I meant to do a lot today but ended up napping on the sofa, so I went for an early evening walk along the beach to see the sunset and get some fresh air. The funfair was in town but there was almost nobody there on a Saturday night. Surreal.
I got this 1980s guide to using lens filters from a charity shop. Of course a lot of these effects can be created in Photoshop these days, but actually for a lot of them the analogue method creates something unique, so a large proportion of these filters are still on sale.
In the fuzzy zone between Christmas and New Year I scanned a lot of old negatives. I’ve recently started going through them and editing the photos. It’s not like travel is going to be much of an option this year, so might as well sort out all my old travel photos that I overlooked.
I’ve recently scanned around 60 old rolls of film, which I’ll gradually post. These are some photos of the palace of Versailles taken on some extremely expired slide film. At the time I worked in a photo lab, and ended up with a huge bag of all the expired film from the shop for about £20, and also got free development as a perk. Half-melted and degraded Kodak slide film + Olympus XA2 camera, cross-processed as C41.
Here’s some more old films I scanned- this time of Innsbruck from two years ago. Standard Ilford HP5 with a 70s Pentax SLR.
I’ve been working through scanning a mountain of old films. Here’s some from 2004. I was living in Reading and studying at the university there. I also handily had a part-time job in a film lab, resulting in free development. At the time I got a cd of the photos, but I have no idea what happened to it.
Some photos of a place called Le Haut Boulay in Northern France near where my mum lives. I have never seen a soul in the hamlet. There’s a handful of houses and the roadside shrine, and that’s it.
It was really a test roll for the film. Fomapan 400- a very cheap black and white film from the Czech Republic.
I took some photos of my “broken folk” musician friends the Lunatraktors doing a Halloween performance. The setting was an art installation of a crypt of obsolete technology in a tunnel on the seafront by Sadie Hennessy. The metalwork headpieces were created by local jeweller and metalworker Billie M Vigne.
A couple of years ago I went down to Aldwick, near Bognor Regis for the summer to house-sit a relative’s house. I ended up being stranded there due to a lengthy train strike. Robert Smith of the Cure is probably the only famous local resident. The owner of one of the local shops told me where he lived, and I went along to see it once out of curiosity. The house was dull and expensive looking, but the beach it stands next to was much more Robert Smith like, with windswept shingle like Dungeness and rare sea cabbages. I never bothered to look at Robert Smith’s house again, but I made many trips to the beach because I liked it so much. I was usually the only person there.
Here’s some more 60s tourism slides from my grandparents’ house (you can see others here). This time from the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy, now a UNESCO site. Again I have posted all 36 images. It looked pretty much the same when I was there about 10 years ago, minus the annoying coach party of loud Texans who kept appearing everywhere you looked and complaining there was no Taco Bell and you had to walk places. Further along the coast in Sorrento I bought a very fancy waffle-knit towel that still serves me well for travelling. The shop assistant seemed very confused that I wasn’t buying a whole matching set of them like the majority of their customers. Afraid I could only afford one small one.
When clearing out my grandparents’ house a couple of years ago I found seven packets of these 60s tourist slides of various places around the Mediterranean. I’ve been scanning and restoring them. First up, these from Herculaneum.
Herculaneum is a smaller coastal town near Pompeii that was also destroyed by the volcano. It’s not as well known, but there are some magnificent villas there in a similar but smaller archaeological park to the one you can visit at Pompeii.
Last week I went down to Pegwell Bay in between Ramsgate and Sandwich to take some press shots for my friends Carli and Clair- aka the Lunatraktors. They describe their work as “broken folk” and combine folk, ambient vocal overtone work and choreography into it (Carli is also a choreographer and clown by profession).
I liked one of the images I got from the Lomochrome film so much I decided to offer it as a print in the shop.
Shortly before I left London a couple of years ago I got a roll of the Lomochrome Purple film, a new formula designed to mimic the surreal colour infrared film you used to be able to buy.
I took some press shots of “”pineal-poking punked-up psychedelic speedfreaks” Casual Nun at Dreamland when they came down to Margate to play a gig recently. While everyone’s back was turned, Iraklis won a huge toy dog from a sideshow on the first attempt.
In which I explore an abandoned boarding school in 2012 while going through some very hard times.
Hello from the southern hemisphere. Here’s some new press shots of my friends’ band Bismuth I took a few weeks ago at the original UK Botany Bay…
People loved the poster, so I got some merch printed up to sell at the festival, and some local friends to model it in an impromptu photo shoot…
On my way back from the Tyrol, I stayed in Munich en route to the airport, and visited the Dachau concentration camp museum- it was the first Nazi concentration camp and served as a template for many of the others…
A short train ride or couple of miles walk outside Kitzbühel is the Schwartzsee (“black lake”). It’s full of minerals washed down from the mountains that give it the glassy black effect…
So here’s a couple of assorted photos of Kitzbühel town. It’s a ski resort in the Austrian Tyrol, about equidistant between Salzburg, Innsbruck and Munich…
In July I went to Kitzbühel in Austria for work. I was there to run a workshop in the local middle school, and the mayor gave me and my three co-workers tickets for the local ski lift…
Here’s some photographs I took of my friends’ band Very Friendly. For a while we had intended to take some promo shots with a miserable day at the beach theme, and then the beach was suddenly covered in thick snow, so this happened over a lunch break. Harry eventually got warm again. Eventually.
So here are some much more recent gig pictures- from this week in fact. Local label M8s Records held an album launch party for Canterbury band Zilinski. With Lazy Pilgrims and Trash Mammoth in support.
If you keep walking out of Split you end up on the Marjan peninsula. The first time I visited I made the mistake of climbing up to the peak in 35c heat. After that I sensibly took the coast road.
Here’s some photos from my trip to Croatia this summer. It was a real last minute thing, I suddenly had a week free in a packed summer of teaching engagements and still didn’t actually live anywhere yet, so I bought a cheap flight to Croatia and did some sightseeing.
Metelkova is an area in the centre of Ljubljana that was originally a military barracks, then was squatted in the early 90s when the Yugoslav army pulled out after Slovenia declared independence, and is now full of social centres, workshops and gig venues. (And a hostel where I stayed overnight before crossing the border to Klagenfurt for work).
I’ve got three new zines out- one about France, one about Italy, and one about film photography
Our final stop in Japan before flying home from Osaka was Nara. In the 700s it was the capital of Japan, at the time when Buddhism really became established in Japan. Nowadays as well as Buddhism, it’s known for the tame deer who live in the forest park surrounding the temples and shrines. We stayed in a hostel in the forest. It seemed a short walk from the train station, but we ended up walking along dark forest paths dragging cases seemingly forever, with deer staring at us accusingly like something out of Princess Mononoke. (The hostel turned out to be a pretty weird place too).
While I was in Japan we visited the island of Okunoshima. In the Second World War it was a top secret chemical weapons plant, but now is a nature reserve famous for its free-ranging tame rabbits, who are probably the descendants of the lab rabbits.
Naoshima is tiny idyllic island in the Seto Inland sea devoted to modern art. The opening of the Benesse modern art museum (owned by the same organisation as Berlitz language schools) revived the island’s fortunes, although it’s still a small and quiet place with only a few villages and a lot of old people.
Kyoto is famous for its Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, many of which are UNESCO world heritage sites. There are so many in the city that even though I spent a whole day walking round different sites, I only saw a small percentage of them. People place stones on these Shinto torii gates for good luck. You can also see my photos of ema good luck plaques here.
After Malcesine, Limone sul Garda and Riva del Garda, I present to you Torbole. I went to Torbole just because the boat from Riva del Garda to Malcesine stopped there along the way, and I’d never been there before. It was a weird little place. Like Riva, it used to be in Austria until 1918. Everyone except the staff of the restaurants seemed to be German, and really into intensely staring at you in the street. The light and the way the water looked along the harbour front was beautiful though, and I spent most of the hour before the boat back sitting on a bench soaking it in. I don’t think this is a real place, I think it’s a screen from one of those new-age computer games from the 90s like Myst.
So far I’ve shown you Malcesine and Limone sul Garda. I also took the boat to Riva del Garda at the northern end of the lake (which is also in a different province- Trentino). It was raining all day, so I figured I might as well go to the colder, rainy end of the lake and visit the museum, and save the outdoorsy stuff on the southern end like archaeological sites for a sunny day.
Now I’m heading over to Limone sul Garda on the other side of the lake. I didn’t spend much money while I was in Italy, but a hefty chunk of the (tiny) budget went on ferry tickets. Boats constantly criss-cross the lake to all the towns, and it’s the most scenic way to see the area. If you’re in a hurry, you can take the bus on land, but I was on holiday, so by definition, not in a hurry.
Talking of 90s revival, I realised that the clothes I was wearing yesterday were something I could easily have been wearing 20 years ago. This isn’t the actual shirt I had as a teenager (that one, like all of them, inexplicably had a German flag on the arm), but it’s pretty much the same. I got this one from an army surplus store at some point in my 20s for £4, but by mistake they gave me two, so it essentially cost me £2. I recently saw some identical shirts in Topshop for about £40. Sometimes it pays to be a loser who never throws anything away. Until about five years ago I actually did have a top I’d been wearing since the early 90s. It was a burgundy and black ribbed thing that seemed to be made of near-indestructible material.
At the end of May I went on a last-minute trip to Italy by myself. I had given up my tenancy in London, because I was fed up of paying a small fortune to a landlord who was unwilling to fix the serious leak in the ceiling that was probably going to bring the plaster down sometime soon, and a relative asked me to house-sit. The house-sitting date then changed, but it turned out to be cheaper for me to visit friends in Yorkshire, and then go on holiday for a week than it was to extend my tenancy, which shows how ridiculous the prices are in London now. As it was a last minute thing, I had to go on my own. I don’t mind travelling solo though, I used to do it regularly for work, and travelling alone is better than going on holiday with someone who doesn’t want to do any of the same things as you. (In my case, wandering aimlessly for hours and hours, taking hundreds of photographs and eating a lot). I also got to re-read The Name of the Rose in peace.
I went to Mont St Michel last week for the first time in years. It’s a medieval abbey on an island on the border between Normandy and Brittany, about an hour’s drive from my mum’s house in France. We went there a few times when I was a kid, and the last time I was there was in the late 90s on a school trip. It has dramatically changed since then.
There was something a bit seedy and cynical about the place in the 90s despite the spectacular town itself. Buses and cars drove over the causeway to the island, and parked in a decrepit carpark on the shore, which had a tendency to flood. As you made your way up through the snaking medieval street to the abbey at the top of the peak, there were endless shops selling cheap replica hunting knives, saucy postcards and boxes of firecrackers. It must have been a nightmare for teachers supervising school groups.
Last week I took some promo shots of my friends Kirsty and Aaron’s band Actual Crimes. They recently became a two piece after the departure of Lenny for a job in the US, but are hopefully becoming a three piece again in the near future. No expense was spared for this photo shoot, we bravely walked five minutes down the road to a brightly painted garage door, and devoted ourselves to posing for ooh, at least half an hour.
About 6 weeks ago I went on a short break to Denmark and Sweden. It shows how busy I’ve been lately that it’s taken me so long to post these. I unexpectedly had some extra holiday days I had to use up quickly before the end of my work contract, and none of my friends were free to travel on the specific weekend I had to use them, so I went by myself. I saw cheap flights to Copenhagen, and booked them on a whim, on the grounds that I’d never been to Denmark before, and it was also easy to visit Sweden from Copenhagen. I also have a danish friend Sanne I used to work with in London, so I arranged to meet up with her while I was there and drink some Mikkeller beer at normal prices (rather than the exorbitant prices they charge in the UK). (Good luck with the PhD viva Sanne!). I liked Denmark a lot, although I’m not sure if I’d want to live there. They seem very set in their ways. In fact it reminded me a lot of Austria, but with sea rather than mountains.
A few weeks ago, University College London held a light-themed street festival, with stalls run by the different university departments with demonstrations and free activities. My friend Mel was there to win a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest cyanotype print (she’s already the holder of the record, which she did as part of an arts festival in India earlier this year, but she wanted to beat her previous record).
I refuse to apologise for that pun, you’ll just have to suffer. Here is a photo I took of myself recently in my dad’s garden. I can’t remember the last time I had a new photo of myself bar a few awkward phone snaps when I’ve been out. Perhaps you could say I was communing with nature when I took this photo, but I was sat on a plastic bag to avoid sitting in anything nasty hidden underneath the plants, so I don’t think I was that in touch with nature. Luckily we don’t have poison ivy or dangerous snakes in this country, I was more worried about the milder perils of stinging nettles or fox droppings. I was also a little limited with angles and framing, because sticking a wide-angle lens in your face is rarely flattering, but I couldn’t get the distance to use my portrait lens because I didn’t have a tripod with me.
Here’s some photos from a trip to Morocco I’ve dug out of the archives from when I first got a digital camera in 2004 (you can see the whole album here). I was in between my first and second years of university, and bought a cheap digital camera from Aldi, it was surprisingly decent though, and it’s hard to take bad photos in Morocco because the light is so clear and the colours are so vibrant. Most of these pictures are from Rabat or Essaouira.
I used to do a lot of photography, but I don’t do half as much now, which is a bit of a pity. My flickr account (which I started in 2007) has 376 albums and 4976 photos. I thought I’d do some regular posts with photos from some of the older albums. I’ll tag them as “from the archives”, especially as a lot of them are from well before I started this blog, or moved it from blogger to wordpress. Here are some photos from a trip to Whitstable in January 2008. It was my birthday, and I went on a trip to the coast with my friend Bryony and our then boyfriends. I had this Kodak slide duplication film I’d got in a giant bag of expired film I’d got for 50p per roll a few years earlier, and kept in the freezer. I’m not sure if it was taken with a Lomo LCA or an Olympus XA2. I had both at the time. I still have them in a box under the bed, but they’re both slightly broken, because I got them very, very cheaply second-hand (I think they were both about £15). I should get round to fixing them at some point. I think they’re fixable. These pictures were cross processed in C41, and then scanned. The pictures on my flickr account are a little small by modern standards, but screens were smaller then, and storage space on Flickr limited. I still have the negatives filed away, anyway.
I often like to get some fresh air in my lunch break by walking along the canal near my work. There’s not a lot there, just some houseboats and a small lock, and a lot of lunchtime joggers and the odd person eating sandwiches on a sunny day. I’m a big fan of canals, and I think I’ve walked along pretty much the whole length of this one at various points.
Here’s some more photos from Paris (again taken with a Pentax ME super and expired Poundland film with a strange red cast), from my general wandering around. Wandering is one of my favourite things to do. In French it’s flâner, and someone who wanders around a city, observing things and casually exploring is a flâneur or a flâneuse, much celebrated in literature. I did a lot of that on my recent trip, both because I was on such a tight budget, and also because I was on my own, so I was free to spend my time as I liked. I’m in the middle of writing a new zine about the trip. Hopefully I’ll have it finished by the Sheffield Zine Fest next weekend.
Here’s some more film photos from the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris. (Luxembourg is one of those words I always have to look up the spelling of, otherwise I’m tempted to insert all kinds of extra vowels).
Here’s some more pictures of Paris, this time of the Canal Sainte-Martin, once again taken with an old Pentax ME Super from the 70s. The film was expired and from Poundland, and went through the x-ray machine at the airport, which resulted in it having a red cast. I colour corrected it out where I could, but the pictures don’t quite reflect the aqua green water as I saw it. I also took some b&w pictures of the same area, which I’ve developed but not yet scanned.
While I was in Paris I visited the famous Père Lachaise cemetery, and took a lot of photos both monochrome and colour, which I will post later. One roll, however, turned out to be half-used already and I ended up with double exposures. It turned out I’d already taken photos of a place called Domfront in Normandy with it. Domfront is a bit of a ghost town, which made me laugh to get double exposures of a literal graveyard over a figurative one.
I wandered up from near the Opera (where the hotel was) through back streets up to the top of the hill, where the church is. I think it’s a much better route. You see lots of interesting tucked-away things, and avoid crowds and having to climb lots of steps.
My flickr account has 370 albums on it, dating back to 2007, before I started this blog. A little while ago I dug out some pictures of Bracknell from the archives, and I thought I’d find some more things from the oldest albums.
Recently I went to two exhibitions of British social photographers’ work of the 60s and 70s. Daniel Meadows at the Library of Birmingham, and Only in England- Tony Ray Jones and Martin Parr at the Science Museum. All three photographers were contemporaries and friends, working on similar topics of noticing the arresting and unusual in ordinary people in everyday settings. All photographs in this entry are from the photographers’ own websites.
On the way from Niederösterreich to Vorarlberg I stopped off alone in Salzburg along the way. I had to change trains in Vienna, and after a week of hearty, dairy-laden alpine food I was very, very thankful to eat some dhal and chapattis at the station. I really, really liked Salzburg and would gladly return there. I don’t know what it is about the city, but it just had a really nice atmosphere. I arrived at about 5pm, found the hotel really easily, and dumped my stuff and went for a wander. It’s an old university town, with a castle perched on an outcrop of the mountain looking down. There is a stereotype in Austria that people in Salzburg are snobby, but I found them friendly enough.
While in Kirchberg am Wechsel I also got to go on a tour of Hermannshöhle with another teacher. It’s a series of caves inside one of the mountains, with lots of stalactites and a bat colony. Usually the tours are at set times and only in German, but we got a private tour in English, which was really nice.
Last Summer I spent a week working at the junior school in Kirchberg am Wechsel, a tiny mountain town on the eastern end of the Alps on the border between Lower Austria and Styria. It is essentially one long street between some mountains, with “Lower Austria’s finest stalactite cave” (more on that later) and a yearly Wittgenstein festival. As mountains go, by Austrian standards they are pretty tame, mostly being below the tree-line. When I said something to the kids about the mountains they basically went “what mountains?” and when I pointed out of the window they went “oh yeah, those, there are much better mountains in other places”. Still, I like any kind of mountains, and the Wechsel is still 1,743m high, so it’s hardly a hill. Mountains/hills and water, that’s what I like. I wouldn’t do well somewhere like Kansas.
Long time no see. I moved house a few weeks ago, and the internet connection has been a long-running (and very boring) bureaucratic saga. Hopefully from next week we’ll finally have proper internet. I’ve been keeping up with stuff like email either on my phone or work computer, but that isn’t really ideal for things like updating a blog. At least I have unlimited data on my phone, which has been very helpful, although I never want to have to use my internet banking site on a phone again as long as I live.
We also went to the baroque St Nicholas’ church in Prague. I’m not at all religious (and it seems neither are the Czechs), but I like visiting churches for the art and architecture. I really liked the faces of the statues inside, especially this bishop type who seems to be going “who? me?”.
The pavements in the Old Town in Prague are all decorated with mosaics. Perhaps they’re not so great for the feet, or people with wheelchairs or buggies, but they do look good.
Puppetry is a big thing in the Czech Republic. As well as being the home of Jan Švankmajer and Jiří Trnka, there are a few puppet shops in the Old Town in Prague selling the work of local puppet artists. I’m afraid I didn’t get the names of the artists who made these ones I photographed. I really wanted to buy a small puppet, they weren’t hugely expensive, but I didn’t have much chance of getting it home in one piece, so I reluctantly gave it a miss.
We didn’t have a long time in Prague, so we didn’t get to sample that many places, but the ones we did go to all seemed to be based on books. Fun, and a little strange. (And the beer in the Czech Republic is both very cheap and very good).
After a week in Dresden at the end of August, I went to Prague for the weekend with my work colleague Hazel. We both had to go to Vienna en route to our next assignment, so it made sense to fit in a quick trip to Prague on the way.
When I was in Dresden, I bought a photography book by a local photographer. Günter Starke lived in Dresden Neustadt, the area just across the river from the historical centre, in the 70s and 80s, and took a lot of photos. Despite the name, Neustadt is full of old buildings that escaped bombing during the war (it’s only new compared to the baroque city centre), and in the communist days, the local council concentrated on building blocks of flats and housing estates to house families.
I wrote before about going to a gig at Neu Gallery run by Greek artist Stefanos Rokos. I returned the following week, to see Stef Kamil Carlens, ex of dEUS. Like Matt Friedberger’s performance, it was quite different stuff to the bands both of them are known for- more singer-songerwritery in this case. I particularly liked the songs which were in French. I think I’ll leave this picture to do the talking.
Flickr have massively changed their website recently, and I took the chance to go through all my old photos and re-organise them a bit, so I’ll be digging up various things from the archives over the next few weeks. Here’s some of Bracknell from 2005.
The other week I went for a walk along the eastern end of the Regent’s Canal with my dad. I used to live down the other end of it, and I’ve pretty much walked the entire length a lot of times. It’s one of the few short canals around here, most of the others are long intercity ones.
I have been busy recently, and the ever-present backlog of photos and so on I mean to post gets ever longer. Here’s some photos I took of Brighton Pier at some point. I have no idea when I took them, probably when I lived in Brighton, but I scanned them the other week.
I found this film at the bottom of a plastic sleeve full of collage stuff. I’d carefully cut round each picture on the negative, so it was individually cut out with a neat border, and I have absolutely no idea why I did it. The orange mask on c41 film makes it impossible to see the picture unless you hold it up to the light, and cutting the pictures out individually from 120 film is a stupid idea, and I would have known better since I was about 16. I first started using medium format film in 2004, when I was about 20, so I really don’t know.
Last night I scanned about 20 rolls of film. Here’s the first one, some pinhole photos I took in Cornwall a few years ago, using the Diana + (you can remove the lens and use it as a pinhole camera). I think they’re of St Ives and Mousehole. They’re pretty soft looking, because I just rested the camera on a wall rather than use the tripod. Here are some I took using the tripod and with colour film with the same camera, they’re much sharper. I like these monochrome ones though, they’re quite eerie looking.
I’ve been sorting through my things, and found some old negatives. I’ve already scanned the one from Italy in the late 90s, and here’s some more. (There’s a lot more to come). In 2005 I went camping with my mum in Yvelines, just outside Paris. You can get into the city in about 15 mins on the RER, so it’s a good combination of camping and sightseeing. Versailles is just down the road too. I took a lot of photos there, but I can’t find the others right now. These are taken with an Olympus XA2 and some cheap expired Kodak slide film, cross-processed.
I was given a Pop 9 camera for Christmas, and this is my test film (Ilford HP5 400asa). There’s the obligatory cat photos for any test roll, and some of the river/waterways around Canada Water and Rotherhithe. The rest of the roll can be seen here.
Here’s some black and white photos I took in Palma de Mallorca in the summer, and developed the other day. There’s no real reason for me to return there. I had one lovely trip there, and one horrible one, so that balances out. I can’t say much for the quality of the company, but Mallorca is a beautiful place (minus Magaluf of course). I took these on Ilford HP5 with my Pentax ME Super (my favourite camera). I also had a roll of 50s style Efke film, but something happened to it, either moisture or humidity. When I opened it in the dark bag and tried to load it onto the reel, the cartridge was all full of goo, and the emulsion came off in a big clammy mess onto my hands. The film was unloadable, and unrescuable, so I’ll never know what was on it.
I was tidying up recently and found these photos of Lake Garda. I’m not sure when I took them, because I’ve been there a few times, but it must have been between 1998 and 2001 when I was 13-16.
Here are the other photos from Whistable. I took more of the boats, seashore etc with my wide-angle lens on film, and I haven’t had it developed yet. I much prefer my film SLR to my digital one (70s Pentax cameras just feel so nice to use), but I’m too broke lately to use much film, and I still have 5 rolls sitting around that need developing. I didn’t eat any oysters while I was there, because I’m vegetarian, but I did have a really great mascarpone, truffle and rosemary pizza.
These are from some photos I took in Whitstable a few weeks ago, a pretty oyster fishing town in Kent (and sometimes *too* popular with the daahn from londons for the taste of the locals). The roofline of the school took my fancy.
I’ve always had a soft spot for 30s suburbia. These two pictures are a place called Twydall, near where my mum lives. I went along there to buy some wool, and I wasn’t disappointed, the area is full of old ladies. Also, the fact that the wool shop is called World of Woolcraft and is run by what could be the brother of the Comic Book Store Guy made me laugh.
I was doing some residential teaching for the last 2 weeks. A group of year 9s from Chile came on a school trip, and I gave them lessons about English and British History/Culture and took them to various historical places like Cambridge and Canterbury. I was working in the middle of nowhere, in this old manor house in the middle of a national park. The house had been a boarding school from the 1920s to 2005, and the company I worked for was only using part of the building. We were the last school tour to be there before it was going to be handed over to the new owners, who no-one knew much about, but didn’t seem to be using it as a school. There were lots of locked up rooms that had been used by the boarding school, but weren’t used for the language holidays, like the science lab, and they had piles of school stuff lying everywhere. The attitude was pretty much feel free to explore, just make sure the kids don’t get into anywhere that could be dangerous.
I took these couple of pictures on a visit to Portobello Market a couple of weeks ago. The film was expired slide film anyway, and it went through the airport xray machine twice on my way to and back from Bulgaria, and it ended up with a large red section. Not an attractive red tinge, a muddy red effect that blew out highlights and blurred details. I took more pictures at the market, but they ended up unusable. That’s expired film for you.
Film photos of Bulgaria
Last week I was in Bulgaria teaching. I didn’t have too great a time, because all of us teachers got food poisoning, and there was one particular class of kids who were a pain, and due to all round tiredness and illness, I didn’t get to leave the dull suburb we were staying in and venture too much into Sofia. I went twice, and here are some phone pics. I’ve got some 35mm ones too, which I need to scan, and some diana ones, which need developing still. I think if I went again to Bulgaria I’d go somewhere in the mountains or coast. Sofia isn’t their top tourist destination, it’s really more somewhere where people work, and the natural scenery of the country is stunning. I’m in the process of writing about the trip in more detail for my zine.
These are some photos I took in Little Venice with my old Pentax film SLR a few weeks ago. They call it Little Venice, but it’s really just a canal basin out the back of Paddington Station with lots of houseboats, some nice pubs and a cafe and a puppet theatre on boats. I guess “Little Holland” or “Little East Anglia” don’t sound as exciting. The slide film was much more out of date than I realised, but I like the orange and purple impressionist look I ended up with, some of the photos look more like paintings than photos.
I got some films developed a little while ago, and it turned out some of them are from quite a while ago, and had been lurking around in drawers for a long time. This one is from 2006. I’m not sure what camera I took these with, some kind of box camera or Diana or something.
In September I returned to Vienna to teach another English in Action programme. I’ve got photos of galleries and exhibitions I need to sort out still. Here’s some odds and ends of photos of other stuff.
I haven’t posted here for a while because life has overtaken me a little, and I’ve been dashing from place to place. I’m in Palma de Mallorca right now visiting Marcos’ family, with a permanent move to London on the cards for the end of the month (it can’t come too soon). I’ve got a backlog of photos to work through.
I snapped some pictures of the patterns in this tree bark a while back. I might do something with them later.
(This is my 200th entry here- do I get some kind of prize, or should I just get out more?)
When I was caught outside without an umbrella in torrential rain on my break when I working at the museum over the summer, I took the time to snap some more butterfly photos. My previous efforts are here. I went back with my film SLR just before the exhibition closed too, but I haven’t got round to scanning those yet.
And a shot of Stonehenge looking like there’s no-one there. I took this when I worked as a tour guide for one weekend. I didn’t want to do it again after that. The day out at Stonehenge and Bath was fine. I wandered round Bath for a few hours after doing the brief tour of the town on the schedule, and the staff at Stonehenge made me a cup of tea and gave me biscuits and gave me a free audio guide to listen to. I think it’s funny that the path encourages you to walk round Stonehenge anti-clockwise while listening to a recording about superstitions, magic and myths as it’s traditionally supposed to be highly unlucky. I don’t think I’d pay to go to Stonehenge anyway. Maybe it’s different if you come from another country where they don’t have anything similar.
This is another ancient film scanned. It’s definitely from 2008, but it skips about all over the place, there’s shots of Medway and ATP and Brighton, but I didn’t move to Brighton until the August of that year, and ATP was in May, and I have no idea when the Medway pics were taken, so it seems to have been hanging about in my camera for quite a while. I don’t even know what camera I used. I think it might be a Lomo LCA, the one I got in an Estonian junk shop for £20. It’s since half fallen apart, so I’m glad I didn’t pay those Austrian rip-off merchants much money for it. Whatever camera I used, it’s some really grainy 400asa cheapo Ferrania marked film, prob from poundland
Here’s some photos of St Ives from 2008. They were on the same roll of x-pro’d Sensia as the Lille photos. I think it was the last of my freezerfull of expired slide film I got when I worked at Jessops as a student.
Here’s some photos I took in Lille in 2008 on a day trip. I only just got them developed.
Here’s some b&w pictures I took in Bath a few winters ago. I finally got the film developed after finding it in a drawer. Pentax ME Super + 28mm lens + Ilford HP5. I’ve been to Bath a lot, both as a Classics student to look at stuff in the Baths, as a tour guide, and visiting my ex’s family, who were from a village not too far away. It’s stopped looking exotic to me.
Here’s the rest of the pictures from where I took the panos at the Riverside Country Park. There’s a promontory which goes out to an island in the river, almost at the mouth where the Thames and Medway meet, with narrow beaches with reedbeds and abandoned boats along the edge and woods and pools in the interior. I used to come here a lot. I particularly love it in the winter when there’s practically no-one there except me and some water birds.
Today it was sunny and I had the day off, so I went to the Riverside Country Park. It’s where the Medway meets the Thames Estuary. It’s one of my places. I experimented with making some stitched panoramic pictures. I also took some normal pictures. I’ll post them later. I’d love to have one of those turny Russian panoramic film cameras, but I’m too poor.
At my work they’ve got a butterfly garden in a heated tent over the Easter holidays. I popped in to take some pictures in my tea break earlier this week. I don’t know what any of the species are, I don’t know much about butterflies. They had a reference board to compare the live ones to, but I didn’t have time to look closely.
At last, some sunshine. Today me & Tukru went out for some coffee and drawing. It’s the London Zine Symposium on Sunday, and we have stuff to do. We didn’t actually get much cafe time, because we forgot how early stuff closes round here. I’ve got some new stuff up my sleeve, but I don’t want to show it until it’s done.
The other day I was round my dad’s. It was a sunny day, and I didn’t fancy spending the whole day cooped up indoors. I got my dad to give me a lift up to Kit’s Coty, a strange isolated place nearby, which has the remains of a Neolithic barrow there. The barrow isn’t very evident these days, but the gate into the tomb is still there. There are more houses round there than I’d thought, all detached with big gates and long drives and beware of the dog signs, and on unpaved roads. It was totally quiet and a bit David Lynchish round there.
On Friday I checked out my friend Pete’s gig, and then went to Moogie Wonderland’s Sipping Sessions event at a local cafe. This is Bee (short for Biancha) who’s one of the people who organises it. She’s very photogenic, and enjoys having her photo taken, which is great as far as I’m concerned.
Another forgotten film scanned, Holga + Fuji Provia 400 xpro. This was my test roll for the Holga. You can see the other photos here, they’re not very exciting.