Thursday, 1 June 2017

A Kodak moment in Wisbech

This roll of Kodak Color Plus has got to be the best roll of 35mm I've ever shot.

Or at least its the best roll thats ever come out. For all i know those fails, when the film wasn't winding on or when the camera back opened, now they might of been epic.
Emphasis on the might of been, probably less on the epic.

I enjoy using the EOS 600 SLR. It cost me about a tenner, its electronic, i already had a battery that fit it, its simple to use; years of DSLR use means its a doddle to pick up and alter the exposure. My collection of EF lenses from fisheye to 70-200 means i can grab a lens and go.

Autofocus; the photographers best friend. Ive got camera & lens combos that are manual focus only, with a bit of patience you'll get the shot. But having autofocus, despite it being only in the centre is a welcome feature.

Back over to my favourite photography haunt; Wisbech.
Im always there. Ive shot it a million times but i will continue, although i admit its getting a little boring. The same roads, the same alleys, the same shadows, the same faces.

But different camera, different lenses, different medium.

I tried and tried to get the purple tone out of this image.
Yes please.

Standing in the same spot, using the same exposure, you can get a different photo every time.
Zoom, crouch, focus.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Analog nights

Every now and then i throw a roll of film into a camera and head out.

The camera sits in the car, in my bag and it might take a me a month to shoot the 24 or 36 frames.

Why rush these things.

It then takes me a lot longer to get round to developing the films. I usually leave it until I've got a handful of films to develop before i get the chemicals out and start the mad panic, rushing around, agitate, invert, what temperature is it, i need to pour it out, arghhh!

And scanning them, well i may never get round to scanning them. I forget.
Scanning 35mm is an art form in itself. Im yet to find the best method. Maybe i won't ever find one. Does it matter?

Around October last year i 1st loaded this roll of Kodak Color Plus into a Yashica Minster III Rangefinder, i enjoyed shooting a load of frames but then released that the film wasn't winding on properly. Sometimes it would wind, mostly it wouldn't, damn, i liked using that camera, sad face.

I then reloaded the film into a Canon EOS 600 and re-shot the roll.
The great thing about using a Canon SLR is all my great lenses.
Although saying that the majority of the photos taken were using a Helios 44-2 lens just for the added focus challenge.

It was October, the days were short, the nights were long. 
Dogs need walking in the dark and wet evenings.
Lets see how well i can get on shooting an expired film at ISO 100, with a manual focus lens wide open at f2 in the dark.

I wasn't overly optimistic but lets say I'm pleasantly surprised. 

Focus isn't great, the scans suck, as the shadows/blacks are all smudgy but Voila there is light in the darkness.

As I just said the focusing isn't precise; no focus confirmation, no split image in the viewfinder.
The lens itself could be over 50 years old so the focus may be off anyway.
Im full of excuses today.

All shots were handheld at 1/50 or less. No tripod for me; I'm not carrying a tripod around whilst walking 2 dogs.

When I see and take a shot like this I always think of the film Bladerunner

Thanks to Lloyd for manning the clock during developing. Although next time talk less, time more!

Friday, 7 April 2017


If it was restored it would be an almighty home. I lost count of the bedrooms. The land and out buildings were vast.

The cost would be ginormous. Too much for average Joe.

Entrance was straight forward, the door was open.
It was easy going around the house as all belongings were gone and the majority of the house had been stripped to bare brick. Light shone in from all directions through holes and cracks in the walls. Sections of the house are not advisable to explore as the ceiling and floor look rotten. Even the last owner/developer has barred access to the worst room as I'm sure you would fall through immediately.

Take a look for yourself.

From the window of the grande house we could see another building in the distance. A 5 minute drive  landed us on the door step of this over grown farm building.

Look at how nature has reclaimed the land.

Thanks to Lloyd for the company.

Thanks for looking.

Tune in next time.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

What a difference a day makes

3 places in one day.

Starting at 8am getting home at almost 9pm.

The great outdoors. Fresh air. Sunshine for the solar powered human body.

Cold, wind and a runny nose.

Photography is my thing. You know that. I have to do it. its all that seems to work for me. Nothing else is quite the same.
Its my smoking, my drug, my vice. I
 need to go out and shoot. Sitting at home slowly drives me crazy. Im a caged photography animal waiting to break free.

3 dogs.
Wow 3 dogs is hard work. 2 dogs is 1 too many but 3 dogs is ridiculous.
Thats 3 dogs that all want to walk in 3 different directions.
3 dogs to clear up after, 3 dogs too feed.
They're living creatures, they need to get out, they need to run.

8am i got in the car and took the dogs to west bank light house at the mouth of the wash.
Walking boots and dog towels at the ready.
The wind was bitter, hands were cold.

After buying the 6D recently I've been using it a lot to familiarise myself with it, which is not that difficult as its like a mini 5D. Ive been carrying it everywhere. Its not super heavy but its hardy unnoticeable especially with the battery grip attached too.
Luckily, which has kept the weight down, I've been shooting with the Helios 44-2 lens.
Its tiny compared to the average 'new' lens. New lenses have all sorts trickery involved in the glass to give you perfect results.

This old lens doesn't have any tricks up it's lens barrel (the closest it has to a sleeve, see what i did there) so its small and light. 254g to be exact and thats with a small lens hood and mount adapter included.
Compare this too, 903g, the1st lens i pulled out of the drawer, my Tamron 24-70 f/2.8.
649g is a big weight saving when carrying the lump around.

Ive been using an adapter with a focus confirmation chip, to aid in getting focus correct. It does a pretty good job too!
Keep the lens reasonably open and it will focus easily, if stopped down even to f8 focus confirmation is not so successful. Apparently this is the case with most manual focus lens/confirmation devices.

As always I've been challenging myself. This time I've been using focus differently; I've not been focusing on the usual subject instead I've focused on another area in the scene and have allowed the main subject to fall out of focus.


Why not?

Why do the same thing as everyone else?

Take this photo for example.

The East bank lighthouse.
It would serve as the subject of focus in many images.
I don't blame it, its not often the average joe sees a lighthouse in real life.
To begin, i create the composition. Follow all of the normal rules or just make the scene pleasing to my eye. After all if you don't like your own photographs then why are you taking them.
Once everythings in place, find another part of the scene to focus on.


I want the usual main attraction to be recognisable but not sharp. Like a fond memory.

Let me tell you. Taking photographs whilst in the company of dogs is hard work.

Its much easier to take a photo of a dog.

But in the company of dogs, it can be difficult.
Right at the decisive moment, the shutter click, your almost guaranteed either the dog will walk into the frame or will jump up you or pull on the lead.

Many of times has this happened to me.
Maybe i should get the message.

On this occasion i just got dirty footprints up my jeans and jacket.

Ella usually sits quite patiently, waiting for my call to move. She deserves a photo now and then.

Focus is not great but she was anxious to move, so, never mind.

I had an appointment soon after the dog walk.
I was then free to roam the streets of Spalding again.
Not a bad 30 minutes spent walking around shooting street.

 Beer cans and alleys. A common occurrence in the Fens.

 One man and his bow.

 Where would the world be without mobile phones?

Smoking, according to one source is the 3rd most difficult addiction to cure. 
It reports that love is the most difficult.

Patiently waiting.
Light, is an amazing thing. Highlights and shadows and create images just by themselves.

Not long after getting home from Spalding i got invited to shoot landscapes with Jack.

Im no landscape shooter. They just don't do it for me.
But you should never pass up an opportunity and just because i don't like something doesn't mean i shouldn't try.

Just like Ribena, i don't like the stuff but if its the only thing available then fill me up a glass.

We drove over to Cromer in preparation for sunset.

I met a couple of other photographers who were waiting for the same light. Its nice to talk shop with new people.

Setting up on the beach i wasn't feeling it. Its not my thing.

But i had do capture something. Luckily the tide was out at this point and so the wet sand was flat and strewn with thin layered puddles that reflected their surroundings like glass.

This is what makes me an artist and not something else is that i know to look for beauty in all scenarios.
Is that a big headed thing? No. I just know there will be something in amidst the mundane.

On to the 'landscape'.
Everyones long exposure favourite; water.

Sitting here thinking about it. I guess the feel good thing about this image, or the story about this image, is the standing around and waiting for the exposure time to be up. So you can see what you've got. Like shooting on film with imaginary fingers crossed hoping that it works out.

Thats my two pence on it, feel free to disagree.

A busy day.

Keep shooting.

Friday, 3 March 2017


Time is precious.
Any chance to use a camera and shoot some pics i want to take it.

Any excuse.

Ive purchased a 6D to replace my back up body as it was becoming a bit long in the tooth for me. The 6D is supposed to be a low light monster. Let me tell you it certainly focuses well in a dark room. I need to compare my 5d and 6d and see which really does perform better.

So 2 full frame camera's and 2 Fujifilm cameras for weddings. Its a good job I've got a big bag.

Im still not ready to leave Canon fully. Every time i put a big camera in my hand it feels so right. Big camera, big lens, big smile. Quit those dirty thoughts!!!
he fuji's are great for the candid moments, where you want to capture people having fun, when you don't want them to notice you. With Fuji's you can blend in. They're less intimidating.
But throw on a 70-200 on a full frame body and the images just have... something.

So. It turned up the other morning and in the constant challenge mode that I'm in, instead of throwing on one of my nice lenses, i chose to put on an old lens that i realistically paid about £2 for with a film body attached. 

The Helios 44-2 58mm, has a good write up by people who use it for swirly bokeh portraits and other images. 
'Swirly Bokeh' google it.

I just put it on because its small and i can use the depth of field scale on barrel to estimate focus for street photography. Ive not really shot street photography with a 'big' camera before, its always with a small Fuji. A new challenge.

Image quality from the 6D is nothing to worry about.

The 44-2 however suffers terribly from soft corners, so don't go putting the subject in the corner of the frame as you may/will be disappointed.

Spalding was the location for this Street photography outing. Not my favourite place in the world, though i have a great fondness for a night out there.

Much like my local jaunt of Wisbech, Saplding also has a huge eastern european population. Beer cans a plenty then.

There's alleys and claustrophobic streets, empty shop fronts and a general grey feeling to the place. Perfect for me then.

Look closely at your surroundings and you might find interest