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.
When Fuji discontinued FP-3000B back in 2013 I felt a sense of loss. I thought Fuji’s black and white instant peel apart film was fantastic, and I hadn’t shot anywhere near as much as I wanted to. I was sure that the sole remaining pack film, FP-100C, would soon go the same way. And even though I’m never really excited by colour film, I bought a couple of packs. Sure enough, Fuji announced it discontinuation in 2016. My Polaroid 103 had become a vintage doorstop.
Last weekend I found the camera at the back of my cupboard and realised it still had three shots left. But this film had expired in 2015. If it was regular film I’d have no concerns at all. But pack film? With its arcane and sticky chemical gel? I didn’t expect to get usable photos.
Clearly I was wrong. Looking at these three shots I feel that sense of loss all over again. And my Polaroid now really is a doorstop.
Polaroid Land Model 103 / Expired Fuji FP-100C
Rosie in the jungle. Well, by the apple tree actually
Ella lurking in the bushes
Come on Daisy, keep awake…we’ve only got one shot at this….stay with me old girl…