50p camera

Look where you are going

Cambridge. Olympus XA2. Kodak Tmax 400 film. Developed in LC29.

This one recently captured on a Kodak Tmax 400 film in my 50p camera, the Olympus XA2.  I liked the textures of the old brick and stone work, with the chain curtain hanging in the doorway, I saw the cyclist coming, so saw it as a chance to put some animation and Life into the frame.  I didn’t see him look at me until I scanned the developed film.

I can’t see no end to this 50p Camera Project, not unless I manage to smash the XA2 (I have dropped it several times).  Still, it continues to produce photography that I like – even if it is too lo-fi for the taste of the modern online crowds.

medium format

Death calls you by your name

Death’s shadow. Bronica SQ-A. PS 150mm f/4. Foma Fomapan Action 400. Kodak D76 at 1:1. Scanned V500.

Skulls, sometimes with crossbones, are a frequent feature on head stones in the local Fenland grave yards of parish churches.  Frequently 18th Century, they remind us that we are all living a mortal life.  Death comes to all, rich and poor – then, according to their Christian beliefs, all would be judged by the conduct of their mortal life.

I was just going to photograph the head stone in Upwell church yard.  Anita suggested the shadow of her hand.  If photography is to be creative, and not just a visual record, then it is this sort of action that divides creativity from mere photographic capture.

I was using up the last of my Fomapan Action 400 film.  The graininess works well on this.


Foma Fomapan film

Zenza Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Foma Fomapan 100 medium format film developed in ID11.

1. Foma Fomapan 100 Classic

Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4. S-18 extension tube. Foma Fomapan Creative film. Developed in ID11.

2. Foma Fomapan 200 Creative.

Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Foma Fomapan Action 400 film. Home developed in ID11 at 1:3.

3.  Foma Fomapan 400 Action.

All of the above examples taken with same camera and lens, and all developed in ID11.  Three examples of three of the Foma medium format 120 films made in the Czech Republic.


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.

Zenza Bronica SQ-A


Passing the Time. Students pass the old college buildings in Cambridge, England. 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.

I took the above photograph in Cambridge yesterday.  I like to think that it was inspired by the Geometry in Henri Cartier Bresson’s photography – although I’d be insulting him by making any comparisons with my meagre snapshots.  Still, lesson learned Henri – think Geometry a little more.  HCB did it almost automatically – he would say that his brain, eye, and camera worked as one.  However, he did study art for some years, with a tutor that insisted on geometric correctness in his paintings.

I quite like this photo.  The heads of the students match up as with the above windows in the old college building.  The girl walks as if towards the cyclist – in motion blur.  Technically, I’m quite pleased as it was exposed onto the Czech budget 120 film – Foma Fomapan Action 400.  Light was really poor that day, and my shutter speed was probably selected at 250 – hence the blur of the cyclist in motion.  Developed in Ilford ID11 watered down to 3:1 – I’m such a cheapskate.

Monochrome, Rants and discussions


Disrespect. Walking over laid down grave headstones in Wisbech. Pentax SP500 Spotmatic. Super Takumar 55mm f/2 lens. Rollei Retro 400S b/w film. Developed in R09.

I’ve not posted much recently, because besides recuperating from my injury, and trying to learn to play a musical instrument (for the first time in my life), I’ve been reading.

Recent reads include a few on photography:  The Street Photographers Manual, by David Gibson; The Minds Eye, by Henri Cartier Bresson; and presently, Henri Cartier Bresson, by Clement Cheroux.

What can I say?  I’m in awe of some of these works.  Inspired?  Sure.  Cartier Bresson photography, it doesn’t get much better.  A range finder, 35mm film, no colour, no set ups, no flash or artificial light – not even a reflector, no darkroom post process edits.  Yet brilliance in un-posed b/w 35mm film photography.

Other news on the photography front?  I’m presently trying out some Foma Fomapan Action 400 film in 120 roll.  It’s cheap, but reports by others suggest that it isn’t the best, and suffers from stains that appear to originate in the backing paper.  I did recently have this problem myself, while using the slower Fomapan Creative 200 in an Isolette.  I developed it in R09, so with this 400 stuff, I’m trying to develop it in dilutions of ID11.  The first trial is presently drying.

On the subject of cheap medium format film, I’ve ordered some even cheaper and perhaps nasty b/w film from China to try out.  It’s called Shanghai GP3, and even with delivery works out at a mere two quid per roll.  Apparently it is rated at ASA 100, but can be a little slower.  I’m also told that I’ll need to keep a roll of sticky tape with me, as there isn’t any at the exposed end!  But two quid per roll!

I’m also using a different fixer chemical – FirstCall / Agfa AG Plus Fix.  I made up a litre last night, but I’m sure that’ll be fine.

I recently found my first car boot sale Olympus XA with an A11 flash unit at a booty – the range finder, as opposed to the much more common XA2.  I’m suspicious that it’s not a worker though, and haven’t yet had the interest to fit it with a battery.

Now I’d better get back to making awful noise with that mandolin.