Oddshots #4

Once again, apologies for my somewhat slower paced updating of the blog. In order to at least post something to keep the blood flow going, here’s another in my occasional Oddshots posts – just a single image that doesn’t really fit in a bigger post, or perhaps something from the archive.

This one was taken a week ago following a trip to the local cathedral (which had opened it’s doors to a local photography group for the evening). After the visit came to a close I walked back to the car to find that the street where I’d parked was bathed in gorgeous evening sunshine. Hawley Street consists of a row of terraced houses that were spared damage in the blitz, and the light on them was lovely.  It’s only the contemporary cars (and maybe the odd street sign and road marking)  that really date this image – it might otherwise have been taken 75 years ago. I’m not disappointed by the cars in the shot – they themselves will add a nice historical air as the photo ages.

FILM - On Hawley Street

More classic cars at Brodsworth Hall

This is a follow on post from the previous entry, this time containing the Kodak Portra 400 shots taken with my Yashica Mat 124 G. The film was slightly expired (although the date on it was 2016, so it’s still more-or-less fresh really).

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-12

Brodsworth Church is not actually part of the English Heritage site and, as far as I could ascertain from my brief walk around it, not accessible from it either. There were a couple of gates that I suppose I could have climbed over, but they were padlocked shut, so I didn’t take the chance.

FILM - Father's day

A couple of close-ups of the Willys Jeeps that were on display:

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-16

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-17

And finally, a bunch of car shots, my favourite being the elderly couple looking at the Bond Bug, which I think has a quirky “Martin Parr” feel to it.

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-13

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-14

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-15

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-18

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-19

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-21

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-20

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-22

Classic cars at Brodsworth Hall

 

NOTE: Some of the images in this post are showing broken links. The images are still there if you click them, but they are not being displayed for some reason I can’t fathom.

It was a rare Fathers Day this year where I got to go out and do something rather than being stuck at home because my wife was at work and, as luck would have it, there was a classic car event taking place at Brodsworth Hall on the day in question.

Brodsworth Hall has the benefit of both being not too far away, and also being another English Heritage property that I can use my membership benefits to gain free access. It’s not a place I’ve visited before, but it looked very nice in the English Heritage booklet they sent me, and I’d been planning a visit even before I discovered the classic car show was on. The hall is one of the most complete remaining Victorian country houses in the country and has, apparently, remained largely unchanged since the 1860s. The day I visited was probably not the best on which to appreciate the house and gardens however due to the large numbers of visitors, not to mention dozens of vintage motor vehicles parked around the place.

I also managed to lose my way on the drive there. I’d assumed that there would be signposts on the A1 (there are certainly signs for the hall on the southbound carriageway as I saw them on the way back from York last week), but either they aren’t present or (more likely) I managed to miss them – probably because I was overtaking a lorry that obscured the sign or something. That’s usually the cause! Thankfully, despite taking the wrong exit, there were yellow AA signs showing the way to the “Classic Cars”, and after about ten minutes I reached the entrance to the grounds. Along with dozens of other cars… It must’ve been a good ten minutes from entering the grounds to getting parked thanks to the large number of visitors, and as the temperature was over 30 degrees, I was very glad to be in a modern, air-condition car rather than one of the attractive, but less well equipped vehicles on show.

I’d come the the Hall with a couple of cameras – my Yashica Mat 124 G, and my Nikon F70. The F70 contained a roll of Ilford Pan F Plus 50 that I’ve had for a few months but been waiting for a nice bright day to shoot it, and the Yashica had a roll of Ektar, plus a roll of (slightly expired) Portra 400 & some Fuji Acros on standby. In the end I shot the Ektar, the Portra and the Pan F 50, but didn’t use the Acros, and the shots in the post are of the the Ektar (I’ll add another post or two containing the Portra and Pan F shots at a later date).

I’m not going to add descriptions for the all the shots below (I’ll likely embarrass myself by getting the names of the cars wrong or something), but might add a few notes where I have something to say (note: I was going to say “something interesting to say”, but that might be pushing it. 🙂 ).

The first couple of shots are of some US Army vehicles from WW2 – a couple of Willys Jeeps to be precise, and I got a couple of shots with the Ektar (and some later shots with the Portra and Pan F 50 too).

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-2

The next couple are of a Morris Oxford. This is notable for me as my granddad had the same car and I rode in it on many occasions, including multiple trips to their caravan at Mablethorpe. His was green though. My memory of it from being a child was that it was some sort of big, finned, American-looking thing, but the reality differs a little. Still a nice car though, and one I have fond memories of.

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-5

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-6

The rest are shots of various other cars. The line of Morris’s and the two American machines are my favourites of these.

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-11

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-8

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-9

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-7

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-4

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-3

FILM - Brodsworth Hall classic car show 2017-10

As a quick postscript to this post, I noticed that a few of the shots from the roll had a colour cast to them. I’m not sure why this is, but can only assume it down to the direction I was pointing the camera and the angle of the sun as all the shots pointing away from the sun seem to be ok. I didn’t have my lens hood with me, so maybe it was caused by flaring of some kind? I colour corrected the shots in question (maybe not perfectly!) to remove the worst of the cast.

 

Sutton Scarsdale Hall

After spending the best part of £50 on an English Heritage membership earlier in the year, I’ve been trying to ensure that I get value for money on it by visiting various English Heritage sites – although, to date, I’ve only managed to visit three, and the one I’m writing about today was free to enter in any case.

Sutton Scarsdale Hall is in Derbyshire between Chesterfield and Bolsover (one of the other EH sites I’ve visited, Bolsover Castle, can be easily seen from Sutton Scarsdale Hall on the opposite side of the wide valley in which both are situated). It can be observed from the M1 motorway, and this is how the place first came to my attention  many years ago.

The current house dates back to the 18th Century, although it is now just a shell – after falling into disrepair it was asset stripped early in the 20th century and the interior up to, and including, the roof were all removed and sold on. It is freely accessible to visitors, although on this occasion, my first, the interior was off-limits due to maintenance work and the main structure is bordered by some somewhat ugly metal fences that prevent access.

I shot a full roll of Fomapan 200 with my Yashica Mat 124 G during the visit, and I’ll include most of the photos here (three of the shots I took were quite similar, so I’ll just use the best of those, and one was out of focus, so that is omitted too).

#1. Not the first shot of the roll, but I’ll place it first here as it’s the view from the car park and the first thing you see upon arrival.

FILM - Climbing is forbidden

#2 & #3. The ornately columned east wall of the structure.

FILM - Beware of falling objects

FILM - Faded glory

#4. To the east, the valley slopes down into the wide valley and this shot was taken looking back towards the hall.

FILM - Beyond the meadow

#5. Looking down into the valley, I spotted a couple of trees that made for a nice picture.

FILM - Below the meadow

#6. I decided that I’d like another shot of the trees from a different angle. This involved climbing over a walled ditch (although someone had thoughtfully left a small wooden stepladder against the wall by which to climb up and down) and then walking down a track towards the trees. I actually took three variations of this shot (you can find the other two on my Flickr feed if you click one of the images in this post), but this is the one I really like.

https://flic.kr/p/VmRHvV

#7. A shot of some poppies growing in the field adjacent to the track.

FILM - Black poppy

#8 & 9. The final two shots were taken in the churchyard of All Saints church in the nearby village of Heath. I’ve noticed the dollar-like symbols on gravestones before and wondered what they represented, so after taking this shot decided to look up the meaning. I discovered that, despite appearances, it’s not a $ symbol, but the letters I, H & S overlaid on one another and represent the first three letters of Jesus in Greek.

FILM - Steeple-top starling

FILM - Symbols of religion

Changeable weather #2: The dry(ish) part.

Following on from the last post, here are the remainder of the shots taken on Saturday 27 May.

Shortly after I finished taking the photos in part one, and after walking up towards the West Street / Glossop Road area, the sun decided to re-emerge and bathed everything in bright, and pretty humid, conditions.

I’d intended to got to the pedestrianised area between the old Henderson’s Relish building and the new university buildings that stand in the spot where the old Jessop’s maternity hospital once stood. The area is in the process of gentrification at the hands of the university and is none the worse for it. As much as I like to see old architecture remaining in place, the new buildings either incorporate the old, listed, architecture, or are modern in a pleasing way that makes for interesting photographs. The university bioincubator facility has a little sculpture / garden thingy in between the buildings that was catching the light nicely too.

Rather than describe each shot, I’ll drop a selection below. As with the previous post, these are a mixture of Yashica Mat 124 G / Kodak Ektar & Olympus 35 RC / Kodak Colorplus photographs.

FILM - Brass bottles

FILM - Holes and bottles

FILM - Underneath

FILM - Bicycles

FILM - Approaching the diamonds

FILM - Things with droplets

FILM - Outside the bioincubator

After this batch of shots, I started to walk back towards town down the back streets that run parallel to the main West Street drag. The remnants of the rain made for a nice reflection of a green doorway in the side of St. George’s lecture theatre (a deconsecrated church). I took two shots of this, one with the last frame of Ektar in the Yashica Mat, the other with the 35 RC.

FILM - I saw this after the rain

FILM - Green door reflection

The rest of the day’s shots were with the 35 RC, and I’m pretty happy with a number of them, especially the last two of the set below (the guy walking past the university building and the “No Entry” road marking).

FILM - Up and over

FILM - Portobello 1

FILM - Subject to surveilance

FILM - His head in a star

FILM - No Entry

The final shot below, is of the Q-Park car park building off Rockingham Street. Sheffield has its fair share of mid 20th century brutalist design car-parks, as do most towns and cities in the country, but recently seems to have acquired several of far more interesting design, such as this one.

FILM - Wavy

Probably back to black and white stuff for the next post.

Changeable weather #1: The wet part.

I went up town last Saturday with the primary intention of taking some photographs (although I did have a secondary mission to pay the deposit for a restaurant booking that my wife had made). The weather was bright and warm, with some fluffs of cumulus (and some bigger wodges of cloud on the horizon) littering the sky. This was not to last.

Despite the conditions remaining the same during the twenty minutes of so it takes to drive into the town centre, literally as soon as I got out of the car, one of the aforementioned “wodges” of cloud was threatening the day with its massive dark bulk. The weather forecast app on my phone said not a word about rain though, so I fed the parking meter and set off to get some pictures.

The weather forecast app tells lies.

I got the following shot of an old cutlery works entrance.

FILM - Eye Wit

Then I followed the street leading to the back. There I started to line up another shot when I felt a few spots of rain – not heavy at this stage, but enough to potentially get on the lens and spoil the picture (indeed, a single fat droplet fell right into the open top of the Yashica Mat leaving a wet splash on the focusing screen). The only available shelter was a small doorway that was presumably a point of egress from a fire escape or something. It was approximately 18 inched deep, so enough to provide adequate shelter, but with the downside of having a noticeable air of urine odour to put up with. Still, beggars can’t be choosers, and literally seconds after stepping into the doorway, the heavens opened and rain began to pour down as though someone had turned on am enormous  shower in the sky. The heavy rain lasted maybe five minutes, but then took another ten to abate completely, so I remained in my shelter for quite a while. During this time I took the following shot. It’s a little out of focus, but it’s not a great shot anyway, but is included here as a memory of the moment nonetheless.

FILM - When I was trapped by the rain

The next shot was taken from right outside my sheltering spot )it is directly to the right of where I took this photo).

FILM - The cobbled way

It’s interesting to see how the tarmac has worn from the streets in this area, revealing the original cobbled surface beneath. As well as the Yashica Mat, I also had my Olympus 35 RC with me, still loaded with the remaining frames of the roll of Kodak Colorplus I’d been shooting previously, and it was with this that I got the shot below (my sheltering place can be seen at the bottom left of the frame).

FILM - Another one of those things

Further along this same street, I took the next shot of some graffiti. The shot is quite nice (if you like this sort of thing) with lots of texture and detail. The small red shape that can be seen at the bottom of the boarded-up window is actually a small door that has been affixed and is labeled “The home of Abdul the world’s smallest muslim”. Whether Abdul is a fictional character in the mind of the artist who added the doorway, or represents a real person (though presumably not small enough to fit through this small doorway!), I know not, but it adds some additional interest to the shot.

FILM - NSFW?

A couple more street shots from the same area are next, one from the Yashica Mat, the other form the 35 RC. There’s a slight John Bulmer-ish feel to the second shot in terms of the colour and conditions that I like.

FILM - Egerton Lane

FILM - No Parking Loading

It’s interesting to think that, although relatively lightly traversed nowadays, that these streets would have been hives of activity at one time, with many hundreds of people employed in the area.

The last shot of this batch is taken again with the 35 RC, although I did a black and white conversion on the Colorplus as I liked the result better than the original colour image.

FILM - Gate 6

The weather was to brighten up again shortly after taking this last shot, and I’ll document the remaining pictures in the next post.

Barnsley, and Elsecar Heritage Centre

Last Tuesday I had a day off work, mostly because I had an appointment to keep in the morning (which turned out to be a waste of time thanks to one of the parties not turning up!), but it also meant I had a chance to travel up to Barnsley to see the RPS International Print Exhibition #159 that was on show at The Civic until the end of the month. I decided that I’d see the exhibition, then perhaps take a few shots around Barnsley town centre, and then visit Elsecar Heritage Centre (and perhaps Wentworth) on the way back home, and so took my Yashica Mat 124 G loaded with a roll of Kodak Ektar, and also my Olympus 35 RC (with some Kodacolor 200 in it). While I took a number of sots with the 35 RC, I’ve not had the roll processed as yet, so all the shots in this post are from the Yashica.

The exhibition was worth the visit and I took notes of some of the photographers whose pictures I liked so that I could look into their work more closely later. The exhibition ends this month in Barnsley and then moves on to a new venue elsewhere in the country I believe.

Despite Barnsley being only a short distance from Sheffield, it’s a place I’ve visited rarely – I’ve been maybe half a dozen times in my life – and so there was quite a lot of interesting things to photograph. However, as my plan was to go to Elsecar, I only shot a few frames in the town, mostly in the area just behind The Civic, where the exhibition was hosted.

Three shots were of a bar / restaurant called The Old Chemist. The place has, as its name wold suggest, an old apothecary style theme, and the windows are lined with vintage and antique bottles, and there’s an old-style gas-lamp on the corner (probably not gas-powered any longer). I think the third of these three is my favourite.

FILM - The Old Chemist

FILM - The Old Chemist window

FILM - The corner of Hanson Street and George Yard

The final shot I took with the Yashica in Barnsley was of The Arcade, a pleasant pedestrian shopping row with an ornate glass ceiling. The shot’s ok, but it’s a little meh too. Better light would have helped, I think (the sun kept disappearing behind clouds – usually a second after I’d taken a meter reading – and I didn’t have time to hang around for the perfect conditions), and would have allowed me to use a smaller aperture.

FILM - The Arcade

After returning to the car (and taking a few random snaps with the 35 RC) I set off out of Barnsley, down the M1, and to Elsecar (after a quick stop at KFC for a bit to eat. I sat in the car to eat and listened to the awful unfolding news about the previous night’s terror attack on the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester).

Elsecar Heritage Centre is located on the site of a former ironworks and steam railway. The railway still exists as a heritage line and runs a short distance from the centre. I’ve been on the train-ride several times as, at Christmas, there are special trips where Father Christmas is on board and gives the children presents while their parents have a cup of hot-chocolate or mulled wine. It was all very festive, but my kids have outgrown such things now. The station is small, but quite nicely appointed with a vintage feel to it, and I took three shots.

The first is of an old phone box tucked into a corner of the station building. The colour looks a little off, but that is the actual tone of the phonebox, which I suspect has either faded slightly in the sunlight, or maybe been painted an incorrect shade at some point.

FILM - On the platform

Next is an old set of scales that were on the platform. This ought to have made for a nice shot, but I’ve missed focus ever so slightly, so it’s a little disappointing.

FILM - 97.6 kilograms

And here is a shot of a set of vintage carriages that were pulled in at the station (there were a few old locomotives too, but I couldn’t get a decent composition on any of them). I think this shot is probably my favourite from the day.

FILM - Guard

Walking out of the station alongside the railway line leads to an old Newcomen beam-engine, the only one remaining in the world still situated in its original location. Sadly, I couldn’t find a composition of this that I liked either and so, instead, took this photo of a nearby footpath leading up the hill towards Wentworth.

FILM - Another mystery path

After this, I walked back into the heritage centre area proper and took the next three photographs. Most of the buildings are now given over t shops and other commercial enterprises (there’s a large children’s play area in the main building – again, we used to take our kids there sometimes when they were younger), and one of them is a large antiques shop. I spent most of my time in here to be honest, and it’s a lovely Aladdin’s Cave of a place. They had a few old film cameras for sale, but I resisted the urge to buy any! It was upon leaving this place that I realised my phone battery had decided to kill itself and was now bereft of any power, leaving me with no way to meter my shots other than Sunny 16 estimation. Luckily, the day was now quite bright and I managed to get my estimations close to the mark and all the remaining shots were well exposed. I’ve decided to buy a dedicated meter though so this doesn’t happen again. Back to the shots, and I’m in awe at the saturated colours that can be seen in the phone box shot (this was the first roll of Ektar I’ve shot), but the long shot of the foundry building and chimney is the best of the three, I think.

FILM - Things to see and do

FILM - Telephone

FILM - The memory of activity

The final shot of the roll was taken as I walked past a pub on the way back to the car. I like the juxtaposition of the sign, flowers, and beer barrels, but I’m not really happy with the shot. The sun was glancing into the viewfinder of the camera and it was difficult to focus and compose the shot, so I didn’t really get what I’d wanted. Anyway, here you go, warts and all…

FILM - Burgers, blooms and beer