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.

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Football Analogue Experiment

I have managed to blag myself a temporary press pass to shoot a football game at Brighton & Hove Albion’s ground, The Amex. It has taken quite a few emails, proof of work, a friend who works for the club and £2m professional indemnity insurance to allow them to let me shoot a game. That’s not the end of the hoops as the club have had to apply for a temporary license for me as the image rights are all owned by presumably sky and the club.

I am really excited for this opportunity. I am an amateur photographer so money is not something that drives me. Its projects like this that keeps me interested.

The game I am shooting will be a Tuesday night game so I will be shooting using artificial lights. I am limited by a number of factors. Sports these days are shot entirely on digital with massive fast lenses.

The equipment I will be using will be my Olympus OM1, I have a 50mm lens on it which won’t be suitable for this so I have purchased a 135mm F3.5 zuiko lens from ebay. Ideally I would be using a F2.8 but the price rise is drastic. I will also be using a Lubitel 166 and a Zenit E.

This was taken on my Olympus OM1 using expired 200 kodal gold film. You can see the lights worked well and the position of a photographer. No problem for a digital long lens but still a hefty range for my 135mm lens.

As the distances my cameras can reach are minimal a lot of this will come down to luck, right place right time. All I can do is make sure I have done my homework and selected the right equipment to use.

I will have the Olympus mounted on a tripod , the zenit E for a hopeful goal celebration right in front of me and the lubitel for crowd reactions.

What I am struggling with is what film to use. This is really important. I do not want to match or replicate digital photos. It has to have that analogue feel to it. It needs to be a fast speed for film. Maybe I should use black and white rather than colour? I am considering using Portra 800 as this should be fast enough to cope with the artificial lighting.

I tweeted Ilford and they said “The HP5+ left at 400 will give you the most leeway with your exposure, push to 800 if floodlit”

I also tweeted my UK analogue crew. Check these guys out, they regularly produce work I can only hope to achieve one day

@IainKendall “B&W. delta 400 would have fine grain…but I love the Delta range.”

@sibokku hp5plus 400 pushed to 800/1600. When dev’d properly it should look nice but a wee bit grainy

@AdamBronkhorst something fast. If your shooting black and white, go for a fuji 1600, if your shooting colour go for as fast as you can get,

@RobOrchard   or there’s Kodak portra 800, too. I’ve still got some FujiPro 800 in the fridge that I’m saving for a rainy day.

So anyone want to recommend anything? Any tips before I go? I have not shot sports before and have read various websites. I am limited in the equipment I have, the quickness of the camera, the amount of shots I can take before reloading, my skill and knowledge and to cap all that it may be a dull game and nothing of interest happens!

There is a lot that could go wrong but likewise this could be a great experiment.