Thursday, September 27, 2012

I may have lost it........

My pal William used to work with me. Well, for the same company anyway doing the same sort of thing and this meant carrying a bag of 'bits' / wires / plugs around to the various locations. When he gave up the job, the bag he had went to my colleague Alec who reckoned he fed his sheep for a month on the hay he got out of William's bag!

I was reminded of this after paying lovely visitation to William and Gemma today and since looking at this blog-site where they show people's camera bags like this one for example. My bags for camera portability is nothing like this one at all. It's more like Williams without the hay - mostly. I'm not going to show it to you as I have several bags with cameras lurking within. None of the bags are 'proper' camera bags but rather bags I use for carrying cameras. And film, and glasses bits of this and that, dust, odd things I have forgotten about - and that's why I'm not going t show it to you!

Instead here is a digi-snap taken with a very old half-a-pixel camera we have had for yonks - which cost a fortune at the time and is barely used. The snap depicts two of my gaffer-taped cameras I use from time to time. Proper cameras with film and everything. The one on the right is a Petri7s - which does the job nicely. And the one on the right is a Voigtlander Perkeo - which is a lovely little thing. But snuggle in a bag - but separate bags at the moment as they are prone to fight!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

another day, another snap

It wasn't the best roll of exposed film I've seen. But then I did fall over it as it were when I picked up an old Ricoh 500g that was hanging about the place. It's a natty little camera although the rangefinder patch is rather weak, it is prone to flare, it hadn't been used since I replaced the foam seals and I wasn't sure what film was inside when I shot the last 25 shots on the film that was in there! Apart from that, they are all brilliant. Especially the one with my thumb in the frame and the other with Coelyne's hand. Classic really.


The Hand of Coelyne [plusToots] 

Doing the village shoppe run

 Traigh Mhor

Then I took the little camera for a stroll in the storm behind the big beach and almost got the exposure right, and almost got a nice snap! Souped in LC29.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just a wee breeze

I found this neg lurking down the back of the settee today. Dusted it off a bit and threw it into the scanner as it does seem to give an indication of the wee breeze that's sweeping these parts at the moment - albeit without the little dampness that pervades the mainland at the moment. Looks like I must have taken it with the Korrol on account of the odd shaped negs. Actually, looks like I didn't dust it off much now I look at it closely.

And another from the same slither of film I found - shown to you as the Coelynes are away and can't berate me for it!

Monday, September 24, 2012


 George goes to his crop

George basks in the glow

Apparently, according to George, the growing of veg around the village of New Tolsta [just a few hundred yards from North Tolsta - which is south of New Tolsta !! ] has declined markedly. Even in George's lifetime it has gone down. The crofts hereabouts are often neglected - or at least, under-used. There's sheeps on some, coows on some others but few veg. Maybe its part of the culture here - they do eat a lot of meat after all. 

The Stornoway abattoir had pigs and poor sheeps awaiting their sad fate outside this morning when I passed getting the papers for the village shoppe. I really hate seeing that and must remember to go the other way round at this time of year.

Still, George likes to be close to the land, lifting his crop of potatoes that he sowed in a traditional old way - whatever that is. Eve has a few veg growing at some land we have use of at The Batty's - but not half as much as The Battys have growing. Or The Crofter.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Yes, it's lovely.

The sun was shining in my eyes as I rode the bike along the road towards the sea. Not a care in the world [that I could thing of at the time] and not a car either. Bliss.

It wasn't today but it could have been since the weather is terrific - making this place seem even more like the paradise it really is.

And from time to time I am tempted out for a little pootle around the local road. This was last week. Eve was out today on the bike and loved every moment of it. As so she should.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cage; What's that all about ?

Look, what's this all about five grown men playing with radios while another reads a newspaper? And the Stornoway Gazette at that! Bonkers. Even more bonkers was that Eve & I paid to watch it. Only I found myself enthralled. Totally enthralled with a smile welded to my mush all evening.

It was a John Cage event at An Lanntair. And yes, they did 'do 4' 33" - and what a virtuoso performance it was. From the moment Peter who-sit walked on stage it was brilliant. As was the next piece for piano, percussion and voice. Some erb for tv world called John Cavanagh did that bit - and did it rather well too. Strutting hither and thither and commanding the stage as the percussionist at the rear threw caution to the wind and table tennis balls to the floor.

There was a very fine rendition of 42 LPs bought at Bethesda shop in some relation to I ching or something equally odd. The best was kept till last. 6 radios and one voice. Yer man Cavanagh again with reading of newspapers, and 5 men on [analogue] radios - including The Artist formerly known as Jon who looked rather wary as if he was worried about tuning per chance to The Archers mid performance. He didn't and the piece was amazing. Yer Man read the gazette and fish update - as some do. Quoth Ian Stephens, Jori et al to their surprise as they sat in t'audience.

Yes, most of you missed it which was great pity. I was there and have a fine old time.

I have a photo lurking in the camera somewhere of the whole affair. While I develop the film I shall record the sounds, write the score and publish as a hand-made book as a momentoe of the event. Perhaps.

I have included here two snaps from earlier in the day. From Traigh Mhor, Toslat

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kodak Polymax paper and Coelyne of the Coelynes

Coelyne of the Coelynes doing or, not doing the pressing.

There's nothing quite like old out of date Kodak Polymax printing paper for getting the desired mottled effect. And this is Kodak Polymax paper suitably out of date and therefore mottled. Not that you can easily tell. Looks like I have been playing with Textures so beloved of Flickrites and the like. I wouldn't dare as Mr Coelyne reads this most days and I would be hassled from here to eternity or something.

Mr Coelyne was trying to press the coffee to the bottom of the coffee thing at the recent Lewis Photographica [continuing] coffee morning. It wouldn't press [it transpired there was a granular irregularity by all accounts and sorted by Toots Wilson here seen lurking in t'background] . That gave one time to sort the Perkeo loaded with Fuji Acros, check the light, adjust the setting, focus using the auxiliary focus finder and shoot [using the auxiliary shutter - a knife in this case - don't ask]. Nice eh? The look of concentration. I can almost spoon out of the feel of the day from this image. It has an aura of averageness and everything.

Coelyne of the Coelynes run the Oiseval gallery and wonderful framing business over at Brue on the West Side. Only, they will be shut for October. Go soon or in November or later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Playing with vandyke

 This could almost be Van Dyke and family, only it's not. It's a VanDyke print of a neg of Vic's, a cycling pal from doon soof [ish]. The neg looked like it might print nicely in this form so, since the sun is out from time to time, I went ahead on cheap watercolour paper. The emulsion I had already made up some time ago so it had matured well. Since the neg above was 6x9 cms it only required a small piece of paper.

This one is 6x6 cms and taken in the Perkeo camera. It's here in the village don't you know.Both were slightly bleached back and then dunked in sepia - it seems to increase the contrast. How does that happen?

I like them anyway.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The hair had gone!

What happened there then? The man was had short grey hair, a tie and everything. It wasn't the man I was expecting. He looked like a retired school teacher. But then, since he is, one supposes he should look like that. Maybe it was that he was a teacher in the 1970s, long hair and beard. That sort of thing. He knew his stuff all the same. Lovely pictures on Kodachrome and everything. Camping at 5000m held onto the side of a mountain by ropes, no food and no comb either I shouldn't wonder. But Doug Scott it was. He made to 2012 that's all. Like I did.

We were down with Mr Windy at the Harris Mountain Festival. Brilliant! I shall attend something else this week I hope. Thanks all for putting it on. Eh!

I was so Inspired, I couldn't sleep. I dug out these colour snaps from a recent trip to Engerland to help with the global warming/sea level rise/climate change that's enveloping us all. I wasn't driving all the time see. I snook some snaps with the Retinette1a and colour film that has come my way. It wasn't sunny at all - and there were no mountains and there was a window to shoot through. It says a lot about the world we live in. I think.

Tell me you like them. Tell me you hate them. Tell me something! Please.

See, I wasn't driving 

 I was sitting. And snapping.

Oh, and Ms Ook has been busy too.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sad but true

Sea posts Bridlington

Sad but true; this snap taken in Bridlington during 2006 with the old 6x9 Voigtlander RF is my most 'interesting' and most viewed and most favourited image on my Flickr thing.

I was inspired to seek this out after reading Mr Windy's post of the same nature.

I was amazed that the most recent image to make it into the top 10 most 'interesting' is this image, now hanging in the Oiseval Gallery at the mo. Which by the way is closing for October to give The Coelynes a break and will re-open in November.

Pin-hole on Garry Beach, Tolsta.

Garry Beach through a pin-hole

Made with the home-made Fruit-Pastel pinhole camera and printed on Oriental Seagul paper with Lith. Eh? Proper camera stuff an all ! Peoples seem to love the blur thing too!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mind over matter

Me, meditating.

I don't usually meditate in bed. If I do I am liable to fall asleep and that's just not the point. However, it does really look like here I might have under lain the top duvet for a while as I contemplated my breath for a while. I might have been posing. You never know.

I've not long completed a little led -meditation in the Summer Parlour in front of the now lit fire. A small fire merely to look at I tell you. I listened to the calming tones of Mathew Manning - as he lurks awaiting on my hard-disk somewhere most of the time but comes out to help my meditation if I ask him too.

Some years ago I had the pleasure of attending a Mindfulness Meditation course at the Manchester Buddhist Centre with a group called Breathworks. It was time well spent I can tell you. Brings me back from the brink every time, helps me through life and gives me an excuse to do nothing from time to time. 

The snap came from the pinhole camera, loaded with Fuji Acros and souped in Promicrol.

I know, I have changed the format of the blog. I'm not sure I like it yet. Do you?
We still have the links and what have you on the right if you take your pointer-thing that way - although I tried it on Toot's Ipad and it looked a little different. Over-apple-ed I shouldn't wonder.

PS. It has been mentioned that that new format [now changed back] asked you to log on. So, have gone back to old ways!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blue Pig

I've been using the Promicrol again. It's a developer and cheap as chips don't you know. Thought Id try it to see what the pin-hole Fruit-Pastel camera saw when I pointed it at The wonderful Blue Pig Studio over in ... oh, I don't know. Over the west side up a windy lane by the sea. And there's a wall nearby near a white sheep. Near there.

The equally wonderful Jane Harlingon works there, owns the place, does everything in the place that makes it lovely just to be there. I was there. Gate crashed the place while a Art workshop for peoples was taking place. I looked over their shoulders and everything. Saw painting, drawing and lots of laughter. That's the sort of place it is. Since the Fruit-Pastel pin-hole camera had some Fuji Acros inside I pointed it at the peoples. They didn't seem to mind. Not even Jane or Barbara from Oiseval Gallery just up t'road who had swopped her digi-cam for a paint brush.

Now the souping in Promicrol is over - this time 1:14 dilution as per instructions which, I might add I did glance a this time, we have snaps from Blue Pig. Nice eh?

 There they are. Having fun. That's what it looks like.

 A Grouse with fame by the looks of it

 Sticks; with hairs attached.


Knitting at the Blue Pig. As one does.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Do we like this?

Been playing around about with the blog. Did you notice?

Thought it was time for a freshen up since I looked at the lovely Susan Revey's blog and thought, I could do that! I did, but somehow it just doesn't look as nice. Maybe I need better words and photos and inspiration. Or something. Maybe it's the music I'm listening too while I write this that's informing how I see it. Maybe it's because I've already been rained upon this morning. Who knows?

 Nothing better than a blurry picture of happy children

 Or a snap of Paddy - the man in a dog-suit.

Or even an image of Bonky as my mother in law is affectionately known by all the family.

Now is a good time to be here on the island. It always is a good time but there's a couple of interesting events coming up. Firstly there's the Harris Mountain Festival and we are off to listen to Doug Scott's big wall exploits. Why not? Then at An Lanntair The Artist formerly known as Jon is taking part in a celebration of John Cage and will be improvising with a radio! Well worth a trip in.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Promicrol Hp5 @ 640

This is a photographic technique post. So, if you don't want to see what it's all about, look away now.


I had acquired some cheap, expired and seemingly badly kept HP5 from someone in Spain. It was cheap - did I mention that? When shot at 800 asa ish it seems to work ok ish. Wasn't sure about the developer to use though. Tried Rodinal but it wasn't brill. Tried LC29 and that was a little better but now I have tried some Promicrol acquired from some-place down in England, cheaply. 


The only down-side was that I stared the development without checking the times and dilutions. 1:30 came to mind so I used it. Unfortunately, there is no data for this dilution so I turned to my usual technique in these circumstances - I winged it!

Yep, this is 18 mins @ 22C [ish] 1:30 dilution. And it seems to work too.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Did I show this snap of a tree? Why should I? It's not exactly stunning. It's sits there in this field somewhere in Yorkshire where, no doubt it has for sometime. And will do for sometime more too. But, seeing as we don't 'do' trees outside of Stornoway - well, not proper trees anyway, I thought I'd capture its essence. Or something.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Of course we know how to party

Shy of two

 Yes, they were enjoying themselves too

Eve, sister Lynne and Dominique guard cup-cakes

See, my big sister had a significant birthday, my little sister too - I didn't but had one of them days already. We gathered in the wilds of the Somerset Levels. In the garden, the orchard next door and all. Over-cup-caked, over-whelmed with good food and drink. And company. Yes the company was lovely. Games too. We threw things at other things - properly you know. Like you are meant to and everything. Smite them, hard. Threw things over things, took bit of wood out of piles of wood. That sort of thing. That's how you have a good party.

Twas brill. Even if my younger sister wouldn't have her snap taken.

 Welcome, to My world


We burnt things. No witches to hand so we burnt wood. Once we had de-plummed the ground. De-quinced it too. Then people sat round hoping the rain wouldn't come. It did..

Lynne, posing while cooking