Archive for macro

Sunny Afternoon with Nikon D600 and Nikon 105mm F2.8 VR

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , on May 7, 2017 by yammerman


The Soul of the FA Cup with a Fuji X-Pro1 and 60mm Macro.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by yammerman


We have had a glorious few days in this part of South Wales, the first burst of summer.  It coincided with my annual gathering for the Cup Final, a ritual I keep in homage to those far off days in the 70’s when the family gathered to watch the finale of the football season. Teams would leave hotels on coaches, men in terrible suits would walk nervously onto the pitch and a titanic struggle would ensue for that most romantic of silverware.

It was a big day with some big games now etched in the memory.  The fancy dans of  Chelsea v the cloggers of Leeds; the miracle of Jim Montgomery’s save to win the Cup for SunderlandCharlie George’s sizzling winner  for Arsenal in the week I bought a Liverpool bag; and Bobby Stokes, Roger Osborne and Alan Taylor becoming folklore.  In the eighties, it was Coventry winning; Ricky Villa’s goal for Spurs; while Smith had to score for Brighton; and, of course, the Crazy gang of Wimbledon toppled  Liverpool.

With the arrival of the nineties, the Cup lost its lustre as the filthy lucre of the Premiership became more important than the glory of the Cup.  Teams playing weakened sides in order that they might cling on to the gravy train at the top table.  The early rounds are still marvelous, the big boys having yet to come up with a way of ruining Third Round day.

You might be able to see what’s been gained by looking at the balance sheets of a dozen clubs but what’s been lost is something unquantifiable and invisible to the bean counters.  These days it’s either two rich clubs suddenly getting interested for the Final or a lucky minnow that generally gets trounced.  Well done to Wigan for ripping up that script last year.  This year it was Arsenal v Hull and we all knew how that was going to end.

The last few years the kick-off has been moved from three to five pm, no doubt after a financial analysis of advertising rates suggested a richer revenue stream in emerging markets. These are hollow men without imagination who think, Premiership B teams playing in the lower leagues is the way forward.  I rather hope one day the plug gets pulled on the money in football and sanity will be restored, but I’ll be long gone before that point is reached. The recent Richard Scudamore  sexist remark scandal tells you all you need to know about the attitude and mind set of those in charge of football in this country.

If you haven’t yet watched the game, spoiler alert for a brief ten minutes where Hull could do no wrong and scored two goals but, inevitably, Arsenal came back to win 3-2 for their first silverware in nine years.  For supporters of lower league clubs like myself, the idea of a nine year wait for an FA Cup doesn’t seem much of a hardship at all.  I’ll still be back next year, if only as it happens around my birthday and guests feel obliged to bring me presents.  It’s a ritual I still enjoy, even if the game has turned into a generally less than memorable side show.

Oh, and I did some pictures as the last shaft of light arrowed across the garden.  Then I sucked the life out of them in Lightroom as a homage to the vampires of football leaving just a faint glimmer of the beauty that once existed.


Light Found in a Bin with a Nikon F3 and 60mm Macro.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2014 by yammerman



I’m tidying the darkroom/studio in my attic  the night after I’ve seen ‘Looking for Light‘  the quite splendid documentary on the life and work of Observer photographer Jane Bown. I’m thinking about the huge 35mm prints up on the screen and the Olympus OM-1 sitting in a bag somewhere amongst the pile of old cameras I’ve acquired  over the last few years.  I’m feeling inspired by the images I’ve seen and the slight grain I could see in the prints leaves me itching for the smell of fixer and the gurgle of water.  But the rain hammers on the roof  and I must clear enough space so that my brain can function before I shoot anymore film.

I plod on and then as I throw redundant packaging and old guitar strings into the bin, I see the roll of film I’d processed on Sunday and grumpily thrown there when I’d discovered my own stupidity manifest as a light leak. I remember an image in the viewfinder of a  plant standing tall and a twisting piece of metal looking like a cobra about to strike. I surveyed the roll and discover that image and several others have escaped the full eviscerating effect of their accidental exposure to light. ‘There you are’  Jane Bown used to say after wandering around her subjects till she found the person she was seeking for her portrait and I mumbled  the same as an incantation to the gods of photography.  They are not perfect as the gatecrashing light seeps in one side of the images but I like them well enough that I’m glad I gave then a second chance before the oblivion of landfill. I found twelve images I could rescue and after scanning choose the four below as worthy of posting.

I love a happy ending though it’s back to the tidying for me now.


A Few Shots with a Nikon F3 and 60mm Macro

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2014 by yammerman


Further use of the Nikon F3  using the 60mm Macro, which has always been a favourite for both film and digital.  A stroll to the pier and then some macro in the garden. It was all going so well until I discovered the back of the camera opened as I rewound the second roll. Give light a second and it does it worst to those grains of silver. A  deep sigh then processed and found to be ruined so straight in the bin. Naturally the second had the award winning images on so that was a damn shame. Here is the best of the first roll.

Shot with  Ilford FP4 at 125 processed in Rodinal/Adonal 1 to 50 for 12 minutes at 21 degrees.

Fomapan in the Garden with Nikon F100 and 60mm Macro

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by yammerman

I wanted to test my processing after the dust on the last batch of B&W so, before I went on holiday, I shot a roll of Fomapan 200 and when the sun shone briefly yesterday I shot another. I used my Nikon F100 and 60mm macro in the garden.

I processed in Rodinal 1+50 for 10 minutes at 20 degrees and used the same stop and fix as last time. The only change I made was some  new Kodak photo flow for drying as I suspected the last lot was getting old. They dried quickly and looked fine but when I scanned them it was like a starry starry night with white specks in abundance. Much nashing of teeth and cursing left me trying to figure out the problem.

I was convinced it must be dust on the scanner glass so I gave that a good clean and tried again with pretty much the same result. I then had a close look as the negatives and could see a myriad of tiny black specks . My instinct is the problem is in the emulsion and it is some flaw with the film.

The only other culprit might be my fix but I don’t see how though as I’ve not changed my routine. This is going to make me wary of cheap film which is a shame because I’ve had some good results in the past. Googling Fomapan 200  there do seem to be some references to problems with a recent batch (see thread) so I’m going to shoot a couple of rolls of Ilford HP5 and see if things improve.

The seductive power of digital photography is never greater than when films delayed gratification turns to disappointment. I spent a bit of time cloning out the specs in Lightroom but got bored with that pretty quick. At monitor resolutions these shots are just about bearable so I’m posting them anyway specks and all. I used the Antique Grayscale tone in Lightroom.

Dyrffyn Gardens with Nikon D300 and 60mm Macro

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by yammerman

The last trip having been such a success and with the sun still shinning, it was decided a trip to Dyrffyn Gardens might be just the ticket, though on this occasion we didn’t need tickets as it was free entry to celebrate the approach of St David’s Day on 1st March.

There has been a manor house at Dyrffyn  since the 17th century but the gardens seemed to have been created in the early 20th century by landscape architect Thomas Mawson for the then owner John Corey.  The house appears to be being restored but we’ve never been inside, content as we are, to walk around the rather splendid horticultural magnificence on offer.  I wasn’t expecting much, it being so early in the year but decided to take Nikon D300 with one of my favourite lenses the Nikon 60mm Macro.

We also took in the delights of Barry on the way, as we understood on the last Sunday of every month the Vale of Glamorgan Council dispense any excess wood that has been felled in the previous month.  It was the devil’s own job to find, as the council’s Google dot that represented the depot, was a good half a mile from its actual location. It was at this point that driving round aimlessly following your nose proved a winning formula when quite by chance we happened on our nirvana.

If it all sounds too good to be true that the council might be distributing free logs you can be assured that they are not.  A pile of broken branches and a mound of wood chippings with half a dozen souls like our good selves scrabbling for ‘the good stuff’ was all we discovered. The ‘good stuff’ was conspicuous by its absence. Still we secured a few branches for kindling and I laboured to fill a garden sack with wood chippings, hardly cursing at all.

On then to the gardens and a pleasant time was spent wandering around in the morning sunshine. I’d set the D300 to Vivid in the hope of finding some punchy colour and wasn’t disappointed. A swift Dandelion and Burdock to drink in the café with a Welsh harpist providing a tinkling soundtrack to our consumption of  a fine carrot cake. It was  then back home for some  afternoon sporting action on TV watching Spurs being trounced by Arsenal and then Cardiff’s heroic’s in defeat to Liverpool concluded my  backing of losers for the weekend.

Here are the favoured shots tweaked in Lightroom  for your delight.

Large Format – Wista VX with Nikon 120mm Macro

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2011 by yammerman

It’s time to keep the blog ticking over which has been rather over taken by photos on Facebook and music on Soundcloud. I was tidying up today with a view to doing some more large format stuff when I came across a couple of dark slides that I reckoned contained some film, so with the sun shinning I thought I’d use them up.

I lugged all the 5×4 gear downstairs and gathered together  the things you need to make large format happen. ……Wista VX, Nikon 120mm Macro, meter, magnifying glass, the darkslides and big cloth to stick my head under. Two dark slides means only four shots so I shot a what I think may be a weed, the leaves of the apple tree before I stumbled on the spiders web. I haven’t done this for a while but slowly the steps came back as I went along. After half hour I could contemplate the four large negatives I might be seeing shortly.

Into the darkroom to set up three trays to develop and then turn off all the lights for 8 minutes.  I take the film from the slides by hand and then put gloves on to shuffle them in the chemical trays.  I’d forgotten how unsettling being plunged into such absence of light can be. With the water gurgling it is like being in the belly of the beast and it’s best to keep the monsters of the id well under control.  After what seemed like an age I was able to turn the lights on at the fix stage and see I had four successful snaps.

Only putting three up and I find I am plagued by the dust demons again. I wanted to see if I could make the pictures bigger as someone had the temerity to complain about their size in the previous blog. The charmless have found a real home on the internet. Anyway it adds a couple of steps but it seems I can increase the size. If anything they seem too big now so more experiments are required.

Here they are below scanned with the Epson V700. Processed in Rodinal 1+50 for 7 mins @ 22 degrees. I gave them a sepia tone to which I am addicted.