Last weekend we popped down to Porthcawl for an hour or so with my F90x loaded with ilford HP5+ thinking I would capture some gloomy shots of dark clouds and wet holiday-makers but as soon as we parked up the sun came out and so did the people.
It’s a bit of a challenge to shoot candid street photos on film as you cannot just shoot loads and find the good one’s later you have to be very patient and when a shot shows it’s self make sure you get it right.
As the sun was pretty bright and most of the times I found myself shooting into it I was not really sure whether or not I got the shots even though I deliberately over exposed trying not to get silhouettes but the camera and film combo worked great.
It was quite a nice walk around the seafront and we popped into Coney Island on the way back to the car, I could have done with a roll of Colour Film then but they say its going to be a Sunny weekend so we may pop down again, its great to have the seaside right on your doorstep.
We popped down my Mum and Dad’s on Father’s day and I was determined to get some candid portrait shots of Dad as he never likes his photograph taken and as a challenge I was using film.
As usual he was a hard subject to pin down but I did manage to get a few nice frames with pretty good expressions.
When we left we popped down the coast to Porthcawl for a nice stroll by the seaside where I shot another roll of Tri-x 400. It is getting easier to shoot manual now after 15+ rolls and it is such a nice feeling to take my time and choose the shot rather than shoot everything and look through later for the best ones.
Ok, not every shot I take on film is perfect but even the one’s that are not quite what I envisaged at the time are still keepers.
I called into my local camera shop … (Celtic Camera Centre) …on the weekend to pick up a few rolls of film and noticed they had a Nikon 24mm f2.8 manual focus lens for sale, it was a lovely thing and I am looking to get a wide angle lens to use on my FM2n but sadly it was a bit out of my price range at the moment.
But Andy pointed out they had a Nikon 35mm f2.5e lens also, it was not in the same league as the 24mm……. plastic and a bit tatty but optically fine and was only £50 so I thought I would give it a go.
When I got home I put it on my D7000 and delved into the menus to enter the Non-CPU data so as to be able to use the lens. I only took a handful of shots and imported them into Aperture and was amazed at the results I shot everything wide open and they looked great.
Next I loaded up my FM2n with a roll of Ilford Delta 400 and mounted the lens.
I went out for a walk and proceeded to test out the lens at various subjects and apertures.
On Sunday we went to a Photography exhibition at The Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff bay to see “The Last Resort” by Martin Parr & Tom Wood
so I took the film camera with me to use up the roll and couldn’t wait to get home to develop it and see whether it performed just as good on film as it did on digital.
I was really impressed at the resultant negatives this lens is no way a match for its more expensive equivalents but for £50 it is an absolute steal….closeup the results were excellent even wide open but it did need to be stopped down to get the best images at any distance over a few feet away.
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…….
After the viewing we walked around the bay looking for photo opportunities using my film camera and my D7000 and Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and immediately came across a great couple sitting down enjoying an ice cream. I didnt want to shoot them candidly so I asked if they were up for a portrait and they gladly obliged 🙂
The main image at the top of the blog is of the Seamen’s Memorial Sculpture created by Brian Fell to the sailors of the Merchant Navy who lost their lives crossing the Atlantic Ocean during the Second World War and the building in the background is the Pierhead Building built in 1897 as the headquarters for the Bute Dock Company.
All in all it was a cheap afternoon out and I am looking forward to getting my film back to see the results, Cardiff Bay is a great place to shoot street stuff.
A really special weekend here in Wales as we had one more game to win in order to secure the Grandslam in the RBS 6 Nations Championship.
France the world Cup finalists came to Cardiff trying to spoil the day but the welsh team did us all proud and won the championship and Grandslam to boot.
I arrived in Cardiff early as last week when we entertained the Italian side the trains from Bridgend were jammed packed and I was determined to get there a bit earlier to capture some of the atmosphere in the streets with my trusty little Olympus E-PL1.
The French supporters were very entertaining and were extremely willing to pose for some photographs, it was a pleasure to roam the streets camera in hand capturing the flavour of the day.
The Olympus performed very well even though I could not get the nice shallow DOF I can with my SLR and 30mm f1.4 I was happy with the shots it gave me.