Lubitel Light Painting

I have recently become more involved on flickr and its introduced me to some local analogue enthusiasts.There is a good group called Analogue Brighton where you can share tips/hints/pictures and advice.

They have been meeting up every month or so for a while. I finally took the plunge and decided I would meet these internet people! Would I be abused, murdered, sold time share? I did not know but if it was all under the guise of analogue I was up for trying.

I have to say that I have now been for two meets, the first of which only one person (25ThC) turned up. It went swimmingly and we had a good geek out with beers followed by a light painting shoot in the graveyard.

Last week we re arranged another and this time it was serious 4 of us turned up. 25ThC, Captainbonobo and Rivermonkey. Again we had some beers and discussed the really geeky things that go along with analogue. Things like expired and hard to find film, different cameras were shown. It was like an analogue antiques roadshow, we were the only people in the pub, thank you to the barman who didn’t just laugh.

So we decided to head up to St Anns Wells gardens as it would be away from street light and had enough space for us to run about with lights.

The Kit

1. Tripod

2.   Lubitel 166

3. Shutter release cable, a must for light painting shots.

4. Loads of torches, lights and flashing things.

I decided upon my lubitel which uses 120 film. This may be a really bad choice for light painting as 120 film can only do 12 shots a roll and is expensive to develop. I like it as I really think about the frame of my shot when I stare down the barrel. How cool does that look?

The results

This one is a long exposure of 25ThC. I got him to use a yellow coloursplash flash to highlight his face and legs in different positions. I love the glare and half-moon it created.

This is me and ive used a different filter on each one of the flashes. I wanted to see what would happen when the flats light were behind me.

The guys I went with were a joy to shoot with. Captain Bonobo actually lives on the edge of the park and in his dedication even rang his girlfriend to tell her to turn off the lights as it was ruining his shot. Hero.

Captain Bonobo walking on a light leak. Love this one. 25ThC drew round him with a flashy keyring and when I scanned the neg a light leak showed up in the perfect position.

More of the shots can be viewed here. Most of these shots were being exposed for about 4-5 minutes. At one point we were interrupted by some drunk tramps who were very interested and shouted various comments at us whilst they played on the swings.

This is one of the shots from the previous shoot

UK Analogue Awards 2012

I have just had a great email and thought I would share it with you.

I recently submitted some photos for the UK Analogue Awards.

This new award aims to celebrate film photography in all its glory, reclaiming analogue photography as something that’s more than just an effect on your iPhone, or a vintage filter on photoshop. This new award champions film photography as a powerfully creative medium for artistic expression. Photographer’s from all across the UK are eligible to submit their work, whether young or old, professional or amateur, and the winning submissions will be selected by Lomography and this year’s committee. All those who have made the cut will have their photographs displayed as part of a weeklong exhibition hosted by DONT WALK in Edinburgh, where members of the press and the wider public will be invited to browse through and purchase prints of the best submissions. Though prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place, the winning photographer will be interviewed by a number of blogs and magazines including Pictures Music and Lomography amongst others.


I am hugely grateful and proud to say I have been shortlisted. There were 650 entries and they shortlisted 10 people. So I am very happy. Thank you for all your kind words and support. Sorry to all of my friends for probably boring them about it!

Its been a great day as not only has this all been confirmed but a photo from my dishwashed roll made it on Flickrs explore page.

Thank you!



Dishwashed Film

I have long been an admirer of distressed film techniques. There are various ways of distressing film such as dishwashing, soaking in salt water, silicon gel, rice. All can lead to great shots but what I love is that it is a massive experiment and the results are bespoke and unknown. You cannot guarantee what results you will get as you are playing with the chemical balance of the film and the reaction will be different each time.

I have recently purchased an Olympus OM1 and I decided the first roll to go through this awesome camera would be a distressed film. There are a number of people who have written about these techniques with deliberately misleading information and missing out vital steps. I had tried this technique before without success due to following someones recipe who thought it was clever to not tell people the full story. Analogue is not always a great community, some people do not want you to succeed contrary to what some marketing schemes would have you believe.

So here it is the Dishwashed Soup Technique (DST).

1. Get a film, any film would work but remember what you are going to shoot with it and in what camera and adjust your speed and type accordingly. From what I have seen they will come out darker than what you would if shooting without DST.

2. Load into your dishwasher! Take it out of its canister and its best to load it into a cutlery tray to avoid it flying about.

2. Once finished leave the film for a couple of days to relax. Somewhere nice and dry and out of the sun unless you wish to distress the film even more. The reason for leaving it to relax is because step 3 is applying a lot of heat and that may just tip the chemical reaction over the edge.

3.  Find yourself dark room and a hairdryer. You will need to pull the unexposed film out of the can and carefully dry it. Use nice big sweeping motions to avoid prolonged heat contact. When you pull the sticky film out I found it curls up a lot so a top tip is to attach a clothes peg to the end of the film, this will keep it nice and straight.

4. Shoot it.

I knew that with this film it’s not great for creating detail so I wanted to try to shoot some shapes. So I rang up another aspiring photographer, Mike and asked if he fancied coming on a photo walk through the countryside. We decided upon a nice 10 mile walk in Lower Crawley following an old disused railway line. The route is called Worth Way and I highly recommend it. Details of the route can be found here. Mike  (@Mikey_AbsentElk) was great company and walked at a good pace which was nice as I like to walk fast! He was shooting digital but don’t hold it against him. We saw wild deer, llamas, pigs, pheasants, squirrels, pigs and various birds. Was all going swimmingly until we met the main road and didn’t know the right way to go so asked an old lady which way. She pointed us in the (wrong) direction. It started raining. We walked about a mile down a really busy 50mph road which was a bit sketchy. After deciding the old lady had sold us up the garden path we turned round and did the mile again. We decided to escape the rain and headed to the nearest pub to sample the local ale. (God I’m old).

So here are some of my results from that day. If Mike is kind enough I will show you some of his shots later.

Would appreciate any feedback on the shots. I know they are not everyone’s cup of tea. The rest of the shots can be viewed on my flickr page. A word to the wise putting these types of film through a commercial lab is naughty. It can ruin their chemicals so either ask permission and be prepared to be shot down, send it away to a mass lab or give it to a lab you are not fussed about using again. I won’t disclose where I got these developed.

World War 2. London in Colour

I am fascinated by the blitz. Every time I go to London I look at buildings, a mix of old and new and you can pretty much guarantee the mix is there due to bomb damage during World War 2. More than a million houses were destroyed in the blitz. It must have been such a scary time and yet the people of Britain showed tremendous pride and courage and refused to roll over.

William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
A view of London after a German air raid, 1940.
These latest set of colour photos are some of the most stunning, interesting photos I have ever seen. From an art point of view they are beautiful, such amazing colours. From a historical point of view they are of vital importance to remind ourselves of those brave souls.
Somehow seeing them in colour makes it even more real. Black and white images are things of yesteryear and something the playstation generation cannot always connect with.
What you have to remember is that the blitz was designed to crush spirit, industry and the economy. A residential house was as valid a target as an airfield.
I think the best photos contain the right mix of capturing the moment, striking imagery and something that gives us an emotion. These certainly do. See more here
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

X-Ray Machines

The question about whether X-ray machines damage film is as old as Bruce Forsyth.

There are quite big devides and wars have been started over it.

*no wars have been started over it.

Well lets ask the professionals. Gatwick Airport kindly had the following to say.

Don’t worry – our x-ray machines won’t harm your film or equipment. The British Photographers’ Liaison Committee (BPLC), have given the all-clear to our hand-luggage x-ray inspection systems saying that it is safe for all normal film types (up to and including ISO 400) as well as for digital storage media.

Specialist film (ISO 800 and above) can sometimes be affected – but the effects are barely noticeable to the naked eye and do no become clearly visible until film is exposed around 32 times. But we can make special arrangements for photographers carrying professional film (ISO 800 and above) – just contact us our your airline before travel.

Professional photographers requiring more detailed information can contact the BPLC on +44 (0)20 7739 6669.

So there you go, take it in hand luggage and take 400iso and under and you will be fine.

Shit Lomographers Say

This made me chuckle today, some classic phrases from the lomo click.

It seems we are in a constant state of dilemma about what cameras to take places, what to do with the film, willl xray machines damage our film and how many piggie points we have!

My good friend Robot Keyboard said “Add in references to chocolate and Reading and it’s like talking to you! “