Passage of Time


I had the misfortune to have my car ‘conk out’ on me yesterday evening – electrics disappeared. Definitely not good when darkness is falling.  Fortunately, I have breakdown cover.  I made contact with the provider and they told me somebody would attend in the next 75 minutes.  One of our ‘codes’ is that we should get clear of the vehicle on the hard shoulder, getting on the safe side of the safety barrier if there is one. (The local highway police dropped in while I was sorting things out to reinforce the advice, informing me that not long before they had to attend an incident when an articulated lorry had left the road onto the hard shoulder because the driver had dozed off.)

Anyway, after 20 minutes of pacing backwards and forwards, I remembered I’d left my camera in the car so I thought I’d try to take some pictures.  Unfortunately, the light levels were fading fast so hand holding was not a viable option.  There were a couple of steps nearby so I sat on them and tried resting the camera on my knee and try to get some abstract shots. Not sure any of them work as such, but the experiment has provided some practical experience that I might not have had otherwise.


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Oh, I was standing by the motorway for two hours until a low-loader came along to get me home.  Luckily it didn’t rain and the weather was relatively mild.


East Cliff


Taken from the breakwater at West Bay, Dorset, UK.

I took one shot of the cliff without the boat but immediately afterwards noticed it was heading toward the harbour entrance. Timing my exposure for when the boat got into the ‘right position’, I forgot to take account of the boat’s speed by omitting to up the shutter speed – result = motion blur.  Oh well.

(The area of the cliff is owned by ‘The National Trust’ so I may very well be asked to take the picture down.   But, as far as I’m concerned,. they will have to ask and prove I’m making some sort of commercial advantage.)


The Fog

This using my Baldix folding camera. Ilford FP4, developed in Rodinal and scanned.

I went out for the day with a fellow photographer and decided I should use my folding camera.  Unfortunately, we had to cut the trip short as water was dripping from the trees above us (making it unsuitable to use the folder) and my friend really shouldn’t have been out, having a cold which started to get considerably worse in the cold damp air.

Of the two pictures I took, this one I really liked as it came out as I envisaged it (with acknowledgement to Hiroshi Sugimoto, one of my photographic heroes).


In the Forest


The stuff of imagination?

Originals taken with Rollei SL66 medium format camera on slide film.  In my naivety I scanned them with too high a dpi/ppi  and each file is over 600Mbytes, a wee bit too big to manipulate easily on my humble pc.


Folding Up



I’ve created myself a new blog. To a certain extent completely OTT but I felt it needed to be done for my thinking process.  Essentially, the new blog is restricted to a small project that I’ve started, in which I will be using my two classic folding cameras – a Balda and a Voightlander Bessa 1.  Both are medium format cameras using 120 film.  (12 shots on the Balda and 8 on the Bessa!)



Taken using my Rollei SL66 with the home made pinhole adapter and a pinhole punched in a piece of aluminium food tray from a take-away.  On film developed at home and negative scanned for reproduction here.


St Hilda’s Abbey, Whitby

St. Hilda’s Abbey, Whitby, North Yorkshire, England.

This is ‘the’ classic photograph to take of this place.  This taken with my Rollei SL66 medium format camera and the negative scanned.


Door to the Secret Garden

Some time ago I stuck my hand up at a local club auction and bought a couple of folding cameras.  One a “Baldix” with a 75mm f3.5 Ennagon lens and Prontor-S shutter.  As you’ll guess, with a 75mm lens it takes 120 film (6×6 – 2 1/4 square).  There’s a fair bit of rubbing to the coating on the lens but I think that will add to the quality of the photographs it will produce.

I’ve only had a chance to put a single film through, but this was my favourite.

Developed and then negative scanned and minimal wiggly bits in PS.

I’m considering doing a little project with this and the other camera, a Voightlander Bessa 1 but it takes a bit of impetus/get up and go to get the film and get on with it.


Fun with a Tube

Every so often I like to have a play with pinhole photography – not with the commercially available holes and attachments but things I make myself.  I’ve had a crack at doing some with my digital camera, but to be honest, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.  So I’ve tended to stick with film.

My original objective was to create a gizzmo that would fit on the front of my Rollei in such a way that I could attach/detach at will – thus I could drop a pinhole shot into the middle of a film if I wanted.  I wanted use my Rollei as it has a significant advantage because using the waist level finder and a dark cloth over my head I can just about see the image of the subject I’m taking reasonably well.

As you may know, in theory, the pinhole can be any distance from the film plane, the further away the larger the image of the subject but the longer the exposure needs to be.  Okay in theory, but practice?  I had to give it a try.  So I put a pinhole at the front of a parcel tube which I then attached to the front of my camera.

In the picture, the front of the ‘lens’ is supported by a lighting stand with a catapult taped to the top to give a u-shaped support.  Trying to maintain the tube/camera/film plain was a real nightmare.

A couple of examples of the output.

‘Standard’ Pinhole to Film Distance

‘Telephoto’ Pinhole to Film Distance

Standard – the arrow points to the ‘target’

Kirk Deighton Church

I’ll leave you to consider the results, but the tube clearly exhibits a lack of contrast (in part I believe due to scatter in the tube). Also the Church picture is suffering from a slight light leak or glare.

I’m sorry I can’t give you details of exposure – I calculate each exposure using a meter and conversion tables, but the long tube ones will be pushing towards 15 to 20 minutes.

It’s unlikely that I will be making any more attempts, it’s just too much faffing about – trying to line things up, especially on uneven ground – the slightest out of alignment and the image quality/light level drops significantly.