Saturday was the hottest day of the year (so far) in the UK. As things cooled down in the evening, we headed to West Wittering Beach with Coco The Cocker, sausages, marshmallows, smoothies and sun cream.
As you can see I’m back on the Tmax 100, but there’s a couple of rolls of Delta 100 in the fridge for the next sunny day. In this country, that could be some time away.
West Wittering Beach / Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 100 / Developed in D76 1+1
Experimenting with different films, chemicals, and developing techniques is great fun. And over the years I’ve probably tried most things. But I’ve come to appreciate consistency and the ability to predict the results I’ll get. These days I’ve whittled down the films I use to just a handful. The flip side of this is that I can’t always remember why I might have rejected one film in favour of another. So I thought it was time I let Ilford Delta 100 have another crack at the whip.
As the so-called Saharan Bubble heat wave drifted across Europe this week, France recorded it highest ever temperature of 45.8℃. In England we generally prefer to be a little more understated, but the temperature did top out at 34℃ on Saturday. And as things heated up on Friday, we took our team meeting out of the office and into the park.
It’s not particularly sensible to make any judgement based on one roll of film shot under one set of conditions. That’s not going to stop me though. These photos clearly have a different look than the photos I shot last week of Brompton Cemetery on Kodak Tmax 100. Both films are incredibly fine-grained, but Delta 100 doesn’t have the biting sharpness and contrast of Tmax 100. Delta has a more traditional look, by which I think I mean more old-fashioned. But I like it, and I’ll be keeping a few rolls in the fridge from now on.
There are changes happening in my country and others at the moment. Attitudes that I thought were history are now resurfacing. I work for a company that has offices in over 190 different countries. Looking at these photos of my colleagues and friends, I’m very happy that I’m surrounded by people who speak Italian, French, Tamil, Spanish, Punjabi, and Portuguese, amongst others. There are 500 people in my office, representing 36 different nationalities. I feel very proud that all of these intelligent and highly educated people have chosen to come and work in London.
Nikon F100 / Ilford Delta 100 / Developed in D76 1+1
Brompton Cemetery is the third of London’s so-called Magnificent Seven Cemeteries that I’ve visited. I’ve previously been to Norwood and Kensal Green (twice), but Brompton has been the most enjoyable of the three.
Brompton was built in 1840, and it’s as much a nature reserve as a cemetery. Because it’s surrounded by a wall, a distinct area of Victorian flora has been preserved virtually intact. There are over 60 species of trees, of which the limes date back to 1838. Snow drops and bluebells are amongst the flora that appear seasonally, and because the land was once used as a market garden, it’s not unusual to find wild cabbages, asparagus, and garlic sprouting amongst the graves. There’s loads of animals too. Foxes, bats, and some incredibly tame and Instagram friendly squirrels.
Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 100 / Developed in D76 1+1
Most people tend to view Brompton Cemetery as park that just happens to have some gravestones. And in fact it’s actually maintained and managed by The Royal Parks. I came across sunbathers and picnickers, cyclists and joggers, dog-walkers and scooter riders. Even a teenage dance troupe having a practice session. Because, as nobody will ever hear me say, jazz hands always make the world better place.
Brompton Cemetery has been an attractive place for filmakers over the years. Indeed, there’s a bit of a James Bond thing going on. The chapel was used in GoldenEye, the outside standing in for the church in St Petersburg where Izabella Scorupco hides from the evil Janus
And the colonnades above the catacombs are used in the far more realistic spoof-Bond film Johnny English, where Rowan Atkinson plays a twit.
Of the many famous residents of Brompton Cemetery, in my mind the most significant is British Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. Time magazine clearly agree, because in 1999 they named her as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating “she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back”. Unfortunately her gravestone was in deep shade, shrouded by numerous trees, so I didn’t take a photo. However, below is the rather grand memorial of boxer John “Gentlemen” Jackson, winner of “Champion of England” in 1795. I believe this went untelevised.
Lead an empty life with far too much time on your hands? Then why not check out my other Magnificent Seven photos?
I think the sky in the following two pictures shows how incredibly fine-grained Tmax 400 can be for a film of its speed, as long as you expose it carefully.
Some people have a garden or yard at the back of their house. Jane has the South Downs National Park.
The Witch’s Tree
Sunday morning, making bread and flapjacks
“Yeah, whatever. I’ll get excited when there’s something I can actually eat”
Enough excitement for one morning
Church of the Nazerene, just next to Clapham Junction
Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 100 / Kodak D76 1+1
I took this whilst walking over Battersea Bridge. That’s the remnants of Lots Road Power Station on the right. Turn around 180 degreees, and upstream you can just about make out the iconic chimneys of its much more famous counterpart.
And looking down, someone has decided to go wading in the Thames…
Lots Road Power Station is a disused coal and later oil-fired and later gas-fired power station in Chelsea. Built in 1905 and decommissioned in 2002. Since then seems to have been in a constant state of redevelopment.
April’s round up of bits and pieces, mainly consisting of the animals and Ella. Oh, and a castle.
This month I used only my Nikon F100. Coupled with the fantastic Nikon Nikon 35mm AF-D (and occasionally the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D), I’d be happy if that was the only 35mm camera I could have. The snappy auto-focus is great for these middle-ages eyes. And besides, when I want to slow things down I just grab one of my medium format cameras.
Nikon F100 / Kosmo Foto Mono / Developed in D76 1+1
Cowdray Castle in Midhurst is one of England’s most important early Tudor houses and is known to have been visited by both King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. It was built in 1542, but in 1793, whilst undergoing repairs and refurbishments for the impending marriage of the 8th Viscount Montague, a devastating fire took hold and most of the property was destroyed. The Kitchen Tower is the only part of the mansion to remain intact. More significantly, I have to walk past it on the way back from the pub.
It’s a rare month that I don’t have at least a quick wander round Brookwood Cemetery
Saint Edward Brotherhood is a small Orthodox Christian monastery in Brookwood. Enshrined in the church are the relics of St Edward The Martyr, the King of England who died in 978 and who was succeeded by force by Ethelred the Unready.
Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 100 / Developed in D76 1+1
I snap this guy quite a lot, mainly because he’s right outside my house. Local resident Charles James Fox was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned 38 years in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He served briefly as Foreign Secretary, and much like a more recent incumbent of that post, he was famed for his licentiousness. However, unlike Boris Johnson, he didn’t play a major part in turning the UK in to a laughing stock.
Kodak trumpet Tmax 400 as the world’s sharpest 400 speed film. I can’t disagree. It’s incredibly fine-grained for a film of that speed, and if I could only ever shoot one film then this would be a perfect all rounder. The F100 has a max shutter speed of 1/8000, so you can still shoot fast film fully open in the brightest light.
Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 400 / Developed in D76 1+1