Winter Walking On Pound Common

When it comes to walking, if I had to make a choice between an overcast summer’s day and a bright but chilly winter’s day, I’d chose light over warmth every time. As for the dogs, I don’t think they really care.

This was a five or six-mile walk that took us across Pound Common and other parts of the South Downs. I took my Nikon F100 with me. It’s pretty much become my standard 35mm camera these days. That’s partly because of the Nikkor 35mm AF-D lens I use. It’s super-sharp and contrasty and has a close focus under ten inches. And 35mm is a great all-round focal length. A little bit wider than standard to get a bit more stuff in, but not so wide that it makes shots of people look like they’re being sucked into the vortex.

I’m in search of the perfect 35mm 100 ISO film at the moment. Tmax 100 has been my go-to slow film for many years, but I thought I’d remind myself what some of the others can do. Ilford FP4 is certainly not as fine-grained as Tmax, but it’s no slouch either. I’ve also gone back to using HC-110 as a developer as there’s still half a bottle under the sink that I’ve had for ages. I’ve been mainly using it for the occasional stand developing of medium format film, but it’s a good all-rounder. It also seems to have an incredible shelf-life; I’ve had this bottle opened for at least six or seven years. I decanted it into glass wine bottle and I use a Vacu Vin to extract the air. The perfect gift for the film photographer and boozer in your life.

As all Sunday walks should, this one ended up in the pub. Unfortunately, I’m doing Dry January at the moment, and although this isn’t as bad as I thought it might be, I’m definitely looking forward to Off Your Face February.

West Sussex including Pound Common / Nikon F100 / Ilford FP4 / Developed in Kodak HC-110 1+31

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

F100 Ilford FP4

F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

Pound Common Nikon F100 Ilford FP4

F100 Ilford FP4

5 comments on “Winter Walking On Pound Common

  1. Dry January and Off Your Face February . . . it’s good to have balance in one’s life.
    That’s a lovely place to take a walk and make some photos. How do you usually do exposure? Do you just trust the F100’s meter or do you do spot-metering etc.?
    After reading your post it’s tempting to order a roll of film and go out with my F6. I don’t think I’ll get better results than I get with the Fuji Acros simulation, but I really love the sound of the F6’s shutter and the zip of the film as it gets pulled from one frame to the next.

    1. The F6 is a wonderful camera, as is the F100. You should take it out for a spin! But I’m a firm believer that the most important quality in any camera is the lens.

      Although I’m careful and consistent with my developing, in terms of metering, and shooting in general, I’m not much of a details person. I find all the cameras I’ve got do a perfectly good job in centre-weighted or average mode. If there are very tricky lighting conditions then I’ll lock the exposure and recompose. When I’m using a manual focus camera and am therefore taking things more slowly, I will sense-check the reading. This is good practice for when I’m using a meter-less camera and have to rely on my own judgement. When you think about it and look at the sunny 16 rule, in typical circumstances, there are only really 5 exposure settings; F/16, F/11, F/8, F/5.6, F/4. One of these will give you a perfectly good exposure in everyday circumstances. Metering doesn’t have to be over complicated.

  2. I had a t-shirt with the sunny F16 chart on it at one point. It always seemed to be in the laundry hamper when I went out to make photos . . . .
    I checked film prices after reading your comments and got the shock of my life. Since the last time I ordered film near the end of last year, Portra 400 has gone up 36%, Ultramax 400 has gone up 18%, Kodak E100 has gone up 20%, and Tri-X has gone up a whopping 37%! Interestingly, HP5 hasn’t changed in price. Still, I think I’ll stick to digital. Film is unaffordable for me. I’ll have to do film photography vicariously through you. 🙂

    1. Haha – thanks for the heads-up….I’ve just bought one of those T-shirts on Ebay!

      Yeah, the Kodak price rise is very painful. They say they’re doing to be able to invest in new equipment due to the ever-increasing demand for film. So it’s bad news and good news really. Part of me wonders if it will result in people buying far less Kodak film so that the new manufacturing plants are no longer necessary. But I guess we have to trust that they know what they’re doing. It’s not too disastrous for me. I shoot a mix of Kodak and other brands, and at this time of year with the short days, I probably typically only shoot about 3 rolls a month. That goes up considerably during the summer months though. But hey, since I gave up the crack cocaine and dancing girls I can probably afford it….

      1. I hope the young ladies in your photos don’t read your comments. 🙂
        It’s nice that Kodak is investing is new equipment because of the demand for film. I won’t be along for the ride, sadly. One of my students recently started using film (sort of my fault) and she was shocked by how much the price went up last month. I should tell her about Fomapan. Cheap and ‘vintage’ results.

Leave a Reply