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Oxford Union: Glenn Close Q&A

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Glenn Close visited the Oxford Union for a Q&A event and here are some of the pictures I made to document what was a fascinating, funny and quite moving talk. The video from the event isn’t on the Oxford Union YouTube page yet but hopefully soon. I highly recommend it. My go to film for Oxford Union events is usually Ilford HP5 but on this occasion I decided to give Delta 400 a try and I do like the results. It feels like there is slightly less grain and a tad more shadow detail than HP5 but I need to do a more controlled comparison to really tell. In any case I’m very pleased with these results.

[Tech info:] Leica M6, 40/1.4 Voigtlander Nokton, Ilford Delta 400 @ ISO 1600, developed in Ilford DDX 1+4. Pakon scans.

Test: Rolleiflex SL66 with Polaroid Land Camera lens

Friday, April 20th, 2018

For the past few years I’ve have had a lens sitting around that I wanted to make use of but never quite got around to it, until now. The lens originally came off of the Polaroid 110B Land Camera that I had modified to a 5×4 large format camera and I didn’t see much point in mounting it to a lens board to use on a different 5×4 camera so it’s been sitting around doing nothing. I wanted to adapt it to work on my Rolleiflex SL66 but the only place I knew of that made an adapter was asking around $80 which is more than I wanted to pay but fortunately a friend mentioned RAF Camera where an adapter cost just under half the price.

After modifying the adapter slightly (two small holes need to be drilled so that small screws on the back of the lens can stop it from twisting) it was ready for testing. Below are some test shots from the first roll. A few things to mention are firstly the focal length is a surprise if you’re mostly used to using the 80mm standard lens as I am and I frequently found myself taking a few steps back from where I thought I would need to stand to a given composition. Secondly, the depth of focus is extremely shallow even at f8 and because the image through the viewfinder gets darker as you stop down it’s difficult to get precise focus without a bright focussing screen in your camera – something that affected my hit rate of sharp shots on this roll. I’ll use a tripod for the next roll I use with this setup to see the difference. All shots made during my lunch break.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66, Enna Werk München 127mm f4.7 lens, Ilford Delta 100 (expired), developed in Tetenal Ultrafin T-Plus.

 

Oxford: Endeavour 5, episode 6 – part 1

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Behind the scenes during the filming of Endeavour series 5 episode 6 on the first of two very busy days in Oxford for the cast and crew. I documented as much as I could and have a lot of behind the scenes pictures to share but in order to avoid spoilers I will post most of them after the episode has been broadcast. Oxford city centre was particularly busy on this day – especially for a Sunday – and it was most likely due to it being the first weekend after the new Westgate shopping centre had opened. Turl Street ended up getting crowded quite quickly as more and more people stopped to watch the filming.

[Tech info:] Konica Hexar AF, Ilford HP5 film developed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 5 mins. Pakon scans.

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: BMX Jam 2015

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

The last time the OWP skate park held a BMX Jam event was 2015 and here are some pictures from that event that I just found in my archive. I don’t manage to get over to the skate park as often as I’d like for photography but whenever they hold an event – whether that’s BMX or skateboarding – I always do my best to make it. Some of these guys can be a tricky bunch to photograph because they tend to be camera shy but I do my best to stay out of the way to record some candid moments and hopefully they’ll now see the value of documentary photography at an event such as this, two years later. More to come.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voigtlander 50/1.5 Nokton Classic, Ilford Pan F (expired), developed in Rodinal 1+50. Pakon scans.

 

Oxford: Woody Harrelson movie screening Q&A

Monday, May 29th, 2017

The Oxford Guild Business Society arranged for Woody Harrelson to screen his new movie Lost in London with a Q&A session afterwards and I went along to do some photography. The movie is not only starring Woody but it’s also written and directed by him as well. If that wasn’t enough it was also filmed in one continuous take and was originally broadcasted live into select cinemas in London and L.A.

The movie was excellent and had me riveted from start to finish. It was a bit like watching a tightrope walker performing without a safety net – you know that anything could go wrong at any time. The Q&A session afterwards was very interesting with some varied questions asked. Woody appeared relaxed and came across as very down to earth. I can’t recommend the movie enough and feel very fortunate to have seen it in this way.

[Tech info] Rolleiflex 2.8F, Zeiss planar, Ilford HP5 @ ISO 1600, developed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

Endeavour series 5 filming in Oxford

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

It’s no secret that filming has begun on Endeavour series 5 but if you’re looking for pictures of the main cast or spoilers I’m afraid you’ll have to move along because this blog post is dedicated to the crew – some familiar faces and some new. Oxford is where the filming for series 5 began and  I was fortunate enough to be able to document a little of it on the second day of filming. This really is one of my favourite things to photograph and it’s something I never get tired of.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voigtlander 50/1.5 Nokton, Ilford FP4 film developed in Kodak HC110 1+31, Pakon scans.

Gear: testing large format brass lenses

Friday, May 5th, 2017

I’ve recently been testing some very old brass camera lenses that I’ve had for a while and by old I mean over one hundred years old. Some have the manufacturer engraved on them, some don’t. Some of them have aperture blades inside, some don’t and none of them have built in shutters which is why I was testing them on a Sinar monorail camera (below) with a Sinar behind the lens shutter. The downside is the maximum shutter speed is 1/60th which makes it difficult on a sunny day. More testing to come with more detailed results.

[Tech info:] Sinar P 5×4 camera, Watson & Sons No. 3 portrait lens, Ilford Delta 100 film developed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

portraits

 

film drying and 5x4 camera

 

Public Enemy at Common People 2016, Oxford

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

When I heard that Public Enemy would be performing at the Common People 2016 music festival in Oxford I was really looking forward to photographing them but when Chuck D came on stage he announced that Flava Flav couldn’t make it due to problems with obtaining a visa in time which was very disappointing and quite limiting in terms of photography as I find him the more photogenic of the duo.

[Tech info:] Nikon F100, 70-200/2.8 VR, Ilford HP5 @ ISO 800, HC110 1+31, Pakon scans.

Foggy morning in Oxford

Monday, December 26th, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close I am ever conscious of the photography backlog that has piled up from this year that (if I’m perfectly honest with myself) I probably won’t manage to ever get on top of. It’s not much different to 2014 and 2015 but looking on the bright side I won’t ever run out of new material to post. This set of pictures is from March 2016 when we had a few foggy mornings which felt quite unusual at the time.

[Tech info:] Nikon F100, Ilford FP4 developed in Kodak D76. Pakon scans.

Oxford: Transformers 5 filming – part 1

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Michael Bay came to Oxford with his crew at the end of September to film some scenes for Transformers 5: The Last Knight and despite the tight security I managed to do a little behind-the-scenes photography.

[Tech info:] Yashica Electro 35, Kodak TMAX 100 @ 200, developed in Ilford DD-X 1+4, Pakon scans

 

Oxford: Endeavour 4, episode 1 – part 4

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Behind-the-scenes photography during the filming of the first episode of Endeavour series 4 (or to be more precise, Endeavour IV: film 1). These pictures were all made before the masses of tourists turned up. To say that things ended up getting very hectic would be understating it a little.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voigtlander 50/1.5 Nokton, Ilford FP4 @ ISO 400, developed in Kodak Xtol, Pakon scans.