May, 2012 browsing by month


Oxford: Lunch hour session

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

I managed to shoot a whole roll of film through my Rolleiflex SL66 camera during one of my lunch time walks a few weeks ago. Here are the first 5 frames. I’ve got so many images still to post from the college ball’s that I photographed recently and then on top of that I have a backlog of other images that I can’t wait to share from my lunch hour sessions and test shoots. Some people have asked if I sell prints of my photography and the answer is yes. Although I don’t make it obvious on this blog I assume that anyone wishing to purchase a print would contact me so please get in touch. All prints are hand done by me.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66 camera, 80/2.8 lens loaded with Kodak Tri-X film processed in Kodak HC110 dilution B. Processed and scanned by me.

Cool glasses, Broad Street.

Gone to the beach.

Matt Sage - musician and promoter, outside The Randolph Hotel.

Taylorian Institute steps.

Unicorn window display, Ship Street.


Oxford: Keble College Ball 2012 part 5

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Here’s every single frame from a roll of film I shot at the Keble College summer ball 2012. I only get 12 shots on a roll  This is dedicated to everyone that has ever told me that you only get a few good shots on a roll of film and that digital is so much better 🙂

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330 and 80mm/2.8 lens loaded with Kodak Tri-X film, processed in Kodak HC110 dilution b (1:31).

Frame 1: The drummer.

Frame 2: The trumpeter

Frame 3: Cool glasses.

Frame 4: Roses.

Frame 5: Candles.

Frame 6.

Frame 7: I photographed this guy at the Balliol ball.

Frame 8: The trumpeter.

Frame 9: The band.

Frame 10: President of the ball committee (second from left) with friends.

Frame 11: Group shot.

Frame 12: Here come the girls.


Motorbike: MZ Trophy

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

While cycling home from my dress rehearsal shoot at Lady Margaret Hall (see previous post) I passed this nice looking motorbike (MZ Trophy) as it was waiting in the line of traffic at the South Parks Road traffic lights. I asked the rider (Simon) if I could do some quick photography of him on his motorbike with the cool film camera I had in my bag and he agreed so we carried on down to the Bridge of Sighs next to Hertford College. The motorbike is from 1971 so it’s a similar age to the camera I used. The camera I had with me was a Rolleiflex SL66 that had arrived in the morning so these are some of the first shots through it. Naturally I was a little nervous about whether or not they would come out because with old cameras you just never know. Fortunately they turned out great and  I had both colour and black & white film backs loaded with me so I was able to do a bit of both. On the b&w roll I had a few blank frames at the start of the roll and I’m missing a few shots from the end so I’ll have to look at why that happened, possibly user error. Thank you Simon for stopping and for being so patient while I juggled with the film backs.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66 and 80mm/2.8 Zeiss lens, loaded with Kodak 160NC (rated at ISO100) and Fuji Acros 100. Processed with a Rollei digibase C41 kit and Kodak HC110 dilution H (8.5 mins).

In front of the Bridge of Sighs.

I'm not sure where the light leak came from but I quite like it.

On the corner. (Movie trivia: the building in the background was used as the front of The Eagle pub in X-Men First Class).

Cool goggles (I'm in there).


Drama: ‘Unsex Me Here’, LMH, Oxford

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

There’s a Shakespeare festival here in Oxford at the moment and a few weeks ago I was contacted by the director of a one-off performance to see if I’d like to do some photography at one of their dress rehearsals. The actual performance is on 29th May 2012 at Blackwells Bookshop on Broad Street but these images were made at Lady Margaret Hall a few days ago. Only one of the cast is in elizabethan costume and I felt she’d make for better images than the others. For the colour shots I was experimenting with some film that expired in 2005 and I quite like the results. The black & white shots were made with fresh stock. If you do go and see it please leave a comment.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66 and 80mm/2.8 Zeiss lens, loaded with Kodak 160NC (rated at ISO100) and Fuji Acros 100. Processed with a Rollei digibase C41 kit and Kodak HC110 dilution H (8.5 mins).

LMH has nice gardens.

Window light.

Bounced light from the floor.


LMH gardens.

Cast group shot.

Oxford: Fuji instant pack film

Friday, May 25th, 2012

These images are from earlier today. The first two were made during my lunch break, the other two were made near the University boathouses. The summer eights rowing competition is on at the moment so I went over to the boathouses after work to photograph anyone that caught my attention but I’m sorry to say that I didn’t manage to do much photography. The buzz that was there last year seemed to be missing which I found quite disappointing.

[Tech info:] I used a sliding Polaroid back on my Mamiya RB67 to shoot two frames on each sheet of Fuji instant pack film. I really enjoy thinking of two shots that will work together and it’s a shame I can’t shoot a roll of film like this.

Tailors in Little Clarendon Street. These guys are always sharply dressed which makes them very photogenic.

Triumph on St. Giles. I was rushing to make this shot and didn't notice the Polaroid back wasn't pushed all the way to the left. I hope I get to photograph this car again.

Edd and Owen of Hacked Off Films.

BMXer 'Pipe' Williams.


Test shoot: Hai Lin #3

Friday, May 25th, 2012

These shots are from my last test shoot with Hai Lin  it’s just taken me a while to process the roll of film because it was colour. With black & white film you can mix up the quantity of chemistry you need to process a single roll. With colour the chemistry is different because you can reuse it so I save up some colour rolls so that I can do them in batches. These shots were made on Kodak Ektar 100 film which I haven’t used very much. I like it so far.

[Tech info:] Mamiya M645 with 80/1.9 lens. Kodak Ektar 100 film. Processed and scanned by me.

Late afternoon sunshine.

Broad Street. I like the shadow in this shot.

Fading light. In the shade the colours look a little funky.

The light level was really low after the sun had gone down behind buildings.

I like the bokeh in this shot.

Oxford Union Society Summer Ball 2012 gallery

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Here are some images from the Oxford Union Ball 2012 that I photographed earlier this month. I was fortunate enough to be granted permission the day before the ball and for the first time among a really wet spell of weather we had some gorgeous evening summer light. All of these images are from my digital camera, the shots I made on film will follow as soon as I have time to scan them. I’ve processed all of the films and the shots on the negatives look great.

[Tech info:] Nikon D700 camera with 50/f1.4 lens.

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Test shoot: Jessica

Monday, May 21st, 2012

These images are from a quick lunch time test shoot I had with Jessica last week. Test shoots are great for testing out different cameras, lenses and films which is very difficult to do with my usual street photography because I only tend to make one shot of each person and I don’t want to risk losing any shots or having them not turn out well. There were so many great shots on the roll so this is just a quick preview. More testing to come…

[Tech info:] Nikon F90 (35mm) camera with Nikon Series E 100mm/2.8 lens, loaded with expired Ilford XP2 film. Processed and scanned by me.

Next to the Bridge of Sighs

We had a natural wind machine.

Between the columns.

I don't usually give my images any kind of colour treatment but I thought I'd try it with this one.



Oxford: Keble College Ball 2012 gallery

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Here’s the full gallery of my portraits from the Keble College Ball 2012.

To navigate the gallery click on a thumbnail to enlarge it in a pop out window and then you can use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard to view previous and next images. The lightbox gallery doesn’t work on Internet Explorer so please use a real web browser such as Apple Safari or Firefox.

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Drama: Killing Hitler, O’Reilly Theatre, Keble College, Oxford

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Earlier this evening I did a little photography at the O’Reilly Theatre in Keble College as the actors were warming up for the opening night of Killing Hitler, a production directed by Lucinda Dawkins. My original plan was to do photography during the dress rehearsal yesterday evening but I was unable to make it. You’d think I would have learnt my lesson about photographing during an opening night after I tried it at a production of Cabaret at the very same theatre but no, I didn’t learn so it was no surprise that the actors were busy preparing for the production so I didn’t manage to get many shots. Sorry. It was such a shame because the costumes, set and lighting looked really good. If you get a chance you should go and see it.

I might have time to go back again on Saturday, we’ll see. For now all I have to post is this diptych of Freddie who I had previously photographed during a dress rehearsal for POSH earlier this year. I manage to get a few other shots but I haven’t finished the roll that they’re on.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RB67, 90mm lens and diptych Polaroid back which allows me to make two exposures on the same print. This scan is from the reclaimed negative part of Fuji FP-100C instant pack film.

Freddie Bowerman as Anthony Eden.


X-ray film test

Monday, May 14th, 2012

This is my first test with using 10×8 inch x-ray film instead of regular black & white film. Why? Because it’s cheaper. Another benefit is that you can handle it under a red safelight in the darkroom just as you can black & white paper so you can actually see what you’re doing. This not only applies to when you’re handling and loading the film into the film holders but also when you’re processing the film. A slight downside is that the surface of the film is very fragile and prone to scratching (it’s coated with emulsion on both sides) so extreme care is needed when handling. I first became aware of this film and the ability to use it instead of regular film from fellow photographer Mat Marrash via Flickr. I have him to thank for pointing me in the right direction and there have been some other photographers on Flickr that have since demonstrated how good this x-ray film really is.

The first shot below is the Lock keeper’s cottage at Iffley. For my first test with this film I didn’t want to travel a long way with the big 10×8 camera so I decided to walk to a location not too far from my house. My hope was to not only find something of interest to photograph that wasn’t going to move but also to do a test portrait as well. I figured that Iffley Lock is never short of people passing through and I’ve always meant to make a nice shot of the Lock keeper’s cottage so that location was an easy choice.

Once I had set up the 10×8 camera by the side of the Lock it was no surprise that people kept stopping to admire it. The camera looks like it’s 100 years old but 30 would be more accurate.  After I had made a few different test shots of the cottage and one of the Lock I had two sheets of film left. Lucky for me it was then that a lady came past with her three children and they stopped to ask me about the camera I was using. After a brief chat I offered to make a test portrait and they were kind enough to oblige. I have to say that these three kids were perfect subjects to photograph because they listened to everything I explained and they were able to sit perfectly still. Someday I hope to be able to say the same about my daughter 🙂

After I finished the portrait I let the kids peek under the dark cloth while their mum sat on the bench. It was lovely to hear them shriek with laughter as they saw the image of their mum upside down on the ground glass screen. It was then that it struck me that this was probably the first time that these kids had looked through a camera like this. They’re the digital generation coming into contact with something that couldn’t be more analogue. Hopefully they’ll remember how much fun it was. My thanks to the nice lady and her kids that stopped to chat and be photographed. I hope you like the shot.

[Tech info:] Wista 10×8 with Nikon 210mm lens. X-ray film rated at ISO 100 (it probably should have been 50), processed in Rodinal 1:50 (others use 1:100) for 7mins.

Lock keeper's cottage, Iffley.

My first portrait on x-ray film. I'm pleased with how this turned out.


Oxford: The Oxford Union Ball 2012 part 1

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

I was fortunate enough to be granted last minute (as in the day before) permission to photograph at the Oxford Union Summer Ball a couple of days ago and here’s a small preview of some of the images I made. This was my first summer ball where there was actually some summery weather and it made a huge difference to the look and feel of my images. For once I was able to rate the film at it’s normal speed and there was tons of gorgeous ambient light to make use of. I really like the architecture at the Oxford Union, both inside and out and I’d love to do more photography there. How amazing would it be to photograph the guest speakers there on black & white film?

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f, 80/f2.8 loaded with Kodak Tri-X rated at 400. Processed in Kodak HC110 dilution B (1:31) for 7:10 at 21c.

Pouring drinks before the guests arrive.

The current society president (centre) with two friends.

Books in the library.

The library was used as a cloakroom for the evening and very impressive it was too.