Noir

I have always been drawn to dark images, I like strong definition. I keep going back to night photography not just because of its stark beauty but partly because I have little free time and most of it is during the hours of darkness. People get scared of the dark, it gives a strong emotion much like the warmth of the suns rays or early morning mist in an image.

B62futLCQAA7meHI’m no stranger to long exposures, I’ve dabbled in various forms of light painting before but recently I have been really trying to do more scripted work. My Hasselblad lends itself beautifully to this. If you think shooting medium format slows you down, try shooting it at night! Sometimes you are struggling to see anything through the viewfinder.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHI think my wife has thought me mad to leave the nice warm house late at night. To be honest I’ve pushed myself to do it because I know I really enjoy the results.

Night shooting has a different set of rules, strange people come out at night (you’re one of them) I’ve been shooting in fairly remote places so it’s important you do consider the dangers. You have time to do this whilst shooting long exposures, once you’ve fired the shutter you could be waiting an hour to release it.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHPeople I have seen whilst night shooting fall into these categories, boy racers, midnight lovers (doggers), kids out smoking weed and tramps. These people can be intimidating however once I imagined what I looked like (hood up, head torch, staring into the distance, by myself) I look fairly intimidating. I wouldn’t approach me, none of them have. Just remember a sturdy tripod can be used for more than stabilising your camera.

photo(12)Since posting a couple of night images I’ve been asked what settings and how long I’ve been exposing the image. There is a lot of information online about this and all of it contradicts itself. I’ve been emailing Andy Martin about this (check his night and wetplate work) his responses have been brilliant. It is also the same way I shall reply, its important you figure it out yourself. Night time is not just black, you get clouds, you get different moons, you get street light, you get shadows. It’s impossible to apply a sunny16 rule to it. In some scenes 15 seconds will make virtually no difference but in others it can be massive. It also scripts if you want clean images or concentrate on astrology.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHGo out, experiment and be safe.

 

 

 

Devon

I’ve recently come back from a lovely weeks holiday down to Devon. We stayed at a great park in between Brixham and Paignton.

CNV00014I was taken on holiday to Brixham when I was a child so it was fitting I take my daughter on her first holiday to Brixham. In the Middle Ages, Brixham was the largest fishing port in the south-west of England. Known as the ‘Mother of Deep-Sea Fisheries’, its boats helped to establish the fishing industries of Hull, Grimsby and Lowestoft. In the 1890s, there were about 300 trawling vessels in Brixham, most individually owned. The trawlers can still be seen coming in and out of the harbour, followed by flocks of seagulls. . The modern boats are diesel-driven, but several of the old sailing trawlers have been preserved. To visit a harbour steeped in fishing heritage and not eat any fish is sacrilege but neither of us eat fish.

CNV00019 CNV00021Paignton the next nearest town is more on the side of tacky seaside resort, it seems like you step back into the 80’s with the fashion and decor. Its claim to fame was to have Europe’s oldest man made cinema. Paignton also has Kents Caverns which is one of the most important stone age sites in Europe. The caves have been excavated for many years and they have found a 41,000 year old jawbone, the oldest human fossil found in Britain.

CNV00003 CNV00005I would thoroughly recommend a visit to anywhere in Devon, especially Brixham and Paignton. It is a beautiful stretch of the coast, steeped in history, great food and part of British culture. I think its depressing to think many children are brought up exploring other peoples countries more than their own.

The weather was very kind to us which is great because I had only packed some portra 400. Without really being comfortable with my meterless M4 yet, I decided to take my reliable OM1.

CNV00016 CNV00033The irritating part of deciding to take my OM1 is that it seems it now has a light leak which you can see from the pictures. I have been reliably informed it is a fix I can attempt myself, my luck with cameras just seems to be getting worse.

The bad luck doesn’t end there, when I took my rolls of portra to the lab I mistakenly took a fresh roll which they processed (without questioning why the leader was out). When I went to pick it up they made me think I hadn’t loaded the film correctly (this has been done before too) however after a frantic search of my fridge I found the exposed roll.

999862_10153235000955150_68808538_nThis is the problem with film, or rather my problem with film. If I had of ruined/lost a roll not only is it the money wasted but more importantly the recorded memories gone.

547234_10153235000930150_1730549604_n

Catch up

Apologies I appear to have completely stopped blogging. I’m not sure how to get you all up to date in a suitable way so I’m just going to give you the jist and then normal service will resume.

1. I became a father. Shes beautiful and will be the subject of many of my photos from now on.

485485_10152803144650150_1765418924_n2. I bought a leica. An m4 to be precise. This was my present to myself as I realised I wouldn’t have any spare cash for a while (see post 1) I got a Zeiss Biogon 35mm f2 with it. This was a proper indulgence and I promise I won’t turn into a leicawanker but its an investment and the best tool for my hobby.

Leica_M4_with_curved_lever3. I went to Germany for work, I took my Olympus OM1 to take some long exposures as it has an awesome bridge and cathedral. Long story short the camera fell whilst attached to the tripod and that was the end of the camera.

Cologne-Cathedral4. I bought a mint condition black Olympus OM1. Got a great rate and service from the finder and enthusiast that is Dave Lam. If you have any questions about seemingly anything to do with film photography or want to find a camera give him a tweet.

BRU-INtCAAAO72E5. I really enjoyed my Lubitel but it was limiting and the lens wasn’t great so I purchased a Yashica D. It arrived around the same time as I became a father and winter so I didn’t use it for a while and when I did I found it was broken. (Thanks Ffordes photographic) However I managed to fix it and its ready to roll again once I reskin it.

yashica-d6. The football shoot went really well. It was challenging trying to focus and use the floodlights. I had to sign all rights away however as the game images are all owned by Brighton & Hove Albion but here’s one of the crowd which I’m sure I can sneak in.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHThat pretty much brings us up to date. I have been reading a lot and admiring a lot of photographers work which has inspired me even when I haven’t been shooting much. Hopefully I have a lot more posts to come.