Saturday, 25 July 2020

A Broken Camera During Lockdown

At the start of 2020 I started a personal project of shooting a roll of film each month and then I had the audacity of saying in a blog post 'how hard can it be?' well let me tell you it's definitely not easy!

If I counted up how many times over the years I've used the word 'time' in my blogs then I would use up a lot of it doing so. I'm really like a stuck record when it comes to time. Who thinks there should be a world decision to add, let's say, 6 more hours to the day? Tada! more time!

But seriously it's now the end of July and I'm only now writing about March's roll.

I've got rolls from May to scan and digitise.

And I'm not even working that much because of the...we all know what happened in 2020...but I never seem to be able to put fingers to keyboard to blog or especially film to scanner.

But now I have! It's 6.35am, Florence is crawling around the living room and Charlie is still asleep, let's blog!

March on the film front looked like this; A roll of Konica Centuria ISO 200 in my Canon T70 SLR camera fitted with a 50mm f1.8.

The camera; Canon T70, was made from 1984 (the year before my birth) and is a chunky piece of plastic with some electronic automation, which was pretty new back in 1984. Focusing was an all manual affair.
I shot a few rolls with my copy about 10 years ago when I was crazy into buying and shooting film cameras and ever since it's been waiting it's turn to be brought out of retirement again.

March 2020 was it's time but not for broke 11 frames in to the roll!
It still works but the battery compartment hatch has crumbled and no longer closes and stays shut, not good for a camera that relies on electronics to work!

Early on in the month I thought I'd pick up on my long lost passion of scouting for vintage cameras and on day 1 I picked up a Canon EOS50e for £7.
Now this was meant to be, seriously, the day before I was looking at this camera on the net thinking that this would be good for some experiments and the next day day there's one sitting waiting in a charity shop.

So why did I want one?

Because this camera, like it's big brothers of the era had what was called 'Eye Control AF'.

What this means is that the camera has a sensor in the viewfinder that can see where your eye is looking and will choose 1 (out of 3) of the focus points for you to focus on your chosen subject.

Does that make sense?

Basically, with a pinch of salt, the camera will focus on the thing that you are looking at.

Come on that's cool!!!

So when the T70 bit the dust, I cleaned up the, new to me, 50e and put it into work.

Right that's enough camera talk, now let me bore you with chat about the film but I'll be quick.
I've got a good amount of expired film.
When film goes past it's expiration date it looses it's sensitivity and you have to account for this with your exposures; give it more light.

They say that film loses a stop of light for every decade past it's use by.

And this is where I made a proper face palm moment. My roll of Konica Centuria was UB 02/2002, basically 2 decades out of date.
For some reason in a rush of excitement to get shooting I shot this roll at ISO 100, the roll started off as ISO 200 and this has resulted in a dark set of should have been ISO 50.

When I was unloading the finished roll and looked at the UB to record it for this blog I asked myself 'why did you shoot it at ISO 100???'

Oh such a proper film photographer problem!

Oh well, in the future I promise to use my brain.

Ok let's talk photos.

Dark, under exposed photos!

I'm always trying to shoot a few frames of my day job on film just to compare the shots with my 'proper' digital work.

Lisa & Lucy met me in the woods for a social distanced pre wedding shoot.

I loved using the T70 for these shots, it has a bright viewfinder and manual focusing was easy.

pre wedding shoot on film
pre wedding shoot on film

pre wedding shoot on film

pre wedding shoot on film

Just remember that I screwed up the sensitivity calculations, so these shot's should have been much brighter.

Babies, toddlers and tired tired parents.

The good thing about the EOS 50e is that I can use my new modern decent lenses and flashes.

For a family snapshot!

When we visited Hunstanton I found that the EOS 50e has a common problem; batteries.

It seems that some batteries are a little smaller than others and therefore can move around a little inside the camera and loose connection, making the camera not work.

Don't worry though, a piece of folded paper to the rescue.

Hunstanton photo

 The expressions!

Apple iMac

 Charlie is a sod for stepping in front of the camera just at the moment of 'click'
building a den

I wanted to shoot some portraits using my studio lights and so what better way to finish off the roll.

film studio portrait

film studio portrait

film studio portrait

film studio portrait

film studio portrait

And there we have it, another month, a broken camera and loads of dark photos.

Another successful month!

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

February's Roll of Agfa Vista

Month two.

February 2020.

Agfa Vista 200 aka Pountdland film.

It's May, we're well into lockdown, my house is full of screaming kids, barking dogs and a wife intent  on decorating every room in the house all in.......NOW!

When I used to develop my own film, it always took me a while to get round to doing it, now I get it shop developed but it still takes me ages to scan and digitise the negatives.
Month's after shooting February's roll I'm trying to find time to share the images with the world.

Armed with a roll of Agfa Vista, the trusty Poundland film, of which I've still got a few rolls left in the freezer and my £10 Canon EOS 600 SLR let February begin.

One Sunday afternoon we decided to all jump in the car and take the dogs for a walk around The Walks in Kings Lynn. A perfect way to tire out a toddler and a perfect excuse to record some memories on film for me.

The day was a golden and warm one for winter; great weather for a 2 year old to explore his surroundings.

Agfa Vista photo walk in Norfolk

Agfa Vista photo walk in Norfolk

Agfa Vista photo walk in Norfolk

Agfa Vista photo walk in Norfolk

Agfa Vista photo walk in Norfolk

Agfa Vista photo walk in Norfolk

Agfa Vista photo walk in Norfolk

Using my trusty 24-105L zoom lens made following Charlie around on his travels a breeze.
It's not a lens I use much, typically only for newspaper work but when it does good it does really good.

You can't take a child to a park without going to the park.

Agfa Vista photo walk in Norfolk

Agfa Vista photo walk in Norfolk

And sometimes I get things wrong.
Faced with this backlight, with the sun behind Laura I dialled in some over exposure to combat it but it seems it wasn't enough.

With either a light leak or seriously blown out highlights right at the top of the frame.

Photo mistake on film

My next trip out was meeting up with Jasmine & Lee in Shouldham Warren.

When I'd got the 'proper' shot's of them celebrating valentines together I pulled out my film camera attached to my 24-70L lens and shot a few frames.

Norfolk Valentines Photoshoot

Norfolk Valentines Photoshoot

Norfolk Valentines Photoshoot

Shot wide open I missed focus on the last frame but the film aesthetics are still lovely!

Another month, more growing up, Florence tried food for the 1st time.
Why not document the moment.

Family photography Lincolnshire

And Charlie wanted to steal the limelight as always.

Family photography Lincolnshire

One miserable day outside, Charlie & I were stuck in doors watching Bing, probably, when I looked outside and it was snowing.


Charlie grab your wellies.

Lincolnshire snow day

We only went as far as the driveway but Charlie had a great time experiencing snow for the 1st time.

Lincolnshire snow day

Lincolnshire snow day

Lincolnshire snow day

Lincolnshire snow day

Whereas, I've never liked the cold white stuff, I was happy to go back in the warm.

So that was February's roll and February's fun.

A few mishaps but that's what it's all about. When you can't check a shot on the back of a camera you have to wait and see what you've got and it's sometimes it's what you've missed.

I've still got a handful of Agfa Vista left in the freezer and I'm looking forward to shooting it again.

I've now got to get my arse in gear and scan March.

See you next month.

Friday, 13 March 2020

1 roll of film a month, how hard can it be!?

New years resolutions, does anyone stick to them?

I don't know if I ever have before?

But then I can't think of any that I've set before this one.

Shooting a roll of film each month isn't just a new years resolution it's a personal project, something for me to enjoy, something to not worry about, if the shots come out they come out, if the film camera breaks half way through the roll then #*^% it! That's already happened by the way.

I've got a freezer drawer full of film that I've collected over the years. Some of it is the famous AgfaVista aka Poundland film that is no more, some is black and white film long expired and among others are multi packs that stared me in the face in Holbeach Tescos a few years back and I just had to have it.

A mixture of 35mm and 120 medium format, all sitting in the cold and dark all waiting to be pulled out, defrosted and loaded up. All waiting for it's time of glory.

So yeah a roll each month, it shouldn't be too difficult. I just need to get back in the habit of carrying a camera with me where ever I go, something I haven't done for a while, apart from my iPhone, after all the best camera is the one that you have with you!

I need to get back in the habit of just shooting a few frames of things that catch my eye. Something I've not done for a long time. We live in the digital age, information and data is filling up our computers, phones and the internet every minute of the day. Why take pictures of things that aren't going to make me any money..........Why?

For the love!

Seriously, as I sit and type this blog in March I've already had 3 months of this project and on occasion I've gone for a walk and have literally shot pictures of puddles and the sun shining through shapes on the street. Walking along with camera in hand, tunes on in my headphones and a massive smile. I hadn't forgot but it really has felt like I'd forgot how much I love photography!

So back in January I shot my 1st roll, a roll of Kodak BW400CN film, loaded up in my £10 Canon EOS600 SLR.

Actually back in September I shot my 1st roll, that roll above, before I forgot about it and then really kicked my arse in to gear to carry on in January.

So in September I shot 9 frames of this 12/2006 expired black and white, colour negative, film at Richard & Lydia's wedding at The Ffolkes in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.

Film Wedding Photography in Norfolk
I remember being excited to pull the camera out and snap away whilst I was shooting their newlywed portraits in the early evening light.
Film wedding photography Norfolk

Film wedding photography Norfolk

It was literally heavy work as I had 3 cameras hanging off my harness; my 5d3 with 85mm, my X-pro 2 with 23mm and finally my EOS 600 with my 24-70mm, all waiting for their moment.

Then the EOS600 got packed away again, it was taken to weddings afterwards but it was either too cold or too wet to mess about with 'another' camera whilst my couple stood waiting.

Back to January and I committed to doing this, I started to carry the camera around on dog walks, family trips and sometimes just around the house.

BW400CN Family Photography

BW400CN Family Photography

BW400CN Family Photography

This is where this project gets really boring and it looks like your being subjected to my family album.

BW400CN Family Photography

BW400CN Family Photography

BW400CN Family Photography

I'm sorry OK but when you've got kids it's easy to finish a roll of 24 exposures on bath time, play time and bed time.

BW400CN Family Photography

BW400CN Family Photography

Sorry, not sorry!

Shooting with an ISO 400 film at ISO 100 makes things a little interesting when shooing in doors. It's wide open aperture or nothing.

Shooting moving children with a wide open aperture on a camera that only has a centre focus point, now that's a challenge.

BW400CN Family Photography
And on top of that, pressing the shutter when that moving child has their eyes open, sometimes you catch a funny 'drunken' expression!

The film; Kodak BW400CN 14 years out of date, shot at ISO 100, it did great.
I love it!
It's got that film softness and grain and all the imperfections of shooting expired film on a camera made 31 years ago.

I can't wait to develop February's roll.

I'll see you soon.

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!