Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Silver birch re-scan

The photo in today’s post is a few years old – it was taken on a cold, but bright, February day back in 2018 on the edge of the moorland near Surprise View in the Peak District national park. I don’t think I’ve published this picture online anywhere before now.

I re-scanned it, and the rest of the photos on the roll, yesterday, using Vuescan to make a linear RAW DNG file and then Negative Lab Pro for the conversion in Lightroom.

Now I understand how to use NLP properly (or at least much better – there are still a bunch of controls and sliders that I stay away from!), I’m very pleased with the ease of getting colours that I’m happy with almost straight out of the box. I still tweak things a little, first using NLPs controls, and then maybe some minor tweaks in Lightroom itself (usually adding a little clarity and sharpness), but there has been none of the annoying mental gymnastics where I can’t decide if the colours are “off” in some hard to define way.

Obviously, colours are subjective, whether it be someone sat at home trying to get what they think Portra or whatever film stock they’ve used to look “right”, or a technician in a photo-lab making adjustments in the Noritsu software (or whatever it is they use) on the behalf of the photographer. So far, Negative Lab Pro has given me colours that feel correct with very little faff on my part, and for this I am thankful. I love black and white photography, but this new found ability to get results I’m happy with from C41 film is making me want to shoot more of the stuff (and re-scan some of the photos where I had less than satisfactory results in the past). It’s just a shame I need to sell a kidney to afford colour film these days!

Silver birch and quarry scree

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Portra 400. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 7 February 2018

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

The cheerful Fiat

I think it’s the balloon that does it but there’s a definite cheerful look about this Fiat 600. The front of the car itself (something which resembles a face in pretty much all vehicles to a greater or lesser extent) also has a somwhat feline aspect, the chrome bars and logo resembling a nose and whiskers. Or is it just me?

A car has a face
Is what it’s called

Fiat 600 and happy balloon

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 August 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

A coupla Chevy’s

More vintage rally photos, this time a couple of vintage Chevy pickup trucks. I’m no expert on such things (as I’ve pointed out more than once on this blog), and I’m British and these are American trucks to boot, but a bit of Googling has given me the models. At least I think it has. As always any expert opinions correcting my errors are gratefully received.

Anyay, the first is, I believe, A Chevrolet AK, which were produced between 1941 and 1947, placing this particular vehicle near the end of that production run.

Chevy AK

The second truck is around three decades younger being (again, I believe) a Chevrolet Blazer. I’m tentatively dating this one to the late 70s – 1977 onwards – due to the 5×3 grid on the radiator grille. Again I could be talking out of my backside though!

Maybe I hould have asked the truck, although it has a slightly worried looking expression… 🙂

Chevy Blazer

American trucks
Gas guzzling automation
Moving the masses

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 August 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Isetta 300 bubble-car

Last weekend I visited another vintage rally, this time the Smallwood Vintage Rally in Cheshire. It was a little smaller than the Astle Park event I visited a few weeks earlier and missed on some exhibits like the persiod funfair rides – there was still a funfair but it was mostly modern attractions. I doubt I would travel across the country to visit it again (hopefully the more local events will be back next year), but it was good to meet up with some fellow photographers I know via an online photography forum. As we all shoot film cameras, and as a few of us had proposed bringing folding cameras along, an informal competition was devised where we would each attempt to photograph something from the same decade as the camera.

I still had just over half-a-roll of HP5+ in my 1950s era Zeiss Mess-Ikonta, so would use that for the challenge. I also took my Yashicamat 124G on the day. As the Yashicamat if much easier to use than the Zeiss, I endeavoured to use up the partial roll in the folding camera first and completely forgot about the competition. Luckily though, one of the pictures I made was of a bubble-car that, upon later research, turned out to be an Isetta 300 manufactured and first registered in 1959, just squeaking through the competition rules. There’s no prize, and probably not even any judging, so I didn’t have anything to lose, but I’m glad I got something that fit the bill anyway.

50s bubble-car
Fifties made, like my camera
Here to save the day

Isetta 300

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 14 August 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

North to Hudson Yards

We’ve had a visitor this evening, so just a quick post today. I’ve dug a picture made a couple of years ago during our trip to New York from the archive. It depicts the view north up 10th Avenue from the High Line where it crosses the junction with W 17th Street.

So, New York New York
Great place to make some photos
Maybe I’ll return

FILM - North up 10th Avenue

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 27 May 2019

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

As wide as the Wicker Arches

The Wicker Arches is a railway viaduct on the edge of Sheffield city centre. It was built in 1848 and the 41-arches span the Don Valley. Most of the arches are now blocked, with various businesses occupying the spaces, but the main arch across the Wicker, with decorative pedestrian arches to either side, remains a busy route into the city, and Effingham Road also passes beneath the viaduct further east. The arch beneath which the River Don passes now forms part of the Five Weirs Walk with the route taking the form of a suspended metal walkway named the Spider Bridge (it’s even decorated with large silver arachnids with illuminated eyes).

Passenger rail services across the viaduct ceased in 1970 when Sheffield Victoria Station, which was situated atop the viaduct, closed, and all rail traffic had stopped by the 1980s.

The phrase “as wide as the Wicker Arches” has been regularly used by people in Sheffield to denote someone who was a bit crafty or a smartarse.

When I was cheeky
“Wide as the Wicker Arches!”
Would come my mum’s cry

As wide as the Wicker Arches

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 9 May 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

The remains of the Farfield Inn

Another victim in the declining pub trade in the UK, the Farfield Inn stands at the western end of Neepsend Lane at the bottom of Hillfoot Road, not far from the busy route that is Penistone Road. There used to be pigeon lofts on the steep hillside along this stretch but those, like the Farfield Inn, have fallen into dereliction, their skeletal remains vaguely apparent in the brush that has grown to take their place.

“Fancy a nice pint?”
Would once have been said by those
Who visited here

Abandoned hostelries
Abandoned hostelries

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 9 May 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Finding a Ford Capri

Finding old cars here in the UK isn’t easy, at least outside of car shows and museums. The MOT system means that most vehicles get sent for scrap before they gain too much age; the cost of keeping them road-worthy a barrier to long-term posession. Add to this the large-scale scrappage schemes that were brought into place when the use of leaded petrol was outlawed a few decades ago and the number of older-model vehicles is low. So, when I come across something like this Ford Capri parked on a street-corner, a photograph or two is almost obligatory.

The Capri was introduced as a Eurpopean equivalent of the Mustang apparently and it, along with the mark III Ford Cortina, always give me a sense of their being our versions of the American fastbacks and muscle cars.

Sometimes you can find
Old treasures left to be seen
On our street corners

Home of a professional?

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 9 May 2021

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Portrait of a camera

Lockdown limitations mean I can’t go out to all the places I’d like and, while I intend to make the most of my closer surroundings, it also means I’m going to fall back on making pictures around the house as well sometimes. Old cameras, such as my Zeiss folder, make good subjects though.

A lens through a lens
Vintage rangefinder of old
Still working just fine

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524 16

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

Taken on 10 January 2021