medium format

Vikings in C41 Colour

Godmanchester Viking Festival. Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4. Kodak Ektar 100. Scanned film on Epson V500.

I’ve been enjoying an explore of medium format colour recently.  Although I mainly shoot on home developed b/w film, I fancied trying something new.  I recently found a C41 photolab in Kings Lynn that could handle 120 medium format film at a fair price, and with good service ( Wolfys Photos ), so I ordered some rolls of Kodak Ektar 100.  We’ve had some cracking light recently, so ASA 100 was perfect.

The main event that I’ve used it for was the Godmanchester Viking Festival, last weekend.  The light was actually very bright – too bright for hoards of very hot and sweaty Viking reeanactors, but I did try my best.  The festival itself was great.  As were the very helpful historical reenactors.  I do hope that some of them find my photographs online.  The general public – even the DSLR crowd, were surprisingly thin on the ground, due perhaps partly to the heat of the day, and perhaps low key billing of the event.

Expect to see several here on this blog.

As above photograph.

Band and Concert Photography

I still screw up

Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4. Ilford FP4+ 120 film. Developed in LC29. Scanned on a V500. Repaired in Gimp.

I took this photograph at an open air event in Wisbech last weekend.  The past year, we’ve both been learning music and stringed instruments.  Never too old to learn.  I’m 52 years old, and Anita is … considerably younger.  I’m dedicated to learning the mandolin.  I’ve ordered a hand made mandolin from a local luthier.  I wont receive it for at least a year, so for now, I’m dedicated to practice with a much cheaper mandolin.  Meanwhile, for Anita, it has been guitars – acoustic, electric, and now an electric bass that I recently picked up used.  So when I saw this local rock band playing, I felt drawn to the bass guitarist.  And I think that he made a cool subject.

I still screw up refers to the fact that my photography is far from good, never mind perfect.  I still make silly mistakes.  On this medium format film of FP4+, I didn’t give it enough time to dry.  I was impatient.  I’ve got away with it before, but perhaps this time, I just didn’t leave it enough time hanging in the bathroom.  I cut it, stored the strips in a negative binder.  Next morning I scanned it.  Some of the strips “stuck” a bit in the binder, needed a little tug out.  When I scanned them, there was damage – vertical lines where I guess still sticky film scored in the negative binder.

I did some repair work to the digital scans using Gimp 2.8 software.  Its not perfect – you can still see some scoring on this scan.  However, I have learned a new lesson.  Wait!

50p camera

I can do a handstand

Olympus XA2 compact camera. Ilford HP5 Plus 35mm film. Home developed with Ilford LC29.

I think that the 50p Camera handled the above photo quite well.  Taken on a recent visit to London, in Leicester Square of a group of street dancers.  Yeah, it has a tilt, but I think that the tilt works quite well on this sort of scene – I like the other dancers and legs sticking caught on the edge of the photo.

I’m quite liking the Ilford LC29 developer, although at 1:19, I’m not sure if it is that a great value.  I might perhaps use LC29 on my faster films, and use a Rodinal solution on slower films.  Does that make any sense?

50p camera

Can I take your Photo?

50p Camera Project. Olympus XA2. Kodak T-Max 400 film. Developed in LC29.

I enjoyed taking the above photo.  I was visiting Camden Market in London, and snapped him with the crafty little XA2 before he could even pitch his Polaroid instant photo sale to me.  Hah hah!  The 50p Camera is l33t!

I’m trying out some posh film – Kodak T-Max 400 here.  Developed in LC29 at 1:19.


Different schools, different budgetary requirements.

This could read “I’m a multinational Corporation, Feed me”.  At least for the sake of this post, inspired by Ian.  When I first started this blog, I was using a cheap used DSLR fitted with an old manual focus prime lens as my number one camera.  I guess that is why I felt entitled to use the name “tight fisted photographer”.  I had no idea how tight fisted I was to become, after I started to use car boot sale film cameras, peaking with the 50p Camera Project.  The message of this blog has always been very simple:  you do not have to spend lots of money in order to enjoy photography.  You do not have to spend a lot of money in order to make interesting, aesthetic images.  I felt that this message was important, because the markets, and the magazines that they control, deceive many enthusiasts into believing otherwise.

Now I feel that I need to refine my message slightly.  I do very much concede that some schools of photography are more cutting edge technology driven than others.  For example, I can fully understand the hefty budgets of a digital wild-life photographer, or a macro enthusiast.  Even some forms of landscape – such as Ian’s example of an incredibly sharp and detailed panoramic.  A sports photography enthusiast is going to want a digital sensor that is fast and smooth, with a lightning speed electronic shutter, burst modes, and a fast zoom lens with shake reduction to boot.

However, in my opinion, this madness extends into schools of amateur photography do not benefit in terms of value, from market driven gear acquisition.  We are not professionals.  We are amateurs and photography enthusiasts.  We do not need that upgrade.  If you want to create imagery like HCB, then you can do that equally well on an ancient 35mm film camera – a full frame sensor will not help you iota.

50p camera

Dogs about town

Anyone who knows my meagre efforts at photography, will be well aware that I have a penchant for the dogs.  I often try my hand at dog portraiture.  I am also building up a bit of a collection of dogs in the street, often taken on 35mm film using my 50p XA2 camera.  I could pursue that as a theme.  People rarely object to you taking photos of their beloved pets.

Here are a couple of very recent examples.  Taken in Wisbech using the 50p Camera, loaded with Ilford HP5 Plus film, which I then developed in Kodak D76 stock.

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.