02/365/2014 The Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle
A wonderful oasis of calm in a busy city centre. I had a loan of a very beautiful Mamiya RB67 for the weekend and made the most of it by visiting one of my favourite spots in the city.
I suppose this is my digital sketch to be followed by my film efforts later in the week.
03/365/2014 – En Passant
My first ever photographic commission.
Well that is a bit of a stretch. My brother asked for a picture of a chess board for his sons chess club website. Since being consistently beaten by the 8 year old has more or less ruined my enjoyment of the game at least I can now use my set to play with lighting set ups.
04/365/2014 – Ma Ma Mia it’s a Mamiya
I have only shot a couple of rolls with this beauty but it was a lot of fun.
Having forgotten the plate for my tripod I got to see what it was like to try and shoot handheld for an afternoon.
I like the results a lot – big 6×7 negatives. The lens is very sharp and view finder is like looking into the abyss compared to my usual 35mm.
05/365/2014 – Mirror in the Bathroom
A very rare mid-week trip to the pub. I met a good friend and we talked photography for hours. A pleasant way to spend a miserable winter evening.
06/365/2014 – Occupational Urbexing
One of the interesting side effects of how I make my living is that I occasionally get to visit places that no one ever gets to see. Today it was an abandoned and derelict factory on the outskirts of Dublin. Interesting place and a bit spooky to walk around alone.
07/365/2014 – Evidence of Sunlight
Nobody panic, it’s called sunshine and it is just a thing that happens sometimes – the clouds and rain will be back shortly.
08/365/2014 – Irish Souvenirs and Gifts
Today was the monthly meet up of the Irish Street Photography Group ( ISPG). For me Street Photography is a very difficult idea. If I am honest I find it very puzzling but in the spirt of these things I want to try them before I come to a firm conclusion.
I struggle to get the elusive “decisive moment” and prefer to sit and watch the scene in the hope that something interesting presents itself.
I think that just about happened here.
09/365/2014 – Moon Landing?
To bid Bon Voyage to a pal that will shortly return home to India we decided to have our first proper hillwalking day out of the spring.
As we reached the summit it became clear that we had found the spot used to fake the Moon landings. Steph was clearly distressed and put in a call to the weekly world news.
Wonderful day out and despite how it looks in this shot the weather was very kind to us.
10/365/2014 – Wanton Waste
Near my office there is a scrapyard where only skips go to die.
There is hundreds of theses yellow bins stacked waiting for the building boom to start again.
I pass them most days but today the sun was hitting them and I have started to view them as part of my local landscape.
11/365/2014 – Merciful Self
Today was difficult, my plan with the 365 is that I will only keep it going for as long as I can keep the project interesting.
I am office based today and I was pretty sure that it would be dark by the time I get home. I was lacking inspiration when all of a sudden there was a flash of bright light and a black shirt appeared on my desk.
I tried the shirt on and went to the bathroom to see how it looked, in my haste I forgot to remove the cardboard that keeps the collar neat while in the packet.
It was then that I found my vocation – self portraits.
12/365/2014 – Silver Prints
I spent a very pleasant evening making small prints in my darkroom. Some of them will get a stamp in the morning so I can finally participate in a postcard exchange with fellow photographers from around the world.
I generally make 8×10 or 12 x16 prints and I am very pleased with the smaller format. These are 4×6
You have to hold them very close to see the details.
Also my first prints using a warm tone developer. I think it adds a bit of depth to the black but will need to look again in daylight.
13/365/2014 – Frozen
Today has been pretty hectic from start to finish. I was worried that I might not get a photo today.
The storms from yesterday blew away leaving a sunny clear sky. It was still bitter cold but bright. While walking to the post box to get some air my shadow got stuck on one of the buildings. I am hoping it will still be there in the morning. It was pretty weird not having it this evening.
14/365/2014 – Cor Blimey What a Lovely Pear
The rotten weather has driven me indoors this evening so I am revisiting my love of still life’s
Single light source, bounced for even spread.
Processed on the iPhone.
15/02/2014 – Bective Abbey
Made it out and about today. Headed to Trim to blow the cobwebs away. Packed my film gear but the weather was poor when I left Dublin.
I visited my usual spots hoping for a bit if light and managed to catch the sunset at the Abbey.
Not sure what the B&W film shots will be like but the composition should be something similar to this.
16/365/2014 – A Former Field
I visited Upper Loch Erne today and an unexpected surprise was that the lake is currently a little bigger than usual. It has spread into the surrounding fields and left some of the tress looking very water logged.
It has given the landscape a dream like quality.
17/365/2014 – Ania through the view finder
I was very lucky today. I got to tag along on a vintage fashion shoot. Ania has an impressive array of vintage clothes and Inge brought some great ideas to the shoot.
I mostly watched as Ania and Inge done their thing, both moving like experienced pro’s.
Eventually I stared to get a feel for the shoot and ran a couple of rolls of film through my Mamiya.
This is a picture of how things look thought my cameras view finder.
18/365/2014 – Bobo the Film Keeper
Having taken a day off work yesterday I found it difficult to get a break today to get out and take a picture. So it is back to playing with lights this evening.
This is Bobo the film god – she keeps a watchful eye over the next roll of film to be used in the swaps. I am grateful for her assistance.
19/365/2014 – It’s all Red
A visit to the RHA gallery to look at Richard Mosse’s “The Enclave” I felt I was a bit underdressed. The colour of the evening was clearly Red.
Great exhibition, powerful images and I am so glad I made it.
20/365/2014 – Let’s get it On
After a difficult day at work there is nothing more enjoyable than heading home and dropping the needle on a bit of Vinyl
Tonights groove is filled with the sultry sound of Mr Marvin Gaye.
21/365/2014 – Apocalypse Now
As I turned and crested the hill I heard the first explosion. Followed by a series of smaller explosions, The whole sky was lit like this for 10 minutes – then came the silence.
The horrible, horrible silence.
22/365/2014 – Super Mario Bros
The recession has hit pretty hard in Ireland with many people doing what they can to help make ends meet. I chatted briefly to these two buskers today. They were telling me that before the hard times they had a thriving plumbing business.
24/365/2014 – Self Portrait at Eight
I visited my uncle today on the way home from work. It had been too long since I was in his house and I had forgotten that it is a treasure trove of family history.
The walls are adorned with photos of us as youngsters celebrating communions, graduations and marriages. These pictures were gifts to my grandmother before she passed away.
I remember looking at these photos when I was a kid and being a bit embarrassed. Today they filled me with joy.
Print your photos and hand them to people – if you are lucky in 25 years time you will really cheer someone up.
25/365/2014 – Rush Hour
For one of the parts of the Irish road network that causes such misery due to congestion and never ending roadworks it looks kind of pretty in this light.
I had a work based training event this evening. I was dreading it due to the location but between the sunset, meeting a photo buddy and the session being very interesting, I am really glad I braved the “mad cow” roundabout.
26/365/2014 – Being Social With…..
Amongst the many on-going photography projects I have this is the most organic. It started as a small joke and has now become an archive of almost 250 photos.
The project is pretty simple. A group of us go for coffee and cake together. I wait until he looks at his phone and then I take my shot and post it on Facebook.
If I could meet him everyday this 365 project would be too easy.
27/365/2014 – Studious
I called into my parents house this evening and was delighted to find that my Nephew was visiting.
It was a school night so Cathal had lots of homework but he was kind enough to pose for a photo. I think pretty soon this little charmer will have an agent and I will need to pay him to model.
28/365/2014 – Pinholga Fimswap
I am spending the weekend in the Irish countryside. I had my camera gear all packed and ready to go until this arrived on the post. This changes everything.
This is a new twist on the filmswap project. Flickr buddy Moni has shot a roll of film in the Pinholga and rewound the film. I will now try and reshoot it to see what happens.
I also got a lovely print in with the delivery.
Next stop the Irish wilderness.
One of the most interesting aspects of film photography is that no two people ever seem to do something the same way. There are no rules and most photographers will give anything a try. I fell in love with stand development because it suited my temperament and shoot style. I found that it allowed me to develop film at a very slow pace and it even allowed me to develop film while walking my dog. I just start the process and then go out for an hour.
It suited my shooting style when I first took an interest in black and white photography. Because I was never shooting specific subjects and what ever was on the roll when I was finished could be considered a very mixed bag of exposure types and contrast situations. It allowed me to push a roll by two stops even if I had shot half a roll already, I would just allow a little extra time in development and the process is so forgiving everything works out ok.
The science behind stand development is something like – the developer exhausts faster in the highlight areas and the shadow detail develops slowly over time. So I think if you are considering trying stand development you shoot for the highlights and then you are developing for the shadow detail. I am pretty amazed at how well this works sometimes. I have seen very fine grain with a varity of films – pushed and pulled.
I tend to use the same two developers all the time Kodak’s HC-110 and Rodinal (or one of its many variations) and I find these both work very well. If you only want to try one come and join the rest of us that worship at the church of Rodinal – it is excellent, easily available, cheap, easy to use and there is so much information about it on-line that if you have a question about it Google will have an answer for you in a couple of seconds.
My method for stand development is pretty simple and if it is not clear feel free to ask me questions in the comments box below.
- Load the film into your tank.
- Pre soak the film for 5mins (I do this with water at 20c to get everything to the same temperature)
- Mix the developer at a ratio of 1+100, so that is 10ml of developer to 1000ml of water – it is recommended that you use a minimum of 5ml so that there is enough chemicals in the tank for a full hours worth of development. I make the developer 20c
- Pour in the developer
- Do gentle inversions for about 1 minute – I normally do about 20 in the minute
- Leave to stand for about 60 mins – I vary this if I am pushing or pulling the film but an hour tends to work well for most things. I forgot about a roll one night and left it in the soup for 6 hours, still good results. This method of development is very forgiving
- I either leave the tank in a room that is roughly 20c or wrap a towel around it to help maintain the temperature
- Pour out the developer and give the film a quick rinse (this is done to extend the life of the fixer)
- Fix for 5 minutes – I use Ilfords rapid fixer
- Final rinse for 10 minutes and then hang to dry.
This is a very rough guide and is posted for information and encouragement proposes. I am not an expert just a fan of the method. Below are some images I have developed of various films with different times and the occasional semi-stand variation. Where I have kept notes I have posted the information.
Happy shooting folks and feel free to let me know your own methods.
Film: Rollei Infrared 400S
Filter: Heliopan Infrared 715 (88A)
Dev: Agfa R09 Special 1+100 90 mins 20c
Film: Efke IR820
Filter: Heliopan Infrared 715 (88A)
Dev: Rodinal 1+100 60 mins 20c
Film: Kentmere 400
Dev: Adox Adonal 1+100 90mins 20c
Film: Kentmere 100
Lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D
Dev: HC-110 (G) 40min @ 20c
Film: Rollei Infrared 400S
Filter: Heliopan Infrared 715 (88A)
Dev: Adox Adonal 1+100 60 mins 20c
Film: Ilford SFX 200 (IR)
Lens:Nikon 50mm 1.8
Filter: Hoya G (Orange) + Circular Polarizer
Dev: Adonal 1+100 45mins
The recession has hit pretty hard in Ireland with many people doing what they can to help make ends meet.I chatted briefly to these two buskers today. They were telling me that before the hard times they had a thriving plumbing business.
But the work dried up and there was pretty much only one castle in Mushroom Kingdom and the owner a Mr Bowser was very slow to pay and getting money always ended as a battle.
If you are are in need of a daredevil duo to clean your pipes you could give Mario or Luigi a call.
It amazing the things that you can find in this country just by keeping your eyes peeled while out for a spin in your automobile. As I whizzed past a lane-way on my way to Killinthomas woods I spotted the steeple of this church. It was not very obvious from the road but I had a feeling that it would be would trying to park the car for a better look.
It turns out that this church was designed by John Semple and built in 1829. The architectural historian Dr. Maurice Criag wrote in the Irish Arts Review “John Semple is a hedgehog who knows one big trick, and his most typical churches have something of the prickly character of that animal.” When I looked at this church in detail that rather odd quote finally made sense to me, the building is all hard corners and spikes.
The church is now privately owned and from what I can gather from a quick web search it is for sale. It was great to be able to wander around the building and I was really lucky to find that the front door was open. Someone has made an effort to start renovations. and the inside of the church has been gutted. My hope is that at a minimum the exterior of the building will be preserved and retain its unique character.
Originally posted on Pinhole Obscura
Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Five times today I have been asked what I will be doing for Valentines day? Have I made a reservation at a fancy restaurant? Will I be buying a gigantic bunch of flowers? Taking a day off work to spoil my wife? Investing in large amounts of chocolate with a big red love heart on the box? Did I get a card yet? At least twice I must have made a face that suggested that I had forgotten that it was Valentines day. The inquisitors looked worried on my behalf.
The truth is that we do nothing special or additional for the day. Partly because the whole thing seems like a crass exercise in consumerism. I watched one local store keeper increasing the prices on bunches of flowers this evening safe in the knowledge that societal mores will see them sold to desperate partners on the way home from work.
The coffee shop near my work sells fantastic little cakes and biscuits. I am very fond of a particular cookie that they make and generally order one with my coffee. I do this so often that I have the exact change ready to go. But today my coffee and cookie was a whole Euro dearer. Surprised I queried this with the waitress and she told me that it was because they were heart shaped for valentines day. My beloved cookie was now half the size and double the price.
I can be accused of being sceptical but the people profiteering on love are cynical. Valentines day was invented by the retail industry to make money.
If Valentines day is the one day of the year you tell someone you love them you are doing it wrong. If you need to be reminded by your local supermarket to tell someone that you love them you are doing it wrong.
Make Valentines day the first day of the rest of your life.
Tell that special person everyday that you love them.
Assume every-time that you say goodbye that it will be the last time you will see them – trust me on this, terrible things happen to nice people all the time.
If you have an argument – accept that you are wrong, apologise and move on.
Forget about old fights and disagreements.
Remember that it is impossible to un-say something. If you are mean or nasty – those words will exist forever.
Have separate interests.
Have similar interests.
Know that if you are planning to spend the rest of your lives together its OK to be apart sometimes.
Learn how to become telepathic – I think this just happens with time but it is very useful.
Brush your teeth.
Don’t listen to me.
I really do try and follow my own advice. I fail sometimes but because I try and remember this stuff on a daily basis I feel less inclined to run out and buy flowers once a year. I try and do it more often.
The two photos that are on this post were given to us as Christmas presents. The sunset was taken by my pal Param and he had it printed and framed, it now hangs on our wall. The montage was given to us by Nivetha and it tells a whole story. These pictures make me smile so much – mostly because it make me feel like someone is making a documentary and we happen to be the subjects.
About once a month there is a street photography meetup in Dublin. Des, the organiser, is as passionate about street photography as I am about film photography. So once a month I head along to the meeting. I do this mostly because this genre of photography has never really clicked with me. I find it difficult to define what I am trying to achieve so my adventures tend to be a bit aimless.
But I do keep trying.
It was a rare outing for the digital camera today and my plan was to spray and pray and see what I got when I got home. I found it nearly impossible to put my mind in a place where I was happy to relinquish control to the camera. To let it pick focus points, aperture and shutter speeds so after 10 shots I reverted to my normal shooting method. Manual modes, find a spot, relax and keep my eyes open.
It was a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon and I will keep going to the meetings, I will continue to stand up and say “My name is Brendan and I have no idea what street photography looks like.”
AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
About four years ago I took a notion to try and learn to play the Banjo. I tentatively dipped my toe in the blue-grass river and took a loan of a friends 5 string banjo. I had played guitars on and off since I was a teenager so I had some skillz regarding stringed instruments. But the banjo was something new and different. I decided that I wanted to do it right. No short cuts. Learn the theory, learn the picking patterns, learn the chords and progress in a way that helped me know what I was doing. I had no interest in learning individual tunes, that would come later once I had the technique and skills built up.
Eventually what I was doing started to sound like a tune and I felt that I was ready for a commitment. I returned the borrowed Banjo and set about sourcing one of my own. This involved many hours of research regarding pitch and tone. Variations in Banjo style. Solid backed or open. The skin type of the banjo head. I pretty much over considered every detail and eventually launched myself into the seedy underworld of the second hand banjo market. I paid what I was happy to pay and my beautiful, new to me, Banjo arrived.
I plucked and I twanged and I started to get a little better, but only a little better. I spent hours sitting alone looking at books, practicing picking patterns trying to improve. You tube helped a bit but again the improvement was marginal. We moved house 4 times since I brokered a deal on my dream Banjo. Each time we moved that instrument felt a little bit heaver. My own failure to learn and improve added to the heaviness of the instrument. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting staring at the monolith, my very own Everest in the corner and a thought occurred to me.
Why was I trying to do something that was clearly making me miserable? I took a few pictures of the beast and wrote an ad for an on-line market place that I hoped would attract some attention and get the thing sold.
“Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, John Hickman and Alan Munde are just some of the bluegrass greats that I failed at emulating with my banjo picking skills. I am finally calling it quits – my fingering technique has done nothing but cause frustration in the house and it is time for me to leave my banjo string alone. The instrument is in great condition and produces a lovely rich sound. Included in the sale is the Banjo, guitar tuner, and two books “Bluegrass Banjo Basics” by Dennis Caplinger and Hal Leonards “Banjo Scale Finder”
People were interested and I had the usual tyre kickers sending me low-ball offers but last Friday evening I had an offer that just about reached what I was willing to sell for. I had a choice take the offer and move on or continue to suffer at the hands of the “sunk cost fallacy“. My problem was I had already spent many, many hours of my life trying to play this thing. I had also made a financial investment and I was reluctant to admit to myself that I had made a mistake. But I took the offer and on Saturday morning money changed hands and I said goodbye to my banjo dreams.
I feel like a weight has been lifted from my life, I can now walk into my sitting room without being confronted by my own failings as a musician. I feel wonderful and my only regret it that I had not done this a few years and two house moves ago.
For what it is worth this is my advice, if you really have a choice and something is making you miserable it really is OK to quit.
And for the people who follow my blog because I post a lot of stuff about film photography don’t panic, the pictures were all taken with the Mamiya RB67 that I bought with my Banjo money – its the circle of life.
Film: Kodak Tri-X
Dev: Agfa Studional R09 1+ 50 (14mins 20c)