Closing Down

I’ve maintained (on and off) the Tight Fisted Photographer blog now for nearly four years.  I would like to thank all that have visited, commented, or found anything of interest on here.

I just feel that it’s run it’s course.  I am having problems with the word press blog platform, and the latest software is making it more difficult to direct images to my Flickr account, but that isn’t the only reason.  I wanted a new journal, simpler, ad free, that encompasses more of my interests.  I want it more as a long term online record of my experiences and thoughts, than for visitor stats, follows, or likes.

For that reason, I have launched a new blog on Posthaven.  It is called Journals of a Nonconformist.  I’ll continue to discuss photography there, but I’ll be free to record whatever else is going on in my life, or in my head.  I will check this blog for a while for any questions, but for now, many thanks for the support, and keep on using film.

Bye WordPress.

35mm, Film, 35mm, and scans, Uncategorized, Yashica T2

Losing wind

New World

I tried doing something different.  I tried to give the home developed b/w film a rest, and to concentrate on using up some Poundland C41 colour 35mm film in the Yashica T2.

I don’t like it.  I don’t like the results.  That, combined with the winter light, work pressure, and lack of travel, has killed my photography.  I don’t like the results.  I’m finding myself looking at and appreciating more b/w film than ever.  I lost something.  I’m not going to abandon the Yashica T2 yet, but I’m abandoning the C41.  More Shanghai, Tmax, and Rollei film is on the way.  I miss my medium format as well.  The Bronica SQ-A is a great system camera – I want to use it again.

I’m not happy with my recent foray into C41 35mm.  I need to sniff fixer again.  All that it has taught me is to appreciate the beauty of b/w film photography more.

Above photo taken on the Yashica T2 and Poundland film in Norwich.

and scans, Film, 35mm, and scans, photography, Uncategorized

Shoe Box Photography


I’m investigating snapshot photography, what it really means, and it’s value as a school of photography.  I visited my mother today, and nothing to do with this blog or investigation, but suddenly, the magic shoe box of old family photographs was pushed onto my lap.

I always loved browsing through these old photographs.  It seems a shame, that we print far less in the Age of Digital, and that future generations will miss out on this magic.

These photographs were shot on a roll film (120) camera, with narrow frames, that allowed more photographs to be captured.  However, they were printed from the negatives direct onto Ilford paper with no enlargement.  Tiny little prints.  They would have been taken during the mid 1950s.

The top photo is of my parents themselves.  A snapshot or a portrait?  My father was dressed up to the nines.  Apparently at that age, he did like to doll up though, so it may not have been a special event.  Funny, because later in life, he’d as often as not be found in a pair of work overalls.

The composition and framing are cracking.  It may have been my mother’s sister Gladys taking the photograph – using a box camera top viewer.  Not the easiest viewer to use – but look at the composition.  The trees, field, road edge line up perfectly, with the couple right of centre.  Happy accident or did the photographer, with no training from Digital Photography magazine, just know what looked best?

The bottom photo is of my mother’s sister, Gladys, with her fiancé Kenny at Great Yarmouth.  The two couples were having fun taking photographs of each other.  What is the camera that Gladys is holding?  It looks like a simple box camera.  Photography was bringing them joy and happiness, that is what serious photographers today often miss out on.  Snapshot photography was fun, but also recorded moments – the Kodak Moment sometimes.

The more that I look into it, the more that I respect snapshot photography.


Tight fisted happiness in all circumstances in photograpy

Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon PS 80mm f/2.8. Shanghai GP3 film. Developed in Rodinal.

This post is in response, or perhaps, in agreement, with Eric Kims blog post:   How to Be Happy in All Circumstances in Photography.

All that I know, is that I keep reading the same sort of questions and answers online.  “Which is best?  The Canikon ZX or the Canikon XZ?”.  “I’m an intermediate photographer, which lens should I buy next?”.  “I am an intermediate / advanced photographer, how should I go full frame?”.  “My camera is three years old, should I upgrade?”.

What the feck?  Where do all of these people get programmed to think like this?  Unless you are taking photographs for a taxable living income, or at the very least, for a substantial amount of the cost of your living – you, like I, are an amateur.  Amateur is not a dirty word.  It means for the love of…  Unless you are a professional, then you are an amateur, and you take photographs for enjoyment.  There is nothing wrong with that.  If you wish, you can be really enthusiastic.  You can be incredibly creative.  You don’t need to take wedding photos for a living – just enjoy the experience.  Embrace your freedom to be eclectic.

I love Eric’s post.  It echoes my own over the past few years, that you can escape the rat race of the upgrade culture.  You do not need that latest fullframe DSLR.  You do not need that high end lens.  Unless your particular chosen school of photography is a technology driven one – such as Nature, Macro, or Sports photography – you do not need that latest model of full frame DSLR, nor that ultra expensive lens, tripod, or camera bag.

Just enjoy and create with what you have.  Seek enjoyment.  Seek creativity and expression.  Seek the unexpected.  Enjoy photography, don’t just consume because you have been programmed to do so.  Protest.


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.


Bringing it together

Press it. Tourist in Cambridge, England, takes a photograph. Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Foma Fomapan Action 400 film. Home developed in ID11 at 1:3. Scanned film Epson Perfection V500.

Another of the recent photographs that I recently took in Cambridge, England – capturing on the Czech medium format film Foma Fomapan Action 400.  Developed in a dilution of 3:1 water to ID11 stock for 22 minute.  I’m quite pleased with the composition of this one.  The tourist just stood out – she froze so still to capture an image of Cambridge on her digital camera, and I knew that the way that she dressed would stand out so well in all of these blocks and lines.

Sometimes it works.  Sometimes not.


Another Dog Portrait

German shepherd dog pup, photographed in a Norwich City street with one of his owners. Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Ilford FP4 Plus 120 film. Home developed in R09. Digitally scanned film on Epson Perfection V500.

This one taken on a street in Norwich, last weekend.  A German Shepherd pup.  I’m very pleased with the Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens that I’ve been using as the primary (and prime) lens on my Bronica SQ-A.  It does deliver some very nice portraits onto the film.  For closer portraits, I can also fit the S-18 extension tube behind it.  It’s taken me a while, but I’m finally getting use to using a medium format SLR system camera.  Having a few lenses to choose from, and a variety of films in different film backs at hand, I’m appreciating the flexibility more, but without damaging so many exposures by either forgetting to insert a dark slide, or by forgetting to remove it before shooting.

Dogs are easy meat.  It’s much easier to ask a proud dog owner if you photograph their dog, than it is to ask a stranger to pose.


Doin’ Different


The Great Dane. At a local village dog show. Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. S-18 extension tube. Ilford HP5 Plus 120 film. Home developed in ID11.

Doin’ Different is a fine tradition in my home county of Norfolk, and more so in the fine City of Norwich.  Maybe that has something to do with my journey through photography.  When I look at the photography magazines on the newsagent shelves, I feel almost alienated.  I’ve just not kept up with the reviews on the latest full frame sensors or shake reduction firmwares.  I really do not feel the need to subscribe to a monthly fee, in order to use an Adobe software package.  Sometimes I feel alone out here.

I’ll continue to make images as I want to make them – using film to capture the light, then scanning the film to share digitally online.  This is where I’ve gone.  My journey.  How is your’s developing?