Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone. And a special BIG UP for the North Tolsta Massive whom I am assured look at this blog from time to time.

1930s plate

So I put this SELOCHROME plate - made by Ilford - into the Ziess Ilkon. Eve shots it at 30asa and I develop it in LC29. Something happened of which I am not too sure but, here I am in my best 'weather' outfit on Traigh Mhor dunes.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Playing around

In The Jon Norfolk Suite [aka The darkroom/coal shed], I have a stash of old unexposed glass plates. I have found that some of the smaller ones fit into 120 folders so, loaded up the Rolfix with FP4, shot Eve at Leverburgh where the winter sun was shining and hey presto; I forgot to shut the thingy that hides the red window!!!!! Duh!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Digi and all that

Eve, my dear partner took the resident dogs down to Traigh Mhor this morning as I was not feeling my best - again! I sent them off with the Digi-snapper we have and it did manage to catch some of the early morning light, Frank wondering what life is all about and, Rocky in his new Harris Tweed jacket. This old digi snapper may have only 3 pixels or something but it did the trick!

Monday, December 24, 2007

BIG WORK with German glass

e have a fine image
In contrast here we have a fine image taken in the Castle grounds in Stornoway with the Voigtlander 6x9 rf. APX400/LC29

Russian glass

I am so lucky to have been gifted a Kiev rangefinnder with a 85 portrait lens. Tis a wonderful piece of kit rthat in the right hands can produce some sensatinal images. However, in my hands the snaps are just OK. Here's a crofters dad. Efke100 APH09 1:200

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Old film

I was given a few rolls of 35mm film the other day - some were exposed including a Plus-x cassette. So souped it innR09 @ 1:200 for two hours and ended up with somerespectable photees. Lots of church images of which I think these are the best!

Friday, December 21, 2007

FED up

Rocky being brave. Got caught out on the way back when the edge of the sand-cliff gave way but he still managed to scamble through without falling.

I have not been having too much success with the old picture taking of late. There are a myriad of cameras lurking around the hoose - plate cameras, folders, rangefinders, scale focus, slrs, medium, large and 35mm format - oh and 110; Colour and B&W film in the freezer. X-ray too. But can I take a decent snap???
So, I take out the FED rangefinder - the one with the dodgy film speed thing - it's stuck on around 1/50-1/100th I think. Loaded it with APX400 - the grainy one - and snapped away at anything using the aperture for changing the exposure - all guessed. Souped it in R09 @ 1:200 or thereabouts for around 2hours - well, just when I remembered about it actually. I didn't even take the temp of the water bt it was cold! And hey ho, its the best I have ever seen with this film!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sunshine at last..

..but we had some shopping to do in the big metropolis of Stornoway. First we visited the village Post Office - busy for a small place too. Thena stroll looking in shop windows, walking along the harbour and drinking Mocha in An Lanntair. Nice. I played with the Kiev rf with 35mm jupiter [many many thanks to Monty /APX400/R09 - and then we met Windy; cyclist, photographist and racontour.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Posting for Christmas

With the last day for posting looming, I should point out that the Western Isles post office have been having a few issues. Firstly there are the normal issues of ferries not running and planes delayed because of the inclement weather we had recently - the issues of widespread and disperate offices and boxes. And the main post office burning down. Nearly forgot that!
Here, the box is on Bernera.
Another common issue for rural areas is the possible closure of village post-offices and our village of North Tolsta is no exception and we will not know for sure that will we still have one till Feb 2008.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Been struggling a bit of late. Struggling with my health and with my picture making. Sometimes find the best way is to go simple to get out of that hole. Simple strolls on the beach with a simple scale focus camera, straight forward film and devevelop it by stand development. It works sometimes.
Kodak Retinette 1a. APX100/R09 1:100.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Walking in trees

We took the dogs into Stornoway for a walk the other day. Its a chance for them to sniff around trees and see something other than sand. The light was dull but I took the Voigtlander 6x9 to finish off a roll of APX400 I had. Just love this image from near the castle. Technically it may leave something to be desired but it does have a feel about it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A once fast table

I used to work at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester before I was 'saved' and got a life. The old track surface, down since the Velodrome opened in 1994, was being replaced just as I was leaving so, as a parting gift, a wonderful carpenter called Alan Whitworth - who also works on the track, made me a fantastic table from the old surface. Here it is complete with scratches, track-lines and probably a bit of Craig Mcleans skin, now located in the summer parlour of our little abode in the Isle of Lewis. This huge table - at which I sit now typing this - finally got here due to the good auspices of Vic Posse who was up visiting recently to bring up his two dogs for a hol. Nice init?


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Lochan

Just outside the village boundary is this lochan. And since the sun had decided to show itself for a change and was glistening across the water, I slopped through the soggy grass and took this with the Hasselblad on FP4. I like it.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Complete with the requisite dust and what have you that befits a neg that fell on the floor and was trod on in the darkroom is this print of BosseB, a fine photog from Sweden. Check out his wonderful work here .

Friday, December 07, 2007

Half or twice the fun?

From time to time I like to use my half-frame 120 film camera the Korol24s. It's cale focus with a piece of dodgy glass that passes for a lens but its great fun and makes the film developer man look quizzical! These were taken on our nearest beach and on Bernera island. NPS160.
It is lovely to be free of anything that passes for sharpness :-)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Foul weather

The ferry is not running, the wind is howling and I have to go out on a job soon. Ah well, I have just acquired some new to me kit for the darkroom today - just need to sort the roof of the thing and then I'll be in business

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Apparently, we don't get too much snow here on the island. Have not seen any yet though the mainland has had some. Here's a snap from back in Saddleworth where we had a little snow last year. What with global warming and the genral lack of concern by many people, it looks like snow will become scarcer every year

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Bad weather - again

Rocky, checking out the beaches - yesterday. What a difference a day makes!

There's a little stormette raging outside and the ferries are not playing again. Just as well really since the waves in the Minch look nasty and might be nausea inducing should you be daft enough to cross the Minch today. I've shut the doors and windows and lit the fire so we [Frank, Rocky and myself - Eve not having come home yet] are nice and cosy in here - although the Jon Norfolk Suite [aka The Darkroom] has sprung a leak in the roof. Just as well it's not at the other end of the room since that's where the leci is! I wonder if my old pal Graham Leeke might be willing to troll over from Manc to fix the thing?? Oh no, he can't. The ferry is not running.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Another meeting

The electricity was off last Friday so when I went out with our visiting dogs for a stroll on the beach we met Ron an English chap now relocated to the north of our island. Ron was meant to b doing a loft conversion nearby but since his power tools didn't work and he had no light he took time off to explore our lovely beaches. Voigtlander Bessa ! 6x9 Rf- hp5 @800 LC29.

Most days I take time to have look what's going on on APUG - a analogue photo site but recently one thread that started about China's environmental record and rambled around the global warming issue - really got me wondering why so many people don't see the issue as an issue at all. There are some that have taken the issue on board - see my chum BosseB here and Portal23 here

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I didn't quite nail the focus when I took this snap of Rosaline at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester. Rosaline is the head poisoner at the Velodrome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Paxette and flare

I have this old Braun Paxette 35mm camera which is a delight to hold and use. Only trouble is, it looks like someone has cleaned the outer lens element with sandpaper! As a result, in daylight the results are 'interesting'. Here using APX400s in R09.

Mum takes the stage

While I and my partner Eve reside up here in the Hebrides, Mum is still in Burnham-on-Sea. And seeing Mum works her socks off for everyone in the area, she was recently invited to open the local ASDA. Very proud of her I am.
Anyway, here she is on the left getting out the Limo to open the joint.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

35mm splurge

Frank and Rocky checking the policies
Rocky, checking out a new walk
BigBoat, smallboat in Stornoway
For some reason I have been shooting some 35mm recently. Since I have some bulk rolls of B&W film it doesn't cost a lot. Having said that, I never seem to get results that inspire me to print in the darkroom so I'm showing a couple here. Taken with either a Pentax Spotmatic or K1000 [now inoperative sadly]. Films are Efke 100 and Apx400s - both in R09.