Analogue Brighton Exhibition

I have been tweeting about it a lot recently so hopefully you will all be aware of the awesomeness coming your way! Some of my photo have been in a few exhibitions before but thats been part of winning competitions and I’ve not been able to see them as they have been too far away.

This one is my first proper one and I’m really excited by it. There will be some great photos on show and 4 other analogue photographers.

Collate presents and Artists Residence have been great in helping us display our work. I have had a sneek peak at some of the other exhibits and they are incredible. The private view is Wednesday night and the exhibition run until the 27th April.

If you can come down at any point I would appreciate it, all art work is for sale but its not really a money making exercise (although I would like a yacht) so come on down and show your support.

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.

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! “

Sometimes it all goes wrong

I have recently returned from a snowboarding trip to the fantastic resort of Le Deux Alps. I was really excited as last years conditions were about as much use as a chocolate tea pot. This year there was plenty of snow and they were getting some blue skies.

This would prove to be perfect for some photos. I have started to get quite into planning my equipment and my shots. This year was no different I had probably spent about 2 hours looking through good snowy shots and looking at what film and cameras they had used.

Røros x-processedPhoto by norkateer.
I really liked the pinkyness of some of the new shots coming out of the relatively new tungsten film by lomography. Tungsten is a 35mm, 64 ISO color slide film – its low ISO gives you photos with ultra-fine grain and it can be used with all 35mm cameras. I also had my very last roll of Kodak EB3. Since the sad demise of Kodak they are no longer making this film so this truely was one of the last roles left in the world and in all honesty probably the last time it would be used on snowboarding.
I also took 2 Lomo chrome 100iso films out with me. I did not stop there with the prep. A week before going out I ran the Tungsten film through the dishwasher, dried it for a few days. Then unravelled it (in the dark) used Lucys hairdryer to dry it thoroughly and wound it back in with a chopstick. The dishwashed technique is a strange one and can produce amazing results or it can look like rubbish. It was worth a go and I think it was a world first to try and dishwash the tungsten.

This is one great example of the dishwashed technique by Novakmisi
So i was all set, had a fantastic holiday, all but one day was fantastic conditions. I shot just under a role a day. On the last day we went riding with a seasonair friend, Dan Colas, who is incredible. I got photos of him jumping OVER trees and grinding benchs, hopping rocks, the loot. All on the precious tungsten. I also got some great riding shots of Lucy and two mates who came with us. I was really looking forward to these. So much so I paid for the hour service at Colourstream lab!
I waited that delicious hour, had a coffee, refreshed twitter a bijillion times took a slow walk back to the lab to be greeted by the technician shuffling her feet looking coy.
All four films were blank, all of them, not a single shot had come out. I couldn’t understand it, the camera had been well protected, all films had been with me in hand luggage, batteries were fine. Unfortunately the -20 conditions had rendered the camera useless. The circuit from the batteries to the workings had basically seized.
I am so annoyed about this, the amount of research and effort I went through and the patience my holiday crew had with me while I framed the perfect shot and they are lost forever. It is a real bitter sweet thing as the holiday was great and I was riding better than ever.
Thank god for digital else we would have nothing to show! It was a neglected camera but it did come out at some points.This is a photo from a mid station restaurant overlooking the half pipe. Sorry I couldn’t of shown you more but that is what you must accept if you use film. Nothing is guaranteed.

Shootlove Magazine interviews me

I was recently interviewed for Shootlove magazine.  Shootlove is a great website and magazine specialising in street photographers. They wanted to know about what I shoot and what I shoot with. So I told them about the magic of the Russian cameras.

Please have a read of the article and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

Guardian Feature

I was lucky enough to be asked to submit some work to the Guardian to showcase Analogue photography.

I didn’t have as much time as I would of liked to fulfill the brief so just submitted some of my past favourites. It was such a thill to see my pictures in a National tabloid even if it was just online.

It was such an honour to be asked and its all thanks to Heidi at Lomography who thought of me when they were approached. I was humbled as I know there are many better analogue photographers but I wasn’t going to refuse my time in the limelight!

My camera collection

As Christmas and my birthday have just been I have been lucky enough to get a couple of new cameras and I think I have completed my collection. This is my “need” list of cameras rather than “would like”. There are still lots of cameras out there that I would love but I don’t actually need them. A Leica would be nice but I don’t really have a spare £1500 lying about!

So in order of when I got them, let me introduce you to the gang.

The classic Lomography LCA+ (Pictured is an original LCA) This is an awesome camera and arguably all you need. It has fixed focus points and has a great MX button to make double exposures easy. This kick started my love of analogue and was a wedding present to my wife and I. It is robust (I have dropped it a couple of times) and takes great images with its glass lens.

The next camera I got was the Lomography supersampler in black. I was the “lomohome of the day” on the lomography site so they gave me 50 piggie points to spend. Piggie points equate to pounds so I bought this little beauty. This camera is great fun to use and has a pull string to start capturing 4 images as one. There are two speeds and is ideal at capturing movement. Its really tough and an fit in your pocket. It has limited use but I have had great fun with it so deserves a place on my shelf.

The next camera I got was a lubitel 166b. I had recently won a competition and had again been given a number of piggie points. @achocolatemoose tweeted that she had one of these bad boys spare and would anyone like to buy it. I offered her a straight swap for a Diana Mini (bought with my piggie points). She accepted and shipped the lubitel from Belgium. This is a 120 format camera and takes a lot of getting used to as it doesn’t have any light meters and there is nothing automatic about it. I love this camera although it is bulky and because it is old (1980) it does have a personality of being difficult.

My next edition was a 1967 Zenit E. I got this camera whilst out shopping for halloween costumes. I went into a fabric shop with a wife and as she was browsing this Russian was smiling at me from a shelf. After a quick chat with the owners (who thought I was weird for wanting it) I purchased it for £5. An absolute bargain. This camera is great and takes amazing photos but the all mechanical action and heavy metal body make it as effective a weapon as a camera.

The next camera was a birthday gift from the in laws and what a gift it is too! A Zorki 4 from 1956. This camera I have yet to use but have spent a long time reading about it online. The lens is incredible and KMZ sold alot of these cameras for 17 years. It is basically a poor Russian mans Leica. I can’t wait to learn how to use this. It oozes analogue.

Last but not least is my new Olympus OM1 from 1972. I was given some Birthday money so decided to buy this camera. Although I had the Zenit for an SLR it is not a typical SLR with all of the crazy cool features and easy to get hold of lens’s. The OM1 range was basically the very first of the truely professional SLRs. The OM range went on to produce a lot of cameras from 1 to 10 I believe. As years went on they added more and more electronics and made it more automatic. The OM1 is truely manual and has a neat feature of a light meter needle that doesn’t even need batteries. This is such a good camera and I can’t wait to use it to see what it can do. The whole OM range is great and made very well but the OM1 is special as it was unique and kick started a massive revolution of SLRs.

Thats it, thats the gang, my homies. I have the LCA for great shoot from the hip shots. The supersampler for pure fun. The Lubitel for arty shots that require time. The Zenit for that bit of Russian SLR goodness. The Zorki for range finder shooting with a lens anyone would desire and the OM1 for anything I need. Bring on 2012.

I will just mention too the awesome birthday pressie my wife got me. An Epson V500 the best of all negative scanners. I have never been able to scan my own negs and have relied upon the lab. Now I have even more control over my developing. What a great present and I didn’t even ask for it!

What I love about this collection is that all it has cost me is £5 (The Zenit) They have all been gifts or won or swapped.