That Was The Month That Was: May & June 2019

The usual semi-regular round up of random snaps, this time from May & June 2019

Ella having a Wild Hair Day
Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 400 / Kodak D76 1+1

girl trampoline

Coco The Cocker looking effortlessly gorgeous

Coco the Cocker Spaniel

I never thought we’d be voting in the 2019 European Parliament elections…

European Election Poll Card

Chocolate fondue night at Helen’s
Fujifilm X100T

Coco, the canine water diviner. If there’s water out there, she’ll find it. The dirtier the better.

Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 400 / Developed in D76 1+1

working cocker spaniel

Giving the whatchoo talkin bout willis look….

working cocker spaniel

Home and dry

working cocker spaniel

Other people sometimes have dogs too. Some of them are nearly as beautiful as Coco. Nearly.

Thought I’d order a few rolls of Kosmo Foto Mono now it’s available in medium format

Dorothy and Domino

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.

Upside down in coach No. 7

That Was The Month That Was: April 2019

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

Brookwood Cemetery

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.

cowdray castle

It’s a rare month that I don’t have at least a quick wander round Brookwood Cemetery

Brookwood Cemetery

Brookwood Cemetery

Brookwood Cemetery

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.

Church of St. Edward the Martyr Brookwood

Nikon F100 / Kodak Tmax 100 / Developed in D76 1+1

Nikon F100

Nikon F100

Nikon F100

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.

Nikon F100

Nikon F100

Nikon F100

Nikon F100

midhurst ponds

Daisy sporting her best Austin Powers ruffle

springer spaniel

Nikon F100

Nikon F100

Nikon F100

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

Nikon F100

Down to West Wittering beach with the dogs

Nikon F100

“I bloody love sausage rolls, me”

“Mention I have sand on my face and you die….”

Nikon F100

“That’s enough excitement for one day….”

Nikon F100

That Was The Month That Was: November 2018

November’s round-up of random bits and pieces…

OK, so strictly speaking these two are from the end of October, but any pics of Ella are worth including.

Fujifilm X100T

My mum & niece

I went to visit my mum in Herefordshire. It’s great walking country, even in the mist and rain.

Nikon F90X / Kodak Tmax 400

Coco & Daisy both seemed to have perfected the stare that somehow makes me feel guilty, even though I don’t know why.

Dobble is apparently all the rage with the kids, although by the time I’ve heard of something it’s normally deader than disco.

This month’s chickens news is much the same as the last month’s: Domino and Dorothy are laying; Bluebell and Beaker need to get their finger out. Possibly quite literally…

November hasn’t disappointed; the weather’s been as completely grey and miserable as you’d expect for this time of year. But it still can surprise from time to time, and in the middle of the month was an uncharastically spectacular weekend of sunshine. We took a long walk with Coco The Cocker in the South Downs.
Fujifilm X100T

I’m thinking maybe Bo & Luke Duke live here….

That Was The Month That Was: September 2018

Time for September’s round-up of photographic odds and ends…

It’s been an extraordinary summer, and I wasn’t surprised to hear that this has officially been England’s hottest since records began in 1910. That’s troubling for those of us that believe global warming is a reality. The human race is on the road to extinction, and the planet will soon become uninhabitable for all life. Except perhaps for a few mindless creatures, such as cockroaches and Nicotine Fromage. On the other hand, I’ve had some cracking weekends this year, so it’s swings and roundabouts really.

It’s probably been obvious from previous photos that there have been dogs in my life this summer. That’s made me very happy. And they love it when we take them to the pond. Even Daisy, who’s 15 and a bit unsteady on her legs, still enjoys a bit of a paddle.

Pentax KM / Kosmo Foto Mono / Semi-Stand developed in HC-100 1:160 for 45 mins

It’s not entirely accurate to say this is only the second roll of Kosmo Foto Mono that I’ve shot. It’s a re-badged rather than a new film, and as the website says, it’s an “existing emulsion made by a European film producer”. That might be all the clue you need to tell you where it comes from, but if you look at the development chart you’ll see that Arisata chemicals are predominately mentioned. And Arista film is also known to be repackaged from a well-known East European manufacturer….

Kosmo Foto Mono doesn’t quite have the biting sharpness and fine grain of something like Tmax 100, but that probably contributes to its somewhat vintage look. These shots were taken in the South Downs, where Coco The Cocker and Daisy The Springer live.

I’ve read that having dogs can have a positive effect on your health and well-being, and increase your longevity. I totally buy this and always feel incredibly happy and relaxed when I spend time with these guys. Apparently being married can have a similar effect, although that’s something I wouldn’t know. Nevertheless, it’s probably just a case of life just feeling like it’s going on longer. (I’m joking; I’m not quite that cynical. Yet.)

I live in Chertsey, right by the River Thames, which is great to cycle alongside. Upstream is Hampton Court and central London, but I usually head the other way, towards Windsor.

I finished up this roll as I walked back home one sunny afternoon. This was another opportunity for me to try out the Miranda 24mm Lens on the Pentax KM.

My Five Favourite Facts About Chertsey:

  • Chertsey was destroyed by Martian fighting machines in the afternoon of 8 June 1902. According to HG Wells’s novel War Of The Worlds, that is.
  • The One And Only 1990s teenage heartthrob Chesney Hawkes lives here. Please try to contain your indifference.
  • Chertsey has a spooky abandoned orphanage. I dodged the razor wire and surveillance cameras to make a surreptitious visit back in 2015.
  • Chertsey is home to The Great Cockcrow Railway. This is a miniature railway with over 30 steam – yes, steam – locomotives. These operate in exactly the same way as the full sized, pre-war steam engines they’re modelled on. The drivers stoke up the hot coals on these eighth-scale locos.
  • Charles Dickens visited Chertsey whilst writing Oliver Twist. He evidently thought so highly of the town that he used it as the location for where Oliver is forced by Bill Sykes to take part in an attempted burglary.

After my successful experiments stand developing 35mm film in HDC-110, I thought I’d try some medium format. FP4 is my go-to medium speed film in 120, and I usually stand develop it in Rodinal. HC-110 gives similarly pleasing results.

Mamiya 645 pro TL / Ilford FP4 / Semi-Stand developed in HC-100 1:160 for 45 mins

Finally, if there’s one thing that being on the internet for 25 years has taught me, you can never have enough cute dog pictures. Cheers, Coco.

Nikon F90X / Kodak Tmax 400 / Developed in D76 1+1

That Was The Month That Was: July 2018

This month’s round up of random snaps

All photos Fujifilm X100T

Winchester, the weekend of the Hat Fair

Learning to unicycle #essentiallifeskills

Able Mable plays the Hat Fair

The ruins of the Cowdray Castle in the Golden Hour

England score against Sweden in the World Cup Semi Final