Archive for leica M3

West Sussex on a Roll of HP5+.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2016 by yammerman



I’m slowly working through the rolls of exposed film sitting in the darkroom. It’s not quite the 2500 rolls that Gary Winogrand left but given a fair wind with my health and a continued need to click a shutter, a small mountain might yet be in my grasp.

I’m currently processing one at a time just to get a feel for how the chemistry is working.  Using Ilford HC instead of Rodinal gives slightly better grain with Ilford HP5+ to my eye though that is using the Epson V700 rather than darkroom printing. I will fire up the enlarger at some point if only to see the difference.

I used a more concentrated Ilford HC this time at 1+31 instead of 1+47 which at 20degrees only takes 6:30. The HC has turned a tinge of brown in the bottle but still seems to have some potency. A lot less dust this time but I kept the windows closed (I’m a bit of a genius on the quiet) which is somewhat easier with autumn coming on. I changed back to the Ilford wetting agent and scanned the film as soon as it was dry. Still the odd blob but not the blizzard I had been getting.

This roll is shot on the south coast around Emsworth and Chidam. Nothing exciting tweaked in Lightroom with a bit of noise reduction and an Antique preset. Likely  shot with Leica M3 and 50mm Summicron.

Returning to Analogue with a Leica M3

Posted in photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by yammerman


It’s a long time since the smell of photo chemicals has been upon me but I finally got back in the game after an autumn sort out. I’ve started on a dozen rolls of Ilford HP5+ I’d shot but not processed, just to get my hand back in. These were shot with a Leica M3 and an old 50mm Summicron  ISO400 with a yellow filter.

It may take a few rolls to get in the swing but it’s good to hear the sound of water gurgling. Some of these photos are processed in Adox Adonal and some in Ilford HC, both attesting to their ability to still work after a long period of sitting on the shelf.  I’m not a big fan of the grain but that might be accentuated by the Epson V700 scanner and my ham-fisted processing.

I’ve had problems with dust so I’m trying to find a regime that reduces that to a bearable level.  Dust was the thing that got me using a digital camera most of the time.  I find myself dreaming of a drying cabinet when a shaft of sunlight reveals the dust floating in the air as a wet length of film drys.

Nothing exciting here all tweaked in Lightroom then an Antique preset.

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.

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.

The Best of the Rest using a Leica M3 and 50mm Summicron

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2010 by yammerman


I just wanted to post some shots from the other two rolls that were processed in the same batch as in the previous blog. These were shot on a Leica M3 with a 50mm Summicron DR both of which have been recently serviced by Malcolm Taylor .  It is a beautiful camera and the lens seems to shoot like I’m still living in the 1950s or maybe everything black and white looks like that. This Rollei 400s is a cheap film but I really like the grain I’m getting processing it in Rodinal. 

Here they are.

Stupid Dull Crap Meaningless Pictures with a Leica M3 and Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by yammerman


It is one of life’s coincidences that, in the week that my good friend Bob Machin should mount a “stupid dull crap meaningless”  tirade against a picture by Sara Ramos featured in the Guardian’s best shot series, I was sorting through some test shots I took using a Canon 50mm 1.4 LTM that fitted his description well.  I bought this lens a couple of weeks ago from Vintage & Classic Cameras as a cheaper alternative to the Leica 50mm Summilux  which is way out of my price range.  To test it one Sunday, I decided to suggest a family walk; I believe another pet hate of Bob’s, but he has so many it is sometimes difficult to keep track.  Naturally the suggestion was met with indifference by the rest of the family, no doubt feeling they would rather enjoy the silence in my absence as the Sunday afternoon guitar practice would cease during my sojourn.  I set out on the same imaginary dog walk that I have done for many a month now, armed with my Leica M3 and the Canon 50mm.  I go down the hill to the seafront and perambulate on one of the finest aspects of Penarth, its wonderful pier.  I’ve taken hundreds of pictures of this pier and some I like and some I hate, but it often affords a good place to just fire off some test shots and complete a roll of film.  There was a Penarth Pier photo competition last year which, due to indolence, I failed to enter.  I have to say that when I saw the dramatic nature of the winner – lighting striking the pier in darkness – it was probably as well I didn’t make the effort.   Hats off to the guy, but the idea of setting off in a storm, in the dark, on the off chance of capturing something like that,  as those closest to me will attest, is simply not in my laidback, naturally lazy nature.   A slow Sunday afternoon stroll taking pictures of things that don’t move, or as Bob so succinctly put it “stupid dull  crap meaningless pictures”, now that’s right up my street.

I shot two rolls on Fuji Reala 100 of which I have a ton because I found it very cheap.  It has a rather naturalistic look, which I’ve yet to decide upon, but its slowness engenders clarity.  The decline of film means Tesco no longer process, so Davis Colour did me 72 5×7’s of which 60 constituted what could loosely be called landscapes.  Now these are the ones that for me are the true crap, because you look through them and wonder what on earth it was that you saw through the view finder that made you press the shutter.  I guess it’s just not my thing because the ones that please me are always the more abstract odd ones that nearly don’t work but at least are not a dull travesty of  life’s reality.  So I’ve selected my favourites and they are to be found below.

What can I say about the lens?  It’s well made and certainly sharp.  It has good colour rendition at least with the Reala.  It balances well on the M3 and gives me that extra stop for those low light moments.  I’m not a big tester of stuff in the technical way that some people are; if it feels comfortable, and I like the photos, then I don’t need much more info than that.  I have shot some black and white photos that I processed last night so I’ll post them up when the mood strikes.

I should also mention Paul Williams who has set up a little competition on his blog, inspired by Bob’s words, and which can be found here.  I’ve already entered one of these from below, with a small explanation of my thoughts.  I started writing it with my tongue in my cheek, only to discover that I found some merit in my own pretentiousness.  The years I’ve spent being taught by the graduates of Newport School of Art, Media and Design are paying off, either that or I’ve been indoctrinated.  It is certainly true that while I don’t think the actual pictures I take have changed so much, the way I think about them has changed enormously.  Teaching, the internet and practice have meant I can really nail those stupid dull meaningless pictures these days and, who knows, maybe even I have an exhibition in me.