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Oxford vs Cambridge Varsity 2014 – Fencing

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Last weekend was packed with sporting events for the Oxford vs Cambridge Varsity 2014 competition and on Saturday morning I attended the Fencing which was held at the Examination Schools on the High Street. It was a grand venue for a sporting event and I really enjoyed seeing some of the action. Although I went prepared with a small lighting kit I decided to make use of the daylight coming in through the windows. These portraits were all made during the competition which is why there aren’t very many. This is the contents of an entire roll of film, all 10 frames. I did also photograph some of the action but those shots will follow at a later time.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67, 110/2.8 lens, loaded with Kodak Tri-X 400 (expired), processed in Kodak HC110 (dilution b).



Oxford: Filippa portraits

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

These portraits of Filippa were made last June (2013) but they got a little lost in my mountain of negatives  so I’ve only just scanned them. All from the same roll of 10 frames with not a duff shot between them. Less is more. Zero retouching on these. Filippa was extremely easy to work with and it was a very relaxed shoot as I recall in tricky lighting which was rather flat. I think it worked out well in the end and I really like how these turned out. I hope I get to shoot with Filippa again, perhaps with large format next time.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67, 110mm and 180mm lenses. Kodak Tri-X 400 (expired) film. Processed in Kodak HC110 1+31.



Oxford: BMX Jam, Meadow lane, part 1

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Last Sunday I went along to a BMX Jam at the Meadow lane skate park  that had been organised by local BMX legend Alex Leech. As I’ve never been to one of these events before I didn’t quite know what to expect but after enjoying this one so much I can’t wait for the next one. It was great to see some familiar local faces that I’ve photographed there before and plenty of new ones too. I took along two cameras with me but sadly one of them (a 35mm SLR) developed a fault shortly after I got there so I was down to just my medium format camera which has a maximum shutter speed of 1/400 so action shots were proving a bit tricky but I gave it a go at anticipating the peak of the action. The shots below are all from the same roll of film – I only get 10 frames with this camera. More images to come.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67, 110/2.8 lens, loaded with Kodak Tri-X 400 film (expired 2004), processed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

BMX jam portraits

BMX jam

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.


Test shoot: Hai Lin #2

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

After the photo session with Hai Lin and my Aero Ektar setup (here) went so well I arranged to do another session a couple of days later because the late afternoon light was really nice and I wanted to test out a different camera, this time a medium format one that was more portable and faster to use than my 5×4 Speed Graphic. I shot a roll of colour film as well as b&w but I haven’t processed it yet.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 with 110mm and 250mm lenses on Kodak Tri-X film. Processed in Kodak HC110, dilution B (1:31) for 7:30 at 20c. Processed and scanned by me.

Looking towards the sun with the shadow from the Bridge of Sighs

Looking towards the Clarendon Building

I like the shadow on the ground and how much detail there is in this shot despite Hai Lin being backlit

The sun was starting to get quite low at this point

I really like the vintage look and feel of this image. It feels like a movie still or promo shot to me.


Sport: Oxford v Cambridge Varsity 2012

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

These are the remaining images that I made during my first visit to the Oxford v Cambridge Varsity 2012 at the Iffley Road sports centre. Still to come are some images I made the following weekend of Rugby so stay tuned.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 loaded with Kodak Tri-X film, processed in Kodak HC110 dilution b (1:31).

Netball team member

Netball team member

Badminton team member

Badminton spectator

Powerlifter (available light only)

Powerlifter (ambient light only)

Powerlifter (ambient light only). The far corner is where I made the portrait shots.

Athletics track spectators

Portraits: Powerlifters part 2

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Here are the portraits of the Cambridge powerlifting team that I made at the Oxford v Cambridge Varsity 2012 competition. At least I think they’re all from Cambridge, I didn’t ask. The last portrait is a friend of the Oxford team who had come to help out and give some support.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 and 110mm lens with Fomapan 200 film, processed in Rodinal 1:50. The last portrait is on Fuji Acros 100 film.


Alex Katsis


Chris White (the dark line down the middle seems to be a fault in the film emulsion.)

Wil Solano

Alp Notghi

Max Frenzel

Oliver Gam

Portrait 8 (Oxford)

Portraits: Taekwon-do Varsity 2012

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Shortly before I photographed the Oxford Powerlifting team I caught the start of the Taekwon-do in the Oxford v Cambridge 2012 Varsity competition. I didn’t have much time so I only managed to photograph three members of the Oxford team, the other two portraits below are of spectators. I made these portraits off to the side of where the fighting was taking place and unfortunately I couldn’t find a clear section of wall to use as a background.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 and 110mm lens with Fuji Acros 100 film, processed in Kodak HC110 (dilution b) 1:31.

Fighter #1

Fighter #2

Fighter #3

Joram helping me test my lighting

A cool looking spectator that I thought would make a good portrait.

Portraits: Powerlifters part 1

Monday, March 5th, 2012

When I went to see the powerlifting during the Oxford V Cambridge Varsity competition my main intention was to make portraits of some of the guys. There was something about the light and ambience of the building where the competition was being held that made me think of old vintage photographs of wrestlers and strongmen. The walls looked like black boards that I remember from school and there was a nice pattern made by chalk dust all over. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to use it as a background for my portraits. Fortunately I was able to set up my camera in a corner that was out of the way of the guys as they warmed up before the competition.

I made portraits of both sides, Oxford and Cambridge but I feel it’s only right to post some of the Oxford portraits first, not least because the first three guys below all won. I’m really pleased with how all of my powerlifting images turned out and I’m hoping to carry on with some documentary style photography during future training sessions if I can get permission.

[Tech info:] First two portraits were on Fuji Acros 100 film, processed in Kodak HC110 B (1:31), last two portraits were on Fomapan 200 processed in Rodinal 1:50. My camera was a Mamiya RZ67 with 110mm lens.

powerlifter portrait

Jamie van Reijendam

powerlifter portrait

Richard Stebbing

powerlifter portrait

Geoffrey Lynn

powerlifter portrait

Alex Robinson

Sport: Judo, Oxford

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Last weekend I visited the University  sports centre on Iffley Road during the Oxford v Cambridge Varsity sports competition. My intention wasn’t to make action shots of sport it was to find people to make portraits of. Not being a particularly sporty person myself, I found it very interesting to be among so many people that were. As I write this the Varsity competition is not over yet, it’s spread across different weekends with some other events to follow in the summer. I did quite a lot of photography during my visit and I’ll post the images in batches as I make my way through the scanning.

My thanks go to Simon Griffin from the sports centre for being so accommodating and  supportive of my photography and also to everyone that made time to stand in front of my camera.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 and 110mm lens loaded with Kodak Tri-X film, processed in Kodak HC110 (dilution b, 1:31) for 7mins 30secs.

These guys were not part of the Varisty competition but as I walked past the room they were practicing in and saw the diffused light I knew I'd be able to make some great images. Fortunately these guys were very friendly and didn't mind me interrupting their practice session.

two judo fighters

These two guys are also photographers which made it easier for me to get my shots. At first they were a little surprised when I barged in on their practice session and announced that I wanted to photograph them but after they saw the size of the camera around my neck they knew I was serious.

These was the last shot on my roll and shot outside quite a while after the first couple above. Imagine having a face off with this guy.

Lunch hour session: Oxford

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Here are two portraits I made on the end of the roll of the Cabaret portraits in the previous post. Both on the  same day during my lunch break.

[Tech info:] Mamiya RZ67 with 110mm/f2.8 lens, on Kodak Tri-X 400 film rated @ ISO1600, processed in Kodak HC110 (1:31) for 17mins.

a big issue seller

Kevin, a Big Issue seller I pass almost every day on my way back to work. I'll be giving him a print of this.

Catte Street looking towards The Bridge of Sighs