The day was grey, grimy and greasy under foot along with dampness. You know when it is not quite raining but you get wet anyhow as it's just hanging in the air.
Despite everything I needed to get outside and walk. No choice really! There was however a choice over which camera to carry along with me. I could take a 35mm or 120 film camera though I wanted to travel light and without a kitbag of gear nor a tripod. I chose my Nikon D700 sans battery-grip with a Nikkor 24-85mm zoom. Not the lightest or the best lens necessarily though very flexible. The lack of any redeeming qualities to the available light kind of dictated flexibility.
I headed towards Locking and Green Pastures near to what used to be Weston Airfield, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, UK. With no real idea in mind I'd see if anything worthwhile presented itself to me.
'Street Art – For Sale' is the first monochrome photograph blogged here that is an example of my return, after a couple of decades, to 35mm and 120 film.
Having put together the necessary items in order to be able to process black and white film emulsions again and along with fellow photographers, who gave much appreciated advice and ideas to bring me up to date with current film types/stocks, processing chemicals and scanning negative film, I can now produce traditional film images in addition to my digital photography.
Currently, I do not have a darkroom and harbour no plans to set one up. I will content myself with scanning my negatives for sharing via screen-display, ink-prints and zine-booklets utilising computers and attached printers.
The film is Kodak Double X rated at 250iso; taken on a Nikon SLR/Nikkor zoom lens; developed in Rodinal 1:25 at 70° for 6 minutes.
I was in Berlin for a short while back in 1999. Ten years after the wall that separated East from West, was demolished. The continuing presence of parts of the wall and its affects were still visible and felt.
Some twenty years ago then, as I write this, that I was standing in Panoramastraße, on the neglected slabs, at the base of the steps, outside 1A, 10178 Berlin, Germany. For the time of year the day was grey, cloudy and cool and there was not a soul around!
Back in the day there were no international chains here or much in the way of stores nor shops. Whereas nowadays one might find 'Der Alte Fritz' where one could sit outside and take-in the area as it is currently. One can walk under the covered-roofs to where I had stood taking photographs – when there were no rooves on the concrete installations.
The angle I chose to take my picture gave me a line of site past the Berliner Fernsehturm – Television Tower – to Panoramastraße 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany. However, I could not walk from the Wasser Kaskaden, up the steps and on through to the Television Tower. I was mindful that this seemed as if a metaphor in some way and I resented not being allowed access. Even though I did understand the 'risks', I felt they were acceptable and so would have ignored them and gone on my way – given the choice!
This is as if nothing then to those who had to live and die with the wall itself. The significance of this photograph, if indeed it actually has any significance, always though has a profound effect every time I engage with it.
This is a monochrome photograph of sculpted outdoor street lamps.
I took this picture in Paris, near La Defense, circa May 1992. It was a dull day to say the least, though one can just about make out a modicum of sunlight above the clouds which has nearly brightened the picture in the sky area.
The idea was to get close enough to be shooting upward against the sky in order to isolate the lights from their cluttered background. Using the effect of converging vertical lines to bring the five poles, which were standing apart from one another, together and emphasise the screw thread effect. The exposure was as long as I could risk hand holding to keep some detail in what I knew would most likely be a semi-silhouette.
The film is Ilford HP5. I would have rated the film at 400ASA and developed the film in Ilford ID11, stock diluted 1+3. This photograph was taken on a very cloudy and dull day.
This is a monochrome photograph of an abandoned Citroën 'H' Van and Citroën '2CV'.
I took this picture in Brittany, circa May 1992. The Van was a drab, silver-gray colour and the 2CV was white. This somewhere near Quimper. There was, pretty much, nothing else besides more empty fields around this area.
The empty, quiet, loneliness, except for these two dumped vehicles, seemed at that time to fit my frame of mind. I had lost my Father the previous October and my maternal Grandmother on Christmas eve night; both to cancer.
Though I'm never sad looking at this picture. Moreover, I had and still have a sense of acceptance and of moving on. No, I never feel down at seeing this photograph.
The film is Kodak 5063 TX or as I knew and loved it Tri-X. I would have rated the film at 1600ASA/ISO using a red cokin 'A' filter and developed the film in Kodak HC110 solution B, 1+39. I was, just a little, into that infrared-ish look back then.#photography#monochrome#film#Quimper#Brittany#Citroën
I took this photograph back in the day, circa 1998. I had been out with an SLR camera loaded with colour reversal film. I have no recollection of this walk though I imagine I had been walking near to the Helicopter Museum, Locking, Weston-super-Mare.
I do remember though: walking back along the footpath towards Locking Castle which runs below and to the left of the carriage way, towards Weston and looking up into an azure blue sky, seeing this street lamp and photographing it. 'OneEyeOpen' – 'Life through a viewfinder' – Just the one shot.
As I approached Tyntsfield, Bristol, UK this morning the sky was blue, though cloudy, with some sunshine. I was hopeful for some good, autumnal, lighting and colour. However, by the time I had parked, scanned my ticket at the machine and got into the grounds, that had all changed.
In the foreground is brown leaves and a fallen bow strewn on the floor, under a big old tree. Green grass and various trees are in the middle ground. A bright sky and a few houses are in the background.
This double nut and bolt are part of the steelwork that is fixed to the concrete of the sea wall at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, UK.
I had half an hour to spare and decided to walk along the beach in the sunshine. I'd never, previously, looked all that closely at this stuff, though in the sunlight these large fixings really stood out. Covered in grey, thick, protective paint though the first appearances of orange rust just brought the photo together for me.