Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ummm. Cyanotypes and all that

Called in to the Coelyns today for a mini-workshop with these good people and Toots came along too. Well, I must say they were very organised and in no time we had a few prints out after a quick suntanning in the living room. One 6x6 we left as it was [looked nice too] one we bleached which made it look even better and one I threw in some Yorkshire tea. Despite the teas' nomenclature, it worked reasonably well, changing the colour of the light to dark blue and pinking up the highlights.
I rather enjoyed myself although Mr Coelyne was rather non-plussed at my 'dash of this, slurp of that' techniques :-). "Its all about playing" I told him and he seemed satisfied with that although I suspect the measuring jug is going to get more use than it did today - as will the timer.
Anyway, here's one I did some time ago; a 6x6 neg; Kate's Cabbage

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Look here Mrs Bac Pharmacy lady; that horse [Ginty] is big I'm told and you aren't. Now your little wrist is broked and we are all sad. Except Glenn - who didn't seemed to mind at all this morning - running hither and thither on the beach with Ghriet and Sam and giving me the dirtiest of looks when I threw the ball-thing past him and Sam got it first. I mean, if looks could kill........!
So, get better soon Mrs Carolyn. Your staff in the shoppe are brill but its just not the same whinging at them about my ailments.

Snap; Ullapool


I don't know why but I'm feeling a tad low this evening. That despite a nice evenings work with Mr Alec, a lovely meal with Eve at home, two dogs prowling the house menacingly [Ghriet and Sam are having a sleep-over] and listening to Late Junction on BBC Iplayer. Must be the weather or something. Or the imminent departure of Just William to the mainland for a couple of weeks.
Anyway, snap is from a visit to Bath Spa recently.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is Lard. Otherwise known as Jake Ingram-Dodd and my nephew. As it happens, he is a dancer - although i must admit he doesn't look particularly graceful here. Having said that, he made a lovely move with his left foot shutting a door whilst we were carrying the bench to be painted through the house. That's what dancers do. I'm told. At the moment Jake is working with the Featherstonehaughs [say 'Fanshaws'] which is a fantastic dance company directed by the great Lea Anderson. This is my nephew we are talking about here. Eh! And such a lovely man too.
Do a google of him and you can find some stuff ... including this vid and this one too when he was working with Maresa von Stockert. Fantastic eh? Oh yes, and he is in the new and lovely 'glass' magazine - a sort of artsy Vogue / Dandy. I've seen a pre publication copy and its is fantastic - even got Sarah Moon's images in.
He's not bad at painting benches either :-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A new Bridge snap

Since I've got a few moments to look at this film from the Kowa, I'll post this snap from a previous walk over on Great Bernera.

Monday, February 22, 2010

So, I'm home again

....after a nice few days with mater in Somerset and small visits to my home town of Bath Spa, a look at Burnham-on-Sea, Bridgwater and snowdrop valley on Exmoor. And yes, I took a snap or three.
Here's a snap of Burnham-on-Sea some years back :-)

Monday, February 15, 2010

It rained

Toots Wilson in full[ish] flow

The Bridge

Look, it may be less than ideal weather at the moment, I may have a dodgy chest infection but I cannot stay in all day and evening waiting for things to improve. So, armed with an old Kodak Retinette camera, Eve and I dragged Toots out of his slumbers [where, I might add, he was dreaming of going into his darkroom - again] and took off to Great Bernera where we set of in watery sunshine along the path to Tobson.

It is such a wonderful spot and well worth the effort to get along there - whatever the weather. To start the walk one crosses this lovely little bridge, passes a couple of cottages and walk over towards the derelict one. At this point the sun was still shining and we set off along the coast towards the lobster ponds. No sooner had we crossed a few bogs, climbed a stile or two and gazed across the bay than the rain started lash down. Toots was soon pining for his fire and cosy chair - and I wasn't keen on going on either - so we set off home again.

Actually, looking back at the day from the comfort of a dry home and the film from the Retinette developing, I rather enjoyed the walk. Especially since the film CMS20 developed for about two and half hours in Rodinal 1;200 ish turned out quite nicely

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Our Bus Stop in the recent weather

The Dairy has Gone.

I took this snap with the old Voigtlander 6x9 rangefinder on some Perutz film I still have a few rolls off. The film has had it really - hence the texture. However, I do like this image. And the first- the one of the bus stop.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What's going on?

Gosh, for the last few days the weather up here on our island has been just wonderful. Warm sunshine, lovely warmth and hardly any breeze at all. Ghriet the doggie has enjoyed a fine stroll on the Traigh Mhor beach this morning, running all over the place, in and out of the sea and generally getting quite tired.
I've been down to The Crofter some days too - what with the North Tolsta Rodeo an all. Since the croft in question is on the edge of the world near enough, one does really get distracted. We were down doing a spot of ditching with the digger thing when I looked to my left and took in the view of Donald Four Tractors' sheeps and No. 1 North Tolsta. And the Minch.
What a great privilege it is to live in this place.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Biker Crofter

You lot think I make most of this up don't you? You can't make this sort of thing up.
I was over at The Crofter a few days past, passing the time of day, pulling my foot out of a cow-pat and avoiding having to help feed the pigs when Dad Crofter comes out with the fact he used to be a biker. I wrote about this phenomena on Island Crofters blog - an everyday tale of Crofter folk - without Jazzer but with cows and pigs. And now I have the proof. Well, I have the proof that Mum Crofter was a Biker's Moll [a motorbike rider's lady companion for all you Aussie readers so you don't get the wrong idea], here in the snap on the right seen on the left and looking far all the world like the snap was taken yesterday. The chap by her side was Jon - and we don't talk about Jon do we? No.
Dad Crofter, I'm told is the one with the Skull and Crossbones on his designer jacket - because he wus dubble 'ard an all.
The snap of the motorbike was Biker Crofter's Triumph Trophy - "The American model don't forget" I was told. I haven't forgotten eh?
Nice snaps too - proper development issues an all. Must be authentic :-)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Death by P.S.

I have been re visioning a neg of mine. Taken with the Hasselblad in one of my favourite home village spots and re-worked here in front of t'fire using a pooter program - the lazy way. However, it is something I do from time to time - when I can't be bothered to go into the darkroom, I have not got enough B&W paper or, like this time, when I want to spend time in the same space as my dear Eve whilst doing something constructive/destructive.

I am rather taken by the work of Titarenko, not only in his use of movement but also in his darkroom re-visioning of negs. Like Titarenko, I like to imagine that the neg is merely a starting point of the final image. Unlike Titarenko, I have little of no imagination of what I'm trying to achieve. I just hope I recognise it when I see it! Here, I rather like this Titarenko-esque effect whch would be rather easy to do the proper way. And, if I can find the neg, might well do that.

And yes, I like it dark and part-toned sine you ask Coelyne :-)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Yup; snow

The Stornoway Gazette Snapper walks to work [Seamus McDean ?]

Not snowing at the moment I might - quickly. The sun is out - somewhere behind the big bank of dark clouds that are lurking overhead and causing me to have to have the light on in the middle of the day and everything.
But it does seemed to have snowed inordinately this winter. The animals have been having a rough time of it and the snow underfoot does not 'help getting the pigs in' [an obscure Archers reference here for Mick who's bobbing around the high seas somewhere out west in his boat Hannah with Bee and the moggie. Well worth checking out their website as it happens - nice pics an all. The Archers are always worth checking out of course. Jazzer being particularly wonderful at the moment and I feel that Phallon is giving him a terrible time. So unfair. And Helen is off her head.]
Anyway, took these snaps a few days ago in The Big Town with the Kiev rangefinder camera and HP5 rated at 1600 and sloshed in Rodinal 1:100 for 2 hours - which can't be done apparently.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Proper stuff

I have been known to been on the end of some doubt from time to time. Doubt in the main at the direction of my images. Not surprising since I am rather prone to veer off from the norm and produce disasters masquerading as 'art' - whatever that is. Take this image; please . [tis the first image of this collaboration] . I lost it really. My mind was elsewhere when I put that together using an old Soviet 13x18 plate camera, x-ray film and cyanotype print, toned and then sloshed with watercolour paint. What was I thinking of? I can't imagine but I blame it on tension at work.

In the meantime I went along to an interesting information packed Islands Book Trust lecture about Greenland by photo-lecturer Iain Roy. Afterwards I had a quick chatette with the man but, he was all full of words, the lecture and was rather preoccupied with signing books and getting out of the theatre before they turned the lights off. I mentioned another tographer who had taken some rather special snaps of Greenland but I didn't think it had been the right time to bring it up as it happens. I mean, Mr Roy still smiled at me, talked to me like I was intelligent but I could see in the back of his eyes that, it was not the right time. So I left.

However, in a flash of inspiration that comes to me from time to time, I emailed Mr Roy about Ragnar Axelsson and his work and to my pleasant surprise I received a lovely long and most interestinating reply detailing Mr Roy's delight in such imagary and a great deal besides. It's very pleasing that Mr Axelsson still uses film for his work - which I might add I love - and Mr Roy's used to use film too - 35mm, Medium Format and LF. Having said that Mr Roy has now gone over to the dark side and I am rather afraid I'm not so keen on the rather saturated colour and sharpened pictures that seem to be the result. I do like the man though and his B&W work.

Anyway, here's a proper snap from me; taken at Gress - just up the road - with the Kowa 6x6 and printed by own fair hand on Foma Varient. Which reminds me; I have a film fixing [hopefully] in hypo after development in Coffee/Soda crystals/Acetic acid mix.

And before I forget, one of the villagers reminded me of the TV programme 'Off Kilter' about the Isle of Lewis [Isle of Rust] is on Iplayer on the pooter at the moment. Brilliant stuff and well worth a look.

Monday, February 01, 2010

The dairy is gone

Next door at one time was a chap who started a dairy in the village. It was built just down the road on a croft - at a time when there were less fences around the place - and more cows. The cows were kept in various 'parks' around the village, my informant tells me. Anyway, now the dairy is gone. Gone, lorst and gone, making room for another house to built to house a lovely family.
Sad though. Clocks used to work with the cows and latterly kept pigs there. So, here it is just prior to being demolished with Biker Crofter making his way to give the eye to builders to let him salvage some useful stuff.