August, 2012 browsing by month


Photo shoot: Punting down the river part 2

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Some more images from my punting photo shoot on the river Cherwell here in Oxford. These shots were all made on film whereas the previous ones were all from Fuji instant pack film (similar to Polaroid). Part one is here. More to come from this photo shoot.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 with 110mm and 150mm lenses on Fuji Pro 400H film, processed and scanned by me.

I love how this image turned out. One of the first frames of the photo shoot.

Looking at the setting sun.

Despite this being underexposed I like how this has turned out. Note the heavy colour shift towards green.

We kept the punt turning to vary things up. Some shots have the sun to camera right, others to the left.

A lovely bit of rim lighting and lens flare.



Oxford: The Caucus Race – Alice in Wonderland in Oxford part 1

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

At the beginning of July there was a day of celebrations here in Oxford to mark the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s first telling of Alice in the place her story was originally conceived. There were lots of performers and events on Merton field in Christchurch meadow and it was lots of fun. I wanted to do as much photography as possible to record the event so I started off by making portraits of some of the crew that helped setup and build the sets.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f, 105mm lens loaded with Fuji Acros 100, processed in HC110 1:31 (dilution b).

This gentleman reminded me a little of David Bellamy. I really like his braces.

A very cheerful chap who couldn't stop smiling.

These guys were all sitting in a circle. As I moved round the light on them became harsher from the overhead sun.

This portrait turned out quite nice considering the unflattering sunlight.

I could hardly see this guy's eyes to focus on the shadows were so harsh. It turned out okay though.

This is such a timeless image apart from the camcorder in the Mad Hatter's hand.

Photo shoot: Punting down the river

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Yesterday I had the most amazing photo shoot with a very creative and photogenic couple, Peter and Alexandra. They hired a punt and we all travelled slowly along the river Cherwell while the sun was setting. It was pretty much perfect and felt like I was in a movie. I first met Peter and Alexandra while I was photographing the Oxford Union Society summer ball back in May and I knew that I wanted to do a photo shoot with them but the idea of doing it on a punt was all Alexandra’s. This is a little taster of some of the images I made because I haven’t processed the film yet. These shots were made with Fuji instant pack film (the same as Polaroid) but for these I scanned the negative part after bleaching the black backing off. I can’t wait to see the film shots. Please note that none of these images have been retouched in any way, they are all straight scans. More to come.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 with 110mm and 150mm lenses. Fuji FP100C instant pack film.

First frame

We are all still in the punt for this shot. The Willow was overhanging the river. Zero Photoshop effects, this is a straight scan.

Looking at the setting sun.

Leaning back.


Oxford: Lunch hour session

Monday, August 20th, 2012

My first time out with the hulking great Super D large format SLR. I used a 6x7cm roll film holder to test it out before using 5x4inch sheet film. The tricky thing when using a roll film holder that is a smaller format than 5x4inches is there are no guide lines in the viewfinder to show you what will be in the frame so I had to use some guess work. As you can see, I wasn’t always successful. The roll film holder already had some Ilford HP5 film loaded in when I bought it but I didn’t know how expired it was. Overall I think the images turned out nicely.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D camera with 6x7cm roll film holder loaded with Ilford HP5. Processed in Ilford DD-X (1+4 dilution).

Plugged in.

I've photographed this guy before.

These guys are a photogenic bunch. They're working in a building on St Giles.

I had a nice conversation with this gentleman about photography. My Super D caught his attention.

This man was handing out some christian leaflets. We had a great chat about film photography especially using slide film.


Oxford: Lunch hour session

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

These images are from the second half of a roll I shot during my lunch hour photo walks a few weeks ago. The first half of the roll is here. I’ve got a bit of a backlog of images to scan and post but I’ll have more time in the coming weeks to catch up so if you haven’t seen your portrait yet don’t worry, it’s more than likely coming soon.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f and 105mm lens loaded with Fuji Acros 100 film, Processed in Rodinal 1:25.

Lock and load. There's not much some WD40 can't fix.

Coffee break on the Walton Street construction project.

This guy was a bit camera shy. I like his flat cap and rolled up jeans.

David, a fellow film photographer carrying a camera that I don't own. A real beast of a medium format.

Olympic photographer from Uruguay. He didn't speak any english but somehow I managed to communicate with him. I'm sure he was intrigued by my camera.

Scaffolding on the Walton Street construction project at the corner of Little Clarendon Street.


Oxford Wheels Project

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Some more portraits of people that use the ramps on Meadow Lane run by the Oxford Wheels Project. The current ramp is due to be knocked down in two weeks’ time to make way for a massive redevelopment of the whole site which is to build a concrete ramp that is sunken into the ground. It’s going to be amazing. I made these portraits without any prior arrangement, I just randomly turned up at the ramps with my old large format camera and explained my documentary project to this group of friends that were hanging out at the ramps. My thanks to all of them for allowing me to photograph them.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4 large format camera, Kodak Tri-X 320 film processed in Kodak HC110 (dilution b).

I set this up in a hurry with fading light and should have included his feet.

Skateboarder 2

The only BMX rider in this group.

Skateboarder 3

Skateboarder 4. I had a great conversation with this guy about photography.

The camera I used to make these portraits, a 5x4 inch large format SLR.


Oxford: Lunch hour session

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

After months of rain we finally had a short lived spell of dry weather. These images are from the first half of a roll of film I shot recently during my lunch break. We are now back to wet/overcast weather. Is it summer yet?
I used this roll to experiment with a different developer that I usually use with this brand of film and so far I like the results. My developer of choice for Fuji Acros 100 film is Kodak HC110 but with this roll I used Rodinal at a dilution of 1+25.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f with 105mm lens loaded with Fuji Acros 100 film, processed in Rodinal 1+25.

This gentleman wasn't keen to be photographed but after we chatted a little about photography he seemed okay with it. I hope he agrees that it was worth stopping for.

This man called me over after he saw me photographing the building project on the corner of Walton street. We had a good chat. He's a local musician.

This girl was waiting for a friend outside Brasenose college. The friend turned up right before I made this shot. She's standing to camera right just out of frame.

High street. I like the arrows in this frame.

A Police speed trap on St Giles. I saw a few cars being pulled over for speeding. Easy money.

The building project on the corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street is beginning to take shape.



Oxford: Instant film

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Here are a few images I made on Fuji instant peel apart film (aka Fujiroids). The material is very similar to Polaroids and is a lot of fun to use. The top image is of Richard, a tailor who works in a shop on Little Clarendon Street. If there was ever someone who is always sharply dressed then this is that guy. I made this image with my Graflex Super D camera a few days after it had arrived so I was keen to see what it was capable of. Previously I had always used the front of the shop to do test shots but I like how the lights in the background have turned out here.

The other images are of a friend and work colleague of mine who was visiting from New York. These were made with my Mamiya RB67 and custom made sliding Polaroid back. This time I used some expired (2004) Polaroid in my studio where I was experimenting with direct hard light from a tungsten light.

Richard the tailor, Little Clarendon Street.

Michael diptych 1

Michael diptych 2


Oxford: Large format street photography

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

For the longest time I’ve wanted to be able to do large format street photography but up until now I’ve always found it difficult because of the time required to set up a shot. Most of the people I stop to photograph on the street probably don’t want to have to stand still for a few minutes while I set up a shot so I’ve been searching for a camera that I can hand hold and operate quite fast. My hope was I had found such a camera in the Graflex Speed Graphic which was a favourite among press photographers as far back as the 1920’s but the rangefinder focusing and approximate framing guide never really worked very well for me so my search continued. Once I came across the Graflex Super D which was designed as a large format SLR it looked like my search was over. I’ve wanted one of these cameras for a long time and now I finally have one. It’s a big wooden box with a mirror inside that helps you with focussing and composition and the really nice thing is the image you’re looking at isn’t upside down, it’s just flipped horizontally. My Super D came from New York and dates from the late 1940’s to early 1950’s. It looks like it’s had plenty of use but it still works perfectly. These images were all made in the space of around an hour on my first time using it with 5×4 inch film.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D camera, 190mm lens and Ilford HP5+ film processed in Ilford DD-X (1+4).

This young lady works at 'Objects of use' on Market street, a lovely shop that is well worth a visit.

I've photographed this fantastic bike a few times but this is the first time I've seen its owner. The girl he was speaking to, just out of frame on the right. said to me 'Oh, so you're the Simply Oxford guy that keeps taking those annoying pictures of pretentious people'. I can't see how my pictures would be annoying. What a strange thing to say.

Brooks saddle, Market street.

I thought I was composing this to be portrait orientation but I was working in a hurry and forgot to rotate the camera back. Ship Street.

Coffee break, Ship street.

This man is an old skool photographer that I bump into from time to time. We usually chat about whatever camera I happen to be carrying. Outside Carfax tower.

Here's a shot I made quite a while ago of the friendly staff at 'Objects of use' on Market street. I struggled a little with the low light.



Oxford: Lunch hour session

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

This is a short post of some frames from a a lunch hour session a few weeks ago. I’ve already posted the other frames from this roll but I forgot to post these.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66, 80mm Zeiss lens, with Fuji Acros 100 film processed in Kodak HC110 (dilution b).

Top: David working on his bike, middle: builders working on the Walton street site, bottom: waiting for the bus, Magdalen Street.

Top: Martin, middle and bottom: Korky Paul and Valerie Thomas book signing. They're the duo behind the Winnie the Witch series of books.