Tag Archives: 35mm

A Day Out

23 Sep

 

Sometimes all you need is a day out, a day off. To wake up and only then decide where to go, to get in a car, heading off for somewhere. What you need is a day of mid-May sunshine and heat, walking up the steps of an old, ruined castle to find the coolness waiting inside, the stonewalls crumbling under the weight of so many years.

 

 

Maybe it would be a monday and most people would be at work, so it would just be the two of you, carefully climbing the spiral staircases, watching the uneven stone steps and walking through the passageways. You would try to sneak photos of each other without the other one seeing but the slowness of adjusting the settings on your old film cameras and that loud, mechanic click of the mirror as you press the shutter in the empty, shelled out castle, would give you away.

 

 

A warm breeze would catch you from the open, barred windows, as you walk step by step all the way to the top and into the open air beneath a blue sky. The view from up there, looking over the old city; the spires of the cathedral on one side and the river with its bridge and its piers on the other. People sitting on the grass in the shade under trees on the lawn below.

 

 

That’s the kind of day it could be. Lunch eaten in the shade of a coffee house while looking at people passing by and the traffic of that particularly busy street corner. A walk down the street afterwards, finding Edwardian and Georgian coins in a small, quirky shop, the imprint and the edges worn smooth with use, and three old postcards from three different places, written and stamped by people you’ve never met from a very long time ago; that feeling of having found a treasure. At the end of that street a bookshop, first seemingly small but extending to the back and up narrow staircases with creaking floorboards, through row after row and shelf after shelf of once-used books. A whole maze of these little passages of tall bookshelves, where you would find on one of them an old book about the streets of Edinburgh as they had been walked in once in the 20s, the red clothbound cover faded and worn.

 

 

And that is how the day would end. In the car home, looking through the open windows at the fields outside the city seen from a winding country lane and the treasures of the day put down on the table in the living room once home. It would end with the light and memory of that day, of the two of you sitting next to each other on cold stonesteps on a spiral staircase. And it would end with writing about it a few days later in order not to forget. How lovely it all was.

 

 

A small creative writing piece I wrote about a day trip to Rochester Castle, along with photographs captured on 35mm film.

 

The Thing About Failures

9 May

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Going Analogue

15 Aug

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Something has really happened to my photography since I got my Polaroid camera. Shooting with instant film has made me look at the world differently. I am much more aware of composition and of light; how strong it is, the direction it’s coming from, the shadows it leaves behind. It has made me see things that I would normally have overlooked or would have seen as too ordinary to photograph. And it has made me want to learn the old school art of taking photographs with analogue film cameras.

I am no stranger to analogue photography. My first experiences with photography as a child, was using the cheap disposable colour cameras that I took with me on summer camps. So when I discovered one day that Black & White disposable cameras existed and that you could buy them in Boots for £8.99, I really liked the idea of going back to basics. As much as I love colour, something happens to a photograph when you take it away.

So since May I have been walking around with this cheap, lightweight and simple camera, carrying it around in my bag everywhere I have gone until I shot the last film on the roll on my trip to London.

 

At first it felt slightly unfamiliar to just click the button and not be able to see the results straight away but as I discovered the other day, there is something really special about slowing a process down and having to wait before you can see the results. As I came home from work to find that the film roll I had sent off to be developed and printed by the photo lab had come back, I experienced something truly magical, as I sat down and unwrapped my first ever Black & White prints.

I saw the photographs I had taken months ago for the very first time. Every moment I had captured took me back to the memory of it, in a way I have not ever experienced my digital photos do. Most of the photos I had forgotten I had taken in the first place.

Sometimes light had leaked into the cheap disposable lens, making one side of the photo cloudy. Sometimes my shots were too dark and underexposed because I took them inside and didn’t want to use flash. This would not have happened with a digital camera but as I held the prints in my hands and looked through them, I loved every single one anyway. For these prints are not about perfection. Instead they have captured all the moments that make out my life.

 

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My cat Disa lying on the sofa in my bedroom at home. The photo is too dark but I still love the picture because of her calm, noble expression.

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The station at home, turned into an unfamiliar place from its normal, dull appearance because of the play between the strong summer light and the shadows.

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Waiting by the gate in Copenhagen for my flight back to England. I had already sat myself down on one of the seats, when I realised that everything in the gate was already black and white and it got reflected in the shiny floor, so I got up and took a picture and ignored all the people that looked at me oddly for standing there with a disposable camera.

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Going with Daniel and his family to walk the dogs and see a ruined church while we were visiting them.

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I have three different photographs of these buildings, because each camera has a different lens and a different angle, so they have brought out different aspects of the building. In this one they look very imposing, in the Polaroid one it looks almost like a 19th century photo and in the digital one it has brought out the texture and shadows of the nest-like building in the back.

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The sunlight falling through the leaves on the staircase on my way home from work one day.

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The medieval streets of Rye that me and Daniel explored with our cameras one afternoon.

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Self portrait of the photographer. It’s a bit too dark and there is a lot of grain because of it but it feels very candid for that reason. No editing, no makeup and no special outfit. This is what I look like, when I look in the mirror.

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Below the South Kensington Station in the tunnel on my way to the V&A I saw these windows and how the backlight illuminated the fence behind them, leaving strange shadows that only I seemed to notice, as people rushed through. This is probably my favourite photograph of them all.


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