Monday, September 29, 2008

Wet-Plate Accordionist

"Watch the birdie" says Carl as Ian poses in the lavishly appointed studio.

Carl Radford, the renowned Wet-Plate Accordionist, dervishly whirls while creating an Ambrotype of Eve.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bin Tinned

Had such a wonderful weekend. Met the LCC [continuing] group and The great Collodionist [A Collodionist, I might add is much like an accordionist only creates less noise and more smell :-) ] C. Radford Esq whose fine imagery can be seen here. The Wet-Plate-Collodion process is old and brings the Western Isles forward kicking and complaining into the 19 century.
Once I had recovered from the ether and other sensory altering chemicals, Mr Radford presented me with this image - which I am told is of myself. On tin. Eh? The magnificent Mr Radford also snapped my dear Eve with his 8x10 inch camera and we're looking forward to that too - only Eve was on glass. Don't ask me why since I still have not worked it all out.
The thing is, the image above is nothing like the real thing - really. It has such depth in the image, such honesty and feeling that seems to be missing on a silver halide image or, digital. Particularly digital.
After some cogitating and ruminating on imagery and whatnot - mainly whatnot if my memory serves me correctly plus tea and cakes - courtesy of the wonderful Ian, Colin & Barbara, Eve & I left with much to think about photography-wise and much to look back on with a day well spent.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Just back from drinkies at the Dr's house - actually, twas the canoeing club. How lovely it was too. Anyway, this ones for Sugarlips who tells me she reads this blog every day. Well, we shall she if I get comment here :-) Eve cycling on Vatersay last w/e. Nice eh?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Lovely North Uist house
Most days I find a few moments to check out a few blogs that tickle my fancy so to speak. Today I was dazzled by a portrait and story on Terrorkitten blog. Well worth a look if you have time. In fact, make the time! The photo you are looking for is "Dorothy Said "We Are Living In The Last Days." Stall Street, Bath." My home town is Bath and Mr Kitten is a fine photographer so its one of my favs.

Oh, and as well as the blogs, I usually check out to see where Mick and Bee are at the moment in their lovely boat Hannah. Met them both in Stornoway a while back. Lovely people.

Then I check into and their forums to see what's happening in the world of interesting photography with proper film. Best photog site anywhere and they have some fine galleries.
So, that's it for today as I'm off canoeing soon :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Still waiting

Still awaiting the phone man to come and fit another line into the house for the work-fax. Will he/she ever arrive? Why cannot these companies give a more specific time so one doesn't have the waste the day mooching around home.
Meanwhile, have been looking at some old negs from the Ilford Sporti as this one above and, reading some OU modules.

Cycling on the Western Isles

Cycling around here is a fine activity. The places to visit and the views along the way are all too obvious is you visit the Flickr Lewis & Harris site. In todays snap, we can see some cyclists have left their bikes to enjoy the sun at Traigh Mhor near North Tolsta on Lewis.
Thje roads are often quiet although we do have the usual tearaways who race their cars around the local roads from time to time. I'm hoping that Sustrans will get involved with doing something with the old un-used single track roads in some areas.
If you are a local, do start lobbying your local councillor to do something! Please.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Barra -ing

Eve wandering on North Uist
North Uist
Eve & took off for a couple of days down the Isles hereabouts. Down to Barra via, Lewis, Harris, Berneray, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay. We did this with the jalopy and the bikes sat nicely inside. However, when we got to Eriskay we left the car there and took to the bikes around the island of Barra - the hilly way as it happens - and stayed at the Dunard Hostel. A fine hostel by all accounts.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Here we come

Despite not being able to sleep - hence me writing this at 5am or thereabouts - we, EVe & I are off to Barra for a wee visitation. I shall be taking a camera. Or two. Three actually.
In the meantime, while I am away enjoying myself, you can feast your eyes on this image - a white-tea toned cyanotype.

Which reminds me, I collared the local councillor the other day to press forward my ideas for making use of the old non-used sections of single track roads around the island and turning them into traffic free cycle paths. Now, wouldn't that be great! Cycle paths that everyone - including the kids - can cycle on without fear of being mown down by someone racing round the roads of the island in their over-polished car. Would take so little money to link these setions and have a little signage. Could be the start of Sustrans on the island. Environmentally kind transport and good for the health too.

What do YOU think?

Just to celebrate, here's an image I took today - using a pinhole camera - pinhole in baking foil - and captured on photographic paper then contact printed onto more paper. EH?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Better now

I'm sorted. Washed out the bad vibes by dunking myself a few times in the pool in Stornoway during a Stornoway Canoe Club sesh. Great fun it was too. Its 30 years since I last canoed and really surprised myself by being able to do an eskimo roll - four times. A bit ragged but managed it all the same. Still have the smell of chlorine in my head today.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Time out

Please come back and look in October when I should have my head back on. Thanks

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Out and about

Eve & I took ourselves up to the top of the island today so we could have a stroll round the lovely coastline there. Had a great time and met this chap - twice! No idea who he is but he did agree to stand still while I snapped him with my 1936 SuperIkonta .
Also found this Goldsworthy-esque sculture which I rather like but I would love to know who made it. Anyone know?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nightmare on Lewis

One of those days....
Two rolls of film exposed and one mashed when I developed it. And on that film were masterpieces! Obviously. Anyway, I have this little gem.

El Supremo

A nice snap of El Supremo, Presidenti of the Lewis camera klub, Mr D Batty. Here caught on x-ray film showing his more caring side.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Double Dutch

Lovely couple we met on the island of Rousay in Orkney whilst on holiday the other week. I only took 3 camera with me - goodness, only 3 I hear you say! Well, 3 was enough.
At the moment I am in the darkroom a lot as I'm printing up a batch of silver-gelatin print for a little exhibition I have at An Lanntair in Stornoway next Feb.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Aileen & Ellen

Paralympic champions - again. In the visually impaired tandem 1 km time trial. World record as well. Brilliant!

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Was minding my own business today, trolling around a few photo sites on t'internet when I got over-skyped up from Beijing by them Para dudes awaiting the start of the paralympics. Would have thought they would be tucked up in bed by that time of night but hey ho, there you go.
So, it twas Aileen Mcglynn MBE and her tandem partner Ellen Hunter who were calling and best of luck to them and to my other cycling club mates Ant KAppes and coach Jon Norfolk.
All starts Sunday 7th September.
HEre's Aileen on Bosta

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Well, in a month or two - when I get the prints made that is. And mounted and framed. Which will happen. Eventually. When I have taken the snaps anyway!
February at An Lanntair, Stornoway.

Much as I love Eve, this snap will not be in the exhibition.
Eve in Stromness cafe.