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Oxford: Endeavour 5, episode 4 – part 1

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The Endeavour crew were back in Oxford for a few days of filming for episode 4 of series 5 and I did some behind the scenes photography. Here are some shots from Exeter college where they were mostly doing interior scenes. I’ll share some of the interior pictures after the episode has been broadcast – no spoilers! For these shots I was trying out a film I don’t often use – Ilford Delta 100. The day was sunny and bright but most of the action was in the shade and I struggled with sufficient depth of field on some of these shots. Next time I’ll stick with Hp5. The last shot on this roll is from Radcliffe Square where a short scene was filmed. The big light on the scaffolding provided a little rim light.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex 2.8F, Ilford Delta 100, developed in Tetenal Ultrafin 1+20.

 

Oxford: Giffords Circus, 2017 – part 2

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

When Giffords Circus were here in Oxford last month I tried to do as much backstage photography as I could manage in my limited spare time. Here are some backstage portraits during a performance when we had scorching hot weather. These were difficult to do because obviously I didn’t want to delay anyone so I had to be quick, one shot each, no bracketing exposure, no second chances, one and done. Many thanks to the Giffords performers for being so generous with their time.

[Tech info:] Pentax 67, 105/2.5 lens, Fuji 400H (expired), developed in a Fuji Xpress C41 kit.

Endeavour crew portraits – part 1

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

This is a slightly different Endeavour post than usual because there are no shots of filming equipment, cool looking vintage cars or costumes. Here are portraits I made of some of the Endeavour crew on the last day of filming on series 5, episode 2. I really enjoyed spending the whole day with them at their base and can’t say enough about how hardworking and talented this crew is. This was towards the end of a very busy and extremely hot day of filming. A lot of my pictures from the day will be posted after the episode has been broadcast next year.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex 2.8F, Zeiss Planar loaded with Ilford HP5, developed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 5 mins.

Oxford: Giffords Circus, 2017 – part 1

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Giffords Circus rolled into town and set up in University Parks for a series of sold out performances and I went along to make back stage portraits of some of the performers as I have done in previous years. This time last year I was suffering from a lot of back pain so unfortunately I don’t have any portraits from that show. Most of the performers this year are new but there are still some familiar faces in the group and it was nice to see them again. If you haven’t seen the show I highly recommend it. You can see some of my photography from previous years here.

[Tech info]: Polaroid 180 Land Camera, Fuji FP-100C instant pack film bleached negs.

Portrait: Rachel Owen, Artist

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

In the summer of 2012 I was starting to experiment with large format x-ray film and looking for willing volunteers to sit for a portrait so that I could test things out. One of my test portraits was of Oxford artist Rachel Owen who I knew also worked with film when we chatted at her Artweeks exhibition months earlier. Yesterday I was very sad to hear that Rachel died on Sunday 18th December from cancer. Pembroke College announced the news on their website.

[Tech info:] Wista 10×8, green sensitive x-ray film rated at ISO 50, processed in Rodinal 1:50 for 6 mins.

Rachel Owen, Artist (1968-2016).

Rachel Owen, Artist (1968-2016)

Wet plate collodion tintype photography

Friday, August 19th, 2016

 

Recently I have been doing some wet plate collodion tintype photography and as it’s World Photo Day today I thought it appropriate to share some of my early results. It’s still early days for me and I don’t have my workflow dialled in yet to achieve consistent results but I’m really enjoying the surprise and beauty of the inconsistent results. These plates were scanned before I varnished them so the final results are slightly darker, richer and quite mesmerising to look at.

 

 

 

Lunchtime lens test – Phillips K 165/2.8 projector lens

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

A while ago I picked up a Phillips K 165mm/f2.8 projector lens to experiment with on my Speed Graphic and last week I finally managed to make a few test shots. It’s always nice to have patient work colleagues when testing lenses. On this particular day it was very overcast and gloomy so I used a small LED video light for a bit of fill but it’s not very noticeable. There is no aperture inside this lens so it’s f2.8 all the time which could be tricky on a bright day so I must remember to keep some ND gels in my camera bag.

[Tech info]: Speed Graphic 5×4, Phillips K 165/2.8 projector lens, Kodak Tri-X 320 (expired 2003), developed in Kodak HC110 1+31. Colour shot is a bleached Fuji FP-100C neg.

Camera and lens used. I have since mounted the lens in a proper lens board. My cardboard effort was just to see if it was worth doing properly for this lens

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.

Gear: Pentacon Six TL

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Here are some images from the first test roll through a medium format camera that I picked up recently. The Pentacon Six TL has been on my radar for the last couple of years because of one particular lens, the Carl Zeiss Jena 180/2.8. As luck would have it I came across a nice condition setup for sale last weekend for a reasonable price so I decided it was time to give it a go.

The first thing that struck me was the size of the front element of the 180/2.8 lens, it’s huge! My largest filters are 77mm but this lens requires 86mm filters. The camera is very nice to use, especially with a prism instead of a waist level finder which makes it easier to balance the big lens. The only camera I have that is similar in size and design is a Pentax 6×7 but two immediate differences struck me about the Pentacon Six TL – it’s a 6×6 format camera so you use it in landscape orientation the whole time, also the mirror in it is a lot quieter than the Pentax 6×7 and doesn’t cause as much camera shake. One thing I didn’t realise about the prism is that the viewfinder is not 100%. I’ve got a lot more image in the frame on the film than I remember seeing through the lens. I’m not sure if this is down to the prism or whether you get the same with the waist level finder (which I don’t have).

So far I’ve enjoyed using this camera and lens combo and look forward to seeing more results from it.

[Tech info:] Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena 180/2.8, Kodak Tri-X (expired 2002) developed in Kodak HC110 1+47 for 8 mins.

Camera test: Contax G1

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

These shots were made during my lunch break yesterday, all from the same roll of film that I used to test a Contax G1 camera I recently bought. The weather has been very wet the past two days but fortunately there was a break in the rain just long enough for me to shoot this roll. In a few of the shots I was also testing an external flash (TLA 200) that I got with the camera body. It’s very simple to use as it only has two modes, manual and TTL. I left it on TTL. The light from it seems nice and balanced and it’s small enough to keep in the camera case without noticing it. One thing I did notice is the AF doesn’t seem to lock on very well if you try to focus on something that is low contrast or backlit. Some of the shots on the roll were slightly out of focus. So far I’ve been enjoying using the G1 as a point and shoot camera.

[Tech info:] Contax G1, 45/2 Carl Zeiss lens, Ilford FP4 film (expired) developed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 9mins. Pakon scans.

 

Oxford Beard Festival 2015

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

I must admit I’m not a huge fan of shaving and usually go a few weeks between shaves whenever possible. When I found out about the Oxford Beard Festival my first thought wasn’t about entering, it was to make portraits of some of the competitors in a formal portrait kind of way. It took me a while to decide on which camera to take and in the end I opted for my Graflex Super D which is a large format SLR allowing me to shoot 5×4 inch sheet film. For this event I packed 12 sheets of film and used one sheet on each person below so making mistakes wasn’t an option. After arriving at the venue (The James Street Tavern) I scoped out a place to set up that would be both out of the way and would also give me consistent lighting during the afternoon and managed to find a nice shady spot in the corner of the beer garden. It was a fun event and I enjoyed photographing such a variety of beards but this was more than just about beards, I could appreciate the thought that had also gone into the clothes and styling for a lot of these guys and that made for better pictures in the end. My thanks go out to all of these guys for being so patient and for sitting very still for me.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4, Pentac 8inch f2.9 lens, Ilford HP5 film processed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 6 mins.

Behind the scenes shots of the camera I used and some of the sheet film hanging up to dry.

Oxford: St Giles’ Fair 2015 – part 1

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

St Giles’ Fair rolled into town last week and this is the first of what will probably be quite a few blog posts of pictures shot over the three days (including setting up). This year I only used black & white film for a change. It was nice to see some familiar faces again and as usual there was lots going on and plenty to photograph. I missed the fair last year so I was crossing my fingers for nice weather this time which we were fortunate to have. In the second shot down you can see Tommy Noyce who has been visiting St Giles’ Fair since he was 6 years old. He is now 73. The well known galloping horses carousel has been in his family for three generations and takes five trucks to transport. Sadly it no longer comes to St Giles’ Fair. The last frame below was made on the way back to my office during my lunch time visit to the fair – two of the tailors from Clements & Church on Little Clarendon Street.

[Tech info:] Fuji 6×9, Neopan Acros 100 developed in Rodinal 1+50 for 14 mins.