Monday, October 29, 2012

Beach stroll

See that? [above]
That's Gress beach. This morning.

Was up with the birds doing the shoppe run into The Smoke collecting the milk and papers not forgetting the cakes and all. Then it was back to Tolsta and the shoppe before traipsing back to The Smoke again for The Crofter to deliver teef to the Dentist place.

 Sand and water. That's what it's like down there.

 More sand and water. Told you.

 Sand, water and sky. With a little land.

 I've bin here before.

Seaweed. That's here as well.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Caught on the stack

Obviously the weather has taken a turn for the worse since Lucrecia and family are on their way from Cornwall.

With the rain coming down, the beach seemed a good idea - and along with the pinhole camera we had some fun on the beach. Yes, I'm on the stack as the tide comes in!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back from Bac

Monaco: afloat again - just

The evening went well. We spent some time in Bac at a Beetle Drive. Remember those? This one was for the Nowzad people and organised by Carolyn from Bac pharmacy. Oh what fun we had. Cakes and tea too. We lost as it happens. We were playing Tolsta rules and the rest of them were playing Bac rules. I think.

Today's snap taken this morning with the Graflex in memory of Monty whose camera it was and who departed this life 4 years ago tomorrow. 

Still here and breathing

After my near-upset experience yesterday down on The Croft, I'm recuperating at home for the moment. The snow has fallen a little so there's a white dusting outside. Apparently Stornoway has seen nothing of the snow while the Clisham road is rather more covered.

Looking forward to the re-meet of Lewis Photographica [continuing ]on Saturday morning but first I have the beetle drive at Vatisker to negotiate. Mrs Bac Pharmacy is to blame so if you fancy a drive as it were, it's 7pm at the community hall - in aid of Nowzad.

So, without further ado, here's today's masterpiece print, rescued from behind the settee - hence the dust.

Eve, getting down wif the kids [probably]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In the dark

Yes, yes, it's meant to be that colour. A pot of builder's tea poured over the print soon gives it the edge. After a few prints that were less than brill, this popped out the fixer - along with some other small prints on a selection of old papers in my possession. Nothing quite like playing around in the dark on a dull day.

Yes, this is meant to be unsharp!

The sun has mainly gone for the moment although it did make a brief appearance this afternoon whilst I was enjoying a stroll round the village. At least it is still warmish and the wind isn't blowing - yet!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It was open

Rodel Hotel

We had been a few times but never found it open. But when we did find open, the scones were just delicious!

And the weather is still glorious!

Monday, October 22, 2012

What a morning!!!!!!

The night was 'orrible. For some reason aches, pains and torment visited me last night. The hours dragged as sleep evaded me. But the morning was superb. Blood-red sunrise painted the complicated and layered cloudscape in the still air. Mist hung in the hollows and we smiled as we went into town to get the papers [which didn't arrive- [fog closing airport etc].

The intention today was to enjoy the darkroom. It won't happen today trust me. Sleep is required and the last hours of a very late summer must be enjoyed.

The snap above will have to wait!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I have a singing teacher: Apparently.

Time was passing by. The day had passed pleasantly enough. We took ourselves off to the beach and nearby to shoot some 'stuff'. Now the shoot was a 'wrap' - or whatever it should be when it's finished, a glass of rhubarb and apple sat temptingly by my side as a tempest tore in. Mr Smit and the Smitlings came in for a little shooting of the breeze [I think]. Lovely.

Mrs Smit stayed at home and had some peace.

Mrs Smit.

Soon the tempest tore out again and Ms Smit informed me that she is now to be my singing teacher. Well, that's ok, my singing does require some tuition / help. I have no sense of holding tune and Ms Smit can. Hopefully, I shall have more time in tuition than I did when Ms Smit was my dance teacher.

Master Smit.

Master Smit seemed rather unconcerned about the whole affair.

Friday, October 19, 2012

waxed and aged

The emigrant 

Yes, yes, it's an old neg. But I found it lurking down the back of the settee in the summer parlour. It spoke to me or something like that so I had to throw it in the enlarger, shine a light through it, wave my hands about, dump the paper in chemicals, wash it, put it in some more chemicals to get the colour, dry it, wax it, crease it after a spell in the freezer then polish it. And now I can't scan it properly. Not that I could do the first bit properly either but I had fun - and that's what counts surely?

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Lucrecia is coming for a few days. Oh, how lovely that will be. The kettle is already on. Models are primed. Film de-frosted and everything. Lucrecia will be doing the snapping. Me just looking and learning.

Lucrecia is coming all the way from Cornwall. Eh? How good is that? Very good if you didn't realise. Mater [OBE], Pater and Fred on their way too so bound to have a fine time.

Yes, there are snaps of Lucrecia and Fred on this here blog but you'll have to find them yerselfs as theym don't look like that now - all growed up and all that. Life eh? [unless you click here - Sorry Lucrecia/Fred, couldn't resist]

And, please note, Lucrecia likes me blurred up snaps too - at least that's what she tells me! If Ms Hunter want's to get into the fab Bath Spa Uni course [one of my old uni's ] she'd be better off looking at these snaps here.

In fact, all go and look now while I drink my green tea.

Ti- dum, dum dum dum.

Nice eh?

Looks like an 'orrible day here for a change. The sun that recently bathed us in its cold light has gone and now the wind blows. Cold.

Proper island wall. [and everything]

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

spots in black

I'm still playing with images from the Ullapool cyclosportive. This is one, printed on old Kodak Bromesko with Rollei-Creative Lith. Yes, there are black spots. Why shouldn't there be. I like them. I think I may specialise in them come to think of it.

It's right sunny here too.

Monday, October 15, 2012

darkroom day

It really lashed down last night. Work me up with the racket of the hail - or whatever it was - rattling on the roof. Just as well the island drains well - although the sea did seem rather higher than usual this morning. Not sure if the two are related.

Buoyed up by the new-to-me darkroom papers I spoke about yesterday, I took myself off to my little darkroom for a minor sloshing of the chemicals - in this case, some Rollei-Creative-Lith.The new papers are fab - but I won't show those snaps yet since - they are still wet and I haven't really looked at them yet. The RC paper I have dries quickly though so here is a snap I took in Assynt and printed onto Agfa MCC RC. It almost has a Japanese look to it I think.

Portrait of a road; Assynt.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oh look

While some chap was making history jumping out of balloon some miles up somewhere of other - and then breaking the sound barrier on the way down, I found some negs down the back of the settee. Negs that seemingly came from the little trip o'er the water to the Ullapool cyclosportive - that Mr Windy and Eve did on the tandem in horrible wet and windy conditions.

I shan't over excite you with too many more snaps from this occasion as it may prove just too much so recently after the above event in the skies. Still, two showing Eve and Mr Windy at the race control, thank-full it's all over.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

All galleried out

The day was nice. The barking dog was asleep in her Smit-housey and Oiseval Gallery beckoned. We loaded the little vehicle with fruit and some Doris Burgers for Mr Coelyne and set off for a late breakfast. We didn't quite make it into the gallery as there was coffee to be drunk and, the world put to right. If you notice how much better the day has been?

We came away this time with darkroom papers very kindly gifted to me by Saffron - another photographer from Engerland who now works mainly in alternative processes now. And lovely work it is too. I can hardly wait to get into the darkroom to work with these lovely papers and hopefully make a masterpiece. I wish!

Now, shall I start with the trad shots [see above], the lith or the blur?? Mmm, the choice is somewhat overwhelming.

I shall just go in there and do what the mood takes me.

Now, the winter is lovely here. The wind blows regularly, it can rain for days and the tearooms are often shut. Not so the Butty Bus in Leverburgh mentioned a few days ago [a four Butty rating here] and now you can add to that the Rainbow Gallery & cafe where a fine cup of coffee and lovely cakes are available six-days a week over the winter. Go there, look at the photos on sale and also the lovely paintings of Sarah Green. [a five coffee-pot rating here].

BTW;  Please read this article.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I've not much to say

Near Cromor

Yip, yip, yip, yip, yip.

Guess who is here? Eh ? No? Ok it's Ghriet. She's here for a few days much to the chagrin of Maisy who is not so keen. Maybe Ghriet will have a few hours at her home today so Maisy can have a meal.

This is not one of my best days so it can only get better. Have a listen to harpist Mary Macmaster and be amazed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's all over the news

What a[nother] sad day for the sport I [used to ] love. Cycling has at least started to emerge from under a dark stone as the USDA has put the final nail in the career of the American cyclist of ill-repute - and whose name I will not give air to here. He's not alone in his deeds but it does rather seem he was in the midst of things and tried to keep things under wrap with threats and clouds of charitable work - the latter rather like the downfall of a disgraced UK DJ recently.

I am rather losing faith in 'my' sport - again. It took a dip when GB rider David Millar was caught using drugs - but I have to admit that he has at least seen the error of his ways . It seems there is just too much money in the industry - for it is not longer sport. The temptations are too big for many. However, at the moment I do still keep the faith for riders like Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas and their cohorts. Please don't disappoint me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Sometimes you have to believe in your work. Even if you get no response. I believe.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

much pleasure

It is with much pleasure I post this little snap of The Smit boys taken last weekend using up the last from of a roll of Fomapan400. I like it. Like them too. Lovely family and everything.

Tell me you like it, tell me please.

The darkroom beckons for this one.

Bradley Wiggins was playing in a band the other night. Thrashing his guitar within an inch of his life with his band. The place was full but by the interval a lot had gone. The performance was a little dull and I told Mr Wiggins too when he popped in my box to see me. "The performance was a little flat" I said. He nodded sagely and disappeared to prepare for the second half. It started interestingly with the TDF winner laying on a hospital trolley his band pushing him about the stage while he held the guitar  his bassist bowing Mr Wiggins' strings with a violin bow, flames leaping from the body of the Strat. Then water spurted and put it all out. Mr Wiggins announced that he couldn't go on. And it finished.

Amazing what one dreams Eh?

Monday, October 08, 2012

I didn't even have a butty

Can you imagine a fine eatery with views to die for, an interesting clientèle that's open over the winter months? Of course there's always the Tolsta shoppe where a grand tea or coffee can be had to compliment your paper, bread and herrings. Only, if you are in Harris - the bottom part of this island [Lewis&Harris] - Tolsta Shoppe is too far away to be convenient.

Butty Bus and Ferry

So, lose no time and get yourself down to Leverburgh, past the Hebrides Art place which I have never been in due to it always being shut when I'm there -and as it is till March 2013. Go right down to the ferry ramp that would take you to Berneray if you so wanted where there's the Anchorage cafe which, as you might have guessed is mainly shut at this time of year then turn to your right and you'll see an old bus. A coach really. An Italian made one by all accounts. This, I can now tell you, is The Butty Bus. Famed far and wide for it's butties, soups and if you are that way inclined, beefburgers. And clientèle. Why, you might meet John Maher here. Will Self did. Rod Ellingworth did too. And I had that pleasure too.

There was Cullen Skink on offer when we were there. A lovely brew it was accompanied by the finest of butty bread and supped while watching the locals drag a boat along the road with a rusty van. As you do.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Sometimes you have time to make a portrait of an island

The ferry hadn't come in and I had time on my hands with the sun shining warmly for a change. South Harris was there so I went and snook a snap or two down this lane. Twas lovely.

I like portraits of places.

It wasn't all rain and wind

There was lashing rain and howling wind. The day of the cyclosportive over the wild roads of Assynt that is.

 Still have some energy left

 Some poor soul mending a puncture in the rain

 Ooh, that's looks hard.

 Leaving the Lochinver feeding station

 It was wild.

 Up here too

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I just knew...

 Mr Windy. Wondering what lays ahead

Sea. Out there

This was before THE RIDE IN THE WET AND WIND ON T'TANDEM. That's why he looks quite relaxed and happy. He didn't know what was ahead. Neither did I but I suspected and kept it to myself. I saw 'it' in the sea - all lumpy and bumpy with a touch of white cresty things on top that weren't seagulls. I have that gift - or like to think I have - especially in retrospect when I know I was right.

Someone had been there - Assynt that is - before us a took some nice film.  Look and learn.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Yeah, well.

Man on bike

Personages on Tandem

They leapt out at me. In the darkroom that is. Had to fight them off such was their desire to be printed. I stuck some Russian Slavich Unibrom paper under the enlarger and then developed the first one. Then I stuck some old Kodak Bromesko under the light for the next. I like them both.

Don't panic, I might find some other recognisable images soon :-)

Castle - lithed up

Like this one.

The very moment

The pain starts

Here it is; the very moment Mr Windy and Eve cocked their respective left legs over t'tandem for the start of the epic in excessive dampness and wind. 

A young Windy looks on bemused. Deanne is thinking 'why'. The bushes seem rather unconcerned at the 88 hills miles ahead.

An ostrich chases the tandem.

There seems to have been an incident with an Ostrich. I must have missed that while I was concentrating on the camera thing. But, look there it is. No doubt at all. Maybe he was a ringer in the Elphin chicken races a few days before. You would have thought they would have noticed!!