The Peak District on Ilford Pan 100

Last month we took a trip with some friends to a tiny camping barn in the Peak District, for a 30th birthday celebration. Lots of laughs were had, new friends made, and I struggled to work through a roll of film. Not for any particular reason, I just couldn’t find anything that looked as good through the viewfinder as I expected.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I finally developed the roll of Ilford Pan 100 yesterday, (in Rodinal, 1+25, 9 minutes). The Pan 100 was a gift from the Emulsive Secret Santa last year, and I’d not used it before. It gives a wide range of tones, some fantastic sharpness and deep, lovely blacks. I’ll definitely be buying another couple of rolls!

Rescanning old negatives, and the curse of dust

I recently (grudgingly) sold my Nikon Coolscan IV 35mm scanner, to be able to buy a flatbed that could accommodate both 35mm and 120 negatives. I’m still not massively sold on the flimsy film holders, as opposed to the easy-peasy “feed it in the hole and wait for the clanging to stop” method of the Coolscan. However, I can’t fault the quality of the scans, even if the method of obtaining them is a bit of a pain.

These shots were taken in the spring, locally to me – a test of my new 50mm Bronica SQ-A lens, and mostly metered on my phone or by eye (still not perfect, but not bad!).

I scanned and processed these all at night, in the dark… which meant I didn’t spot the MASSIVE amounts of dust on the negatives. At some point I’ll go through and clone it all out, but for now, it’s nice to have them properly scanned.

 

Bristol Bike Night

My day job is with a motorcycle dealership, here in Bristol. I covered the last Bike Night of 2017, on a digital camera for a change! We were losing the light towards the end of the night, and I had some fun trying to get the white balance right, but otherwise I’m pretty happy with how these turned out.

Somewhere in a field…

Festival photography is tricky. Too much gear, and you risk not enjoying the event you’ve come to see, due to lugging three bodies and ten lenses around JUST IN CASE. Rely on phone photography, and your battery will be drained before 5pm, leaving you unable to locate your friends in the seething hoardes. Which is why I absolutely love the Olympus XA4 for taking to festivals – small enough to go in a super-stylish bumbag, and sharp enough to take great photos, whatever the conditions.

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Freelensing is bestlensing

Freelensing! What’s that, I hear you scream? It’s the technique of removing the camera lens from the body, and shooting by tilting it to find the in-focus spot. There are expensive Lensbaby lenses that will enable you to do this, but I prefer the DIY method. Using a film camera, I don’t have to worry about dust on my sensor either. Inspired and guided by Lina Forrester’s fantastic blog, I decided to use up the rest of a roll of Agfa Vista 200 on this experiment.

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