I like this one. I think Nita noticed the antiquity of the shredded advertisement posters first. We were walking down one of Wisbech’s old alleyways – this leading from the river, to the old market, when she spotted what we all pass everyday without seeing. I had to step back into the back doorway of a nightclub, in order to frame it through the Super Takumar 55mm lens. Just after I pressed down the shutter release on the Pentax Spotmatic, I was pushed in the back by a cleaner exiting the club.
I’ve been practicing recently for some up and coming travel photography. Beginning of April, I’ll be in Gdansk, Poland. I’m limited to hand baggage only, as it’s a budget break, and therefore to photographic equipment. I know it’s a heavy camera, but I want to take the Bronica SQ-A along, and concentrate on Ilford medium format photography. I’m tempted to take the Agfa Isolette as a back up – a pocketable (folding bellows) medium format camera. No doubt I’ll also take a zone focus 35mm pocket camera. I’m torn between the Olympus XA2, and the slightly larger Olympus Trip 35. As for film, in 120 I’ve got 20 rolls of Ilford HP5/Delta Pro 400. When I look through Flickr for Gdansk photography, I’m struck by the colours of the town, but I’ve already committed myself to sticking to medium format monochrome for the time being, so I’ll see what I can do. I will take some Poundland 35mm film along for the pocket. Digital? That can stay at home this time.
The above photo that I recently took in Norwich was one of a series where I was sort of practicing shooting in the street with the Bronica. Came out rather well I thought. I shot a few rolls of 120 around Norwich and Wymondham whilst I was recently staying in Norfolk. Both Ilford, and the cheaper (but not as pleasant) Foma Fomapan. Any advice on travel photography to Poland, carrying a fat medium format system camera around on the shoulder anybody?
I’m really enjoying the dark room learning curve at the moment, but I still have plenty of cheapskate colour 35mm film from Poundland, which I take to a local independent commercial processor to run through his mini-lab. He presently charges me £2.50 for developing negs only – no printing.
I’ve used so many car boot sale cameras over ther past year, but it might surprise people, that if I had to choose just one to keep, it would by my lovely little Olympus XA2 compact zone focus camera, that I purchased for 50p at a car boot sale. It is such a fun camera – great for street fun – capturing odd moments or sights. Discreet, small, quiet. Close and open the clam shell lens cover and it defaults to a medium zone focus. It’s not such a bad camera for the countryside neither. Here are two photos that I’ve recently ‘snapped’ with the Olympus XA2!
Click on either image to view a Flickr set that I’m proud of – Poundland film in a 50p camera.
Another success with the little compact Olympus XA2 loaded with AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film from Poundland. Caught this one on the way home last week, as I drove out of Downham Market towards Wisbech. Sunset over the Fens. Film, including this Poundland film, really does seem to render skies better than do digital sensors, at least in my eyes it does, but I’m just a cheapskate amateur. Landscapes are not really my forte, but living in the Fens, I cannot help sometimes capturing a big Fenland sky. An 8p exposure on a 50p camera. That’s low budget photography. How low can I go?
This local green lane just looks the quintessential quiet English country lane. I seem to be collecting quite a few views of it in different seasons and weather. It’s evolving into a study. The top photo was taken digitally with the Sony handheld. Anita and our lurcher, Flint, walking off ahead providing more scale and subject. It was a freezing afternoon a few days ago.
The below photo was taken the next morning. It captured perfect blue sky against sharp white almost exaggerated frost. Again, captured with the Sony handheld, but with less ISO sensitivity (so much more light!) Both shot on the DSLR in manual exposure mode, using the 35mm prime lens.
Scarecrows are often referred to as mawkins here in East Anglia. This was one of several in Halpenny Field, Elm – a village in Cambridgeshire. Protecting the brassicas from naughty Mr Crow.
Yeah I know the autumn is lovely and colourful, but I prefer Spring. Love the greens, fresh growth, and yellow flowers. We live near the village of Upwell in the Norfolk side of the Fens. Pretty place, sprawls alongside the Well Stream.
When I first moved to the village of Elm in Cambridgeshire, I guessed that the field-names may have actually represented the old medieval open fields – Halfpenny Field, Wales Field, Town Field etc. I was wrong. Field-walking here reveals no archaeology much older than 300 years old. These fields were created by the Improvers that drained the wetlands here, probably during the 16th – 19th centuries. I have been told that Halfpenny was the price of the rent of an allotment up this lane – OS maps do show that there were allotments here, and I think that there is probably true, maybe the rent was payable to the drainage commissioners, although I don’t know what size the allotments were.
This image captured one foggy misty morning after I completed a night shift. I wanted to capture the fog. I didn’t have a camera, so I propped the Sony on the front of my parked car and hoped for the best.
For the past three years I’ve lived in on the edge of East Anglia, in the north Fens. The Fens are an area of drained wetlands in the East of England. It’s thought that this low laying plain originally flooded into a mixture of peat fens, silt fens, and ‘islands’, as a result of early human agricultural activity in Eastern England. The first attempts to drain the English Fens were probably made during the Roman period. However, they largely remained wetlands until the land improvers and Engineers of the 17th to 19th Centuries launched large scale plans for draining them. Bold, drains and channels were cut across the landscape – rivers straightened and redirected. Much of this by the labour of Irishmen, French prisoners of war, Dutchmen and others with no recourse to modern digging machinery.
The above image taken with my old manual focus 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor. A bit of imagination, even with that focal length, you can landscape.
Day off and it’s blowing a gale. I decide, let’s set myself a goal of trying to capture the wind. That’s not always easy with a still image. A lot of beginners make the mistake of thinking that you can only take great photos in bright sunshine. Actually bright sunshine can be difficult to shoot in. Faces often wash out. People blink. Shadows cut across confusing the exposure. A sky of scattered cloud can look cool – a polariser filter can help in colour, and an orange filter on black & white can help make those clouds stand out. An overcast day but with a healthy degree of light can be good for outdoor portraits. A rainy day can be awesome you can catch those rain clouds, or glistening wet paving. Snow can be great – but try to do it when you have clear blue skies, and overexpose a bit – add a click or two. But how about a windy day?
We live in the English Fens – an area of open, flat, drained wetland. We really feel the wind here. We drove out to a wide open drove bordered by fields. This one had mawkins or scarecrows. Just simple old raincoats nailed to posts. I suspect crows aren’t fooled. The scare-coats were blowing hard and high, ripping from their nails. In the distance, Coldham Wind Farm – struggling with the high winds. This is where I captured the above image. You can landscape with a 50mm prime lens, see, helps to crop though. Funny thing was though, I’d accidentally left the DSLR set to ISO 1600. The poor old Pentax K110D doesn’t cope too well with such a high ISO. Still, I think it still works as a pleasing image, and that the grain kind of adds.
So, you can landscape with a 50mm lens, you can shoot high ISO on a landscape, you can capture the wind.