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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.

Large format lunchtime session – Alice

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Some of the results from my large format lunchtime session with Alice using a 1940’s press camera. For this session I wanted to test out some Fomapan 100 film that I’ve had laying around for over a year and recently discovered. So far so good. I like these results. I’m hoping to do more large format photography in my lunch break because I really enjoy composing my shots on a large ground glass screen – often times upside down – and also having a limited amount of shots as well as the slower pace compared to other kinds of photography.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4, Pentac 8inch f2.9 (bottom left), Kodak Ektar 190/5.6 lens, Fomapan 100 (expired), processed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

Film hanging up to dry

Oxford: Lunch time session – Alice

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

These two shots were made during my lunch break today on Fuji FP-100C instant pack film (just like Polaroid) and are as they came out of the camera. The shot on the right was accidentally over-exposed but I decided to post it here as a comparison because I quite like it. To me it looks like expired Polaroid. Usually I under-expose Fuji pack film because I like to bleach the neg which gives 2 extra stops of detail in the shadows but as there wasn’t much detail in the shadows on this shot I decided not to under-expose. I also used some b&w film on this shoot and those shots will follow at a later time after I’ve developed them.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4 camera, Pentac f2.9 lens (from WWII), Fuji FP-100C (expired) instant pack film

Oxford: Giffords Circus – Fujiroids

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

These are Fujiroid portraits (similar to Polaroid) that I made of some of the performers at Giffords Circus when they came to University Parks here in Oxford. The diptych ones were made on the last day during the last performance backstage as the circus was getting packed up and moved out. I really wished I had had more time to make some more. Hopefully next time. Some of these scans are from the prints, others from the bleached negatives. There is a lot more shadow detail in the negatives and they have a completely different look and feel to the prints.

[Tech info]: Graflex Super D 5×4, 190mm lens, Fuji FP-100C instant pack film. The diptych’s were made with a Mamiya RB67 and 90mm lens.

Giffords Circus performerGiffords Circus performer

Giffords Circus performer

Giffords Circus performersGiffords Circus performer

Giffords Circus jugglers

Giffords Circus musicianGiffords Circus performer

Oxford: Skatepark portraits (5×4 film)

Monday, June 24th, 2013

These two portraits were made yesterday at the same skatepark session as the two in the previous post except these were made on 5×4 black & film. The maximum amount of 5×4 sheet film I can develop at the same time is 6 sheets so that’s usually how many I load into film holders at the same time. I had already used 4 sheets from this batch at a shoot I had with Imogen so I only had 2 sheets with me when I decided to go to the skatepark. It’s a shame because the light was nice (when the sun wasn’t behind a cloud) and there was a good crowd there.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4, Pentac f2.9 @ f4, Ilford Delta 100 processed in Ilford DDX 1+4.

Oxford: Skatepark portraits

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

These two portraits were made at my local skatepark today. It was a really fun session and my portrait volunteers did really well to stay still whilst being heckled from their friends. I wanted to test out my Super D camera after I had some focus issues the last time I used it and the good news is I’ve managed to achieve critical focus again with my workaround but the bad news is that I need to use the camera on a tripod to do it. When you’re working with really shallow depth of field it’s always a good idea to mount your camera on a tripod so it’s not the end of the world. I only had two sheets of film with me and these last two shots of Fuji instant pack film. The film shots will follow (I left them drying in the darkroom overnight).

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D with Pentac f2.9 lens @ f4. Fuji FP-100C instant pack film.

Photo shoot: Imogen

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Here are some images from a photo shoot I had with Imogen recently. I took along two cameras that were completely opposite in size, a 5×4 large format SLR (Super D) and a 35mm rangefinder (Yashica Electro). I’m not a fan of rangefinder cameras (despite owning a few) and whenever I use them it’s not a very enjoyable experience mainly because I much prefer to see the viewfinder image go in and out of focus but I do like the results I got from my Yashica in this session.

I was keen to try out my Super D with an old lens I had adapted to fit but after the first test Fujiroid I noticed the focus was a little bit off – when the image in the viewfinder was in focus the image in the final print was focused slightly in front of the point that I had focused on. As a result of this I had to do a bit of guess work with the rest of the shots so they’re not as sharply focussed as I wanted. Later when I got home I figured out the problem is that the mirror doesn’t rest as low as it should so now I have to manually twist and hold a lever to push the mirror down while I am focussing. It’s a bit of a faff so I need to find an alternate method.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4, Pentac f2.9 lens @ f4, Ilford FP4 film processed in Kodak HC110 1+31. Yashica Electro 35 loaded with Kodak TMAX 400, processed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

Oxford: BMX riders at the new ramps

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

We finally had some nice weather last weekend so I made the most of it and did some large format film photography at the new Meadow Lane ramps. On Saturday I took a Super D 5×4 SLR camera (first two shots) and on Sunday I took a Wista 10×8 field camera. I’m not sure how much BMX action photography has ever been done with a 10×8 camera, I suspect not much at all. It was my first time photographing at the new ramps and I really like the new layout. I hope to spend more time there documenting the riders and skaters through the summer if the nice weather continues.

[Tech info:] 5×4 shots made with a 190mm lens on Ilford HP5, processed in Kodak HC110 (1+31) for 7:30. 10×8 shots made with a 300mm/5.6 lens on green sensitive x-ray film, rated at ISO50. Processed in Rodinal 1+50 for 6mins.

A rider from Carterton

Oxford rider

Hitting the mark

Oxford: Lunch hour session

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

One of my favourite cameras is my Graflex Super D which is a large format (5×4) SLR. The problem is I haven’t been able to use it very much this winter because the viewing screen inside it is quite dark so I need bright conditions to help me with focussing. The weather this winter has been overcast and cloudy most of the time which has been frustrating for me. This set of portraits were made on a rare sunny day last week during my lunch hour. There always seems to be more people around when the sun comes out.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D, Carl Zeiss 18cm/f4.5 lens, Ilford HP5 film processed in Kodak HC110 for 5mins at 20C.

Christy & Helen, slightly out of focus. It's very difficult to focus when your subjects are backlit by the sun. I must remember not to do this.

 

Photo shoot: Chloe

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Here are some images from my first lunch hour photo shoot with Chloe on film. I first shot with Chloe on the Oriental-inspired fashion shoot for The Oxford Tab here. We lucked out with some nice weather and although the sun was in and out I did my best to make the most of it. I juggled two different cameras (medium and large format) and I really wish we had more time to shoot because there were so many more shots I wanted to try at this location but they’ll have to wait for another time. Chloe was great to work with and there will be more collaborations to come. The colour image below was made on Fuji FP100C instant pack film (similar to Polaroid).

[Tech info]: Mamiya M645 1000s with 80mm/f1.9 lens loaded with Acros 100 film, processed in Rodinal 1:50. Graflex 5×4 Super D (top & bottom right), 190mm/f5.6 lens loaded with Ilford HP5 processed in HC110 (1:31).

Oxford: Lunch hour session

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Following on from yesterday’s post containing images made with my Graflex Super D large format SLR, here are some more images made with that camera during my lunch hour. The last two images were made on my way home on the same day as the others with the same camera. Technically they’re not lunch hour shots but they belong with this set.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4 SLR camera, Ilford Delta 100 film (pushed 1 stop), processed in Ilford DD-X.

Richard the tailor on Little Clarendon Street

Street soldier human statue, Cornmarket Street

These two guys were painting and decorating inside a building being renovated on St Giles.

The bride and groom

Horse drawn carriage outside the church at a gypsy wedding

Oxford: On the street

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

It’s not often I get the chance to get into town at the weekends so when I had a little time recently I decided to take my Super D large format SLR camera out for a little air. As is often the case the street performers on Cornmarket Street were doing their thing and pulling in big crowds. The lens on the Super D is not particularly wide so I wasn’t about to capture much of the crowds but the performers themselves were great to photograph.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4 SLR camera, Kodak Tri-X 320 film processed in Kodak HC110 (dilution b).

Fire juggling street performer

Fire juggler. It's hard to tell but this guy is holding a fireball behind his back in his left hand. After this he dropped it down his trousers!

Squeezing through a tennis racket

On my way to Port Meadow I passed these people that were guests at a wedding. The gentleman reminded me of Johnny Depp

Meg and her daughter. Meg is a photographer who spotted me with my Super D camera in the Divinity Schools quadrangle.

The grand finale of a street performance.