Yesterday I had a backlog of six rolls* of film from which I’ve not yet uploaded any shots to my Flickr account or to this blog. Today it’s eight rolls – nearly 200 frames of images.
I seem to be being quite prolific in how much I’m shooting recently. Some of this I put down to having taken a few day trips to places I’ve not visited before. This always tends to bring inspiration from seeing the unusual, unexpected, or just something different and, as a result, I tend to want to photograph as much of it as possible. Another reason is that I have quite a stash of film at present – much more than I actually thought I had – and I’ve decided to make an effort to shoot some of it rather than just sit on it waiting for some perfect occasion.
Today I shot two rolls. One, my final roll of Lomography Color Negative 100, from which I got twelve frames with my Yashicamat 124G. The other was a roll of Agfaphoto APX 100 which I had loaded in my recently acquired Olympus OM-1N. I replaced the light seals in the camera yesterday and wanted to give it a trial run to see if all is working as expected. I used to use Agfa Vista Plus for these tests, but that was when it was available for £1 a roll in Poundland (oh how I now wish I’d bought boxes of the stuff when I had the chance…), but I haven’t any of that left now and, given the current prices of colour film, I doubt I’d chance it on a test. So, the next best thing in terms of economy was the Agfa APX 100 which I have a few rolls of from a purchase a couple of years ago. As far as I know it’s exactly the same film stock as Kentmere 100 and Rollei RPX 100, just re-branded. I shot a full 36 exposures of that this morning and am scanning the negatives as I type this. The good news is that the camera seems to be operating just fine and there are no signs of light leaks.
I think one of the outcomes of this backlog might be some posts more laden with photographs than my normal output (which generally just publish a single image). I shot a roll of the new Kodak Gold 120 last week, so that might make for a single post, as will an expired roll of Truprint 200 shot a couple of weeks ago. I guess I’ll figure it out at some point before I end up with some sort of Vivian Meier-like hoard of never-seen pictures that is dicovered upon my death.
Today’s post has three pictures all themed around boats, and all shot at North Landing at Flamborough. It’s the last of my Bronica Flamborough shots from this outing, but I still have a bunch of 35mm pictures from the same trip that will see the light of day soon – although I might bump the Kodak Gold stuff up the schedules first.
* actually five-and-a-half as I have already uploaded a few frames from a roll of HP5+.
Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford Pan F Plus. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 7mins 20°.
I think this was the shot where I had to change lens to get the best composition. I’d been using the 75mm Zenzanon up until this point and, had I been stood further away, that lens would have coped perfectly. But that meant that other unwanted elements would have started to creep into the frame due to my distance, so the 50mm came out of the bag to take this picture. I think the 50mm might be a bit softer than the 75mm, but it’s not really noticeable in the main subject here.
I like this angle on the lighthouse. It gives it an imposing character.
Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 50mm f/2.8 MC & Ilford Pan F Plus. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 7mins 20°.
I was struck by the way that the lighthouse looked like it stood beyond a rolling sea of grass in this photo. I did wonder about cloning out the lone figure on the left but then decided against it.
In other news, I’m currently scanning a roll of 135 Tri-X that I finished shooting at the weekend. As I often get drying marks on my 135 negatives (although, oddly, never on 120 negs…), even though I use distilled water and wetting agent for the final wash, I’ve taken to using a squeegee lately. This has worked fine all the other times I’ve used it, but this roll of Tri-X looks beset by scratches along most of its length, which is disappointing.
Bronica ETRSi, Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 PE & Ilford Pan F Plus. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 7mins 20°.
Beside one of the footpaths in Padley gorge stands the remains of a twisted tree. Little more of the trunk is left but it’s something of a focal point on the path as the wood is embedded with hundreds (or more) coins which have been hammered into the surface and bent over (or perhaps they were bent over before they were knocked in). The result is an odd and intriguing texture that resembles the scales of some beast, like a serpent or a dragon.
The effect is even more pronounced when viewed from the right point of view as the broken tip of the trunk resembles a horned face (or I think it does anyway). On this day it had a conifer branch leant against it giving it a slightly festive air given it was a couple of days before Christmas.
Here’s another couple of photos of a grnarled and twisted tree on the upper slopes of Padley Gorge. I’ve photographed it before, including this digital shot made on the same day. The whole area is filled with interesting trees to be photographed and, when the weather is right – especially with some mist present – the opportunities just seem to multiply.
Today was my last day off before returning to work tomorrow. Before Christmas I’d intended to go out with a camera on a few occasions but, apart from the day I made the shots featured here, I’ve not done any photography beyond making pictures of my family. I’ve instead just spent a lot of time watching TV and playing videogames. I do have the itch to get out and make new pictures, and today had some lovely winter sunshine I could have taken advantage of, but sometimes it’s nice to just chill out and relax with other things and I’m glad to have taken the time to do so this Christmas.
Another Padley Gorge photo today, again of a tree right up near the top of the wooded area where it opens out into heather and bracken covered moorland. There was another photographer making pictures of this same tree when I was there, so we were being careful not to get into one another’s shots.
Today was the day the Christmas decorations came down. I think the intent had been to dismatle them tomorrow but we ended up with a gap in the schedule this afternoon, so got it over and done with. I always used to find taking the decorations down a horribly depressing task, like it was making real the fact that the festive period and all the buid-up was done, and it was just back to work / school / wet and cold January days with not much to look forward to in the immediate future. It would really get me down and the house would look bare and empty with all the trees, lights, garlands and other trimmings packed away.
I don’t seem to feel it nearly so much now (and, if I’m honest, the excitement in the run up to Christmas either). I’m not sure exactly why this might be. Perhaps a sign of getting older? Maybe the fact that our kids are not so young and some of the magic has disappeared? Whatever the case, I don’t feel down like I used to. While I don’t want to lose my fondness for Christmas, losing the post-Christmas blues is not something I will complain about too much.
Both of my kids who still live with us have now tested positive for Covid-19. One late last week, the other today. Neither of them seem particularly ill – they have cold-like symptoms but not much else – and they’re still playing video games and watching the stuff they find entertaining. My wife and I are (so far) still testing negative. It’s actually something of a mystery how the first one managed to be infected – he hasn’t left the house since mid-December and the only visitor we had prior to him starting to feel ill was his big brother who came over on Christmas day (but he’s not been positive either). I’m assuming that either my older son, or my wife and I were infected but asymptomatic at some point and passed it on, or we’ve brought something contaminated into the house. It’s a bit of a puzzle to be honest.
A couple of days before Christmas I took myself out into the Peak District national park. The weather forecast showed fog, with rain expected later in the day, so I headed to Padley Gorge in the hope of getting some nice woodland scenes.
Padley Gorge looks great at pretty much any time of the year, being a steep sided valley filled with tumbles gritstone boulders, twisted and gnarled trees, and the peat stained waters of Burbage Brook cascading through the bottom on its way to Grindleford and it’s appointment with the River Derwent beyond. In the fog though, well those twisty trees take on a whole new level of character and the place feels like something out of a Tolkien story.
I shot a full roll of Ilford Delta 3200 film during the outing, as well as making a number of digital photos with my little Ricoh GRIII compact (the image stabilisation on this little camera is excellent, and I am able to drop the shutter speed down to 1/8 second handheld and still get sharp images, making it an excellent companion to other cameras). I decided to shoot the Delta a stop over at 1600asa and to then develop it at box speed. It’s a grainy film, but I thought that it might suit the murky conditions that presented themselves on the day.
I’ll be sharing a number of these shots over the coming days, and here to start us off are a couple of eerie looking large trees that stand at the head of the gorge.
Continuing my nightime Cinestill 800T shots, here’s an image of a local Starbuck’s branch. The cafe was closing and the staff inside looked like they were performing whatever end of day admin tasks go on in such an establishment. One person is sat to the left of the entrance apparently looking at paperwork, while there’s the blur of another person doing jobs behind the counter.
It’s another photo where I felt somewhat awkward making it as there was a car parked close by with some people sat inside. They didn’t say anything or even show any sign of noticing me, but I had an internal sense of them wondering what on earth I was doing. Maybe I need to just get on with doing stuff and ignore what my internal psychology is wittering on about…
Today’s photo is another of those that I really like without really being able to say why – although I think it’s probably the swipe of the red tail-lights across the scene on a jaunty diagonal. The red contrasts nicely with the overall blue tint that the photo has.
I think there’s some sort of law that says you must make a photograph of a petrol station* at night when you shoot some Cinestill 800T. Anyway, here’s mine out of the way. I don’t think it’s the best example by a very long chalk, but I can cross it off the list**. Bonus points for the fog.