From time to time Jason Avery (@_JasonAvery) runs camera challenges on Twitter. Not exclusively film they are designed to get people communicating and trying things outside their normal sphere of photographic operation. Whilst I don’t participate in all of them I do like to get involved from time to time. The May theme was architecture and I thought I’d have a bash.
… the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings.
I’m glad I checked … it means that the absence of any grand old buildings doesn’t preclude Elland from the challenge. Buildings it is then!
The first challenge for me was choosing what to use. I prefer to pick a single camera for these challenges. However …
So, week one, I’m using the Holga 120 and black and white film. I’ve a selection of emulsions, different speeds; as aperture and shutter speed are basically set in stone (or plastic) the only variable I can control is the film speed.
My subject matter is constrained by how far I can wander from home this week. At present it looks like I’m going to be stoating about my local patch, which is not a bad thing as it will force me to look at my regular haunts a little differently. I loaded the first roll of film on the 8th, Kentmere 400, when it was rather overcast and raining. I only managed four frames however so we started Tuesday the 9th with 400 film loaded and bright sunshine. It wouldn’t normally matter, I’d just put the camera to one side and use a different camera with slower film usually, but this is #CameraChallenge and whilst I’m happy to vary film stock I do try to stick to one camera throughout, for good or bad!
Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible so I did end up using a few different pieces of kit.
I managed a handful of wanders over the week. Whilst I started by looking at architecture/buildings fairly widely I soon found myself drawn to the Openreach facility at Elland Exchange (above) and by the end of the week it was the only building I was photographing which is part of the reason why multiple cameras came into use.
Strictly speaking this week was set aside for developing films and editing images. I followed my usual practice of developing films on a daily basis (I dislike a backlog) so there wasn’t a lot to do this week apart from identify those that I’d be sharing in week three and working on this blog post.
In total I managed to get out on four of the allotted nine days that comprised “week” one. A total of six rolls of 120 film were consumed by the plastic fantastic which comprised four different emulsions. I also put a roll of 35mm film through the Nikon F801 and as we’ve seen used my phone on a couple of occasions. I used a variety of developers dependent on the film stock and followed my usual processes throughout.
Now, the theme for the week was architecture, but this is me and I’m a photographer first and foremost, capturing what I see and reacting to light and place. So, there are images on each roll that have nothing to do with the theme. I also interpreted the theme fairly loosely, the word “buildings” was my watch word you may recall from earlier in this post. As I’ve already mentioned by the end of the week I’d settled on one building.
The image above, from the first roll, is a case in point. An architect would have designed the original buildings but time and usage has shaped how these look today. The past is also present as illustrated in this image by the faded sign on the side of what is now a gents hairdressers. One day I will investigate that one more fully. The building below, from my second roll, is all that remains of an entire street of houses at the top of possibly the oldest lane in Elland.
So, there you have it, my May Challenge in one post. There are other images from the first week which may well see the light of day but in the meantime thanks again to Jason for organising everything and thanks to those who took part and are now just about to share the fruits of their labours.
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