September, 2011 browsing by month


Oxford: all the fun of the fair

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

I was really looking forward to St. Giles’ Fair this year, especially because I wanted to do some night photography of the neon lights on film. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and I didn’t feel like getting soaked in the rain and wind so here are some images from the first day before the weather turned for the worse.

[Tech info:] Kodak Portra 400 rated at 320 in my Fuji 645. Processed and scanned by me.

Candy floss stall

Candy shop.

Helium balloons

Helium balloons. The wind was starting to pick up and this lady was struggling to hang onto these balloons.


What a lovely bunch of coconuts.

Helter skelter

Helter skelter. When the sun came out colours really popped.

A head for heights

See if you can spot the people.

Galloping horses

Galloping horses.

Film: Agfa APX 100

Monday, September 26th, 2011

These images are from a roll of 35mm Agfa APX 100 that I processed recently. I’ve been using so much medium format 120 film that I forgot how nice 35mm can look. This film has a lovely, almost dated look and feel to it that I like very much. It scanned very easily too.

[Tech info:] Nikon F90, Agfa APX 100 film processed in Rodinal 1:50 for 13mins, 20C.

Kitten standing next to a shovel


Nya outside Pantone Hotel, Brussels

Nya outside Pantone Hotel, Brussels, holding Tintin's rocket.

Ashley, studio.

Oxford: large format

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

These images are from my first outing with a new large format 5×4 camera that was a recent treat to myself. It’s made by Shen Hao in Shanghai and it looks like it was made over 100 years ago. For me large format photography is pure photography, getting back to the roots of image making with nothing more than a wooden box and a piece of film. I’ve been using a 5×4 large format camera since buying one in 1990 so it’s not new to me and even though I haven’t used this size of camera since probably the late 90’s it didn’t feel like starting again at all. It’s almost as if I never stopped. When you use one of these cameras it truly is an ‘experience’ in the way no other camera is, not least because when setting up you’re looking at an upside down image on a ground glass screen, usually with a dark cloth over your head to cut down reflections. Needless to say I attracted some attention around town.

[Tech info:] Films used were Ilford Delta 100 and Adox 25.

A nice old bike

A nice old bike, I love the rod brakes.

Doorway, Divinity schools quadrangle

Doorway, Divinity schools quadrangle.

Builders, Brewer street

Builders, Brewer street.

I really like the name of this shop

I really like the name of this shop.


Doorway, near Beaumont buildings.

Street musician

Street musician, Broad street.

Outside The Kings Arms pub

A man at peace with his pint, outside The Kings Arms pub

Patricia, Art Jericho

Patricia, Art Jericho gallery.

Oxford: around and about

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

All of these images are from the same roll of Kodak TMAX 100 that expired in 2004. I got it as part of a batch of mixed film that I won in an eBay auction. The camera I used was a Mamiya C330f, twin lens reflex which also came from eBay and this was its first outing. The lens that came with it was a 105mm D which is highly regarded so these are test shots to make sure everything was functioning as it should. Due to its age I wouldn’t have been surprised to find not a lot on the film but despite the contrast being quite low, there’s plenty of detail to be had.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f,, 105mm D lens, TMAX100 (expired 2004) film, processed in HC110 developer.




Howard with his Minolta APS camera and expired film.

Street musician

Street musician, Brasenose Lane.


Bollard (bokeh test).

Radcliffe Camera

Radcliffe Camera.

Brooks saddle

Brooks saddle.

Old tea sign

Corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street. This is part of a big redevelopment project so I don't know how long this will be there.

Stolen bike sign

Stolen bike sign, Liscious shop window, Walton Street.

Liscious, Walton Street, RIP

Liscious, Walton Street, RIP. Another casualty of the redevelopment project on Walton Street.


Oxford: lights, camera, action

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

A new Inspector Morse prequel is being filmed here in Oxford and I just so happened to walk through a scene being shot while I was out during my lunch break. Of course I had a camera on me so here are some images made with my little Olympus Mju-II point and shoot film camera. These are straight scans and I’ve left some of the dust in them for that old skool flavour. Hand processed and scanned by me. The tv show is titled Endeavour and is set in 1965 – you can read more about it here.

*Update* Now that I’ve seen this pilot episode it turns out that my shot below of the black Jaguar car turning the corner is actually the very final shot in the episode. I loved every minute of it.

Camera crew and an extra waiting patiently.


Cyclists on old bikes.

Vintage bus

Vintage bus.

Old van

Old van.

Vintage Jaguar car.

Vintage Jaguar car, possibly used by Morse?

Old bicycles

Old bicycles.

Extras waiting patiently

Extras waiting patiently. I love the old metal dustbins.

Extras waiting patiently

Extras waiting patiently. Notice the fake traffic lights on the left and the chain link bollards. They are not usually there.

Extras in their retro outfits

A blast from the past.


Oxford: open doors weekend

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

The Oxford Open Doors weekend usually takes place in September, it’s an opportunity to visit places and buildings that are usually closed to visitors. Two years ago I visited the Corpus Christi college barge which is moored on the river Isis near Donnington Bridge. It wasn’t open last year so when I saw it listed as being open to visitors last weekend I was excited to photograph it on some medium format film. The light inside the barge is fantastic and even though the weather was overcast with the threat of rain the light inside was perfect for black & white photography. Many thanks to the current resident, Claire, who allowed me to make some lovely images inside her home.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 loaded with Ilford Delta 100 film (expired May 2011), processed in Ilford DD-X developer, 12mins, 20C.

Oval wooden window

I love these oval wooden windows that line both sides of the barge.

Bedroom inside Chorpus Christi college barge


Lots of wood everywhere.

A cozy corner.



Travel: Madrid

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

These shots are from a recent business trip to Madrid, made with my Olympus Mju-II (Stylus Epic in the US) point and shoot film camera. There’s no zoom lens on it, just a fixed 35/2.8 lens. After hearing lots of amazing things about it on the FPP podcast I wanted to see for myself what it was like. The size and compactness is nice but so far I haven’t managed to get a handle on the autofocus. From this roll of film I ended up with a lot of out-of-focus shots and I don’t know if that’s user error (I’m not giving the camera enough time to lock on focus before pressing the shutter) or other factors. I’ll be more careful on my next roll.
[Tech info:] Fuji Acros 100 film, processed in Rodinal 1:50.


Boarding the flight

Madrid airport interior

Madrid airport. These lights always look like they belong inside a space craft.

Madrid airport departure lounge.

Madrid airport departure lounge.

Madrid airport terminal.

Madrid airport terminal interior.

Madrid airport's futuristic interior.

Madrid airport's futuristic interior.

Old motorcycle.

Old motorcycle (still works).

Wooden pallets.

Wooden pallets.

Oxford: Street portraits

Monday, September 12th, 2011

These images were all made with a new lens that I recently picked up. This is the first test roll, needless to say I love this lens!

[Tech info:] Mamiya M645 1000S, 110/2.8 lens, Kodak Portra 160 film. Hand developed and scanned by me.

I really like the John Lennon glasses and the whole retro vibe of this guy.

It was the white glasses that led me to stop this guy.

Ice-cream seller, Radcliffe Square, Oxford.


Harry Potter fans.

The long hooded robes that these girls are wearing caught my eye. It was a very hot day and I couldn't work out why they would be dressed this way. After asking them to stop for a photograph they pulled out a note book to write down this blog address and then out came the quill pen. At that point it struck me, they're Harry Potter fans! The Hogwarts crest is embroidered on their cloaks and they had just come from visiting the Divinity Schools behind them which was used for the hospital scenes in the first movie.

Polaroid Automatic Land Camera

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

A few months ago I came across a podcast dedicated to the use of film photography. It turned out that the podcast had been running for well over a year so I started to make my way through their archive of previous shows. For anyone interested in real photography using film (as opposed to digital imaging) I can’t recommend this podcast and their website highly enough. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more enthusiastic bunch of people and as a result they’ve built up quite a following and community worldwide.

From listening to the FPP podcast I learnt about Polaroid Automatic Land Cameras. Their website is a great resource for information including videos of how the cameras work, what to look out for when buying/using them and how to get the best out of these amazing cameras. The more I learnt about them the more I got hooked. A quick search on ebay turned up a bargain and from the first time using it I was instantly hooked. I’ve since acquired a few more of these cameras of different models and this week I took one out on the streets for a quick test. Below is a shot of my most recent purchase, a Polaroid 350 (photographed with my Polaroid 100 and portrait kit) and the two images below that were made with it. Polaroid no longer make the instant pack film but fortunately Fuji still does. There is something magical about producing a print directly from a camera and to think that these cameras date back to the 1960’s. The fact that they still work perfectly today is testament to how well made they are and to say that using one of these is fun and exciting would be an understatement. How many of todays digital cameras will be in use 50 years from now?

Polaroid 350 Automatic Land Camera

Polaroid 350 Automatic Land Camera

Degree robes

Degree robes

Elegant dresses in shop window

Elegant dresses in shop window, Little Clarendon Street, Oxford.

Oxford: Street portraits

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Sometimes I have a good run of coming across photogenic looking people on the street. These images were made on two consecutive days on the same roll of film a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve got a stack of film still yet to scan so if I told you that your portrait will be on here in a couple of weeks I apologise for the delay. Don’t worry, I will get to it so please keep checking back. If you see yourself in any of the portraits on this blog, please leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Thanks.

[Tech info]: Mamiya RZ67, 110mm lens and Portra 160 film. Processed and scanned by me.

Photographer, Paddy Summerfield

This is local Oxford photographer, Paddy Summerfield. Back in the early 90's I worked at a photo lab processing E6 slide film and Paddy was a customer. I periodically bump into him around town from time to time. It's nice to chat about photography with someone that's been doing it for so many years. On this occasion Paddy was delivering this card to someone. He informed me that he had used the envelope that came with it for something else!

Cornmarket street, Oxford.


I'm sure you can guess why I stopped this gentleman. The midday sun was particularly harsh on this occasion so I used some nearby shade on the High street.


I liked this guy's look, it's kind of retro. The summer evening light brought out the colour of the tree in the background nicely. Brasenose lane, Oxford.

Oxford: People and places

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

This set of images were made earlier in the summer. I had scanned them a while back but only just came across them in my archives and realised that I hadn’t posted them. They are all from the same roll where I was testing out a new lens that had arrived. The lens is a 165mm for Pentax 67 and it’s nicknamed the ‘bokeh factory’, now I can see why 🙂

[Tech info]: Pentax 67, 165mm lens, Fuji Acros 100 processed in HC110 (1:64).

Natural History Museum, Oxford, interior

Natural History Museum, Oxford.

Natural History Museum, Oxford.

Natural History Museum, Oxford.

Natural History Museum, Oxford.

Natural History Museum, Oxford.

Natural History Museum, Oxford.

Natural History Museum, Oxford.

University Parks, Oxford.

Anyone for tennis?

This man was unusually chatty and had grand ideas about what we see around us is all an illusion. Maybe he's watched The Matrix too many times?

This man stopped to say hello so I decided to make his portrait. He didn't say anything else.

End of exams celebrations.

End of exams celebrations.

I stopped this gentleman and mistook his digital camera for a film camera. He was very pleasant and we chatted briefly about my film camera I was using because he too used to use the same one. I decided to make his portrait even though he wasn't using a film camera.