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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 Wheels Project: The end of an era

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

On the last day of the current Meadow Lane ramps I went along to make some portraits of whoever was down there skating and riding for the last time before the ramps get demolished to make way for a brand new concrete skatepark. Along with lots of people I didn’t know there was a familiar and friendly face, BMX rider Alex Leech. Alex and I went to school together between the ages of 5 and 13. I hadn’t seen Alex is quite some years and it was so nice to bump into him and see that he was still riding a BMX, something he’s been doing since the 70’s. I’ve got some more portraits from the day but I haven’t finished the roll of film yet. I hope to document the building of the new skatepark as much as possible.

You can see my previous photography from the Meadow Lane ramps here.

[Tech info: Pentax 67 and 105mm lens, loaded with Fuji Acros 100, processed in Rodinal 1:50 for 13:30.

Alex Leech

Alex and family


I had a great chat with this guy about photography.

I can't remember if this guy was skating

Waiting in line


Oxford: The Caucus Race – Alice in Wonderland in Oxford part 1

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

At the beginning of July there was a day of celebrations here in Oxford to mark the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s first telling of Alice in the place her story was originally conceived. There were lots of performers and events on Merton field in Christchurch meadow and it was lots of fun. I wanted to do as much photography as possible to record the event so I started off by making portraits of some of the crew that helped setup and build the sets.

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

This gentleman reminded me a little of David Bellamy. I really like his braces.

A very cheerful chap who couldn't stop smiling.

These guys were all sitting in a circle. As I moved round the light on them became harsher from the overhead sun.

This portrait turned out quite nice considering the unflattering sunlight.

I could hardly see this guy's eyes to focus on the shadows were so harsh. It turned out okay though.

This is such a timeless image apart from the camcorder in the Mad Hatter's hand.

Oxford: Lunch hour session

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

These images are from the second half of a roll I shot during my lunch hour photo walks a few weeks ago. The first half of the roll is here. I’ve got a bit of a backlog of images to scan and post but I’ll have more time in the coming weeks to catch up so if you haven’t seen your portrait yet don’t worry, it’s more than likely coming soon.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f and 105mm lens loaded with Fuji Acros 100 film, Processed in Rodinal 1:25.

Lock and load. There's not much some WD40 can't fix.

Coffee break on the Walton Street construction project.

This guy was a bit camera shy. I like his flat cap and rolled up jeans.

David, a fellow film photographer carrying a camera that I don't own. A real beast of a medium format.

Olympic photographer from Uruguay. He didn't speak any english but somehow I managed to communicate with him. I'm sure he was intrigued by my camera.

Scaffolding on the Walton Street construction project at the corner of Little Clarendon Street.


Oxford: Lunch hour session

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

After months of rain we finally had a short lived spell of dry weather. These images are from the first half of a roll of film I shot recently during my lunch break. We are now back to wet/overcast weather. Is it summer yet?
I used this roll to experiment with a different developer that I usually use with this brand of film and so far I like the results. My developer of choice for Fuji Acros 100 film is Kodak HC110 but with this roll I used Rodinal at a dilution of 1+25.

[Tech info:] Mamiya C330f with 105mm lens loaded with Fuji Acros 100 film, processed in Rodinal 1+25.

This gentleman wasn't keen to be photographed but after we chatted a little about photography he seemed okay with it. I hope he agrees that it was worth stopping for.

This man called me over after he saw me photographing the building project on the corner of Walton street. We had a good chat. He's a local musician.

This girl was waiting for a friend outside Brasenose college. The friend turned up right before I made this shot. She's standing to camera right just out of frame.

High street. I like the arrows in this frame.

A Police speed trap on St Giles. I saw a few cars being pulled over for speeding. Easy money.

The building project on the corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street is beginning to take shape.



Oxford: Lunch

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

A new burger restaurant has just opened here in Oxford on George Street, it’s Byron Hamburgers but don’t be fooled by the name because the veggie burger on their menu is mighty tasty. I went for lunch there with two of my work colleagues and I have to say it was a very enjoyable experience, tasty food in a nice atmosphere. I really like both the exterior and interior of the building and the light inside is particularly nice with sunlight streaming in through frosted skylight panels in the ceiling at the back of the restaurant. Of course I happened to have a film camera with me (much to Rachel’s horror), so I couldn’t help making a few images while we waited for our food to arrive. Our waitress did a great job and we were all surprised to find out at the end that we were the first people she’d ever served! I’ll be going back there for sure and hopefully I’ll make some more nice images there when I do.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66 and 80mm lens, loaded with Fuji Acros 100 film. Processed in Kodak HC110 dilution b (1+31).

Stacked shelves.

Rachel's drink.

Water jugs. (Notice the distinctive shaped highlights from the Zeiss 80mm lens).

Some of the friendly staff. Our waitress is on the left.

Nice light on a chair next to our table.

Rachel and Michael.



Oxford: Lunch hour session

Monday, June 25th, 2012

These images are from the first test shoot I had with Helen during my lunch break. At this time of year the light between 12 noon and 2pm is not particularly flattering so it can be a bit of a challenge to find nice natural light to use during my lunch break which falls between those times. My mantra is there’s always good light to be found, you just have to find it so it’s something I’m constantly looking for on my photo walks around town. A slight difficulty for photography at this time of year in Oxford is the volume of tourists around so it can sometimes take a while to wait for them to clear from the background of a shot and because I only usually have around 30 mins for photography during my lunch break after I’ve travelled to and from the centre of town from my office my test shoots are usually fairly rushed. There isn’t much time for my subject to ease into the shoot but fortunately Helen was ready from the first frame and a complete natural in front of my camera. It was difficult to reduce the amount of shots to post here.

I’m very pleased with the tones in a lot of these images and I put that down to the possibility of using a slightly different agitation method when I processed the film. There seems to be slightly more contrast. I also scanned these images slightly different from my normal method so that’s probably a factor too.

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



Against the wall.

Around the corner.



Bottom step.

I really like this kind of light where you're in the shade but there is bright sunlight being bounced up from bright stone.

Last frame.

Motorbike: MZ Trophy

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

While cycling home from my dress rehearsal shoot at Lady Margaret Hall (see previous post) I passed this nice looking motorbike (MZ Trophy) as it was waiting in the line of traffic at the South Parks Road traffic lights. I asked the rider (Simon) if I could do some quick photography of him on his motorbike with the cool film camera I had in my bag and he agreed so we carried on down to the Bridge of Sighs next to Hertford College. The motorbike is from 1971 so it’s a similar age to the camera I used. The camera I had with me was a Rolleiflex SL66 that had arrived in the morning so these are some of the first shots through it. Naturally I was a little nervous about whether or not they would come out because with old cameras you just never know. Fortunately they turned out great and  I had both colour and black & white film backs loaded with me so I was able to do a bit of both. On the b&w roll I had a few blank frames at the start of the roll and I’m missing a few shots from the end so I’ll have to look at why that happened, possibly user error. Thank you Simon for stopping and for being so patient while I juggled with the film backs.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66 and 80mm/2.8 Zeiss lens, loaded with Kodak 160NC (rated at ISO100) and Fuji Acros 100. Processed with a Rollei digibase C41 kit and Kodak HC110 dilution H (8.5 mins).

In front of the Bridge of Sighs.

I'm not sure where the light leak came from but I quite like it.

On the corner. (Movie trivia: the building in the background was used as the front of The Eagle pub in X-Men First Class).

Cool goggles (I'm in there).


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: 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

Lunch hour session: Oxford

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

It feels like ages since I did any street portraits so getting back into it this week has given me a real buzz. The weather in January was really bad so I didn’t get many opportunities to do much street photography. The shots here are all from the same roll of film shot during the past two days which makes them the fastest turned around images (from my camera to this blog) so far. The film I used is one of my favourites (Fuji Acros 100) but for this roll I decided to test out a developer that I haven’t used with this film before (Kodak HC110). I was a bit nervous because I had shots that I was very excited about and didn’t want to lose but nothing ventured nothing gained as they say. I’m pleased to say that it all worked out well and I’m very happy with this film/developer combo.

[Tech info:] Mamiya M645 and 80mm/f1.9 lens loaded with Fuji Acros 100 film. Processed in Kodak HC110 dilution B for 5mins at 20c.

I love the outfits this couple are wearing (I think they're a couple) and I hope I get to photograph them again.

I photographed this smartly dressed gentleman last summer on Cornmarket Street and when I saw him walking towards me on Turl Street I had to photograph him again.
security guard

One of the security guards where I work.

There's something very classic about the way this gentleman is dressed with his wax cotton coat and scarf. As he came walking towards me I had the feeling that he wouldn't want to be photographed but I was happy to be wrong.

On the steps of the Clarendon Building. The first time I passed this guy he was eating some lunch so I decided not to interrupt him. By the time I'd done a circuit of my usual haunts he had finished. Funnily enough someone else had asked to photograph him the other day.

builders taking a break

These builders are working on the Walton Street site at the corner of Little Clarendon Street. When i approached them they didn't want to be photographed but after I explained my street photography project they were happy to. I think there's something about using a film camera that shows people you're serious about photography in a way that digital cameras don't.

photographer holding a leica camera

I think this camera is a Leica. All of the logo's have been covered in black tape. It reminds me of what I did with my first Nikon SLR to prevent it from attracting attention.