September, 2012 browsing by month


Oxford: Street portraits

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

A friend emailed me in the morning to say he’d seen some filming going on in Broad Street that looked interesting – an alien, burlesque dancers and a guy carrying a coffin. How could I resist going into town to check it out. By the time I got there the filming was over and the crew had moved into Trinity College, it was the Lewis tv crew. I decided to have a wander to do some street photography, there were so many people around you could’ve mistaken it for the middle of summer. There was a graduation ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre along with four weddings going on and tons of tourist groups on walking tours. It was a real circus especially when a horse drawn carriage rolled along Broad Street to transport the bride to her wedding. My camera of choice turned heads – I’ve never been photographed by so many different people on the same day! You can see one of the shots of me on the street at the bottom of this post (thanks Brian).

[Tech info:] Mamiya RB67, 90mm lens with a custom sliding Polaroid back loaded with Fuji FP100-C instant pack film.

This man is part of the Lewis film crew, a really nice guy that I photographed earlier in the summer when they were set up outside the covered market.

Another person I've photographed a few times. He always looks cool.

Brian is the photographer that made the portrait of me below. We had a nice chat about photography. In the shot I'm holding the print you see above.

Light leak! It's such a shame this got ruined, those gloves were so cute.

This man is not the artist of the picture, it was being drawn by his camera shy friend to camera left. I was surprised to hear that he knew about my photo blog.

Me on the street.


Photo shoot: Helen – from white to black

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Some photo shoots can start off with with trying to plan every last detail, others have the room to breath and experiment to see what happens. This photo shoot falls in the latter. Helen sent me an image for inspiration and from there I decided I would only use black & white film and I took along four different cameras to experiment with (3 medium format and a 35mm). On the day Helen brought various outfits but I think it was a coincidence that we only ended up using black and white clothing. The images have a feeling of going from light to dark which was perfect as we raced against the fading sun. This is a story of a girl who’s man ‘did her wrong’. It was a fun shoot and I hope to do more of these.

[Tech info:] I used the following cameras, Pentax 67 with 105/f2.4 lens, Mamiya C330f with 80/f2.8 lens and a Mamiya M645 1000S with 80/f1.9 lens.  Film used was Kodak Tri-X and Fuji Acros 100. All of these shots were processed in Rodinal 1:50 (Acros for 10:00, the Tri-X for 13:30).

Oxford: St Giles’ Fair part 1

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Anyone that has grown up in Oxford will probably have some sort of memory of visiting St Giles’ Fair which is held once a year at the beginning of September. For me, the arrival of the fair signified autumn, the end of summer and the start of a new school year. When I was younger I used to love going on the rides but nowadays I prefer to do photography there instead. I really enjoy the huge diversity of people that the fair attracts and the underlying creepiness that seems to hang in the air from the shifty characters you see among the crowds.

This year I really enjoyed photographing at St Giles’ Fair. The weather was warm, there were loads of people there and the light was very interesting. Previously I have always tried to concentrate on making images of the rides but this year I decided to concentrate on the people instead and capturing something of the atmosphere.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f, 80mm and 55mm lenses, loaded with Kodak Tri-X, processed in Kodak HC110 dilution b.

Oxford: Around and about

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

This set of images are all from the same roll in early August. Some were made during my lunch hour photo walk and others were made at the weekend.

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

Oxford: Pandora’s Box part 3

Friday, September 14th, 2012

These images are from a roll of film I shot at the beginning of my Pandora’s Box photo shoot earlier in the summer. I just came across it and realised that it had never been scanned. You can see part 2 here.

[Tech info:] Mamiya M645 1000s with 80mm/f1.9 lens, loaded with Fuji Acros 100 film, processed in Kodak HC110 (dilution b).


Oxford Wheels Project: The end of an era – part 2

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Here are the second set of images I made at the Meadow Lane skate ramps on the last day before they were demolished to make way for a bigger and better concrete skatepark.

As of last week the ramps have been demolished and work has begun on the new design. After being tipped off about the demolition day I cycled over there after finishing work to make some shots of the demolition site but I got there a few minutes too late and the van full of builders drove past me as I cycled along Meadow Lane. Doh! There were no holes in the fence big enough to poke my lens through so unfortunately I don’t have any images of it but if you can imagine a big pile of plywood that’s what it looked like.

[Tech info:] Pentax 67, 105mm lens loaded with Fuji Acros 100 film, processed in Kodak HC110 (dilution b).

The next generation

In conversation


Captive audience

Original skater

Final shot


Oxford: Adventures with infrared film

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Quite a few months ago I bought a box of 5×4 infrared sheet film and it’s been in my freezer ever since. I was waiting for summer to arrive with lots of sunshine and clear skies so that I could experiment with it. Partly due to the wettest summer on record I forgot about the infrared film until a few days ago. The weather this past week was unusually sunny and warm for September and that somehow reminded me that I had some infrared film in my freezer. I’m pleased to report that my initial tests were a success, you can see some of them below and there are lots more to come.

[Tech info:] Wista 5×4 with Schneider 90mm and 150mm lenses. Efke 820c infrared film processed in Rodinal 1:50 for 14mins (20c).

All in a row

View across Hinksey lakes

Over the bridge and far away...

Lock keepers cottage, Iffley lock

Setup shot


Oxford: The Caucus Race – Alice in Wonderland in Oxford part 2

Friday, September 7th, 2012

This is the second half of the first roll of film I shot at the Caucus Race on Christchurch meadow. You can see the first set of images here.

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

One of the Art Deco swimmers

These Art Deco swimmers were a couple of my favourite characters at this event. They stayed in character and were fantastic.

I'm not sure what character this gentleman was but I thought he looked very relaxed sitting in the shade

I remember this guy coming across as being very nervous at being photographed. I've never seen anyone blink so fast and rapidly but I got my timing just right.

One of the hype men tasked with whipping the crowds into a frenzy

The House of cards built by the crew in my first set of images. This was at the entrance.


Photo shoot: Helen #4

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

I had another photo shoot with Helen recently and here are some of the results. We went to University Parks but used a different area to our last shoot and thanks to some nice late after summer sunshine we had everything we needed to make some nice images. This was a really relaxed shoot just like our previous one and I think that comes through in the images. I’ve had more compliments from people on my shots of Helen than any others on this blog and I look forward to collaborating more in the future.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67, 110mm and 150mm lenses, Fuji Acros 100 pushed one stop in HC110 (8 mins) dilution b.

First shot


Near the river



The sun was going down directly behind Helen so I'm amazed at how good this turned out.

Last shot


Oxford: Lunch hour session

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Following on from yesterday’s post containing images made with my Graflex Super D large format SLR, here are some more images made with that camera during my lunch hour. The last two images were made on my way home on the same day as the others with the same camera. Technically they’re not lunch hour shots but they belong with this set.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4 SLR camera, Ilford Delta 100 film (pushed 1 stop), processed in Ilford DD-X.

Richard the tailor on Little Clarendon Street

Street soldier human statue, Cornmarket Street

These two guys were painting and decorating inside a building being renovated on St Giles.

The bride and groom

Horse drawn carriage outside the church at a gypsy wedding

Oxford: On the street

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

It’s not often I get the chance to get into town at the weekends so when I had a little time recently I decided to take my Super D large format SLR camera out for a little air. As is often the case the street performers on Cornmarket Street were doing their thing and pulling in big crowds. The lens on the Super D is not particularly wide so I wasn’t about to capture much of the crowds but the performers themselves were great to photograph.

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

Fire juggling street performer

Fire juggler. It's hard to tell but this guy is holding a fireball behind his back in his left hand. After this he dropped it down his trousers!

Squeezing through a tennis racket

On my way to Port Meadow I passed these people that were guests at a wedding. The gentleman reminded me of Johnny Depp

Meg and her daughter. Meg is a photographer who spotted me with my Super D camera in the Divinity Schools quadrangle.

The grand finale of a street performance.


Photo shoot: Peter

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

You might recognise Peter from the punting photo shoot I did a couple of weeks ago. Having recently finished his masters degree he’s due to leave Oxford very soon to do a little travelling so we arranged to make some pictures before he leaves. For these images I used a large format camera from the 1940’s with a lens from World War II that was designed for the US military to do aerial photography at night. It’s renowned for its shallow depth of field that has a very unique signature. I don’t get to use this setup all that often partly because of the size of the lens and partly because it’s difficult to use it if the conditions are too bright but on this day it was perfectly cloudy with the sun trying to burn through. I took 6 sheets of film with me and all of them are here below.

[Tech info:] Speed Graphic camera with Kodak Aero Ektar lens on Ilford FP4+ processed in Rodinal (1:50).

On the steps.

Take it to the bridge

Distinctive bokeh

I think the gloves make this shot

Wider shot

No jacket required