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.


Black and white photography

Kings Lynn Harbour buildings. Agfa Isolette I. Shanghai GP3 film. Developed in Rodinal.

Shooting in home developed b/w film for the past three years, I’ve grown incredibly attached to the grey tones.  There is something addictive about black and white photography.  It grabs you.  Suddenly, colour photography looks rude and vulgar.  What would I do, if I could no longer shoot in monochrome film?  I’d have to shoot in digital, and convert all of my images to b/w.  I don’t have to worry bout that yet though.  Still plenty of 120 and 35mm monochrome negative in production.  Long may it continue.

street photography

Time does not stand still

Time does not stand still.

I made this photograph last week in Cambridge.  I caught the kiss just right, I didn’t know that until I developed and scanned.  Some have suggested that I should have cropped tighter, but I actually like it with the 1679 clock.  To me, that suggests that time moves on for us – from the age of lovers, to the age of fiddling around with a smart phone.  As has been noted – even the bicycles are up to it.

Captured onto Ilford Delta Professional 400 film, in my Bronica SQ-A, fitted with a rather wide PS 80mm f/2.8 lens.  Developed in LC29.

medium format

Lincoln in Shanghai GP3

Lincoln Cathedral. Street view. Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon 80mm f/2.8. Developed in Rodinal. Scanned on Epson V500.

The above photo was taken on a recent short visit to Lincoln.  I took it in the Bronica on Shanghai GP3 film.  This film had become my favourite of the slower (ISO 80-100) medium format b/w films.  Not only do I like how it looks, but it was incredibly cheap – the cheapest fresh medium format film on the market.  It was marketed direct from China on Ebay.  It priced with delivery for around £2.10 per film.  Then a month or two ago, it suddenly disappeared.  One vendor has recently started offering it again, but they are UK based, with a higher price (including delivery cost) – I don’t know yet, if the stock is fresh, or old.

If Shanghai GP3 really has gone, then it’ll be a hit to us tight fisted medium format b/w enthusiasts.  A great shame.

Fingers crossed that it reappears.


We Live Here

Behind the fountain. Olympus XA2. Kodak Tmax 400. Developed in LC29.

I’ve created a new Flickr album today, called We Live Here.  An awful lot of my photography these days seems to revolve around that theme.  I always want to capture the atmosphere, create a b/w film window into our corner of the planet.

I did try to think of a better title.  Maybe something like Car boot sales, small town, lurcher shows.  However, I lumped with something a bit more straightforward.  I guess that the idea has been in the back of my head for a while, but brought forward by Eric Kim’s blogpost.  I think that it is important to make the best out of where ever you live.  You don’t have to live in New York to shoot street (or whatever you want to call it).


Photography – my local, my style

The Time Traveller

The Empire Strikes Back

This follows on from my last post, in which I discuss Eric Kim’s excellent blog post: How to be Happy in All Circumstances in Photography.  Eric didn’t just discuss happiness in relationship to Gear constraints.  He also discusses happiness in photography, in relation to other constraints such as location and available time.

We don’t all live in a Mecca of Street Photography, such as New York.  I’ve been guilty of this one myself.  I live in the sticks, the provinces.  Crap end of the English Fens.  Not exactly urban decay.  And yet, what an idiot that makes me.  Who said that Street needs to be urban big-city?  When I open my eyes, I’m living on the edge of a small town that has clearly seen better, more lucrative times, when it was a port on the Wash.  In addition to the local decay, the town is full of local English characters, blending nicely next to crowds of recent immigrants from across the European Union.  I have tonnes of local material, who needs New York?  I can capture history, I can try to capture the feeling and atmosphere of small town provincial Eastern England.

The point is to enjoy doing this.  To make photography fun, hopefully sometimes creative or aesthetic, but also to have fun.  Some people might feel the need to buy the latest Canikon fullframe DSLR, complete with a suitcase of lenses, and of course, a whopping big Canikon emblazoned camera back pack.  But do they really have more fun than I do with my battered 50p Olympus XA2 pocket camera and home developed b/w film?

This is kind of leading me to that other sought after thing – personal style.  I feel that a lot of people miss out on this point. They are often subconsciously directed by the media, to produce the same sort of images as each other.  Shiny, sharp, beautiful colours.  Heavy post process software manipulation – you can see where many follow the same guides and tutorials from the same magazines and websites.  Maybe I’m being unfair to criticise this school of photography.  Perhaps because I am such an untidy, messy, archaic person in Life – this messiness and imperfection shows in my photography.  I simply can not be bothered with creating the perfect still photography.

So that is my style – as I am.  Messy, politically conscious, interested in people, and of course tight fisted.  All photographs on this post taken with the battered 50p Olympus XA2 pocket camera and bathroom developed b/w 35mm film.

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?

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.

medium format

Edward the Great

Agfa Isolette I. Ilford HP5 Plus. Developed in Kodak D-76. Scanned film in V500.

I think that for once, I caught my son Edward here quite well.  Edward the Great.  While we were shopping in Norwich.  I’m not the greatest Dad, but Edward is the greatest son.

Caught on a car boot sale camera, a 1953 (ish) budget folding camera, the Agfa Isolette I.  Great medium format pocket (well, a large pocket) camera.