It is the time of year for festivals and, while the lure of Glastonbury had not claimed me I was lucky enough to be invited to Harrifest in West Wales to see the Red Carpet Riders. So ignoring the risk of Cynocephali, I set off for the Welsh hills.
The singer with ‘The Riders’ is Harry Rogers who puts on a mini festival in his garden/field and invites friends to party, play music and eat curry. A stage is constructed and decorated while the like minded souls who attend create a warm convivial atmosphere. Mostly it’s of a folky nature while the Red Carpet Riders represent a more muscular heritage.
I came to see two former Airtight Garage members perform in the Riders line up and I intended to take a few snaps. I couldn’t decide between digital and film so naturally I took both. Perverse really because you end up taking the same images with both. The digital thing was easy on my Panasonic GF-1 and I’d posted them online by the following day. For the film I decided to shoot Rollei 400s at 1600 and use my Leica M3 with a Canon 50mm f1.4 because it was evening and it would be dark. Wrong on that count as it’s the middle of the summer and was still pretty light by the time I had to motor back to civilisation in Cardiff. Leaving early I missed a few photo opportunities so if I get to come next year I may have to invest in a tent.
I saw some really good performances and felt the odd twinge to get up and have a go myself. The Riders themselves thundered it out from a trombone assisted ‘Passenger’ to a scorching ‘Gloria’ with some fine punk classics in between. The assembled company roared their approval.
So all day I swopped cameras, mostly favouring digital, but I was determined to get through two rolls of film if I could. Photographing the bands was something of a problem as you couldn’t get near the stage without spoiling the whole thing, so I contented myself with shots from the back. This produced the rather dull set of images below and I have to say that on this occasion I prefer the digital stuff by far. Still the fun of this was going to be how I developed the film and the lovely smell of fixer.
I had a dim recollection I’d shot this film at 1600 before but couldn’t really remember how I’d done it. This is where the blog did well because, when Google seemed to be giving me a dead end, I checked my blog and low the instructions were on hand. Last time I’d clearly found stand development times and used those again. So in Rodinal 1+100 for 70 minutes @ 20 degrees with a minute’s agitation to start and 10 secs half way through. My rather inconsistent attitude to exposure meant I had a fine collection of thin and thick negs when they came out of the drum but at least I had something. I still remember the time I processed a tank with no actual film in it. A mistake I’m sure anyone could make …well, OK, just me I expect.
I’m not sure there’s anything I’m hugely drawn to actually print but I had a bit of fun tweaking in Lightroom.