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…
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
On Saturday, supporters of The People’s Vote joined the Put It To The People March in Central London. Over one million people (and their dogs) joined what was arguably the largest demonstration in British history. The vast majority were not the usual political activists. Many of them had never been on a march before. They were just good-natured everyday people, concerned about the future of our country as it faces the biggest crisis any of us has known.
There’s a lot of things you can fake in 2019. Photographs, obviously. We hear a lot about fake news. Some people claim you can fake an online petition. But what you can’t fake is a crowd of one million people.
All photos Nikon F90X with Nikkor 35mm f/2 AF-D lens / Kodak Tri-X / Developed in D76 1+1
As I write this, it’s 1000 days since the UK voted to leave the European Union. And it seems fitting that I was wandering round a cemetery whilst considering those things I’d bury in my Brexit time capsule. You know how this goes. You gather the things that are important to you, and wrap them up carefully. Then you bury them in the ground, the hope being that some future generation will discover them, and marvel at the way we once lived.
We’ve come along way in the last few years. In 2015, front page news was a picture of then-Labour Party leader eating a bacon sandwich. By 2016, the country was on fire. Here are four things I’m going to miss and fear are gone forever:
Polite discussion on the internet
OK, this one’s not exactly new. Failing to tell someone you disagree with that you hope they die of cancer was made illegal by an Act of Parliament sometime around 1998. Nevertheless, things have got exponentially worse in the last few years. So I’m shoving this one in the Brexit time capsule.
All photos Brookwood Cemetery / Mamiya 645 Pro TL / Ilford FP4 / Stand developed in Kodak HC-110 1+160 for 45 minutes
They say that satire is dead. Not true. It’s just that we no longer have the need for satirists. Politicians and public figures are now self-satirising. They’ve cut out the middleman. Take Member of Parliament Jacob Ress-Mogg, for example. Here’s a man whose idea of kicking back at the weekend is to wear a top hat and speak Latin. Who happily admits that even though he has six children, he’s never changed a nappy. Who since convincing the public to leave the EU has made seven million pounds by investing in funds in….er… the EU. Yet this multi-millionaire has managed to convince a significant number of people that it’s everyone else who’s the elite.
Or how about Brexit minister Stephen Barclay? He presented the government’s case for an extension to Article 50 in the Commons last week, saying it was for the good of the country. Then promptly went through the division lobby and voted against the amendment himself. But not to fear, this week he’s being sent to Brussels to argue for an extension.
So sorry satirists, you need not apply. Into the Brexit time capsule you go.
Shame / Honesty
These two go hand in hand. Because once politicians and pundits dispensed with shame, they realised they could lie without consequence. In days gone by, a person in a position of authority would have had to resign if they knowingly told the public a bare-faced lie. These days they can stand up and say the exact opposite of what they said before, without any recourse whatsoever. You can even show them the video of them saying it and they decry it as fake news. The truth has evaporated into steam.
We used to say that everyone was entitled to their own opinion. Now it seems that everyone is entitled to their own facts. And that’s whats truly terrifying; that the people believe the lies, in spite of all the evidence. I had to go back to my copy of 1984 and check exactly how Orwell defined Doublethink:
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
I think they call it cognitive dissonance these days.
You’ve probably come to some opinion on my political views from reading this. And you may well consider me either a hero or a monster, depending on how you perceive they align with you’re own. But in fact the only point I’m making is for people to be nicer to each other.
It’s possible to not be responsible for voting in the most shameful government in my lifetime, without being a supporter of the most incompetent opposition I’ve ever known. It’s possible to have views on our current political situation without being on one extreme on the other. Yet everything appears to be binary these days; black or white. You’re either a leaver or a remainer. A communist or a conservative. A traitor or a patriot. A libtard or a fascist. But there are very fine people on both sides. Well, OK, not always. And those people with sticky-out rather than sticky-in belly buttons are kinda weird, no?
I’m of an age that grew up without the Internet, and yet was quite an early adopter in my early twenties. I remember being very pleased when I had my first email address, before realising I didn’t actually know anyone I could email. That optimistic sense of a Brave New World seems almost laughable to be me now.
We used to say that a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its shoes on. These days, a hateful ideology can travel to the moon and back whilst common decency is still lolling around in its gingham nightshirt. I’m not hopeful for the future.
One weekend of warm sunshine in February is a surprise.; two consecutive ones is jaw dropping. Making the most of the weather, we took an eight mile walk along two national trails, the New Lipchis Way and the Serpent Trail. The latter is a is a 64 mile long path through the purple heather, green woods and golden valleys of the Sussex greensand hills.
This was another opportunity for me to play with stand development in HC-110, this time with Ilford FP4. I’m particularly pleased with the results of this combination.
This is the walk we did. Fancy Free Walks is a really good resource for walks in the South East of England. I’ve probably done about 30 over the last five or six years.
Mamiya 645 Pro TL / Ilford FP4 / Stand developed in Kodak HC-110 1+160 for 45 minutes
St Mary’s in Chithust is an 11th Century church, probably built after the Norman Conquest. Chithurst has probably always been a sleepy place, but a note of high drama was sounded in 1757. The rector, Rev John Denham, was stabbed and murdered. A man named Aps was tried at Horsham and convicted of the crime. He was hung, with a contemporary report saying that he ended “his wicked life without the least sign of repentance”. We thought that’d be a good place to stop for lunch.
Just because I’m biased doesn’t mean that Coco The Cocker isn’t the world’s most beautiful dog. She hardly ever sits still, so a photo of her taken with a manual focus lens is a rare occurrence.
There’s a certain type of weirdo that enjoys cemeteries. I’m one of them. This little isolated cemetery was a final treat for me near the end of the walk.