35mm · Film photography · Photography

Gull

Well the weekend seems to have flown by as swiftly as usual. Much like the gull in today’s photo.

I don’t tend to photograph wildlife generally, but there were a bunch of thse gulls flying around so I made the effort to catch one on film. It was a single attempt on 100asa film using a slow-ish manual focus telephoto zoom (although I think I had it opened to it’s max aperture of f/4), so I’m pleasantly surprised at the result!

Gull

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm f/4 & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 31 January 2022

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Baslow

A photograph today that was taken back at the start of the year. I made it during a trip out to Baslow Edge and shot it using the Zuiko 75-150mm f/4 lens I had with me.

While I published several photographs taken during that trip here on the blog, this one has lain untouched on my hard-drive.

It shows the view looking down on the village of Baslow from atop the edge that is named after it.

While I don’t do it often, sometimes it’s nice to just have a look back through photographs I made previously. I often find a few surprises in the form of images I’d forgotten about completely, or ones which, while not doing much for me at the time, now hold appeal on a fresh viewing.

Baslow

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 75-150mm f/4 & Ilford Delta 400.

Taken on 4 Jan 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Shooting a roll of Polypan F

A few months ago, a friend on the photography forum I’m a member of offered some rolls of bulk-loaded Polypan F to other members. Apart from generosity, he was interested to see what sort of results a variety of other people would be able to achieve with the film. Several people volunteered to take part and a box full of film was circulated (each person taking a roll and then posting the remainder to the next person, and so on).

I received the box back at the start of November, but didn’t shoot my roll untill the end of December. The main reason for the delay is the nature of the film. Polypan F is a motion picture copy film. It has very little anti-halation and so can make bright light sources bloom and glow in the right conditions. As November in the UK is not known for it’s bright conditions, I decided to wait for a sunny day. The 30th of December wasn’t the first sunny day to come around, but as I work full time, it was the first one where I was off work and could get out and shoot the film.

There was a loose theme attached to the film – the subject matter should be related to the letter “P”. Based on this, I decided to shoot my roll in a plantation of pine trees in the Peak District national park.

Polypan F has a native speed of 50asa so, even given the bright conditions, I would probably need to shoot accordingly. As a result I took along my tripod and a shutter-release cable. Alas though, even these measures were not to be sufficient.

Shooting in relatively well lit areas of the woodland didn’t pose much of a problem, especially with the 50mm lens, but the 75-150mm was another matter. I was using mid-range apertures to try and maximise my depth of field while shooting at focal lengths over 100mm. When in shaded conditions, this was dropping my shutter speed right down to little over 1sec in many instances. While the camera was firmly held on the tripod, and I was using the cable-release, I still ended up with a lot of shots displaying noticeable camera shake. I believe that the long lens, coupled with the slow shutter speed, was subject to vibrations from the cameras mirror when I took the shots. This was a shame as I lost a number of photos that I think were otherwise pretty nice, Still, I’ll take it on the chin and chalk it up to experience. I’ve never used the OM-1’s mirror lock-up before, but am now fully conversant with how it operates!

Here are some of the better shots from the day.

1 – This is the southerly path I took when entering the plantation (Lady Canning’s Plantation, to the south-west of Sheffield at Ringinglow). The plantation is commercially operated but has public access, including a number of mountain bike trails that were in heavy use on the day of my visit. The light blooming is quite apparent in this shot, particularly where the sun is peeking through the trees.

FILM - Through Lady Canning's Plantation

2 – I ventured off the main footpath to take the next two photos. This was perhaps a mistake as the ground was very uneven (from the wheels of heavy plantation machinery that must have worked there some time in the past) and with a notable quantity of prickly, clothes-snagging, skin-scratching brambles to fight through. Even though I was only 20 or 30 metres from the path, I did wonder if anyone would ever notice me where I to collapse or something. Me and my cheerful thoughts, eh?

FILM - Battles with brambles

FILM - Glade

3 – This wide avenue bisects the plantation and is the route of an underground pipeline, hence the lack of tree cover.

FILM - Pipeline passage

4 – The southern boundary of the plantation opens onto Burbage Moor.

FILM - Southern boundary

5 – A couple of hundred metres or so from the southern edge of the plantation stand the Ox Stones, a gritstone tor. Also nearby is a triangulation (trig) point.

FILM - Ox Stones

FILM - Trig point

6 – And finally, here’s a detail shot of one of the Ox Stones.

FILM - Strata

It was interesting to use the Polypan F. I’m not sure it’s a film I’ll rush to use again, but I wouldn’t say no if some more came my way. I wish I’d not had the issues with camera shake though as I might have had more images to share.

All photographs taken with my Olympus OM-1, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 / Zuiko 75-150mm f/4 lenses & Polypan F.

Taken on 30 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Day 365 – Twelve favourite photos from 2019

My initial plan for today’s post was to publish 12 photos that were taken this year but which haven’t featured in the blog, but on second thoughts I’ve decided to take the more traditional route. There might still be some that never appeared here before though – I tend to upload more stuff to Flickr than gets featured here – so aren’t you the lucky ones. 🙂

Today also marks the 365th consecutive blog post of the year – a target I attempted once before but which fell through when other events in my life took precedence. Not every blog was written on the day it was posted – in situations where I’ve been away from home I’ve pre-written blogs and then scheduled them to automatically publish (or made them live from my phone). Because of the way I link my photos from Flickr, I’ve found it’s a complete PITA to try and write and publish from mobile devices.

Anyway… Before I get on to the pictures, I just want to take the time to thank all who’ve viewed, interacted or commented on my blog over the year and to wish everyone a happy new year.

So, the photos…

January – This tree sits on the moors just south of Sheffield and is just a few metres from the roadside. It’s distictive shape made for an easy composition. Sadly the tree has now suffered damage – the last time I passed all that remained was the trunk as the upper branches have been broken off. 😦

FILM - In a lonely place (35mm)

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 AF & Fomapan 400. Taken on 20 January 2019

February – Eyes in the back of his head? One of the tenets of street photography is to be prepared and ready to catch that decisive moment when it occurs. Sadly, this is rarely the case for me and I’ve missed loads of potentially nice shots due to fumbling with the camera. This was one of the times I didn’t.

FILM - He's got eyes in the back of his head

Olympus 35 RC & JCH Streetpan 400. Taken on 15 February 2019

March – Portraiture is not something I have much of an interest in, particularly studio portraits (although I do enjoy looking at environmental portraits), so when an opportunity arose to photograph some models at the local camera club I wasn’t sure whether I’d enjoy it or not. While I can’t say it ignited any desire to take more portraits, I was very pleased with my results, one of which is below. It isn’t prefect (the creased backdrop lets it down a little), but the way the Sigma 105mm lens and the Kodak P3200 rendered the images is lovely.

FILM - WPS Model Session-2

Nikon F80, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS HSM & Kodak Tmax P3200. Taken on 19 March 2019

April – A gate on a public footpath through Edale in the northern Peak District National Park. I think this photo has a certain charm to it, there’s a sense of mystery as to where the path leads and what might be beyond the gate. This is from the penultimate roll of film through my Yashica Mat 124G last year. I shall have to rectify this situation and shoot with the camera again post haste!

FILM - A path near Edale

Yashica Mat 124 G & Fomapan 100. Taken on 20 April 2019

May – During May I visited New York with my family. It’s the second time I’ve visited (and I’d love to return – although I think my wife would prefer somewhere else in the US if we get across the Atlantic again) – I could have spent all day, every day just walking the streets taking photos. It was a family trip though, so I grabbed whatever I could. This is just a view down 7th Avenue after a rain shower, but it screams New York to me.

FILM - 7th Avenue

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Ilford HP5+. Taken on 28 May 2019

June – A box of pre-owned pool balls on a stall at the Sheffield Steam Rally. I think I might have said at the time that colour would have been a more obvious choice here, but I love the contrast given by the HP5+.

FILM - Balls

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 D & Ilford HP5+. Taken on 30 June 2019

July – The beach at Scarborough. My wife and I took a trip to the seaside and I shot a roll-and-a-half of film during the day. This is just a snap of the beach, the people enjoying themselves there, and some yachts in the sea beyond, but it has a nice “Martin Parr” feel to it that I like. It was also an opportunity to test the little Pentax Espio compact that I’d bought for £1 a fortnight before.

FILM - On the beach

Pentax Espio 140M & Fuji Superia 100 (expired 2008). Taken on 13 July 2019

August – Taken at the Lincoln Steam Rally – the first time I’d attended this event, but it was huge and I hope to go again in 2020. I shot four rolls of film on the day, but this Ektar shot of a vintage truck is a favourite. The almost 70-year-old Zeiss Mess-Ikonta continues to impress with it’s superbly sharp lens.

FILM - ERF

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektar. Taken on 17 August 2019

September – A day trip to my childhood seaside haunt: Mablethorpe. It’s a place I’m always drawn back to, even though I’m always slightly disappointed that it hasn’t remained frozen in time as I remember it from when I was a child. Another day where several rolls of film were shot (including three botched rolls through my Holga because I had it set to bulb mode!). I’ve many photos from the day that I like, but this is the one that always springs to mind when I think back.

FILM - Water dragon

Olympus 35 RC & Kodak Portra 400. Taken on 13 September 2019

October – I took a trip to Doncaster racecourse with my dad, and this is one of the photos from the day. The weather was awful, with heavy rain all day, but oftentimes bad weather makes for good photos.

FILM - A day at the races

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 75-150mm f/4 & Ilford HP5+. Taken on 25 October 2019

November – This shot is potentially my favourite of the whole year. The simple but beautiful charms of the Holga coupled with a wonderfully foggy day made for some amazing photographic opportunities.

FILM - The path untaken

Holga 120N & Kodak Tmax 400. Taken on 30 November 2019

December – December is a little difficult as, as I type this, I have three rolls of film waiting to be processed still and there might be a showstopper on there (or possibly not), but this image that I took just before Christmas on a lunchtime walk is definitely worthy of the spot. It’s another Holga 120N image, but cropped to a 4×3 ratio (the bottom of the frame has a river in it, but it didn’t add a lot to the overall image and the landscape crop works much better. The way the Holga renders out-of-focus details is wonderful, and almost impressionistic in style.

FILM - Breaking through

Holga 120N & Kodak Tmax 400. Taken on 18 December 2019

So there you have it. Twelve favourite shots from 2019. As with any list like this it’s subjective, and if I were to do it again tomorrow several of the selections might change, but for now it will do.

One final word – I’ll proof read it later, so apologies in advance for any typos or grammatical goofs. 🙂

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Views of the River Wharfe

A few more images from Boston Spa, taken last Sunday. These show the River Wharf, which was flowing with some force on the day, and there was clear evidence of it having recently breached its banks – flattened grasses around the footpath and debris in the trees much higher than the waterline. The weir was also making a great deal of noise as the water poured over it, and the area below the fall was boiling and churning away from the force.

Sat atop the weir was an entire tree that had been swept downstream at some point and become lodged there. It’s possible to get right to the water’s edge next to the weir and a fence prevents people from accidentally falling into the water below the weir, but the river above the weir is not similarly guarded and was moving with unnerving swiftness, so I stayed well back from the edge. (instead just risking fractured limbs on some slippery rocks).

FILM - Wharfe weir

Thorp Arch Bridge spans the river just downstream from the weir, and again there was significant noise caused by the water passing the piers and notable turbulence and whirlpools just below the structure. The bridge opened in 1760, has five arches and is Grade II listed.

FILM - Thorp Arch Bridge

The final image is looking downstream from atop Thorp Arch Bridge, this time shot with the Zuiko 75-150mm zoom.

FILM - Downstream

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 (and Zuiko 75-150mm f/4) & Ilford HP5+ (pushed to 800asa).

Taken on 15 December 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

London skyline

Jumping back six or seven weeks for today’s image, a shot of the City of London skyline taken from the South Bank at Blackfriar’s Bridge.

I like the way this has turned out – there’s a very slight haze on the tall buidings that gives a nice tonality to the shot. Even with a somewhat flat sky, I still think the image works well.

The handily-placed boat doesn’t hurt either. 🙂

FILM - City skyline

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 & Fujifilm Acros (pushed to 400asa).

Taken on 23 October 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A day at the races

About three weeks ago I visited Doncaster races with my Dad. I’d bought him an experience day voucher for his birthday earlier in the year and, as he’d not found anyone else who wanted to go with him (I’d assumed he’d have gone with one of his pals), I said I’d go. By the time this happened, there was only one event still available before the coucher was due to expire, the Vertem Very Different Stockbrokers Raceday on 25 October. As this was a Friday, I booked a day’s leave.

FILM - Looking for a winner

The voucher gave us access to the County Enclosure at the racecourse. This meant no denim, no trainers or sportswear, and the requirement to wear a collared shirt. It also granted us a £5 voucher each for a drink, as well as a free race programme.

FILM - Bookies

When the day arrived, the weather was pretty atrocious with heavy rain forecast for the whole day. When we arrived there were very few people in the outside areas of the enclosures other than those wishing to place a bet at the trackside bookies, or those armed with umbrellas. Most people seemed to be inside watching proceedings on television screens. This seemed somewhat pointless as, as my dad said, they might have well just gone into a local betting shop to do this rather than pay the entrance fee for the racecourse.

FILM - Equine athletes

We decided to cash in our drink vouchers before doing anything else (first things first, right?). My dad’s beer was covered by his, but the cider I asked for came to more than the allocated £5 and I had to put another 20p to the cost. It wasn’t even a particularly nice cider either. Nonetheless, we found ourselves a table with some free seats and sat down to look at the programme an pick the winners(!). After choosing some likely looking prospects (my dad came armed with a sheet of tips from a bloke he knows) we moved over to the County Enclosure ready for the first race.

FILM - PING

A few minutes before the race was due, we went outside (where it was still raining heavily) to watch the event. Although the bottom tiers of the stands were soaked (see my earlier post for an idea of how wet they were), the higher levels were sheltered enough to have dry seats, so we headed up there.

FILM - Rainy racedays

I think there were seven races scheduled for the day. We didn’t bother with the first, which only had four runners, and we left before the final two races, but the others followed a similar pattern of us watching from the dry section of the stands (where I took a number of photos); retreating indoors to place further bets / take shelter; then repeating the process for the next race.

FILM - By a nose

Although I have little interest in horse-racing, and even less experience in picking winners, I didn’t fare too badly on the day. While I didn’t break even, a couple of good results (including a win!) meant that my losses came to only a few pounds – and I’d written off all my stake money as likely to be lost beforehand anyway, so anything less than a total wipeout was good news. I’m not sure that my dad’s tips played any better than my “stick a pin in it and hope for the best” technique.

FILM - Winner

Overall I enjoyed the day and I’d like to do it again (albeit in better weather).

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 75-150mm f/4, Zuiko 28mm f/3.5, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 25 October 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

St. Paul’s Cathedral from Millennium Bridge

Three shots of the same subject today, all of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London taken from across the river on the South Bank from the end of Millennium Bridge. Two of the photos were taken using the Olympus Zuiko AUTO-Zoom 75-150mm f/4 lens, my second time using it since I bought it back in the late summer (I used it for a few shots on my trip to Hull a few days prior to this). So far I’m quite happy with it’s performance. Like most Zuiko lenses, it’s pretty compact, but it has a decent reach and is able to compress distances nicely.

The first shot was taken with the Zuiko 28mm f/3.5.

This is one of those slightly cliched and overdone photo locations – albeit for obvious reasons – but I’ve never shot it before and as it’s not a place I get to visit often I though I might as well take the opportunity while I had the chance.

FILM - St. Paul's (wide)

FILM - St. Paul's (mid)

FILM - Millennium Bridge

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 & Zuiko AUTO-Zoom 75-150mm f/4 & Fujifilm Acros (pushed to 400asa).

Taken on 23 October 2019

Film photography · Photography

Another giant ice cream

Ah, the giant ice cream cone, a signature piece of street furniture at seaside resorts around the country. While I don’t got out of my way to find these giant plastic dairy treats, I almost always seem to photograph them if the opportunity arises. Maybe a post with all my gathered giant ice creams will surface one day!

This one is in Hull, next to the marina.

You can glimpse other massive ice creams here, here, here and here. 🙂

FILM - Beer, cider, burgers (and ice cream)

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko AUTO-Zoom 75-150mm f/4 & Ilford HP5+ (pushed to 800asa).

Taken on 19 October 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Three views of the Humber

A triplet of photos all depicting the Humber Estuary. The added grain that has appeared due to the push-processing of the Ilford HP5+is readily apparent here but gives the images some grit, which I like.

The first two photos are looking eastwards as the estuary flows towards the North Sea – the first with The Deep, Hull’s aquarium and sealife centre, jutting into the left of the frame; the second a longer telephoto shot from the same location, towards the ferry and freight terminals.

FILM - The Deep and Humber Estuary

FILM - Voyage

The final image is looking west, back up the estuary towards the Humber Bridge which can be seen lurking in the background.

FILM - Distant Humber Bridge

Olympus OM-1, Zuiko AUTO-Zoom 75-150mm f/4.0 & Ilford HP5+ (pushed to 800asa).

Taken on 19 October 2019