50p camera, flickr, Rants and discussions

Work of Art

Giants. Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. 50p camera project, Olympus XA, Kodak Tmax 400 film, Developed in LC29, scanned on Epson V500.

This post was inspired by Les.  He said that a lot of Flickr photographers don’t post a photo of a dog, unless it’s a work of art, but dogs are very much a part of many of our life’s (not a quote).

I’ve noticed on a few photography forums, that the majority of film photographers, just like digital photographers, do concentrate on quality.  Quality in terms of sharpness, exposure, depth, colour, focus, grain/noise, as well as composition.  Except for composition, most of these attributes are of technical origin.  That is good.  However, this can develop into the obsession held in modern digital photography, for technical perfection.  More megapixels, more sharpness, etc.

As photography enthusiasts, should we always obey the rules of technical perfection?  I’d argue, no.  As Les suggested, it could be more fundamental to photography, that we photograph life and our environment as we see it.  A record rather than a work of art.  That does not always mean a sharp perfect image – we don’t really see the world like that.  Our brains use our biological eyes like third rate scanners.  Much of what we think we see, has been filled in by the brain.  But we see signs, smiles, danger, sex, and … dogs (edit.  I nearly said and rock n’ roll).

In film, we are the alternative.  We have the opportunity to capture what is important, rather than to burst mode thousands of bytes of robot controlled perfection.

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.

Dogs and animals, Zenza Bronica SQ-A

The Dog

The Pug. Bronica. Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. S-18 extension tube. Ilford HP5 Plus 120 film. Home developed in ID11.


The Borzoi. As above Bronica gear and HP5+.


The Springer Spaniel. Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4. S-18 extension tube. Ilford FP4 Plus medium format film. Developed in R09.

At a couple of recent village dog shows, where I have taken the opportunity to use my Bronica in portrait mode – fitted with the S-18 extension tube behind the Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens.

Dogs and animals, Pentax K110D DSLR and SMC Pentax-M 50mm F/1.7 prime lens, Rants and discussions

Fitness in my forties

Us, the Pack in 2009. Pentax K110D D-SLR camera. SMC Pentax-M 50mm F/1.7 prime lens (MF).

I was at my fittest during my mid forties.  At the age of 43, I had never taken part in any sports, nor entered a gym.  I ate and drank badly.  Then I discovered activity dogs, and changed my habits.  We use to run miles and miles through Thetford Forest.  Other times, we would bikejor – the harnessed dogs pulling ahead of my cross country bicycle.  Then there were the dog-hikes – long distance walking with a dog.

When I jammed the Pentax in a tree, during poor light (and not perfect exposure) for a team photo deep in the forest on a run, I was in perfect condition.  I need to get that back, and I need to start now.

Dogs and animals, Monochrome, Sony DSLR A200 and Sony DT 50mm F/1.8mm SAM prime lens

The Lurcher at eleven months.

Fen Tiger. Sony DSLR A200. Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM lens. Gimp 2.8 post process software.

He’s growing well isn’t he?  Such a tiny little thing when we picked him up – fitted in Nita’s hat.  I took this image digitally with the new Sony 50mm prime.  Conversion and enhancement using the open source Gimp 2.8 software package.

Dogs and animals, Film, 35mm, and scans, Olympus Trip 35

Nearly Grown – the Lurcher at ten months on Poundland film

Nearly Grown – the Fenland Lurcher. Olympus Trip 35 camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 film. Scanned negative. Post scan touch up on levels using Gimp 2.8 open source software.

I purposely left the dust and hair marks on this one.  Makes it look a more authentic 35mm film photo, Jeez, I’ve seen people ‘adding’ it to digital images using software.  I quite liked this one, taken quite recently, and scanned last night.  Flint’s form and muscles really show in the late day sunlight don’t you think?  Nothing more than he loves, than to run, jump over ditches, scare crows, and chase imaginary hares.  Taken on Poundland film using the Olympus Trip 35.  Such a beautiful little camera.

Dogs and animals, Film, 35mm, and scans, Pentax ME Super 35mm film SLR

Puppy Love

Gorgeous puppies. Pentax ME Super SLR. SMC Pentax-M 50mm F/1.7 lens. Kodak Color 200 35mm film.

An opportunistic photo.  A young lady took them to the school gate for socialisation at the end of school day.  We had been on our own dog walk, and were picking up my partner’s daughter from the school.  I had my Pentax ME Super on me – the one that I had bought for £10 on Ebay.  Loaded with a Kodak Color 200 roll for a trial before changing light seals.  This was one of the last rolls of Kodak film from Poundland – only AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 now remain.

Since scanning the negative, I’ve touched up the dust and levels a wee bit using Gimp 2.8.  Still, what do you think of this budget photograph?

EDIT: Another one to make Explore in Flickr!