Four Happy Things I Did On My 53rd Birthday Weekend

1: Hung around with small humans and small animals

2: Got taken to Wagamamma. Other restaurants are available, but this is my favourite. I am unsophisticated.

3: Walked to the pub and back for Sunday lunch

4: Walked the dogs on an autumnal misty morning

All photos taken with Fujifilm X100T

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square, London

The International Monetary Fund is not known for being a hotbed of radical eco-warriors.

Nevertheless, in September 2019 they said the following:

The risk of catastrophic and irreversible disaster is rising, implying potentially infinite costs of unmitigated climate change, including, in the extreme, human extinction.

In the run-up to the 2016 Brexit referendum, politician Michael Gove attempted to dismiss the negative economic forecasts. “People in this country have had enough of experts”, he famously said. These days, everybody considers themselves to be an expert. Whether it’s Brexit, Climate Change, or championship whist, the internet has allowed the democratisation of truth. Each of us is now entitled to our own version of the facts.

In my wayward youth when I was still smoking cigarettes, it was the evidence of Doctors rather than tobacco giants that convinced me to quit.

When CFCs were suspected of causing the hole in the ozone layer, I believed the scientists rather than the deodorant manufacturers.

I’m not an expert. I’m neither a scientist nor an academic. All I can do is put my trust in those that I find the most credible. Consequently, I’m going with the overwhelming majority of scientists who believe that immediate action on climate change is needed to avert serious consequences. This is in spite of what some bloke on Twitter says.

I broadly support the aims and methods of Extinction Rebellion. I support ‘using non-violent direct action to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency’. And however unpopular they are in some quarters, I believe it’s having an impact.

And yes, they’ve caused a lot of inconvenience for many people. But in the future, if your grandchildren ask you why you’ve handed them such a mess, I don’t want you to have to tell them it was too inconvenient to do otherwise.

N.B. There’s a lot of photos here, but I spent two days with them and shot three rolls of film.
Extinction Rebellion, Trafalgar Square, London / Nikon F90X & Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 400 / Developed in D76 +1

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Extinction Rebellion Trafalgar Square Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Nikon F100 Kodak Tmax 400

Baku At Night

When I was working in Baku back in July, I had only two hours in the day to look around.

This time I had only one hour at night.

The weather was comfortably cooler this visit, at around 25°C. The famous Baku wind helped keep things fresh. Baku is known as The City Of Winds, and in fact the name comes from the Original Persian for Bādkube, meaning ‘pounding winds’.

Baku sits on the western coast of the Caspian Sea, and although it was once a former soviet state, it has a distinctly European atmosphere. The city really comes alive at night, with bustling crowds, open-air cafes and restaurants, opera houses, singers, buskers, and groups of men drinking coffee and playing games.

This was the first time I’ve put the Fuji X100T through its paces at night. I think it acquitted itself quite well.

Baku At Night / Fuji X100T

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Bertie News | Episode 04: 15 Weeks Old

It’s probably a good thing I’m not a parent.

I’d just embarrass my kids.

I got a bit choked up of sand in my eye when we took Bertie for his first swim. He took to it like…..er…..a spaniel to water. I felt strangely proud, emphasis on strange.

Right, I’ll be off now. Need to get that sand out of my eye.

Midhurst Common Pond / Nikon F90X / Ilford FP4 / Developed in Kodak D76 1+1

Dogs Swimming

Spaniels Swimming Midhurst Common Pond

Dogs Swimming Midhurst Common Pond

Spaniels Swimming

Spaniels Swimming Midhurst Common Pond

Dogs Swimming Midhurst Common Pond

Dogs Swimming Midhurst Common Pond

Dogs Swimming Midhurst Common Pond

Check out all episodes of Bertie News here

Bertie News | Episode 03: 12-14 Weeks Old

These photos might give the impression that Bertie’s a sleepy, placid puppy.

What they actually demonstrate is that it’s only worth trying to get a decent picture when he’s sleepy. True to the working cocker spaniel breed, Bertie’s energy levels are off the scale. The good news is that now he’s had all his vaccinations, he can burn some of that energy off outside in the fields.

Nikon F100 / Ilford HP5 / Developed with Bellini Foto EcoFilm (Liquid Xtol)

Bertie the working Cocker Spaniel Puppy

Bertie the working Cocker Spaniel Puppy

Bertie the working Cocker Spaniel Puppy

Bertie the working Cocker Spaniel Puppy

Don’t worry Coco – you’re still top dog

Coco the working Cocker Spaniel

Thoughts On Ilford HP5

I’ve probably shot most of the popular black & white films over my four decades of shooting film. In more recent years I’ve tried to whittle my choices down to a handful of films that give me consistent, predictable results. The downside of this is that I can’t always remember why I might have previously discarded certain film stocks. And so it is with Ilford HP5. Seeing Jim’s recent appraisal, I thought it was time to give it another go and refresh my memory.

You can only draw limited conclusions from one roll shot under one set of conditions. Grain is more controlled than Tri-X, with a flatter, less-contrasty look. That said, the highlights were blown on quite a few of the frames. I suspect this was down to over-development rather than poor metering. I’ve just started using Bellini Film EcoFilm Developer. It’s supposed to mimic XTOL and use the same times, but I had a similar issue with a roll of Tmax 100. I have one more roll of HP5 to shoot, and I’ll probably decrease the developing time by ten per cent. Let’s see how that goes.

Check out all episodes of Bertie News here