Archive for black & white

Walking with a Rollei B35.

Posted in black & white, film, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 21, 2017 by yammerman

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I took a Rollei B35 for a walk around Penarth. It is a small pocket camera from 1985, which is about as simple as it gets. A roll of film in a tin with a 40mm lens on the front.  Distance focusing with a simple meter. I used my first roll of Kentmere 100 film developed in  Ilford HC (1+31) for 7mins. I rather enjoyed the results.

Antique preset added in Lightroom

Nostalgia on a Roll of Rollei Retro 400S.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2015 by yammerman

Pic013 There are projects online where people take great pleasure in processing old film that has been left for years sitting in a camera or on a shelf. These are moments in time, waiting to be revealed to a world they could not have imagined.  Young girls that are now old maids, soldiers on tanks their fates as yet unknown, an analogue world pregnant with possibilities.

Then there are those so seduced by the new digital age that, though they shoot film, are actually too lazy to process it preferring the instant gratification provided by the shiny new pixel machines. Not me, of course; I would never allow 10 rolls of film to back up on the shelf for years, convinced that nothing in the viewfinder was of much interest, but merely created because the sound of a shutter clicking is rather pleasant and fondling a film camera is a delight……..well, OK, maybe.

So this is the first roll that’s been through the chemicals,  a three year old roll of Rollei Retro 400S shot while the country was awash with Olympic fever in 2012. I think you’d have to agree that these images capture the true flavour of the spirit that gripped the nation during that heady summer. It’s hard to believe such a remarkable record of nostalgia could remain unprocessed for so long.

The Massive Dev chart reckoned on 22min in Rodinal 1+50 @20degrees  but I always find those numbers too long for my setup and went with 17.5 mins.  They seem to scan a bit better when under developed like this. The only problem is the dust, which drives me nuts and which I get bored trying to clone out.

I give you eight off the roll not because they are any good but because I can. In a world with some staggeringly good photographers, I feel I could claim a niche in the ‘dullness’ movement. I just need to work up my artistic statement and then, look out, Turner Prize.

I feel duty bound to leave no film unprocessed upon my demise as I can only imagine the disappointed faces of the retronauts when they unfurl the rolls from the fix. Scanned and tweaked in Lightroom.

Exposing Penarth with a Leica MP and 35mm ASPH

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2012 by yammerman

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This week, ignoring the pressing demands produced by an approaching Christmas, I ventured out for a walk to Penarth Pier.

I have been fondling my Leica MP these past months, a camera which my talents do not deserve but which my 50th birthday made possible. What better way to pass such a mile stone than to have a camera that might well be the last in the line of beautiful analogue tools produced by Leica.  The future is digital and a manual film camera in this day and age is going to go the way of the sabre-tooth tiger and the dodo. I fitted my Leica 35mm f2 ASPH which means that almost all you see through the beautiful viewfinder will appear on film.

I decided to walk to the pier in Penarth, not expecting much but the joy of hearing the shutter click. Photography is like Christmas shopping though, once you have made your first purchase the next comes much easier. I declined the road to the pier and followed the back lanes, an area I have trawled much, so was really just expecting to repeat myself.

The world though is always turning and changing so while it may be subtle, even these unloved back lanes evolve. A new garage door, a fresh lick of paint and a new graffiti tag;  all these and of course the light is never the same. It dresses the stage a little different each time and I quickly found my self in that world I see with a camera in my hand.

The camera gods played a neat trick on me as they always do, as half way down to the pier, the meter battery  ran out of juice thus removing one of Leica’s few concessions to the modern age. The rest of the shots had to be done with me guessing the exposure which after swallowing hard and grabbing hold of  ‘sunny 16’ like a drowning man I carried on.

I read that  Paul Strand said once that it takes eight to nine years to become a photographer and 2012 marks my seventh year,  so maybe I’m getting close. It is a measure of my progress that the two rolls I shot came out of Ilford HC with me unable to tell which the camera had chosen the exposure and which were mine. I confess a little jig of delight escaped me when I saw the negatives for the first time.

As for the pictures, among the dull shots of the pier (again) were also some shots of Penarth that won’t make the tourist brochure but they are in the town somewhere if you care to look.

These were  shot with FP4 with a yellow filter. Processed in Ilford HC 1+47 @ 20degrees for 9mins.

The Red Carpet Riders with an Leica M3 and Canon 50mm f1.4

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2011 by yammerman

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.