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Oxford: graduation day 2023

Tuesday, October 10th, 2023

Graduation day, end of September. I was channeling some Diane Arbus with my C330f and fill-flash on a sunny day – a combo I haven’t tried before. The flash was a small Rollei model without any power setting. I think it worked quite well overall. The low perspective is from using a waist level finder – not an obvious choice with a wide-angle lens when photographing people but it helped to include some architecture in the background.

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Oxford: flooding in Hinksey

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

There was some flooding in Hinksey back in January and here are a few pictures from that time which I made during my lunch break. I had spotted the gravel mounds the previous week and was waiting for appropriate light and a dramatic sky to photograph them in.

[Tech info:] Pentax 645NII, 45-85mm lens, Ilford HP5 developed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

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Oxford: Misty morning

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

Some misty morning shots from April this year. I have photographed this location with various different cameras but this was the first time with a wider format. I feel 6×12 worked perfectly for these shots.

[Tech info]: Wista 5×4, 90mm Schneider lens, Ilford FP4+ developed in Adox XT-3 stock.


Gear: Rolleiflex SL66 & 125mm f2.5 Leitz lens

Monday, September 18th, 2023

Recently I came across an interesting lens I was curious to try out – a Leitz 125mm f2.5 modified for use on a Rolleiflex SL66. The lens was originally designed for use on a 35mm format system but amazingly it covers 6×6 without any issues. The previous owner carried out the modification and it’s very nicely done. Here are the first test shots from a photowalk with a photographer mate of mine.

[Tech info]: Rolleiflex SL66, 125mm f2.5 Leitz lens, shots 1-3 Ilford FP4, the rest are Ilford HP5, developed in Adox XT-3 stock.

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Devon: Dawlish

Thursday, December 1st, 2022

Some pictures from a brief visit to Dawlish back in April.

[Tech info:] Nikon FE2, 28-75/2.8 Tamron zoom, Delta 100 film developed in Ilford DDX 1+4, Pakon scans.

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Oxford: Graflex Super D street portraits – part 1

Monday, August 22nd, 2022

After the focus issues I was having with my Gowlandflex I decided to take my Graflex Super D into town after work to use it for some more large format portraits. The benefit is I’m able to cycle with the Super D in a rucksack, my Gowlandflex is too large to fit into any rucksack I currently own. The lens I used was designed for aerial photography during WWII and is uncoated which gives a low contrast almost dreamy look which I like.
[Tech info:] Graflex Super D, 8 inch Pentac lens, Ilford HP5 (expired), developed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 6 mins.

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Oxford: Gowlandflex street portraits – part 1

Sunday, August 21st, 2022

Here are some street portraits from the first trips out with my Gowlandflex large format TLR camera on a Saturday and Sunday morning in Oxford. The camera is a beast and attracted a fair bit of attention. I enjoyed chatting with people and making their portraits – something I haven’t done for a couple of years.

The mirror calibration was completely wrong when I received this camera so I replaced the springs to lower the mirror by 2.5mm. This is the first time I’ve used it properly and it looks like I need to re-check the calibration because most of these shots are front focussed but overall I’m pleased with the results. A couple of the shots have some strange light leaks which might be from the film holder not being seated properly. Further investigation needed.

[Tech info:] Gowlandflex TLR, 180/4.5 Voigtlander Heliar lens, Ilford HP5 & Funi Across 100 film (expired), developed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 6 mins.

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Dorset: Symmondsbury

Saturday, November 6th, 2021

Some pictures here from a recent trip to Dorset. There are nice views of Colmers Hill from Symmondsbury and it’s also easily accessible from there if you want to walk to the top. The first and second pictures below were a comparison of how different focal length lenses affect the relative size of distant objects. The first shot was with a 28mm lens and notice how small and far away Colmers Hill looks compared to the second image which was made with a longer focal length (either 50mm or 135mm, I can’t remember which). I tried to keep the size of the gate in the frame the same for each.

[Tech info:] Pentax MX, Ilford HP5, developed in Promicrol 1+14, Pakon scans.

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Exmouth: a day at the beach

Friday, November 5th, 2021

Some pictures from a recent trip to Dorset. On one of the days we went to Exmouth and spent the day on the beach. A nice place to visit. Easy parking and not too extortionate. We lucked out with the weather especially it was getting towards the end of September. On this trip I decided to travel light and only took a small 35mm film kit (Pentax MX, 28mm, 40/2.8, 50/2 and 135mm lenses). I didn’t take all the lenses out at the same time, usually only 2 but sometimes 3 (28, 50, 135). I like the jump in focal length from 50mm to 135mm because the perspective is very different which makes carrying them both well worthwhile.

[Tech info:] Pentax MX, Ilford Pan F, orange filter, developed in Promicrol 1+14.

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Oxford: quiet morning in Jericho

Thursday, November 4th, 2021

Here are some pictures from a recent walk around Jericho with a mate of mine. I wanted to test out a camera and it’s been quite a while since I walked around Jericho so it was nice to combine the two. This roll of FP4 film is part of the blotchy batch I have and rather than throw it away, I use it for testing.

[Tech info:] Mamiya 645 ProTL, 80/2.8N, Ilford FP4, developed in HC110 1+31.

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Oxford: flooded meadow

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

During December 2020 the UK saw a lot of rainfall and some parts of the country were flooded. I don’t remember Oxford receiving enough rain to cause flooding but as the massive volume of water from other parts comes rushing through Oxford the rivers swell which in turn causes some areas to flood, especially a local meadow. I made the most of the flooding and did some photography with a large format camera I’ve been wanting to try out for a while. It’s custom made with a 75mm Schneider lens which is fitted to a helicoid for focussing and the back rotates – something I found out by accident which was a nice bonus. There is no branding on it but it’s extremely well designed and made.

I wanted to fill the frame with sky and the reflection in the water so I had to stand in the water because a 75mm on 5×4 film gives an extremely wide angle of view. The Benbo Mk 2 tripod is perfect for this because the legs extend upwards from inside the bottom part of the legs and is designed to stand in water. What a didn’t realise was how easily one of the feet would end up coming off in the mud because it had a split in it, something I only noticed once I got back home. Fortunately Paterson in the UK still sell spares and supply them in a pack of 3. I’ve included some behind the scenes pictures below.

[Tech info:] Custom red dot 5×4 camera, 75mm Schneider lens, FP4 film (expired), developed in Kodak HC110 1+31 (-1 minute to prevent the highlights blowing out).

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Oxford: Foggy New Year’s Eve

Monday, January 4th, 2021

During the evening of New Year’s Eve 2020 a thick fog descended on Oxford and it was the most atmospheric I’ve seen especially with the empty streets and shops and restaurants closed. Here are some pictures from that evening which I made on b&w film. I shot two rolls of colour but they haven’t been developed yet. I should’ve packed more film.

The roll expired in 2019 so I didn’t expect there to be any problems. Unfortunately there is a mottling on these images which has been caused by the film being in contact with the backing paper, something which I haven’t experienced with Ilford film before. Apparently this is a common problem.

[Tech info:] Pentax 645NII, 45-85mm, Ilford HP5 (expired), developed in Ilford Ilfosol 3 1+9 for 6min 30sec in a Jobo.

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