Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II

Kent Earthquake felt in East Anglia

Olympus XA2 50p camera project. Ilford HP5+ b/w film. Developed in Kodak D76 stock. V500 scanned.

Our intrepid reporter phones in the tight fisted report.  The 4.2 magnitude tremors of the Kent Earthquake yesterday were felt far and wide.  Causing damage to structures as far away as Cambridgeshire.  Either that or some drunk managed to back his car into this Wisbech telephone box.

The fun that you can have with a little XA2 35mm film compact camera.

Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II


Olympus XA2 compact camera. Ilford HP5+ b/w 35mm film. Developed in Kodak D76 stock. Scanned on a V500.

The two Ilford films from the XA2 (the 50p Camera Project) are dried and scanned.  The above is one of my favourites.  A candid taken at the burger van of a local mid week car boot sale.  I think that it captures the atmosphere of such an event quite well.  Car boot sales, auctions, and Sunday markets are great places to catch interesting people.

I developed in D-76 stock, which might have made the HP5 a little grainy, but as any regular readers will know, I don’t shy away from the rough.  It adds I think to the feeling of the photograph.  Anyway, I wanted to use the developer up, as it wasn’t well stored, and I’m keen to give a bottle of Ilford LC29 a go next.

I guess that is one of the attractions of film and even hybrid photography – we have so many different films, developers, and processes available still, each of which will affect the final image.

Next in the XA2 will be a couple of Poundland C41 films.


Ten Years on Flickr

Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Ilford Delta Pro 400 film. Home developed in Kodak D-76 at 1:1. Scanned film on V500.

The above photograph was taken of a rather “arse about tit” gargoyle at Outwell Church.  A naughty and rather rude demon it appears.

Yesterday marked my Flickr 10th birthday.  I uploaded my first image to Flickr on 19th May 2005.  A pair of Fennec Foxes, taken at Colchester Zoo, using a Canon Powershot A60 (or was the A85, I “upgraded around that time.).

At the time I was using digital compact cameras.  I don’t know if you could call them point & shoot, as they were surprisingly well equipped, with f/2.8 lens, shutter priority, aperture priority, and I think full manual exposure modes.  It was later that this sort of class of digital camera seemed to be dumbed down.  My photography was pretty much snapshot and family stuff, as it had been since I started snapping away on Kodak Instamatics many years earlier.  However, my brother had inspired me years earlier with his Canon AE1, and had given me some insight into composition and technique, so I wasn’t totally green.

Flickr at that time was a part of the Web 2.0 initiative of interactive websites entering the WWW.  I had previously hosted my digital images on my own website.  Flickr was not a part of the Yahoo group.  It still belonged to a Canadian firm.

Since then, I’ve uploaded 5,738 more images to Flickr, which have received 4,296,832 views.  Does it all really matter though?  The positive thing about my Flickr experience has been that it provides me with a lot of inspiration – or rather the other photographers there provide me with inspiration.  It encourages me to actually take photographs – sad as that sounds, but it is true.

Now, despite my recent block, I’ve forced myself to use up a couple of HP5 films in the XA2.  I need to go and develop them.  Time to get off the pooter.

Rants and discussions

Slowing Down

Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Shanghai GP3 medium format film. Home developed in Kodak D76.

I just feel as though I’ve hit another rough patch with my photography again.  That I’m not making any advances, that it might not really be worth it.  I really want to use the little XA2, but just can’t muster the enthusiasm when I get time.  I just don’t feel that I see anything new, that I have any new material.

I’m sure I’ll be back into action again soon.


Looking at Pictures

Olympus XA2 50p camera project. Ilford HP5+ b/w film. ID11

I often receive contact notifications on Flickr from new followers.  I vet all of them, to see if I like their photography, and to see what sort of photographer that they are, before I return the follow.  Most are decent people, good flickrites.  However, many are from a class of Flickr users that I have no time for.  It’s all ego.  The give away in most cases is that they follow over 50,000 photostreams.  Yet, they have less than 100 faves in their entire collection.  All that they want you to do is look at their photography.  They must randomly click away at adding hundreds of other users each week, inviting all to look at their images.  However, they barely ever fave another user’s photo.  That suggests to me that they never really look at other people’s photography.  That is a shame, because they miss out.  I’m not the greatest WordPress blogger for community – but on Flickr, I have a wonderful collection of over 24,000 favourites by others so far.  I love looking at other people’s photography.  I am a heavy visitor of my contact’s photostreams, and of groups.

Although I’m not judging my own meagre attempts by this rule – this is something that I’ve noticed.  The photography of those others that visit and fave other peoples images heavily, tend to have richer and imaginative  photostreams of their own.

Meanwhile, the selfish egocentrics with massive contact lists but few faves – although there are exceptions, their photography tends to be … boring.  It’s almost as though they lose out for their selfishness.

Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II


Olympus XA2 compact camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 film from Poundland. Scanned with V500.

I haven’t shown a lot of it on this blog of recent.  I do prefer b/w photography, but at the same time, I am the tight fisted photographer, and I still have plenty of Poundland film (AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200) in my freezer.  I tried C41 home processing, I did have some success, but I didn’t really enjoy it, not enough to learn how to keep C41 chemistry well.  The nearest photolab is not only incredibly expensive, but on my last film, totally botched up the colour.  I’ve even resorted to cross processing C41 film in b/w process and chemistry a few times.

Still, I recently thought I’d try again.  My faithful Olympus XA2 from the 50p Camera Project kept looking at me from the camera shelf.  So in went a cassette of Poundland film – that Ilford can be so expensive.  It was in there a few weeks or so, I didn’t use it to take any particularly good photos, just snapshots here and there.  I like the above result – it fitted my mood post general election about the future of minimal government – our parish council certainly provides it.  I have a very dystopian view of the future, perhaps I’m getting old.

Anyway, after I used up the 35mm film, I took it to a photolab in Kings Lynn, that I hadn’t used before.  Not a chain, but an independent.  They charged £2.50 for film process only, but had my film dried, cut into strips, and properly packaged in less than a hour!  Colours look good (of course, my scanner will have an effect), and they are clean.  Really pleased.  They did point out that the quick process was a result of their minilab being hot when i walked in, and I got lucky – but it looks like I’ve got a new photolab resource.

Now, that works out at a cost of £3.50 of film / development for 36 exposures.  I don’t think that at the moment, I could get b/w that cheap.  Other than cross processing.  Better get some of that Poundland film out of the freezer.