March, 2012 browsing by month


TV: Silk 2

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

This is Rupert Penry-Jones starring in Silk 2 which is due on the BBC later this year. There was a small film crew shooting a scene where he rides this Norton Commando underneath the Bridge of Sighs. I came across them during my lunch break. He seemed nice enough. The funny thing is I don’t watch much tv at all so I had no idea who he was and had to ask a gushing fan nearby.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2 camera loaded with Kodak Color Plus film (£1/roll in Poundland). Processed and scanned by me.

Rupert Penry-Jones standing in front of a Norton Commando

In front of the Norton Commando

Lunch hour session: Oxford

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

It’s been while since I posted some lunch hour street photography so I apologise if you’ve been needing your fix. There’s no shortage of it to post (as I’m out with a camera just about every weekday if it’s not raining) it’s just that I wanted to get the bulk of my Balliol College Ball photography posted. Speaking of College Balls, I’m going to try to obtain permission to photograph some more this summer so fingers crossed on that. If you know anyone that can authorise permission please send them a link to this blog and ask them to contact me. Thanks.

All of the images here are from the same roll of expired Tri-X. I don’t know how expired it was because there was no wrapper on it but judging from the base fog of the film I’d say it’s over 10 years out of date.

[Tech info:] Expired Kodak Tri-X film loaded in a Mamiya C330f with 80mm lens. The film was rated at ISO 200 and processed in Kodak HC110 dilution b.

This guy was visiting Oxford for the day. We had a pleasant conversation about photography, film and digital. He had travelled from Ohio.

This scout was visiting from British Columbia, Canada.

Creative graffiti on a red telephone box on St Giles.

Construction work going on inside the Bodleian Library. The openings on the right will be the new entrances.

This bike was all chrome.

A shady spot underneath the scaffolding on Walton Street

This seat has had a lot of use. The bike it's on is nice and old but it's had a recent paint job which is a bit of a shame

It's a bit of a shame I didn't have colour film in the camera because the colour scheme of this guy's outfit was pretty cool. I like the shadows cast by the sun.

Test shoot: Hai Lin

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Following on from my previous of experiments with my Aero Ektar lens, here are a couple more shots with the same camera/lens combination from a test shoot I did with Hai Lin during my lunch break in Oxford. I first met Hai Lin during the launch party of Oxford Fashion Week 2011 and since then we have photographed together a handful of times. I have to say that Hai Lin is one of the nicest people I’ve collaborated with, totally reliable, easy to get along with and she always arrives ready to shoot with no fuss.

Working with a large format camera is not something that is particularly fast so it helps to be working with someone that is patient. The other key ingredient required from your subject when photographing them with an Aero Ektar lens is an ability to stay perfectly still because the depth of focus when using the lens wide-open is around an inch so a tiny bit of movement either way would mean an out of focus shot. Not a problem for Hai Lin.

I’ve enjoyed using the Aero Ektar lens and with spring finally here with lots of sunny weather I hope to use it some more.

[Tech info:] Speed Graphic 5×4 camera with Kodak Aero lens shot wide-open at f2.5 on Kodak Tri-X 320, processed in Kodak HC110 dilution b (1:31).

The key signature of the Aero Ektar is the lovely bokeh (blurry background).

We had to wait a couple of minutes for clouds to pass so the sun would cast some shadows.


Experiments: Aero Ektar lens

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

These two images were made with a Kodak Aero Ektar lens on my Speed Graphic 5×4 large format camera. The lens was designed for aerial photography during WWII and it’s quite a chunk of glass. Here’s a picture of the setup:

I’m still getting to grips with how best to make use of the shallow depth of field you get with this lens but so far I think it’s a good start.

Broad street & Catte street junction. This film is Ilford XP2 (expired).

Broad street. This film expired in 1991. I bought a job lot of it so I'm pleased with this result.


Sport: Oxford v Cambridge Varsity 2012

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

These are the remaining images that I made during my first visit to the Oxford v Cambridge Varsity 2012 at the Iffley Road sports centre. Still to come are some images I made the following weekend of Rugby so stay tuned.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 loaded with Kodak Tri-X film, processed in Kodak HC110 dilution b (1:31).

Netball team member

Netball team member

Badminton team member

Badminton spectator

Powerlifter (available light only)

Powerlifter (ambient light only)

Powerlifter (ambient light only). The far corner is where I made the portrait shots.

Athletics track spectators

Portraits: Powerlifters part 2

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Here are the portraits of the Cambridge powerlifting team that I made at the Oxford v Cambridge Varsity 2012 competition. At least I think they’re all from Cambridge, I didn’t ask. The last portrait is a friend of the Oxford team who had come to help out and give some support.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 and 110mm lens with Fomapan 200 film, processed in Rodinal 1:50. The last portrait is on Fuji Acros 100 film.


Alex Katsis


Chris White (the dark line down the middle seems to be a fault in the film emulsion.)

Wil Solano

Alp Notghi

Max Frenzel

Oliver Gam

Portrait 8 (Oxford)

Oxford: Balliol Ball 2012 part 5

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

These images were all made with a 35mm camera – my first SLR that I bought back in 1987 and it’s still going strong. I really enjoyed using it for these available light shots because it’s smaller and lighter compared to using medium format.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2 with 35/f2.0 lens loaded with Kodak Tri-X film rated at ISO 1600, processed in Kodak HC110 dilution b (1:31) for 17mins.

On the dance floor in the live acts' marquee. Notice the band on stage in the background

I think these guys really wanted to be photographed because they wouldn't move from in front of my camera

Immediately to my right was a spotlight that gave a very film noir look to anyone that stood in the light beam

Enjoying the music

After the band had finished

Eye contact

Group shot

Oxford: Balliol Ball 2012 part 4

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

The dining hall images are from the beginning of the evening. Before the masses arrived for the ball some students chose to have a formal dinner in the dining hall. The kitchen staff were all very nice along with the head butler who asked me if I wanted to get an elevated viewpoint from above the kitchen. As I was making some shots of the students tucking into their meal  I was recognised by one of the students who was in the production of Cabaret I did some backstage photography of last month. It’s always nice when someone comments on my photography. More images to come…

[Tech info:] There are two different films used here, Kodak Tri-X and Ilford Delta Pro 3200, both expired. The Delta Pro is the same stock as the previous two rolls that didn’t turn out well. The difference here is I used Kodak HC110 developer and agitated every 30secs instead of every 60secs. My camera was a Mamiya C330f and 80mm lens.

Dinner is served. Is that a ghost moving through the shot?

Dinner conversation

Food waiting to be served

Some of the staff that were serving dinner, a nice bunch of people

I had to lead these girls all the way to one of the rear exits to the college to make use of the bright overhead light

This couple asked me to make a portrait of them. I like how they have a Bollywood look about them.

Strike a pose

The light level inside the live acts' marquee between acts was so low that I could hardly see to focus.


Oxford: Balliol Ball 2012 part 3

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Here’s the third batch of my images from the Balliol Ball 2012 and they’re the best so far. I really like the look of these and that’s largely due to the film, Kodak Tri-X. I should give this film more credit in low light, most of these shots were made in light levels that were so low that I could hardly see the eyes of my subjects to focus on. Most of these images revolve around the live acts’ marquee because that seemed to have the most light. More images to come.

If you’re involved in organising any summer college balls and you like my photography please let me know. I’d love to do more documentary photography of other college balls.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f and 80mm lens loaded with Kodak Tri-X film rated at ISO1600, processed in Kodak HC110 B (1:31) for 17mins at 20C.

Fixing a bow tie (live acts marquee)

Watching one of the live bands

Outside the live acts' marquee

Outside the live acts' marquee

Outside the live acts' marquee

The lighting in this shot is coming from the live acts' stage. It was very noisy in the marquee which made asking people if I could photograph them a little tricky

This girl looked very striking with her tattoos. I'd like to photograph her again so if anyone knows her please let her know

mission burrito

I thought it was a great idea to have Mission Burrito at the ball. The people behind the counter were very friendly

Hai Lin. This portrait was made right next to the Mission Burrito stand to make use of their light

Oxford: Balliol Ball 2012 part 2

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

These images are the first of what will be quite a large collection of images shot on film from the Balliol Ball that I was fortunate enough to attend last week. I didn’t label the rolls of film as I finished them on the night so when it came to choosing which roll of film to process first I decided to pick the last roll from the night.  The film (Ilford Delta 3200) expired in 2005 and was part of a batch that I recently bought on eBay. It’s always a gamble when buying expired film because you never really know how the film was stored or whether it has suffered heat damage. Judging by the quality of this film I’d say it has suffered from being badly stored over the years. Still, these images have a unique look to them that is 100% real, no Photoshop filters or plugins were used on these images.

Earlier this evening I processed another few rolls of film from the ball and I can’t wait to start scanning them in. I left them hanging up to dry in the darkroom and will collect them tomorrow.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f and 80mm lens loaded with Ilford Delta Pro 3200, processed in Ilford DD-X 1:4 at 20C for 9 mins.

One of the few places I found available light to photograph with was near the loo in the basement by the photo booth.

I found this group of people in the photo booth room and managed to convince them to stand in front of my camera.

Photo booth group. I like how this one turned out.

The lighting here reminded me of an old movie set. These two guys were watching the dodgem cars which are directly behind me.

The light level was so low here that I couldn't see these people clear enough in my viewfinder to focus and the exposure was a bit too long for me to hand hold steady.

The light level in this shot seems a bit brighter than the previous shot but it was still too low to focus properly.


Portraits: Taekwon-do Varsity 2012

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Shortly before I photographed the Oxford Powerlifting team I caught the start of the Taekwon-do in the Oxford v Cambridge 2012 Varsity competition. I didn’t have much time so I only managed to photograph three members of the Oxford team, the other two portraits below are of spectators. I made these portraits off to the side of where the fighting was taking place and unfortunately I couldn’t find a clear section of wall to use as a background.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 and 110mm lens with Fuji Acros 100 film, processed in Kodak HC110 (dilution b) 1:31.

Fighter #1

Fighter #2

Fighter #3

Joram helping me test my lighting

A cool looking spectator that I thought would make a good portrait.

Portraits: Powerlifters part 1

Monday, March 5th, 2012

When I went to see the powerlifting during the Oxford V Cambridge Varsity competition my main intention was to make portraits of some of the guys. There was something about the light and ambience of the building where the competition was being held that made me think of old vintage photographs of wrestlers and strongmen. The walls looked like black boards that I remember from school and there was a nice pattern made by chalk dust all over. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to use it as a background for my portraits. Fortunately I was able to set up my camera in a corner that was out of the way of the guys as they warmed up before the competition.

I made portraits of both sides, Oxford and Cambridge but I feel it’s only right to post some of the Oxford portraits first, not least because the first three guys below all won. I’m really pleased with how all of my powerlifting images turned out and I’m hoping to carry on with some documentary style photography during future training sessions if I can get permission.

[Tech info:] First two portraits were on Fuji Acros 100 film, processed in Kodak HC110 B (1:31), last two portraits were on Fomapan 200 processed in Rodinal 1:50. My camera was a Mamiya RZ67 with 110mm lens.

powerlifter portrait

Jamie van Reijendam

powerlifter portrait

Richard Stebbing

powerlifter portrait

Geoffrey Lynn

powerlifter portrait

Alex Robinson