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Oxford: Night photography

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

For quite a while I have wanted to use some Fuji Acros 100 film for night photography because it supposedly does not suffer from reciprocity failure for exposure times up to 1 minute and now that it has started to get darker earlier I decided it was finally time to give it a go. On this occasion I was joined by Graeme – one of the presenter’s of the Sunny 16 podcast – which made for a fun evening of photography and chat. We got lucky with the weather and the temperature was unusually mild for the end of September which made standing around for long exposures no problem at all. The last shot below of the Radcliffe Camera was exposed for just over 1 minute and I added in a little light painting on the roof for good measure. This film certainly didn’t lose sensitivity for such a long exposure time and I will be using it again for more night photography soon.

[Tech info:] Fuji GW690, Fuji Acros 100 film, developed in Rodinal 1+25.

Oxford: Ducker & Son Ltd

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Ducker & Son Ltd, Turl Street, Oxford, traditional shoemakers since 1898. All gone now. Soon to be a wine shop, right next door to the Whiskey Shop. Just what Oxford needs. When I found out that Duckers was closing for good I felt compelled to document what was left of the shop. Over the years I have photographed the shoes in the window countless times but this was the first time I had actually set foot inside the shop. It’s a real shame to see this shop close. When I got there in my lunch break there were lots of people coming and going and it was difficult to not be in the way with a tripod set up. I wanted some nice quality pictures so I decided to take a Pentax 67 with a wide-angle lens. I knew the shop was quite dark inside so film choice was very simple – Neopan Acros 100 because it doesn’t suffer from reciprocity failure until you go past 1 minute exposures. Most of my exposures were around the 30 seconds mark. I only had enough time to finish one roll of 10 frames but that was more than enough to get these results.

[Tech info:] Pentax 67, 50/4, Neopan Acros 100 developed in Rodinal 1+50.

 

Large format film test

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

I recently bought a batch of expired large format 5×4 sheet film that I’m unfamiliar with so I made some test shots during my lunch break to see what they would look like. The film expired in 2005 and as I have no idea of how it’s been stored since then I decided to rate the film at ISO64 instead of 100. The camera I used is my smallest and most portable 5×4 camera which is a Polaroid 110B that I had converted by Randy at holgamods.com. It’s a thing of beauty and a joy to use.

[Tech info:] Polaroid 110B, Mac 100 UP b&w film (expired 2005), rated at ISO64 and developed in Rodinal 1+25 for 8mins in a Jobo.

Gear: Olympus OM1 test

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

A generous friend of mine (thanks Clive) gave me an Olympus OM1 that he had been given over 10 years ago but never got around to using it. I was very pleased to accept it as I’ve been curious about the Olympus OM1 for a long time. I keep hearing so many positive things about it but I don’t have any experience of Olympus SLR cameras having been a lifelong Nikon user. It turned out that the light meter doesn’t work in this OM1 but fortunately it’s a manual mechanical camera and still works fine without the light meter or batteries. These shots are from the first test roll I put through it during my lunch break.

[Tech info:] Olympus OM1, Zuiko 50/1.8 lens, Kodak TMAX 1oo developed in Kodak HC110 1+31. Pakon scans.

Oxford: New College on large format

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Yesterday I taught a landscape photography workshop at New College with Anthony (the current Oxford University Photographic Society President) and after a classroom session we all went out into the New College grounds to do some photography. The sky was very clear which made for quite contrasty light with nice shadows. I decided to take my Polaroid 110B to do some large format photography on Kodak Plus-X Aerographic film to test out how it handled contrast. Overall I think the film handled the contrast very well, especially in this first image below. I only took six sheets of film with me and to save time I bracketed the first two shots and then used my last two on Anthony (we couldn’t decide on jacket on or off so we shot both).

[Tech info:] Polaroid 110B, Kodak Plus-X Aerographic film, processed in Kodak HC110 (1+31) for 5 mins.

Behind-the-scenes – film drying in the darkroom

Oxford: Magdalen session

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Towards the end of the Christmas break I did some photography at Magdalen College to test out a Russian lens I had mounted to use with my Speed Graphic 5×4 camera. How appropriate that I would meet up with a Russian flickr contact of mine who was visiting Oxford with his girlfriend. Along with my Speed Graphic I took my Leica M2 which I used for these shots. The light was fading fast but the 400 speed of Ilford XP2 was just fine. There are some shots from this session still to come which I made on Kodak Vision 3 500T motion picture film.

The results from my Speed Graphic can be found here and here.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voigtlander 50/1.5 Nokton, Ilford XP2 (expired), processed in a Rollei Digibase C41 kit, Pakon scan.

speed graphic camera

Speed Graphic 5×4

Oxford: Industar lens test part 2

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Here are a few more shots from the first time out with my Industar 210mm large format lens. I only took six sheets of film with me and I used two sheets on one of the shots because the light was changing and I decided to try out a greater depth of field on the second sheet. I ended up preferring the light on the building in the first exposure so that’s the one I’ve posted here.

[Tech info:] Graflex Speed Graphic, Industar 210/f4.5 lens, Kodak Plus-X Aerographic film, processed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 6 mins.

Oxford: Magdalen College

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

This afternoon I visited Magdalen College to test out a new (old) lens I recently fitted to a lens board for my Speed Graphic and here is the first test shot made on Fuji FP-100C instant pack film. I also took some b&w sheet film with me and those shots will follow at a later time. The beauty of FP-100C is being able to bleach the black carbon backing from the back and ending up with an almost large format sized negative. This shot was made late in the afternoon as the light was fading and I used the slowest shutter speed on my Speed Graphic (1/30th) knowing that the print would be a little on the under-exposed side but also knowing that the negative gives you an extra 2 stops of exposure. It’s nice to get two shots for the price of one – the only instant film that does.

[Tech info:] Speed Graphic 5×4, Industar 210/4.5 lens, Fuji FP-100C instant pack film.

Neg

Print

Travel: Barcelona around and about part 2

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Here’s another set of images I made in Barcelona last week. Before I went I was really looking forward to shooting some street portraits but I found the language barrier to be a hurdle although I was able to overcome it sometimes with hand signals. Other times I had no problems because people spoke english but overall I didn’t feel the right energy on the street to approach people. The vibe I was feeling was people seem more guarded than I’m used to Oxford or London. My theory is that people are so used to being approached by others on the street trying to sell them things or asking for money etc that they automatically ignore anyone approaching them. It’s a shame because I saw so many people I wanted to photograph but alas it was not to be.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f loaded with Kodak Tri-X film, processed in Rodinal (1:50) for 13:30.

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.

 

Lunch hour session: Oxford

Friday, April 6th, 2012

At the beginning of March I was fortunate enough to be granted permission to photograph at the Balliol College Ball but I didn’t know that the ball was even taking place until the day before! As usual I was on my lunch time photography walk around Oxford when I noticed some dodgem cars being unloaded into Balliol College on Broad Street. I stopped to shoot some pictures and got chatting with a couple of the guys. It turned out that they were a family run business that specialised in fairground rides and they mainly dealt with colleges in Oxford and Cambridge, it was then that they told me about the ball that was happening the next night at Balliol. Below are some pictures from that day and the lunch time of the following day. The end of this roll of film has shots from the beginning of the ball. It’s nice to have all of these shots on the same roll of film because it’s a nice time line for me when looking back through them.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2 loaded with Ilford XP2 film. Processed in a Tetanol C41 kit and scanned by me.

These two guys were really fun to chat with

Unloading the dodgems

Unloading the dodgems

Dodgems controller

Setting up the dodgems in Balliol's quad

A little break from shopping, Broad Street

I love the light the comes around this side of the Sheldonian Theatre

Photographer using a Diana F Lomo camera

Another film photographer. This girl had only just got this Diana F Lomo camera.

I love this shadow and the way the light bounces around in this passageway

One of the ground crew workers currently working on the building project at the corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street

One of the ground crew workers currently working on the building project at the corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street

One of the ground crew workers currently working on the bulding at the corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street

 

Experiments: Ilford P4 Surveillance film – roll 2

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Here are some shots from the second roll of Ilford P4 Surveillance that I’ve tried out so far. I think that all of the rolls that I have left from this batch will be damaged like this. The film seems quite old and may have been poorly stored but I quite like the aged look so I don’t mind too much. These shots are very different from my usual style but I very much enjoyed a more ‘shooting from the hip’ snap shot approach here.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2, 50mm/f1.4 lens, Ilford P4 Surveillance film processed in Kodak HC-110 dilution B (1:31), 9mins at 20C.

a man eating a sandwich

A bite to eat.

Outside The Randolph.

Rim light.

Standing still, St. Giles.

A sign of Spring? Wellington Square. I pass this tree every day but this was the first time I noticed these hanging around.

Oddbins off licence, closed after 40 years on the High Street.

Walton Street building project.

Two people map reading in Oxford

Map reading.

High Street shops.

A nice old shop front on Turl Street.

I like the shape of this bike frame and the seat looks nice and comfy.

Clothing shop, Little Clarendon Street. A nice shop front.