur in the time I was able to wait. Smaller volumes of steam were constantly being emitted, as in the shot below, but not the glorious fogbank I’d initially witnessd.

FILM - Power station

Yashicamat 124G & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 12 January 2020