My 99pence camera………

99pence I hear you say……well actually it was £5.99 because the postage was £5 but what a cracking bargain it is.

I am now getting seriously hooked on ebay and charity shops for old retro cameras I have just won another as I type this blog post up… A Yashica Minister-D an almost mint rangefinder.

Anyway, this little camera blew me away when I opened the parcel on the weekend it was an excellent, solid piece of german engineering (well metal not plastic…lol) only problem was I did not have any batteries to try it out so had to wait till yesterday to get them.

Luckily the sun was still out when I got home from work and I quickly loaded the batteries and a roll of cheapo Kodak Colorplus (just incase the camera was a dud) and rushed out to snap a few photos.

It took a bit of guess work with guessing the focus distance but I was shooting at f8 mainly so I was not too fussy.

I was really pleased with the photos, sharp and contrasty and the huge viewfinder was a pleasure to use, I am going to be using this little beauty a lot and would recommend anyone interested in film photography to check out eBay as there are a few about.

All these shots are straight scans un edited even for dust and hairs……lol

Olympus mju-11 & outdated Agfa Film………

Popped into Bridgend last week and noticed some old film cameras in the Heart Foundation Charity Shop most were APS format but there was an Olympus mju11 35mm amongst them, sadly not the one with the fixed prime 2.8 but with the zoom but for £5 I was not going to moan.

Eager to try it out it was loaded with some Agfa Vista 400 that expired in 2009 and out I went for a walk.

It was a very easy camera to use once I figured out how to stop the flash going off every shot and after processing the film, the results were pretty pleasing.

I will be throwing this camera in my bag and trying some street photography with it as it’s very small and compact and the autofocus performed great as long as I use fast film or shoot in the sun its a great addition to my ever growing camera collection.

Kodak T-Max 3200 on a Sunny Afternoon………..

A few days ago a fellow photographer gave me a load of different types of film of which were a couple of rolls of Kodak T-Max 3200.

Eager to try this film out and even though the weather was bright and sunny I loaded up my Nikon F90x as it has a shutter speed up to 1/8000 sec and popped up my local graveyard hoping to capture some gritty images.

I was pleased with the results all things considered but I may use the next roll on something more appropriate that requires that sort of sensitivity……..lol

Tree felling in the Garw Valley and the aftermath…….

Over the last few months the trees in the Garw Valley have been felled due to an outbreak of ‘Phytophthora ramorum’ which is a fungus-like pathogen of plants that causes extensive damage and mortality to trees and other plants.

It is so sad to look out of my windows overlooking the once green hills that are now barren due to this disease but from what I have read this is the only way to stop the spread.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-85TDX6

I decided to take a walk and try to document how this has changed the once beautiful tree covered valley using both Digital and Film.

All these photographs were taken using a Nikon FM2n and 50mm lens on ilford Delta 400 and hopefully shows the decimation this has caused, I think the Black and White gives a more poignant/sad feel to the images.

I am sure mother nature will prevail and cover this once green valley again.

Thanks for looking……  click to view a larger image….. 

My first roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 and home developing fun……..

Last week I decided as I was shooting more and more film I would have to have a go at developing my own negatives. This is something I have not done since school.

When studying for my ‘O’ level Art my teacher Mr Halley who was a keen photographer set up a darkroom and some of us who were interested in photography got to waste our Friday afternoons developing and printing our own stuff which is where I got gripped with the photography bug over 30 years ago.

With a mixture of memory/facebook friends and youtube I ventured into my makeshift darkroom /bathroom 🙂  and thought I had made a total mess of my film.

First it all unwound and dropped to the floor, then I managed to cut the leader at an angle so it would not wind on to the spool, eventually I emerged from the bathroom thinking the worst but I was so pleased after opening up the processing tank when I saw images instead of clear or black film.

It is such a thrill to process my own film it brings back so many memories, I love processing my digital shots too, but there is something about the look/feel and smell of Film.

These shots are far from perfect but as it is all my own work I love them…….

Thanks for looking…….comments are very welcome  🙂

Click on photo to view larger……….

Snow comes to the Valley…………

The weather forecast was for snow to arrive here in South Wales around 10am on Saturday and they were not wrong, it snowed until late afternoon when sadly it turned to rain but as it was still extremely cold overnight most of the remaining snow has turned to ice.

Because it was snowing while we went out for a walk I didn’t really want to take my DSLR so used my trusty Olympus E-PL1 and as it is always in my pocket my iPhone4 using Hipstamatic.

The iPhone shots used the combination of the James M lens with Ina’s 1969 film.

While the Olympus was set to Pinhole mode and the emulsion frame effect was added in Photoshop.

iPhone……

Comments greatly accepted…………..

 

A Black & White Day……..

There is something about Black & White photographs that draw the viewer into the shot, I don’t really know what it is but I find that if I look at my own pictures in both Black & White and colour most often than not the B&W version seems to have more about it.

Maybe its because I am not distracted by so many colourful elements that it gives me more time to really look at the composition and lighting and my mind and eyes are not competing with each other so find what the photograph is all about.

Here is a selection of fairly ordinary shots from a few of my local walks that seemed to have much more about them in B&W if I had not gone back and looked through my Aperture library for this exercise they may have never seen the light of day here on my blog.

Comments are very welcome………..

A Break in the Weather…….

At last on the day before I am due to go back to work there seems to be a break in the incessant rain we have been having here in the South Wales Valleys.

I decided to just set out with the Olympus E-PL1 just in case I got caught in a downpour.

All of the shots here are using the ‘Art’ filter… Pinhole, as I shoot Raw all the time selecting the Art Filter writes a Jpeg with the selected effect and an untouched Raw file incase the effect was not successful.

I really like what the Pinhole filter does to the images even though you do lose some of the detail and sharpness.

click on an image to view………

No Rugby today again……….

For the second week running Pontycymer RFC’s games have been called off so no rugby for me  😦

I decided to take the camera setup for rugby on a little walk as it was not raining and see what I could get that was a little slower paced.

The gate copes very well with the sheep but is not so great with the other local wildlife…..lol

I also tried out a new photography app for my iPhone called “Streemate” and will be posting up some of the shots I took later on.

Nikon D7000,  Nikon 80-200mm f2.8  iso400 @f2.8

click on image to view larger…….

 

 

A Nice afternoon stroll……..

Its half term in school and I have a week off work so I have been decorating since the weekend and as the sun was shining late this afternoon I took a break and went out for a stroll with my camera.The Autumn colours are great but I decided to take a 3 shot bracketed shot of the Lake just to see if I could show the full range as I saw it.

I don’t think it looks too over cooked, comments appreciated……..

Nikon D300s,  Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC

click on image to view larger…….