Skye 2015

Canon AE1 Kodak 400TX

As its Friday I’ve dusted off the scanner ready to make my first “Film Friday” post. I did shoot a roll of 35mm film yesterday but as I’m going to be sending films off for developing for a while I’ve nothing from yesterday that I can scan. So I’ve dug out my old negative folder and am looking for something suitable for my first official Film Friday offering.

In the meantime here’s a few 35mm black & white negatives I scanned all taken with a Canon AE1 on Kodak 400TX (the replacement for Tri-X I believe) on Skye in 2015 (click an image to make it bigger).

9-in-45

Finally, I got the opportunity today to accept Mr C’s Nine in Forty Five challenge. What is that? Put simply, nine photograph in forty five minutes following the following rules, taken directly from Mr C’s “forty Five” blog:

RULES OF FORTY FIVE

  • Select a starting point for your walk but do not take a photograph.
  • Walk for 5 minutes and take your first photograph from where you stand.
  • Repeat and stop every 5 minutes for the duration of 45 minutes to complete a set of 9 images.
  • Take only one photograph at each location and none in between.
  • Spend no more than one minute selecting, composing and shooting the image then move on to the next.
  • The first image at each location will be the one you keep.
  • Do not delete or retake any images.
  • Images can be taken in colour or black &white.
  • Photographs should essentially be straight from camera.  Any post processing should be minimal – levelling, tweaking and minor cropping are permitted.
  • Photographs should not be heavily processed or put through filter styles.
  • Selfies are not eligible for inclusion on Forty Five.

I’m not going to reflect upon the challenge in this post, I will do that later with the benefit of a few days distance from the challenge, but what I will say is that whilst there are several images her that I would not otherwise have taken I do wish I’d walked a route I’m not quite so familiar with for this first 9-in-45. In the meantime here are all nine images, click on any image for the full-sized versions:

My first attempt at the 9/45 Challenge started at 9.37am on Thursday 5th September, walking from Calderdale Royal Infirmary in Halifax to Elland Bridge, finishing 0n the bridge at 10.32.

Film Friday

Alliteration is an “in” thing it appears, Throwback Thursday was the one that caught my eye recently along with Flashback Friday. I have to admit to being partial to a bit of alliteration especially in image titles. But as always I’m digressing before I start.

The aliteratively-challenged Instant August was a very successful project in my mind and if it weren’t for the inherent cost of doing so I’d have continued the project into September. It did however reawaken the long suppressed itch to get the film cameras out of their box. I have a Mamiya C3 twin lens reflex camera that I’ve never used; a birthday present last year that came with a jammed shutter so hasn’t yet seen a roll of film.  I can’t even remember if I resolved the issue or not.  There’s also a Mamiya RB67 and a Hasselblad gathering dust in the cupboard. In a box underneath are a dozen assorted SLRs of various vintages and brands some with lenses others not. 

Birch Trees (1)
Birch trees …Hasselblad 500C/M FP4+ Home developed and printed

So, totally ignoring the cost implications, I ordered six rolls of 35mm black and white film and five rolls of 120 film.  All black and white and none of them my usual Ilford or Kodak emulsions. Adox Scala, Redscale, Kosmo and a few different Foma emulsions are all on order and will shortly be sat next to my medication on the middle shelf of the fridge. I’ve a tin full of out of date film to play with too but wanted some fresh film initially. With developing costs it might have been cheaper to stick with “Snappy September” (I needed a thesaurus to come up with snappy for instant!).

The plan, insofar as it is a plan, is to post one shot taken on film each Friday until the end of the year, so that’s 17 posts for Film Friday 2019. The first few posts are likely to be images from the archive but the aim is that those from October onwards will be new images. 

© Dave Whenham
The shot here does have a certain atmosphere or charm I guess – Holga 120 PAN.

All of which leads me to think about where my photography is heading at the moment. A move from landscapes to urban subjects, a tendency to focus my lens on the more mundane aspects around me, instant photography and Instant August , Hipstamatic and Distressed FX on my iPhone and now plans for Film Friday.

One of the blogs I follow regularly is Postcard Cafe, proprietor Mr C.  He recently commented on one of my posts that:

“… with photography I feel like I’m on a constant learning curve to improving my eye, skills, images and enjoyment.  I cannot see a point where I stop learning from my photography.”

Mr C … Postcard Cafe

That resonates with me. Add to that a naturally restless nature and a tendency to get sidetracked very easily and my photographic meanderings in 2019 look normal. I find that recently I’ve been very drawn to more “mundane” scenes with a more graphical quality both in colour and black & white. Not sure if it’s a sign of tastes evolving/changing or whether it’s a natural reaction to the 365 Challenge where I have to rely on what’s around me for my daily image. That the single stand-alone landscape images that I have in the past always been drawn to are less achievable for many reasons is one reason I guess. 

I also think that the discipline of a daily image is slowly retraining the eye to look beyond the obvious. When I accepted the 365 Challenge I also set myself the added criteria that I needed to be proud of the image hence no snaps of my tea or other social-media staples. It’s a source of great satisfaction that I’ve achieved this aim.

So, whether or not we could have predicted Film Friday at the start of 365-2019 is debatable. I do think however that it’s genesis is possible to predict with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight!

365 – 650+ images in!

October 2017, an email from Max innocently suggests I join the 365 group he’s involved with, starting with the next iteration of the challenge on 1st January 2018. Great idea! Why not?

Twenty-four hours later I remembered, a year or two before I’d attempted a picture-a-day for February, the shortest month no less, and I not only struggled I produced some really abysmal images. What was different in 2017 that I thought I could manage 365 consecutive days? I started looking in all the drawers for the marbles I was certain I’d lost the day before.

© Dave Whenham
2017 – the first 36 images of the 63-2017 Challenge


The 63-2017, as I’ve commented before, set me in good stead for 2018. So much so that I’m now well into the 2019 Challenge and over 650 consecutive daily images to the good.

To satisfy the inner geek here are year to date camera usage figures, with 2018 in brackets:.

CameraImages%
Fuji16974%. (65%)
Smartphone4017% (3%)
Drone83%. (9%)
Instant camera42%. (-)
Other94%. (1%)
Nikon– (22%)
365 August 2019 mosaic
The latest set of daily images which includes two Instax prints

It’s too early to do a complete “review” of the 2019 Challenge but suffice to say I continue to make a daily image and continue to enjoy the experience. Many of the images I’ve taken would not exist if it were not for the Challenge BUT there are none that I would not, with hindsight, have taken so hopefully that means I have not compromised on quality because of this focus on quantity.

Instant August: Day 26

I really struggled narrowing my Instant August choice down to just one for the 26th; the Mini 90 was very productive that day and I was spoilt for choice. When I collate the final Instant August project (a scrapbook) all three of that days shortlist will make it onto the pages of the book! Until then – here they are!

Who could resist!
The front runner for several days – Instax Mini 90, Neo Classic. (flash OFF)
Double exposure: the “one” that made it to Flickr!

All: Instax Mini 90, Neo Classic.