Friday, 12 April 2019

A return to the mean streets of Sunny Hunny

It’s been almost 1 whole year to the day since I last wrote this blog.

A lot changes in a year.
The past 12 months have been crazy busy for me.
Busy’s good. Busy means money, busy means mortgage payments. Adult, grown up stuff, tick. ✔️

Photography for fun?
Photography for the love of the hobby?
That’s a fail. ✖️

No street photography, no urbex.

But all that changed a couple of weeks ago when I had a free Friday. Laura and Charlie were on a play date at Farmer Freds in Heacham. So I had a walk round Sunny Hunny on the hunt for some street photography action.

Recently at the Photography Show, I purchased the Sigma 35mm Art lens. A buy I’ve been considering for a while now, so the credit card took a beating.

Sigma lenses come with that nagging feeling of slightly off focus. So I wanted to get some real world usage in before I make any adjustments.

So far I think it’s spot on, though perhaps infinity could do with a little fine tuning, I need to get in the habit of photographing far away things but where’s the fun in that?

It’s all about getting in close for that killer shot.

Being very rusty at the art of street photography and carrying around a big full frame DSLR with abig lens on the front of it, instead of a smaller Fujifilm model that’s just not so in your face, it was was quite the exercise getting close.
People were definitely aware of the big camera.

That’s not a bad thing, I really focused on capturing that moment when they spotted me.



I sat perched on a step for at least a minute with the camera glued to my face just waiting for him to look at me but alas he didn’t. 


Maybe I need a bigger camera so I’m even more obvious!?

If there’s ever the possibility of getting a bin shot then I’m always game.
Now I waited for ages for him to look my way but it never happened, I’m sure he clocked me in the corner of his eye and just plain refused to have a look.



Walking along the promenade with the mind to wrap up and go home, someone shouted to me “you can take a picture of me if you like”.

Frank, I’m sure it was Frank, forgive me Frank if it isn’t Frank, loves taking photos himself and loves to watch the world go by.


This couple of hours spent just walking around and enjoying my favourite hobby was fantastic.
I really need to do it again.
I just don’t know when.

And here’s a photo of Laura to finish with.
I don’t think she wanted to drive!


Sunday, 29 April 2018

On top of my little world in Sutton Bridge

Last week I was offered the chance of going to the top of the church in my village. An offer I couldn't refuse.

It's like urbexing with an invite.

The church itself; St Matthews was consecrated in 1843 and according to the internet it's the only flint stone church in Lincolnshire. Is it a that a wow thing?

I went armed with a couple of lenses; 24-70, 70-200 and a tripod (and obviously a camera). I used both lenses and just had a play.

It was windy at the top (excuse no.1) and I don't do landscapes (excuse no.2) but the shots that I got have come out quite well, in my opinion.


It wouldn't be right to not get shots of Sutton Bridge's namesake and it's other most famous landmark.



So it turns out that behind the cross is a door but what's behind the door? 



Back inside I captured a few more sights that only a few will ever see.


This thing is loud when it goes off!
I do hope that I can persuade the powers that be to get a shot up here of a wedding!!! 

And finally. 
As I said above and I'm sure I've said before in previous blogs; I'm no landscape photographer. 
It's both because I'm not really into landscapes and/or because of this I don't practice and try to get better at shooting them. But when faced with the almost 360 degree view I thought I would create a panorama of what 'makes' Sutton Bridge; One image containing both the bridge and the power station.

It took 9 shots in total. And 2 attempts because of the wind that resulted in a couple of shaky shots.

I used Lightroom 1st to merge the images but I couldn't get the horizon to be straight. The merging process via Lightroom resulted in an un-level horizon; the program created a hill to the left of the power station and there is no such thing as a hill in the fens.
So Photoshop was the answer but this caused a few headaches. 
It wouldn't merge all of the images seamlessly; probably the same problem that caused Lightroom to make a non existent hill. 

Photoshop just didn't understand!!!!
So I merged the 1st 6 images together, merged another 1 to those 6 afterwards and then finally added the final 2 images that resulted in a much better composite. But theres still a slight raised area which IM SURE is not there in reality.

Click on the image to expand.

Thank you Mark for the invite.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Same place. Different person. Wisbech.

If you stand in one spot and wait, things will eventually happen. 

Just pre focus, set the exposure and wait. 


And if your really lucky, well not that lucky because the majority did, people will look at you and give you that 'ugh!?' face.









Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Fishers Shop, Sutton Bridge. How time has changed.

Towards the end of the summer of last year, thats right 2017 is now last year, I resisted a location that I 1st explored in 2014, heres the blog post; post;https://benchapmanphotos.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/exploring-close-to-home-in-sutton-bridge.html

Lloyd fancied a quick explore and I wondered how the place had changed almost 4 years later.

When I 1st visited, i was aware that it was once a shop only by the layout, shelves and price tags still visible. After that 1st visit, i tried to find out more information. Online i found a website about Sutton Bridge;  http://www.bridgewatch.org.uk, i emailed the people behind the site and the reply told me that the shop was Once 'Fishers', a small general store. I was also told that once it was hoped it could be renovated as a 'listed' building but the hopes were dashed by a lack of funding.

So three and a half years later, the site had been slightly improved; a broken fence, waste and overgrown vegetation and trees had somewhat been cleared. Windows had been removed around the building, though i do not know why?
I presumed someone was working on the building but once in side i could see no evidence of this.

Deterioration and dereliction continue to slowly consume the building. Rain continues to soak through the levels, one day to leave only the walls standing. But standing for how long?


Some of the same objects are still left in place, others are now lost.



Look into the darkness and find light.






If the old shop still stands in 4 years time i'll take another look. For now i'll continue to walk the dogs past and monitor what changes other make.

The 'elephant in the room' that is the Bridge Hotel continues to burden the village. I had a quick look in there too but this is the only photo.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Half Frame, Lots of Frames

So, when its -1'c outside and I'm sat in my dressing gown, I am not going outside to look at the camera.

Ill just say, I'm not sure what model it is because I've look at loads of google images and wikipedia comparing to pictures on my Instagram and I can't find a camera that look s the same as mine; they all have different shutter buttons.

So mine looks like a PEN EE but has the shutter button of a PEN EE.S. If I braved the cold and gave the neighbours a fright id be able to figure it out, I'm sure by the maximum aperture. But right now I'm happy with just not knowing.  Stay warm!

Either way the camera comes from sometime between 1961 & 1981. It's half frame, fixed focus & fully automatic, meaning it does what it does when you point it at things.

I picked it up for something like a £1 from the Sunday market. At 1st I wasn't interested until I opened it and noticed that the frame mask was tiny and in my head alarm bells rang with a 'its a half frame camera, get it, shoot loads of exposures'

This half frame camera, shoots twice the amount of exposures on a roll of 35mm film. so 72 shots on a 36 roll etc.

But the negatives are small. So don't expect detail and large prints.

Ive only shot 1 roll, not including the few shots that were left on the roll in the camera when I purchased it. A lot of that roll was ruined when I opened the back of the camera not knowing there was a film in it. But who buys an old camera without checking it 1st.

The camera joined us on a weekend away in Norwich, December 2016, a roll of Fujicolor C200 in tow.

Point and shoot.




And sometimes you scratch your head and wonder how so much dust got on only 1 or 2 frames of the whole roll.





I like Anglia Square in Norwich. It's like the place that Norwich forgot. Once the big shopping centres were built there's no real reason to go there and so either shops sit empty or are used by discount chains but who doesn't like Poundland??

Theres a massive vacant office building, trust me I've looked round it for a way in, which is absolutely covered in graffiti.

A perfect subject to capture via a 20+ frame stitched image;


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Flying low at RAF Holbeach

Established in 1926 in the sleepy little village of Gedney Drove End, RAF Holbeach is a practice gunnery and bombing range. For those of us that live in the area close to, its a constant source of NOISE.

For sure you can see your fair share of fighter planes and gun ships but the majority of the time you just hear the jet engines and the thud thud of distant helicopters and this can go on for hours!

Drones are a bit of a novelty. A very expensive novelty too.
I like them, no doubt about it, they're cool but......

Things are no longer off limits, well apart from airports (for most people apart from those near missers), places are now in reach that were never in reach before. Views and angles previously only available to people with light aircraft are now achievable to every member of joe public.

A cold and windy Sunday in October, i loaded up my bike on the back of my car and drove to the marsh and then got my, head wind, pedal on to the waters edge.







Fly safe!

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Hidden troubles in Spalding

As I've said previously, don't let your images collect virtual dust.
Don't let things become stale. Push yourself. I really am sitting here right now, MacBook on my lap, headphones on, trying to think of a long term project that can keep me interested and push me to do something different.

I've got one idea. I've now just got to put my hand up in the class room that is social media and say "ummm, would anyone be interested in.........." and hope that I get at least one "yes" back. Although it wouldn't be much of long term project with just one sitting or session.

Anyway, something that always seems to interest me is the beauty in the decay; the things that people don't see or more like don't want to see.

A homeless persons home
I come across a lot of shelters and beds in derelict buildings but this one was a real surprise. Its in a tiny little space down the side of a building with no shelter over head. 

Life can hit you hard.

I do however draw the line there. I will not photograph a homeless person as an easy street photography target. I wonder which is worse though? Photographing the easy still target in the gutter or invading someone's space whilst maybe they're away from their shelter?

This photowalk was a cold jaunt around Spalding, early 2017, I'm sure after a hospital appointment. Looking for alley ways and detritus, thankfully in the market towns around me both are plentiful, the latter the local councils may not be so thankful for.






What I do remember from the start of the year was reading an article about Stephen Shore; a pioneer in 1970's colour photography. Being someone who has always had a liking for all things black and white, vivid colour images of all things that would now been seen as retro were fresh in mind as I walked past this empty Royal Mail building with serious........red!