This shot is a little more analog than the others in the series in that the initial photo was made on film. In all fairness, when I shot concerts (and, I hope, when I can do so again) I did most of it on digital. The conditions in (mostly) badly lit jazz clubs make shooting on film really tricky, and I have nothing but admiration for all those concert photographers from the heyday of jazz. But this one of soul-blues singer Ron Smyth and it’s one of the few concert shots I have that I think feel truly universal. My wife really doesn’t like this huge negative space and the lack of detail, but that’s exactly what I love about this cyanotype print.
Canon A2 + JCH400
In order to spice things up a bit, I decided to go out with my Canon A2 last week. The idea was to shoot street shots of Central with a 70-200 zoom lens, for a change. Unfortunately, the fiddly back dial was on, and I ended up shooting the entire roll at -1 IL before noticing so only a few good shots came out of it, but the proof of concept is there. I will definitely go back on a day with better light (it was very overcast) and proper camera set-ups.
*Cycling on the Bridge*
Canon A2 + Ilford Pan F
In late 2013 I went to Chattanooga, Tennessee for work. I had a half day to walk around town and really loved the feel of the place. I got a few good film shots out of it, including this one of the Walnut Street Bridge. Looking at my old photos recently I realised I’d taken a black and white shot of the same location that was really interesting too.
*Dublin City Food*
Canon A2 + Ilford FP4+
I remember that day in Dublin. I went there for a conference that turned out to be dissapointing, so as soon as it was over I left. The weather was gorgeous early spring. I had an unusual number of keepers on that particular roll, and this one in particular fascinated me. I shot it because of the waiter inside the Café, but was photobombed by the guy on the left, who also turned to be reflected in the window, hence four layers or planes.
Canon A2 + Ilford Ortho + 80
One of the things I really love in old cemeteries is those places where nature has blended with the graves. Here, the roots of the tree have shifted the grave and the cross quite significantly to it no longer stands upright. It’s a testament of the power of nature that I find important to keep in mind these days : the trees will be there and grow long after we are all gone.
Canon A2 + Agfa Scala 200 (expired)
From my first visit to the Hong Kong Cemetery I spotted this Cherub under the trees. The light hits it laterally, which is very nice although its face is always in the shadows. I quite like the way this shot came out although I would like to try it again with a non expired film and a reflector.
Canon A2 + Agfa Scala 200 (Expired)
Shooting expired film (let alone expired slide) is always a tricky proposition. I shot this one overexposed by +1 (but processed normally) to try and get some oomph back from it. It came out pretty low contrast, but enough that I could work with it. In the end, it’s conveys an old photo quality feel that I quite like and also is very appropriate for cemetery photos.
Canon A2 + Ilford Ortho Plus 80
I only ever shot Ortho once before and bungled that particular roll, so I was curious to see what the photos of the St Michael Catholic Cemetery in Hong Kong would look like. Turns out they really worked, with a lot of detail in the shadows and bright but not clipped highlights. Some dislike the Ortho grain, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. In this shot I was trying to capture this very strange and surprising tree in the middle of the path.
Canon A2 + Agfa Scala 200 (Expired)
Shooting expired film is risky at the best of times and with slide film even more so. Still, I hate wasting, and I shot this roll of expired Scala overexposed 1 stop to compensate for age. I still had to work the contrasts heavily in post- but the result has an old photography feel that I find appealing.
Canon A2 + Lensbaby + Rollei RPX100
The thing I really love about film shot with a Lensbaby is the way the grain breaks down the more blurry the picture gets. This one is a really good example of that, with the edges of the shoulders not only blurred, but fuzzy. Also, Lilly’s smirk is priceless.