Sunday, 4 December 2016

Sunday Photos


It's very cold here in Sutton Coldfield today. As you can see, the windows were a bit frosty this morning. I was actually meant to be in Newcastle this weekend going to see The Pixies, but I've been feeling exhausted lately, so I decided to stay home. I wouldn't normally waste a gig ticket like that, but there'll be plenty of other gigs. Last weekend I went up to Manchester to see Lush play their last ever gig, and it was amazing! I'm probably still tired from that. Must be getting old...

I have tomorrow booked off work so I'm enjoying having the luxury of a long weekend with nothing much to do. :D Hopefully, I will get quite a few Getty submissions done. I've also recently joined another stock agency, Arcangel, so I will do some submissions to them too. Does anyone who reads this have any experience of selling with them? I really like the look of their website, at least.

Anyway, here is a random bunch of photos from this morning, including more cheeky squirrels!





My mum and I made some paper snowflakes last night - I'm sure I'll take more photos of them nearer Christmas. :)


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Updated Portfolio Site



Just a quick post to say I've recently updated my portfolio website so that it has a new gallery page. So, if you're bored on this Sunday evening feel free to have a browse.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Everyday in October: Week 4/5


This project got increasingly difficult towards at the end as I found it so hard to find the time to shoot outdoors and get the autumnal pictures I was after. I always forget how early it gets dark in the autumn. I ended up having to take so many photos indoors this time, which was a shame. Never mind...I enjoyed the challenge for the most part, and got some photos I'm really pleased with... 



I've decided not to continue shooting a daily digital photograph in November. I will most likely be spending much of my free time in November shooting black and white film and using my darkroom as much as possible. :D

In the meantime, enjoy these final autumnal-ish photos from October...



















You can see all the photos I took in October together here

Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Darkroom Project: First Prints!

I spent 4 hours today in my darkroom and I tell you it went by so fast! I actually hardly made any prints at all because it took a very long time to work through the various problems I experienced. 

I had issues with the developer temperature (my fault for heating it up, perhaps unnecessarily), issues with my second-hand proof printer being useless, as well as some smaller problems like accidentally getting fluff on a negative, oops. But, I've learned so much today, and the whole experience was really enjoyable. :D

Most of what I printed today is not worth sharing but I really like these simple high contrast flower photos. They are both 8x10 prints. I shot all the images with my Minolta X-300 and used Ilford HP5 film.

 

I'm definitely accustomed to shooting in colour because so many of the photos I took really just didn't work in black and white at all. There was too much going on in them and in colour they might look interesting, but in black and white they looked messy. 

It's going to take some getting used to, but hopefully, it will get easier in time. :)

Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Darkroom Project: Ready to Begin


After not doing any work on my darkroom over the summer months, I finally got it all set up in the last few weeks. :D I found it hard to motivate myself to get on with it throughout the summer. Shutting yourself in a small darkened room is not so appealing when it's warm and sunny outside.

Since the summer, the room has had a big clear out. This is what it used to look like, if you remember...



...and here is how it's all looking now :D (excuse the poor lighting)








Most of my equipment is second-hand. I got a large haul of smaller items like the tongs, trays, developing tank, stirrers, thermometer, easel, some paper and one of the safe lights from someone on eBay who was obviously having a clear out of his attic or something.

The enlarger is also second-hand and I got it from studentphotostore.com You can still get the same one on their website. I originally hoped to find one much cheaper on eBay but most of them were "collection only" and since I don't drive that was a problem. I preferred the idea as well of getting one that had been tested by a professional so getting one from a store that supplies them to students seemed sensible. My enlarger is also a compact and portable one, so it's ideal for a small darkroom like mine. It only does 35mm, but I don't shoot much 120 at all anyway, so that's really not a problem to me at the moment. Obviously, I've not yet tested it to make a print so I'll find out how good it really is tomorrow...


I also decided to invest in a better lens for the enlarger and I opted for a Schneider Componon, which was another eBay find.


Some of the items in the room I decided to buy brand new - the bigger safe light, the warmer tray (which I'm not sure I really needed but never mind), a couple of the measuring cylinders, a timer, and some negative clips. Oh, and the "do not enter" sign, which I just thought was cute :D I also had to get some blackout fabric, as unfortunately the door to my darkroom does not close fully and there was a tiny bit of light around the edge of one side of the door coming through. The blackout fabric seems to have done the job.


This afternoon I developed 2 rolls of 35mm and the negatives are now hanging up to dry. The negatives look OK to me, although I'm not very experienced yet in recognising what is a good/bad negative. Hopefully, I will have a print or 2 to share here very soon though! I still can't quite believe I have my own darkroom and I wonder when it's going to sink in! :D