October, 2013

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Oxford: Billy Smart’s Circus

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Roll up, roll up, Billy Smart’s Circus is in town and it’s a helluva show! They were kind enough to contact me last week to ask if I’d like to photograph their show and of course I said yes. It’s not often I blog an event the same day as seeing it but I wanted to get my pictures online as soon as possible because the show was excellent and I thoroughly recommend it. When I was a kid I remember seeing Billy Smart’s Circus on tv but this was my first time seeing the show for real. There are no animals in this show, it’s all humans. I shot quite a lot of images but I’ve only posted a small selection here because I didn’t want to give away the entire show which last around 2 hours. They’re on Oxpens for the rest of this week, check them out. Here’s their website.

[Tech info:] Nikon D700, 70-200mm/2.8 lens.

Oxford: Endeavour series 2 behind-the-scenes part 3

Monday, October 28th, 2013

This is the last set of images I managed to make behind-the-scenes during the Endeavour filming last Sunday before heavy rain put a dampener on things. This roll of film was part of a batch that a kind friend of mine brought me over from New York but when I hung it up to dry after processing it in the darkroom I noticed x-ray scanner fogging on the roll which took the form of a zig zag pattern all the way along the film. Fortunately it’s hardly visible in the scans and that’s if you’re looking very hard. I’m really looking forward to the Endeavour crew coming back so that I can hopefully do some more behind-the-scenes photography.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex 2.8F Zeiss Planar loaded with Kodak TMAX 400 film, processed in Kodak HC110 dilution b for 5:30.

Oxford: Endeavour series 2 behind-the-scenes part 2

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

There’s something that just feels right about photographing behind-the-scenes pictures of a tv show set in the 1960’s with a camera that is from the 1960’s. These shots are the entire contents of my first roll of film last Sunday morning when the Endeavour film crew were in town shooting the second episode of four new ones that will be broadcast next spring. The episode title of this one is Nocturne so keep an eye out for some of these smartly dressed supporting actors. Just as I was getting going with my photography rain stopped play and I had to head for shelter in the Covered Market. The photographer is not part of the filming but he just happens to be one of my favourite Oxford street photographers and we bumped into each other completely by chance and had a nice chat while it poured down with rain. Shortly after that the film crew relocated to Exeter College gardens where they managed to film a little more before the sky opened up again and they stopped for lunch. I did manage to shoot another half a roll, those shots to follow soon.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex 2.8F Zeiss Planar loaded with Kodak Tri-X 400, processed in HC110 dilution b for 7:30.

endeavour filming

Film: Kodak Colorplus 200

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

All of these shots are from the same roll of Kodak Colorplus 200 film that has been sitting in my fridge for many months since I shot it. I’m not sure when these images are from, my best guess is April or May this year. Kodak Colorplus is the first film that I saw stocked in Poundland Oxford when it first opened in the Westgate shopping centre and I was so excited to see it for £1 a roll that I cleared the shelf. It didn’t seem to be stocked for long and was replaced by Agfa Vista 200. I like the look of this Colorplus film and have had nice results from processing it myself. Some things have changed since I shot these pictures, the motorbike window display was in Shepherd & Woodward, Aubin & Wills are no longer on the High Street and Richard has moved from the Oxford branch of Clements & Church to the Leamington Spa branch.

[Tech info:] Nikon F90, 50/1.4 lens (shots of Tailor’s Richard & Nick with 28mm/2.8), Kodak Colorplus film, dev & scan by ASDA in Swindon.

Film: Agfa Vista 200

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

A bit of a mixed bag of pictures for this post. Firstly there are shots from a family woodland walk a few weeks ago and then there are some shots from my lunch time photowalk. These are all from the same roll of Agfa Vista 200 film which is for sale at Poundland for £1/roll. This post is mainly to show that this film is the real deal and capable of some great results. It’s a myth that shooting with film is expensive.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2, 50/1.4 lens, Agfa Vista 200 film, dev & scan by ASDA in Swindon.

Oxford: Endeavour series 2 behind-the-scenes

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

The Endeavour film crew are back in town to film episode 2 of series 2 and I was fortunate enough to do some behind-the-scenes photography on what turned out to be an incredibly wet Sunday. There was a break in the rain when I arrived at the first location and I was optimistic that it might last but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I had had just enough time to photograph some of the extras before heading for shelter in the Covered Market. A pleasant surprise was when Shaun Evans arrived on set, he greeted a bunch of the crew and then came over to me to tell me that he liked the pictures that I had posted from the scene they shot in Brasenose Lane a few weeks back. What a nice guy! If only all actors were as down to earth. You can see those pictures here.

The pictures below are all from my 35mm camera, I did shoot some black & white in my Rolleiflex TLR but I haven’t had a chance to develop those yet so they’ll follow at a later time. On this occasion I didn’t get a chance to photograph any of my main actors but I don’t mind because there are so many people involved in the making of this tv show and I’d like my behind-the-scenes pictures to document them as well. It rained so much that I got a chance to speak with some of the crew while we sheltered from the rain. They all seem like a nice bunch and have worked on a huge range of different tv shows. It was a long day but incredibly interesting and I hope to get a chance to do some more photography as filming continues.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2, Zeiss 50/1.4 lens, Kodak Hawkeye traffic surveillance film, dev and scanned at ASDA in Swindon. My thanks go to Simon at ASDA for his excellent service and speedy turnaround on these.

behind the scenes of Endeavour series 2 filming in oxford

behind the scenes of Endeavour series 2 filming in oxford

Oxford: SS20′s 25th anniversary skate jam – part 3

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Here’s the third instalment of pictures that I made at SS20’s 25th anniversary skate jam which was held at the Meadow Lane skate park in September. I took 3 different cameras with me that day, a 35mm (Nikon FM2), a Pentax 6×7 medium format and a Bronica ETRSi 645 which is what I used for these shots. I love how the colours have come out in the overcast light, they’re just as I remember. The crowd was a mix of some familiar faces from my previous trips to the skate park and lots of people that I’ve never seen there. It was a really nice way to spend the afternoon with a group of people that share the same passion and I even had some nice comments from people that have visited this blog which was a pleasant surprise.

[Tech info:] Bronica ETRSi 645, 75mm/2.8 lens, Fuji 400H (expired) film, dev & scan by Ag Photo lab.

Oxford: from my film archive

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

I had to scan one of my Oxford shots for someone that wanted to produce some posters of it and while I was looking through my archives I decided to scan some other shots to make a ‘blast from the past’ post. These are all shot on transparency/slide film which was hand processed in the lab I used to work at from the late 80’s to early 90’s. Top right (both matriculation shots) and bottom right are from 1989 and shot on Kodak Ektachrome 64 film, I don’t have any other dates recorded but I think the rest are from the early 1990’s with the Encaenia procession being the latest, probably 1998 and possibly on Fuji Velvia.

The choir singing at the top of Magdalen Tower was on May morning during a perfect sunrise and the shot of the crowd below is from the same day circa 1992. The bottom right shot of the student covered in food and shaving foam was the end of a series that I shot of him after he had finished his finals exams and headed towards the Kings Arms pub along Queens Lane. It’s a great series of shots showing all of the various foods that were poured over him by his friends that had Tesco carrier bags full of stuff. Not much has changed in 24 years except now students can get fined if they’re caught, not so back in 1989. Something that is amazing to me is when I look back at most of these pictures the memories come flooding back of when I made them but when looking through much more recent digital photography my mind goes blank.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2 and N90 cameras.

Oxford: lunch hour session

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Here’s another set of test shots from a roll of Kodak Hawkeye traffic surveillance film. They were all shot during my lunch hour apart from the last two shots of Lauren. I deliberately underexposed the lower left shot and overexposed the lower right shot and you can quite clearly see a colour shift. These were shot within seconds of each other in very flat overcast light but it stayed consistent. I like the mood in the lower left shot even though it’s a tad on the underexposed side. There’s good shadow detail as you can see in the two shots above Lauren. The more I test this film the more I am beginning to see that it’s very versatile for all sorts of conditions.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2, 50/1.4 lens, loaded with Kodak Hawkeye film, processed and scanned by ASDA in Swindon (thanks to Charlotte B for getting my films there and back).

Oxford: lunch hour session

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

These are shots from a new type of film that I’ve been testing recently, Kodak Hawkeye traffic surveillance film and so far I really love the results. All of these are from the same roll shot mostly during my lunch hour with a few frames shot after work. You can see leaves on the ground which signifies the end of summer and a change in the light and weather. I’ve seen lots of great results with this film shot in sunny conditions but I intend to test it further in all sorts of light which is why I tried to keep things varied on this roll.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2 with 50/1.4 lens, loaded with Kodak Hawkeye film (expired 2011), dev & scan by ASDA in Swindon.

Photo shoot: Lauren (large format film)

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Here are a set of shots made on 5×4 large format film with Lauren. The middle two are from my first shoot with Lauren in some of the dullest and flat overcast light I have ever dared to photograph someone in, the others are from my second shoot (see the Fujiroids I posted a few days ago). I hope there will be more collaborations to come.

The maximum amount of 5×4 sheets I can process at once is six so that’s why I like to shoot them in batches of six. I love how all of these have turned out which is why I can’t choose between them so I decided to post them all. One of my favourite film/developer combo’s for quite a while has been Ilford HP5 developed in Kodak HC110 but recently I’ve been testing out Kodak Xtol and I have to say it’s hard to go wrong with it. I found the secret to mixing Xtol successfully is to use hot water which helps the fine powder dissolve.

[Tech info:] Graflex Speed Graphic, Schneider 180/4.5 (top & bottom), Pentac 8inch/2.9 (middle), Ilford HP5 processed in Kodak Xtol stock for 8.5mins.

Woodland walk

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Some shots from a woodland walk on an autumnal Sunday afternoon. It was great fun discovering some amazing little mushrooms. We came across some that looked straight from a fairytale, red with white dots. I didn’t photograph them because they were in deep shadow that wouldn’t have worked well in black & white. For these mushroom shots I tested out some Rollei close-up lenses. There doesn’t seem to be any loss in sharpness.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex Automat 75mm/f3.5 Tessar, loaded with expired Kodak Tri-X, processed in Kodak Xtol 1+1 for 8mins.