Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II

Local Anthrophotography

Fat Twat. Olympus XA2 50p camera project. Ilford HP5+ b/w film. ID11. V500 scanned.

I’ve long had a fascination with people.  I am an armchair anthropologist.  That is where my photography seems to be heading – capturing human culture, including their artifacts, on emulsions of silver salt.  I can’t think of a better subject than people and their incredible cultures.  Humans can be incredibly destructive and harmful.  Yet, I can’t think of another known form of Life, that creates such a diversity of culture.  That’s what I want to capture.

I should lay claim to the word anthrophotography  – is it copyright?  I’m an anthrophotographer.  What are you?

Portrait, Street and Protest, Travel Photography, Zenza Bronica SQ-A

That Candid Expression of Surprise

One Potato, Two Potato…. I like this one, as I caught that much-prized-by-candid-photographers “shocked moment”. This was taken in Gdansk Poland, and the guys here were promoting the nearby Pyrabar restaurant. Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 80mm f/2.8 lens. Ilford HP5 Plus medium format film. Home developed in ID11.

I think I just about caught it here.  These guys were promoting their restaurant (a potato restaurant), by the name of Pyra bar, in Gdansk, and doing all sorts of stuff with potatoes in order to do so.  I moved up with the hefty Bronica in hand, and just managed to set it up for an exposure, when she raised her head and saw me – shutter hit.  I’m happy with this street portrait.

If only it worked so well more often.  Great people, they posed for another shot shortly after – I’ll post that at a later date.  Still several rolls of Ilford in the fridge to process.

Rants and discussions, Uncategorized

What Flickr Photography Do I Enjoy?

Paintball at a festival in Wisbech. Taken with my ickle 50p Olympus XA2 zone focus compact camera, loaded with Poundland film.

I don’t just post images to the image sharing website Flickr, I also spend a LOT of time viewing the works of other’s, especially those of my contacts and in Flickr Groups (now being renamed Communities), that I also belong to.  I’ve never been a chatty social networker, but I do like to Fave what I like, and to add to my ever growing Favourites Gallery.  What sorts of photos do I fave the most?  What do I like to look at?

I especially like to browse the medium format and film Groups, but not exclusively.  What about the subject though?

I like images of people.  Street, candid, studio, glamour, erotic, but especially portrait.  When I look through my favourites, it is dominated by photographs of people.  People attract me.  I think that people are the best subject for photography.  I’d guess that the best part of my favourites are of people.

Following a distant second, third, and fourth place to people are cameras, dogs, and motor vehicles (mainly motorcycles).  All are solid subjects.  After that, other animals, colour, lines, negative space, framing, the quirky, landscape, and buildings.  However, add them altogether, and they wont equal to the number of photographs on Flickr that I like, of people.  I wish that I photographed people more.

I like photos to have good light.  I like them to have had some effort and thought put in to them.  I like originality, even in a portrait. I like imagination.  I like atmosphere.

What I don’t like is lack of subject.  I’ve mentioned before, my revulsion at bad photos of trees.  I also don’t like too much digital post process editing.  I frequently use software to enhance digital images, but you see so many decent images  shattered by bad or over-the-top editing.  I don’t like HDR images, they belong to photographic Satan.  I try not to fave photos of other people’s art (such as Graffiti – unless it’s message needs spreading).  It feels like third party theft.  I don’t often fave highly polished, digitalised, studio images.  I prefer a bit of quirkiness, imperfection, grain and contrast. I try not to fave too many street photographs of people’s backs.  Street is supposed to be close and up front or it’s not street.  Neither do I like the fluffy and posed grinning and often soppy romantic, photography generated by western youths, that see “professional photography” as their benchmark.  It’s horrid, it makes me want to vomit.  Mentions of western school – I do like so much medium format portrait photography produced in Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia.  I also quite like some of the colourful medium format photography from Japan and the Far East.

There you go, that’s what I like.  Imagination, light, effort, people, and quirk.

Models and themed photoshoots, Portrait, Sony DSLR A200 and Sony DT 50mm F/1.8mm SAM prime lens, The East English Fens of East Anglia

Fields of Barley

Children of the Corn. Portrait of a girl in a barley field. Sony A200 DSLR camera. Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM lens.

In the Barley Field with Mum. Sony DSLR, as above photo.

The barley was so beautiful near to ours, that it had to be used for a piece of photography yesterday evening.


Cameras and equipment, Film, 35mm, and scans, Lubitel 166B, Monochrome, Portrait, Witchcraft and Horror

Venturing into Medium Format Film Photography

Pagan Encounter in the Churchyard. Lubitel 166B TLR camera. Ilford FP4 Plus 125 (ISO) 120 roll film.

First test roll back from developing, and I like the results.  Taken with the Lubitel 166B that I recently paid two quid (GBP £2) for at a car boot sale.  The Lubitel 166B is a TLR (twin lens reflex) camera, with a plastic body.  It was manufactured during the early 1980s at the Lomo factory in the USSR.  A cheapo budget TLR, allowing the People to enjoy medium format film photography.  It’s completely manual, very basic, with no light meter.  I can use a DSLR to give me a light reading, or I can do what most people use to do.  Use experience and judgement.  The above Photo features Anita meeting with John Crow – a neo pagan friend.  The contents of the bag were rather dark – he’d just picked up a dead carrion crow in the grave yard, for use as dress pieces in his English Folk Dance club.

The Old Settee. Lubitel 166B and Ilford FP4+ 125 film.

I’m taking this camera and a few rolls of Ilford with me to a Cosplay event at the London Expo event tomorrow.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to use it to capture a few portraits if the cosplayers venture outside.

Be Brave. Lubitel 166B. Ilford FP4 Plus 125 film.

Film, 35mm, and scans, Rants and discussions

New Directions and thoughts

Len and Doris. Restored family photograph.

The above photograph I scanned and restored several years ago, from a family photograph.  It was taken in Norwich, dates to around 1905, and features my late great uncle Lenny Smith with his baby sister – my late paternal grandmother, Doris Smith.  I’ve used this photograph to illustrate recent thoughts about a series I’d like to do, using medium format film and that Russian Lubitel TLR camera that I bought from the car boot sale a few days ago.

Flickr is such a great resource for thoughts and inspirations.  There are so many creative photographers and photographic artists there – young, old, different backgrounds, cultures, nationalities   Some amateur, some trained, some photography students.  Ideas are circulated onto the Zeitgeist, discussions and friendships made around the planet via the media of that Internet website.  Community.

Looking for information and for photographs taken on that Lubitel, I’ve encountered new ideas.  I’ve discovered the World of 6 x 6 square medium format monochrome portraits, and I like.  I’m inspired by some of the photographers, particularly from Russia and Eastern Europe, who use their medium format cameras to capture portraits in Ilford and other monochrome films.  But these portraits remind me of old family photographs – they are very much stills.  No smiling – old style, people just glaring at a lens into the future.  Putting on their best frocks, posing with a chair, or a prop, maybe with something that meant something to them in their life, like a bible, a sowing machine, or a clay pipe.

I want to use the Lubitel to produce a modern series like that.  Square format monochrome portraits of people, that convey something of their self identity, a message of who they are.  Can’t wait to get the time to do that, but for now there is planning.

Pentax K110D DSLR and SMC Pentax-M 50mm F/1.7 prime lens, Street and Protest

The Little Engineer

Steam Powered. Walpole Steam Rally. Pentax K110D D-SLR camera. Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 prime lens. Gimp 2.6 post process software.

Country fairs and steam rallies are great places to capture people – as well as their engines!

News: it’s all work and no play at the moment.  I just can’t find any opportunity for photography, although I’m carrying the Yashica AW Mini around with me at all times.  Weather is really not nice anyway.  Lots of sleet and snow.  I really want to take more photos at the moment, just not getting the opportunity.