Archive for December, 2010

A Walk in the Snow with Nikon D300 and 18mm Lens

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by yammerman

Finally today, Penarth got some snow, and I felt a strange compulsion to go out in the still falling snow and take some photographs. Fear not readers, I wrapped up warm and, using my Nikon D300 which I believe is sealed from the elements and the solidly constructed Nikon 18mm f2.8, braved the elements.

The spirit of that heroic failure Scott coursed through my veins, a man whose house I was placed in by the Public Secondary sorting hat. We truly embodied his spirit by coming last on a perennial basis to those other West Country hero named houses of Drake, Raleigh and Reynolds.

Ah, school days such happy times will I ever forget Mr Beamish’s final report that I “would never set the Thames on fire”. Little could he realise that years later with some lighter fuel and a match I would prove him so wrong.  Sorry, I digress.

 I tramped up to St Augustine’s seeking that Christmas card moment amongst the grave stones. I hardly saw a soul as I ambled about, but I exchanged a word with most of those I came across. In fact, I spoke to more people on the streets of Penarth than I have done all year.

I even came across a fancy Mercedes stuck in the snow and, in the Christmas spirit, I offered the driver my considerable pushing skills. Wow those luxury cars are heavy as, despite my best efforts, it remained immovable.

I continued down to the pier which was sadly shut; a poor show on the part of the Vale of Glamorgan council I thought. With the attraction of photographing ‘things with snow on’ fading fast, I decided enough was enough. The snow still swirled about as I made way home with the thought  of a bacon sandwich and a strong coffee high on my agenda.

 And here are the snaps. 

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Large Format Macro with Wista VX and Nikon 120mm.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2010 by yammerman

Back in the garden again for some 5×4’s I’ve had waiting to develop for an age. Shot some time in the summer with a Wista VX and Nikon 120mm Macro. I had thought I might have a problem with these as I’d left them so long but I guess my dark slides really are light tight.

 I’m not sure if I’ve processed large format HP5+ in Rodinal before and if I have I don’t remember. I went for a 1:50 dilution of the Rodinal  at 24degrees C for 7 minutes. I use three trays in complete darkness with a pair of skin-tight rubber gloves and a speaking clock, the Cobolt Talking Timer , for the times. Operating the clock is the hardest part, but once you’ve set it in motion it’s fine. It is always a relief to hear the first count off to know I pushed the right button.

 Ten minutes in the dark is plenty enough time for me, so I switch light on about half way through the fix time and it was a joy to see 6 evenly developed negatives . This isn’t always the case as finding ways to screw this up is one of my specialities. Washed for an hour then dipped in a diluted solution of Ilfotol.

 Hung them up to dry and waited to see how many scratches and bits of dust would spoil the whole thing. The scans revealed the usual problem with dust but nothing too horrendous; all in all I’m pretty pleased.

 I’m set up now to print these large and I think I’ve a couple here that might be worth doing. In the meantime, to undo all the hard work, here’s the the digital versions which really don’t do them justice.

Song for a Zen Child

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by yammerman

So I’d berated James this week for the millionth time, about his seeming lack of engagement with the world, in this case his attitude to the education system. It then occurred to me that his quiet stubbornness and happy go lucky attitude might, in the end, be the correct way to go in this crazy world.

I remember a saying from my post acid phase when mysticism had been high (snigger) on the agenda “eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired” and he seems to perfectly embody this position.

I imagine the Gods are having a hoot at the great joke they have played upon me as, of course, I recognise so much of my own attitude in our delightful son.  But something he does with a determination that he must have inherited from his mother.

Usually I let these shafts of intellectual insight disappear into the ether, much to the relief of a grateful world. On this occasion, though, the idea of a Zen child seemed too good not to shoe horn into a song and so, with caffeine on the inside and rain on the outside, I strummed and shouted till this new masterpiece was born.  If you’re thinking he’s getting an easier ride after my new found revelation, you are mistaken – hey, I’m a parent, it’s my job.

I have redefined the slap-it-down technique of producing a rough art, so in two days the whole thing was done. Here it is for your enjoyment, plus some pictures of the Zen child.

Zen Child(Willson) – Yammerman.


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Snaps on a Sunday with a Panasonic GF-1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 5, 2010 by yammerman

Winter is upon us and I have become something of a recluse looking out of the window as the north wind howls around the house. I scuttle to the shops and back then retreat to the attic and hit power chords to warm the soul. With the help of caffeine I make 2 in the morning and take in the first session of the Ashes Tests.

So it was quite exciting to get out of the house today to view what claimed to be a Christmas Market at Cardiff Bay. I embarked imagining the happy street photographys that might be on offer but alas it was something of a damp squib, so I fell back on my normal fare.

 I hardly clicked the shutter of my Panasonic GF-1 with the 20mm  attached but here’s the favourites.

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