Just before Christmas my wife and I had trip to Nepal to do a bit of trekking and sightseeing. I got some great travel images (if I do say so myself) with my digital set up but naturally I had to take a few rolls of film with me. I took two film cameras, my big clunky Hasselblad 500C and the small Lomo LC-A. I find with the digital camera I concentrate on the sharpness and finer details while with the film cameras I can be a bit more loose and experiment a little. I shot 9 rolls in total, some black & white, one infrared, a couple of colour negatives and a few slide films which I cross processed to experiment with the colours. The great thing with the LC-A was that it fits in my pocket and I could just whip it out and shoot away at whatever caught my eye. Here’s a selection of images chosen from all the films with their wonky compositions, mad colours, light leaks and all.
Back in February (AiA Pt32) I shared with you the results of a winter solargraphy project I’d been working on. In this post I am sharing the results of the summer project.
To remind you, solargraphs are created by using a pinhole camera to capture an extreme long exposure which should track the trail of the sun over a period of a few days up to a few months. The camera is created by using a receptacle (in these cases a drinks can) with a pinhole aperture which captures a negative image on a piece of photographic paper placed inside.
The plan was to leave the cameras out from the Spring Equinox until the Autumn Equinox. Unfortunately, I had to harvest them a little earlier in September as we were hit by Storm Ali so I had to go and salvage whatever was left. Luckily, I only lost two out of the ten cameras I put out but the remainders were a little battered to say the least. I had varying degrees of success and on the whole I’m happy with the results. Even the ones that weren’t so successful give an abstract depiction of the effects of the wind, rain and sun over the summer.
Maybe its because of the unusual weather we had this year with the lovely long dry spell followed by a more typical sogginess that I have never seen so many mushrooms before in the local woods. So much so that I’ve been carrying a Collins Guide to Mushrooms whenever I’ve been out walking the dogs lately. Obviously a printed version, no iPhone apps or Google searches for me, analogue all the way! Even so, I haven’t been confident enough to pick a few and bring them home for dinner yet. As tasty as some of them look I’m still struggling to distinguish my chanterelles from my cockleshells.
For the time being I’m content to just take a few photos of them while I’m out and about. These photos were taken over a couple of days with my Nikon FM2 with a 60mm macro lens attached. I used one roll of expired Fuji Sensia100 slide film and cross processed it which is what gives the colours that warm autumnal feel.
The blistering heatwave of 2018 is already beginning to feel like a distant memory and the ripening blackberries and yellowing leaves of horse chestnut trees are already showing that Autumn is speeding towards us. The following images are a throwback to those uncharacteristic seemingly endless days of Connemara sunshine earlier in the year.
All the shots are from one roll of my precious stash of expired Kodak Aerochrome infrared film that only come out of the fridge if the conditions are just right. And if the vintage summer of 2018 wasn't the right time then I don't know what is!
I have finally got round to processing a roll of film I shot earlier in the summer on a trip to the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain. I always find whether shooting film or digital that if I don't strike while the iron's hot and process the images immediately they get forgotten about while I move on to the next thing. Nevertheless, its been satisfying to review the images a few weeks down the line and reminisce about a great trip. Its a stunning region with amazing walking trails, the highlight being the Cares Gorge.
The Cares Gorge trail is approximately 15km between Poncebos and Cain and is carved into the side of the mountains with the river far below. The path is originally an old hydro-electric maintenance track with vast rock walls on both sides and vertigo inducing sheer drop offs up to 300 metres in places. Each bend in the trail offers surprising vistas more spectacular than the last.
The images here are all from one roll of Fuji Velvia 50 slide film shot on my Hasselblad Xpan.
As is customary my wife came back from one of her trips to Germany with a new toy for me to play with. It's a dusty old Vario folding camera. Usually when she brings me back these old contraptions I do a bit of online research to find a bit of background history of the camera and maybe find an instruction manual. I found very little information about this camera apart from it was made around the 1930s. Nevertheless, I ploughed on and stuck a roll of film in it.
It wasn't the easiest of cameras to use as all the adjustments are controlled by fiddly little switches around the front element which weren't really compatible with my clumsy fat fingers. I persevered and filled a roll of film. Unfortunately, after I put a second roll of film in, the shutter cocking mechanism jammed and I think I've pretty much killed the camera. At least I got one roll of film through it and now have another dust collector to go with my collection. Here's a few images from the camera with all the dust and light leeks included.
Well Spring finally sprung. It took its time, but the woods are now carpeted with bluebells and the apple blossom is buzzing with bees.
Armed with my Hasselblad 500C fitted with a macro extension tube I've been making the most of the sudden burst of colour. The following images are from 2 rolls a film, one Fuji Pro 160 and one cross-processed roll of Rollei CN200.
I never leave the house with at least one camera, and as we are currently experiencing "big coat" weather here in Connemara, one camera that seems to have come in handy over the last month is the Lomo LC-A.
The camera fits easily into any coat pocket and its plastic construction means it weighs virtually nothing. It is pretty much the simplest camera to use as the only thing you have to do is select the focus zone and frame the image, everything after that is automatic. This is useful because you can use it without taking your gloves off! The following images are from one roll of Lomochrome Purple film taken over the last month. There's no theme or narrative, just stuff that caught my eye while out and about.
Last Year, around the time of the Autumnal Equinox I embarked on a Solargraphy project. Solargraphy is a technique where a fixed pinhole camera is used to take a very long exposure (anything from a few days to a few months) on photographic paper. The idea is that the paper will record an image of the path of the sun as the seasons change.
The pinhole cameras used are very lo-fi and simple to make. For this project my cameras were simply two soft drink cans with the tops cut off then stuck together with a piece of photo paper inside and then sealed up with duct tape. The exposure was made by simply putting a pin prick in front of the camera. After that it was just a case of finding the ideal spot to put them .
Altogether, I positioned fifteen all around North Connemara, attaching them to trees, fences and sign posts with duct tape and cable ties. Out Of fifteen, only four went missing (which was less than expected!). The first two cameras I retrieved were back in January. I would have ideally left them longer but unfortunately a tree fell and landed on top of them during Storm Eleanor, so I brought them home to see if anything could be salvaged from them.
It wasn't a total disaster, something had clearly been captured on the paper and the trails of the sun were clearly visible. All I had to do now was patiently wait to collect the rest of them. The plan was to wait until the Spring Equinox, but I couldn't resist the temptation and last week began harvesting them.
Below is a collection of the results of my three to four month exposures. Unfortunately, moisture got into some of the cans and affected the images but I quite like the distressed effect it gives. I plan to have another crack it this from the Spring to Autumn Equinox to get a much bigger arc as the sun sits much higher in the sky and hopefully learn from my previous mistakes regarding positioning and water proofing. You will be able to see the results of these around Halloween time, but knowing me it'll probably be around August some time!
It's the same every year. November comes around and my fridge is heaving with exposed film rolls filled with images of leaves. I can't help myself.
The following images are a selection of shots taken on my rambles during November. They were taken on a variety of cameras on a variety of different films. I hope you enjoy perusing them. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed taking them!
I recently had a crack at a photography processing technique known as "Film Soup". The idea behind film soup is to intentionally damage your film before processing by bringing it into contact with a chemical such as alcohol or acidic substances such as cleaning products and then boiling it for the reaction to take effect on the film emulsion.
For the examples within this blog post I used a slide film and a regular colour negative film. After shooting them I unrolled them in a dark room and dabbed them with washing machine detergent. Afterwards I re-spooled them back in to the film canister and boiled them for 2 minutes in a pot of water. Once the film was fully dry I just processed them as normal. For this technique, you would definitely have to home process as Boots or Snappy Snaps wouldn't touch them with a barge pole!
It gave some quite interesting results, the colour negative had a consistent bright green splurge across the whole film while the slide film had more random psychedelic colours. I would like to give it another go using different chemicals at some point, but I have to wait while my current batch of processing chemicals are on their last leg as after this technique they are pretty much rendered useless.
Back in June (Adventures in Analogue Pt25) I shared some images on here from an ongoing film swap project I'm working on. I have swapped a few more rolls with one of the collaborators that I mentioned back then, Anneliese Hanson From Minneapolis. The first of these was a roll of Lomochrome Purple shot on a Hasselblad 500C by myself and then a Fuji GSW690 by Anneliese. Here's a few images from that roll.
After this we decided to try swapping some infrared film, one colour and one monochrome. Neither films were particularly successful but it was an interesting experiment none the less. Here's a sample from those two rolls.
Another swap I did previously was with Kathleen Hellmer from Lagerdorf, Germany. Our second film was shot on a Lomo LC-A by both of us with a roll of slide film which Kathleen then cross-processed.
The latest film swap I've been working on is with Tim Earl from Australia. So far I only have the fruits of one roll from that exchange. Tim is currently filling up a second roll that I posted him a couple of weeks ago. We both used a Lomo LC-A for the swap and both rolls are monochrome. Here's some of the results from that first roll.
When my missus recently returned from a trip to Jena, Germany, to visit her parents I waited with anticipation as she unpacked her luggage to see what goodies might be coming my way. Not to sound ungrateful, I was a little bit underwhelmed when she presented me with a camera she had found in a second hand store. If you have read any of my previous posts you will know I'm quite partial to an old camera, but this one just wasn't doing it for me. The main reason was purely based on aesthetics, it looked like a lady's purse.
Not to disappoint my missus, I gave it a chance and did a bit of research as I'd never seen such a camera before. The name of the camera is a PENTI and was made by an East German company called Welta in the late 1950s. Its a viewfinder camera with a complete set of manual controls, all in rings around the lens: one for distance, one for shutter speed and one for aperture.
The PENTI's most unusual feature is the long film advance button. Once the button is pushed in the film advances to the next frame. After exposure the button pops back out again so you never forget to advance the film before taking the next shot.
The other interesting aspect is that it shoots half frame images so you get two portrait format exposures within the regular 35mm frame. So far I've put two rolls of films through it, and I have to say I'm starting to warm to it. The camera is tiny and light and fits in my coat pocket. It's a bit quirky looking, but for a 60 year old camera the images are not bad at all.
I recently acquired another new (old) camera. "Another camera?" you might say. Well, I actually acquired three but I may tell you about the other two in a later post. The camera I'm going to tell you about now is the Pentacon Six TL.
The Pentacon Six is a medium format film SLR camera that was manufactured in Dresden, East Germany between 1957 and 1990. I'd been considering purchasing one for a while and when I came across a decent looking one within Ireland for a reasonable price I snapped it up. The main reason I wanted one is I thought it would be a less cumbersome alternative to my Hasselblad 500C which would make it handy to take on trips. However, I should have maybe actually handled one in the flesh before buying one, as it's a massive metal lump of a thing that weighs about the same as a house brick.
So far I've put three rolls of film through it. One black and white, one colour negative and one cross processed slide. I'm pretty impressed with the results. There are a couple of mechanical issues with the winding crank sticking and the 1/125 shutter speed not working but nothing a service wouldn't sort out. If you are thinking of getting into medium format film photography this would be a reasonably priced fairly straight forward camera to get started with. Overall, I think it's a very usable camera but it won't replace the Hasselblad in my hand luggage.
I recently purchased 5 rolls of Lomography's Lomochrome Purple 35mm flm. The film has been available for a couple of years and is interesting in that it kind of mimics the effect of colour infra red film which is no longer produced. The advantage of this film as opposed to true colour infrared film is it doesn't require any filters, it is more forgiving, develops in regular colour negative chemistry and is readily available and therefore much cheaper.
I have used this film in the past, but this film is a brand new formula which they claim has a much higher sensitivity to red hues and is less grainy than its predecessor. I decided to try out the first roll in my Nikon FM2 with a 60mm macro lens. On the whole, I'm pretty happy with the way the first roll came out. The colours are nice and there's a bit of grain but not too much. I look forward to putting the other 4 rolls to the test.
A couple of blog posts ago I mentioned I'd been working on a film swap project. The idea of which was to collaborate with other film photography enthusiasts around the world by swapping exposed films with each other and then shooting over the top of each others films to see what surprising results we come up with. The project is still on going but I thought I'd share some of the results so far.
The first roll was a collaboration with Anneliese Hanson from Minneapolis, using Lomochrome Turquoise. Anneliese shot her side of the film in California on a plastic Holga medium format camera. She shot the roll upside down while masking half the lens. I re-shot the film on a plastic Diana camera the right way round masking the other side of the lens. Here's a few of the results from that roll.
My next swap was with Kathleen Hellmer from Lägerdorf, Germany. Our roll was 35mm cross processed slide film. Kathleen shot her part on the German coast while I shot mainly macro images of plants and flowers. Our frames didn't match up so the images worked best cropped as panoramas.
My next swap was with Alexander Timm from Berlin. We used some expired 35mm Kodak Panther slide film. I shot my side on a Nikon FM2 with a lensbaby lens attached. When I sent the film over to Alexander, he put the film through a Pentacon Six medium format camera in order to expose the sprocket holes. The film was cross processed which gave it a nice bluey purple look.
That's a taster of the project so far. I have more collaborations planned with photographers from Australia, Canada and the US in the pipeline, the results of which will show up here at some point in the future (if they're any good!).
I'm recently back from a trip to South Africa which threw up an infinite amount of photographic opportunities with only two weeks to achieve them. With that in mind I tried to be realistic and narrowed my camera gear down to my digital SLR with a telephoto lens to cover the wildlife action and my hasselblad xpan panoramic camera to to capture the wide vistas. The fairly predictable good weather also gave me the opportunity to use a couple of my rolls of colour infrared film that I'd been saving for the right occasion. Here's a selection of shots from those two rolls taken in and around Kruger National Park.
The last few weeks I've been working on an international film swap project, some of the fruits of which will probably show up here in the future. Aside from that I've done very little film photography in the last month.
Recently, after a spell of rain there were a few fine days which made ideal conditions to go exploring the local woodlands with my dogs and a couple of rolls of film. This time of year before spring has fully kicked in, the mosses, ferns and lichens are the stars of the show. The tree canopies are still pretty bare which allows the sunlight to penetrate the forest floors and illuminate the juicy mosses.
Here's a selection of shots from those rambles.
I recently had a short trip over to Germany to visit the in-laws. We were travelling light so I packed just one camera, albeit a heavy lump in the form of my Hasselblad 500C.
Not that we had a whole lot of time to be out gallivanting taking photographs, it was nice to get out in unfamiliar surroundings and take a few shots. The weather was crisp and wintry with clear skies which made a nice change from the soft and drizzly weather back home.
Here's a few of the shots I got.
It is very rare that I leave the house without a camera or cameras, but sometimes you don't want to lug around the SLR or a clunky old medium format camera. That is where the Lomo LC-A comes in handy as it fits easily into your coat pocket..
The camera was originally produced in St Petersburg by LOMO in the 1980s and has since gained a huge following through the Lomographic Society. The camera itself weighs vertually nothing and is pretty cheap and plastic looking. It has auto exposure and The lens is focused by selecting one of four zones (0.8 m, 1.5 m, 3 m or infinity). The resulting photos can be unpredictable, with overlapping frames, soft focusing and heavy vignetting.
The unpredictability of this camera is also part of its charm. When processing the film you never really know what to expect which can yield plenty of happy accidents. The shots in this post were from one roll film taken in December using Lomochrome Turquoise film just while out and about walking my dogs, George and Betty.