Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oh please, that wasn't the game I was playing.


Flattered is not the word for it; flabbergasted-up is. 

Look, the game was this; I produce a printy thing of dubious quality with an image you may or may not recognise and then someone buys it - for a slightly less than exorbitant fee. I've heard of people doing that and it works. I wasn't offering a print of any image on my blogettes or something!!!! I mean, if I could possibly find the neg in the folds of the settee or, in the unlikely event that it may have found its way into a neg-sleeve and being able to find it without sending myself into the depths of despair, I would print/try to print the snap. As it happens the two lovelee potential purchasing personages may and I emphasis the MAY here, may just get an image in the post. Possibly.

I will have two [or possibly more ] lovelee framed printy things in the An Lanntair local 'artistes' exhibition next year and they will be for sale. Nice too - all lithy things and everything. But, and here's the rub for cheapskates like myself, the cost of these maybe more than £20 + a bartering element yet to be decided. Or, 55 guineas. Framed by the ever-wonderful [but currently a temporary monoped] Coelyne of the Coelynes at Oiseval Gallery in Brue - to whom I owe the framing costs!

Stella and Jake.

Look, here the settee/neg-storage facility. EH? Now, you understand the issue? [apologies- pixels].

And no you cannot buy the settee. What's going on? It was secondhand when we got it - actually, now I think of it the thing may be third or fourth hand. I shall await confirmation from its previous owner currently vacating in NZ. And besides, its long enough to sleep on should Lord Wiesmier throw me out of bed or someone comes to sleep overnight unexpectedly  Or sometimes even if I know they are coming. That's the sort of person I am and the size of house we live in.

And I like the settee. I do have neg storage sleeves - a few anyway- and books of neg storage sleeves but they are such a pain to fill and organise. No, actually I don't organise!

Anyway, if you see a neg in this lot you like [see settee above], I shall probably pretend I didn't hear.

On the other hand, buoyed by the success of first online print-sale, I may do it again. Soonish.

Tapadh leibh

PS. Snaps from Boxing Day

Friday, December 28, 2012

Excuse me while I finish eating the mince pie [and secreting-away the evidence]

I deserved the mince pie. Probably not the one before though but now its too late. They have both gone.

I mean, I braved the storm, took The Barking Dog out for a stroll and wallowed around in the surprisingly dry darkroom producing an ever growing pile of duds. And one or two half-decent prints. Like this one: I found the neg down the back of the settee and thought I'd put it on paper - 8x10 size. It's on Ilford RC satin since you ask. And it is, I might add the last print sale of the year [and the first as it happens]on sale here.

The first erb to offer me more than £2 + £1.50p&p can have it.

No it's not here. It in Saddleworth - between Mossley and Uppermill I seem to remember  - on t'canal-side. I was just passing one day. To be honest, I passed this quite a few days. It could be here really. Only the fern fronds would be real not wooden carvings. Still, there you have it, proof positive I didn't just fall asleep this afters while the storm started to pick up to a mild rage.

I'm thinking of considering the option of looking in the darkroom

Oh dear. Have you looked out the window? The oblong one that is. It's still night out there windy and wet too - despite it being after 10am. Am rather pleased not to be on ferry which is battering its way across The Minch as I write -  for the last time for a day or two as 80mph gusts are forecast.

Not sure The Barking Dog is going to get her walkies today if I'm honest. I may have to just poke my head into the darkroom, and if the place is not flooded, I might even make a print or two. And I might sell them too. Cheaply. Very cheaply. Of course no-one will want to buy one but I can pretend  Wrap them up in a proper envelope thing and send it off to some unlucky soul. Not this snap though. That's Mr Toots Wilson looking pleased with himself the other day as I pointed my Kiev rangefinder at him and exposed some film. He probably isn't feeling so happy at the moment since he was meant to be back on the ferry any day now!

Hope Mick & Bee are ok bobbing around in their boat somewhere north of somewhere else!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Not enough

 Wandering down to the beach

Yes, yes, I underexposed them. Hadn't used this camera before and all that [and No, it is not my camera]. Still, managed to rescue them in the scanner thing. Christmas Day and all that. Wif the Crofter who is now ill. Coughing for all it's worth.

Had a lovelee evening at at the Windy's with all their wonderful familee crowded round the laden table. What a meal and after a stroll on t'beach too. Perfict!

Now I'm listening to Lord Wiggins with Paul Weller on t'radio. Perhaps you can too. see here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunshine - Hey!

I looked out the window, Lord Wiesmier with his new companion Gertrude [Dirty Gertie] snuggled by his side and noticed the strange glow. It was the sun again! Eve and I shot out of bed - eventually - once the obligatory chocolate breakfast had been consumed, threw on our boots and set off down t'road to get The Crofter.

At The Crofters

The Crofter was suspiciously happy. Not sure it was anything to do with his recent night out, or he was pleased to see us. It didn't really matter since the sun was shining and the geese had not attacked me. The stroll down the road to the beach was lovely - even if it was straight into the bright sunshine. I'm not complaining as we have not seen it much recently. Three personages came the opposite way casting their greetings willy-nilly. 


We passed my favourite local landscape - no doubt sculpted by Slartibartfast a few millennia back whilst practising for the fjords.

The beach was deserted. No sand either. Must be the local builders nicking it all - or perhaps the recent storms took it away. Must have at least 1.5 m depth of the stuff gone. The resulting gritty beach that is left is not the most appealing but, we were there, the sun was shining and so were the birdy things flapping around the place.

The beach sported a sign warning not to proceed further. Must have been because of The Crofter's dodgy tum - or maybe the sign had been swept there by the storm. We ignored it anyway. As one does and enjoyed the peace of the grit covered beach.

We had a lovely time since you ask - not that you could tell by looking at the snaps! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dark, cold and now wet room

Flip. I don't want to sound ungracious or something like that - especially when some people have been flooded out - again, but I am rather up-fed as the persistent rain than came with the recent gales that swept the island in recent days and have been causing ferry disruption and the like has now penetrated the darkroom roof. I'd already had some suspicions that the thing was leaking from time to time but now the evidence is plain to see - puddles all over the top of the film fridge!

Luckily it seems, the water is not in the electrical or enlarger area - although it is adjacent so the New Year will have to see a repair to the joint between the house wall and the roof - made of fibreglass - where it seems the problem has arisen.

Oh well, at least we have a roof on the house that's ok- and food, and warmth and best of all, each other!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

fuji 690

There we are, a fine portrait of Mr Coelyne in his usual 'taking snaps of him' pose - hiding behind whatever comes to hand - or disappearing out of the room as soon as a camera shows its face. Mrs Coelyne doesn't mind at all - as you can see here, laughing at one of my more witty remarks no doubt. Or it could have been Toot's or Mrs Toots witty remark. I suspect it was me, but then I would. Even though Barbara is not looking at me. At all. But never mind.

We wus over on the west side today - visiting the lovely Coelynes at the Oiseval gallery in Brue - somewhere west of Barvas but not quite in the Atlantic. Although it did feel like we were bobbing about on the high seas such was the lashing of the rains against the windows. And still does lash on the windows as I write here at home sat in front of t'fire - with the realisation lurking that I have to go to work later and wrestle some urchin to the ground - or whatever it is I 'do'. I don't do any of that actually but tell everyone I do do that so they think I'm rather wonderful - which of course I am although it's not easily realised [apparently].

Anyway, we eated their cakes, drunked their coffee [They being the Coelynes] and talked the talk. As I do. A lot. The rain still lashed down as Mr Coelyne produced this rather lovely camera for me to borrow. Eh? A proper camera and everything - without added blur so it seems. [As Mr Coelyne rightfully suggested, I can add the blur in the darkroom - should these negs ever get that far]. It's like a Leica for grown-ups. Eat your heart out Daniel 'Grass' [he who hates any camera that is not a Leica, son of Mr Grass the nice Leica owner man].

Ruth and Dan 'grass'.

We came home eventually - things to do, sleep to sleep and work to do - really, I do have to fight my way through a storm to see someone or other. I've had a good look at the camera and have decided I might take a snap in the morrow.

Mr Coelyne really is most kind loaning me this gem of a beast. Film and all. I feel obliged to post a snap of 'im that dear Eve snook the other day on the fly with my film camera.  Eh?

Happy Christmas The Coelynes. and everyone else too.

Sorry, I think I may have over-done the festive good greetings. Hope you are not feeling somewhat over-greeted or something.Try a glass of the amber stuff. That usually helps.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sabi of the wabi waxed, toned lith print

Sabi of the wabi waxed, toned lith print

See, I did go into t'darkroom yesterday. Totally frustrating time I had too. I'm not sure the wonderful Andrew Sanderson would be very impressed. Or Bruce Robbins and countless others. Thank goodness for wabi & sabi I say. I should be thanking Mr Globe for that little gem of wisdom and way of seeing. Anyway, happy festive season to all these personages and everyone else too. May it bring you whatever it is you seek.

I threw some old Agfa Portriga under the enlarger then into Rollei Creative Lith Developer [Hmm, I sound like I know what I'm doing here. I don't I might add]. The result was rather uneven and dull. I mean DULL. Grey sort of dull - even though I poured some old lith developer into the mix - as you must do. Apparently. 

My usual method to overcome a dodgy print is to bleach it back and then throw it into sepia. That's what I did. Eh? Nice innit. Real sabi stuff and everything. Fair lifts the cockles of me heart - and they needed lifting after yesterday, trust me.

I shall be going to see The Crofter this morning - wending my weary way down t'road to see what he's up to. With a proper camera this time too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Red sky in the morning, darkroom beckons

What a red sky over the mainland mountains. Obviously that means rain. The wind has already got up. I shall accompany the Barking Dog for a stroll on the beach then disappear into the darkroom with a splash of lith and some old paper!

Why not? It's nearly Christmas after and I want to have something to bring you cheer as we move into 2013.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hubble bubble no toil and lots of trouble

Green with ..... something

Reminds me of last night this snap does. Looks like my head felt for some reason. Thought it was going to explode at one point so I took myself off downstairs into the Summer Parlour so as to not mess the clean sheets - and Lord Wiesmier [and Eve of course]. 

I'd had a little drop of multigrade in my eye a few days before - washed it out and all that but my eye ached all the same. Worse in fact. Washed it again and again with proper eye stuff and everything but things got worse with my head throbbing, my eye socket hurting - yes the one I broke at a bike race many years ago - and generally feeling like my head was about to turn inside out.

I thought I'd better write a letter to Eve in case the worse happened - then, without further ado something went bubble-dubble or some such thing in the sinus area and all seemed to go right. I decided to go to bed and then slept till midday. Alls well that ends well.

Happy Christmas everybody. Have a wonderful festive season what ever that means to you. And thanks so much for popping by and keeping me company all these years :-)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I don't have to do this you know......

 Being in ice block


I don't have to take pictures like this you know. I can take snaps where you can see what you are looking at. But that wouldn't be fun or as hard work as I'd like. And anyway, who else takes snaps like these?

I suppose I could just take snaps of Toots' back whilst he tries to snap up the essence of somewhere over the west side.....

Toots at work

....or a wall walking slowly into a lochen.

Yes that's what I could do.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thin and thick


This is what happens when you are tired, not feeling so well and are too impatient to wait to develop the film you have shot in lovely frostee conditions in a lovelee place - Great Bernera. See, I sloshed the roll of polypan-f in some Rodinal 1:30 for a while but, didn't take account of the nippy weather out there in the dark/coldroom. As a result it's a all a bit thin as it were. Masterpieces they were too, all of them. I might have to show them lith paper next week [since I do have a batch of developer just awaiting to be mixed up - and some nice out of date paper]. In the meantime I have messed them around a bit on the pooter just so I can see them and everything.


 Not content with that, I then sloshed some HP5 from the Kowa in some LC29 1:20 - allowing for the cold weather but, over-did it. All over-developed. I might have to show them the bin I think. Scans sort of interesting though with lots of compressed and odd tones. I suppose I could try some Farmers Reducer but by the look of the negs I'll need the whole of the NFU to do the trick!

 Another thin masterpiece 

I mean, look at that! Lovelee and everything - apart from the development and the composition of course, and the venue - but apart from that....

Yet another thin neg

Well, blow me down with a feather, take me to the foot of our stairs and all. I like these snaps. I must try the Lith thingy - it works well with thin negs. See if I can rescue something. At this rate Toots Wilson will have all the masterpieces from this trip - taken with a camera he has hardly used with only the occasional glance at my lightmeter and a total disregard for tilting horizons. Eh? Can't imagine what he's going to say at the Lewis Photographica [continuing] coffee gathering in the morn. Oh, perhaps I can :-(

Be nice if I can get the thin negs to lith like this mock-up!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Out to play with Toots

Yes, yes, it's a snap of a sign. Took it with the Kowa 6MM /HP5 this afters then over-developed the thing in LC29 just for good measure. Thought I'd make up for the 35mm polypan-f film I'd under-developed earlier in Rodinal. Mr Toots Wilson was lurking just to the right twiddling his Mamiya c3 and wondering why the horizon wouldn't go straight. I advised him to not bother with including the sky bit then you don't have to worry about being straight - when everything looks back to front! Eh? Toots took a picture of a rock soon after :-)

That white stuff is frostiness. Lochens were frozen all over the shop and the roads too in places. Had a fine time taking the snaps, cajolling Mr Toots into pressing the shutter, drinking tea at the cafe down t'road on Gt Bernera [open on Sundays :-) ] and enjoying the clear if cold air.

Oh, the fun we had.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Home still


Whist JD was probably still making the best of Toots' fence, making the wires hang on new posts instead of the Hebridean posts hanging on old wire, I was stopped at home wondering what to do. Wasn't feeling my best to be honest. Managed to fit in a stroll with the borrowed barking dog but other than that???

I did notice that Hectors peats from last year seem to have a life of their own at the moment, describing all sorts of shapes in their otherwise straight form. Not sure if it was because Hector broke a bone in his foot a while back. No can't be since it's Ishbel who does much of the stack building.

PS> Don't forget to check out these images from Harris by the wonderful Jerome Lorieau

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plans for 2013


At about this time of year, the photo-forums start to ask about one's plans for 2013. Look, at Filmwasters they are asking such a thing - and you'll note I have not posted anything [yet - I think. Excuse me while I go to check. I have a cold you know and that doesn't help the thinking bits at all]. It is my fav forum - lovely personages and everything and, they don't talk endlessly about the best lens to photograph a monkey in Burma. Or how many pixels you can get on pinhead sort of thing. But still, there's s till a bit of 2012 to go and I'm going to make the best of that before I start thinking about next year. Why, that's nearly 10 rolls of film away!

The sunrise was a bit special this morning. Wonderful crescent moon lurking over a twinkling star peaking between the wispy clouds that lurked over the Minch and the Mountains thereafter - lit up in silhouette by an orange light. You see, we live in a village on the bit of land near Tolsta Head with views over to the mainland of Scotland. It's here. Nice innit?

I do have plans as it happens. Although I have decided to keep them as a secret from myself so I can delight when I discover what they are.

Monday, December 10, 2012

You only live once, but if you play it right, once is enough

You may not agree with this quote. You may not agree you only live once - or at all for all I know. But I like the quote from Mae West, it sums up how I feel at the moment.

Don't wait for the morrow, that may be too late. These cheerful chappies didn't as they poked a little camera down our village drains to see how much they have collapsed. A lot apparently. Oh dear.

I'm trying to write a letter to an old pal of mine. You know the sort; you love them dearly but only communicate once in a blue moon - if that coincides with a Monday and you have time and patience. And since I'm not so keen [read hate with a vengeance] 'round-robin' letters I'm trying to put me and him into the communication and just a little of others so it's personal like. Only I'm writing about it here so rather ruined that. Luckily my pal isn't a pooter person - which I rather like so I'm off the hook.

Doesn't help writing the thing though. I think I might just have to tidy the darkroom or something.

BTW; I have it on good authority that people read this - at least a couple of people do. Even if they keep themselves to themselves as it were. Welcome, whoever you are.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Where did that go?

Yes, that's us - all done up - as much as one does when the stove needs cleaning out, you've just come in from a stroll in the rain and you have a cold anyway. It's an extra special set of snaps made this afters with my extra special FKD Soviet 13x18 'kamera' using paper negs and everything. Inverted not yet printed. And yes, since you ask, this is the special lens made from taped together close-up lenses I found lurking about the place. Nice innit?

Look how close we are - even after 12 years together and 6 years of civil partnershipped up. And no doubt we could could be married too if the locals have their way.

I threw a sheet of paper in the Kamera after I'd swopped the lens for a proper shutterless one. Used a hat - and then put it on my head - as one does. I then took it off again since the exposure was over.

All to celebrate 12 wonderful years together - 6 of then civil partnered up!. Lucky aren't I?


I awoke early  as usual these days and lay there thinking how one brings 'something other' into a photograph. There's not much 'other' in this snap of the sheeps but why?

The radio this morning played a favourite program of mine. Something Understood on BBC Radio 4 warbled away brightening my mood and further extending my thinking on the 'other' aspect. One of Strauss Four Last songs was played - possibly "Im Abendrot" and something tingled. It's the sort of feeling I get with Mahlers 5th or the Jeff Buckly singing Dido's Lament or even aria Ebben? Ne andro lantana from La Wally and I just wish I could harness that feeling and insert it straight into an image. I can't though - though not for the want of trying.

Recently I have been working away at Rawlins oilprints - living in hope I could develop this process to help produce the feeling I desire in my images. Only that has not proven to be so easy. I have but one print to show for it [and even that does not convey my inner 'other'] - plus a roaring stove fuelled by the rubbish I created in further attempts. Sometimes the gelatin falls off the paper, the gelatin distorts under the application of ink, the image does not appear for some reason and countless other things. Since the process for one print takes probably four days this is a long old learning curve.

I'm still working on it Though I may revert to silver gelatin for the next prints - just to re-assert my confidence in the image. I mean, I can see / feel in my minds eye what I am trying t achieve - and maybe, just maybe one day I'll make that image

Friday, December 07, 2012

Lord Wiesmier; former Pirate, Commando, friend of Fidel, Kebab shop owner, keeper off of The Daleks etc

May I present to you, His Lordship, the right wonderful Wiesmier of this parish [curtseys to the fullest extent me old knees will allow].

ps; you should bow or curtsey at this point too. Eve won't but then she is rabbitist and everything - And that won't be forgotten mark my words!

Lord Wiesmier has been my close friend and ally for quite a few years. Ok, calm down, I can tell you are jealous already. There's no need to be as Lord Wiesmier is everyone's Lord. Lord Wiesmier of Everywhere eh? Sounds great doesn't it? [the answer is yes btw].

His Lordship came into my company whilst I was living in my home town of Bath [that's Baaarrrrth with three A's and four R's ]. He is lovely. Cuddly and everything. And Brave. Did I tell you he is brave? Well, trust me he is brave. Keeps off the daleks all on his own. Never had a dalek attack since he has been with me. That's how brave he is. Eve doesn't appreciate that.

And modest. Keeps himself to himself  - except when he doesn't that is - but apart from that he is. I know for a fact that he was in the original British Commando group that trained in Scotland somewhere. Of course he didn't allow them to put his depiction on the Commando statue - but if you go there you'll note there are always rabbits around the place - on guard as it happens under orders from Lord Wiesmier! His Lordship was even briefly rabbitnapped while we were in Cuba but he made friends with Fidel and got back to us unscathed. He won't tell you that.

He might tell you he ran a kebab shop though. Got the t-shirt and everything whilst he was in Athens for the Paralympic thingy some years back. He might tell you that. In fact, somewhere in the dark recesses of my neg filing system [down the back of the settee probably] I have a snap of is Lordship on the beach. But I can't find it.

He won't tell you he was asked to be King. King of everything he surveys - but that isn't a lot - and as I said, he is modest and turned it down. Respectfully.

His Lordship has been known to get stroppy though - though not without reason - obviously. His Lordship would not allow me to display his portrait as yet since he needs something [a hernia operation]. But I do have a lovely snap of the Lordy bot to delight you.

Please all bow/curtsey.

The Lordly Bot

I shall tell you about his Pirating another day......

Thursday, December 06, 2012

No snaps

Tis dark. Dark at 3pm which is not good for snapping. I don't like using flash and the like so will have to wait till the the sun shows up again. Not bright sun mind you, I hate that too.

Anyway, Mrs Up Yours let me down since she tells me the shoppe needs her. And she is probably right. Here's a snap from the Kodak Twin20 of Eve instead.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


We have a new needle - or hi-fi stylus as the purists might have it. We can now listen to Robert Wyatt, Hendrix, Cohen, Mahler et al without a muffled noise that was the case with the old needle. I call it a needle but looking at the old one now I notice it was more of a stub than anything.  Oh well, that explains everything.

Robert Wyatt's voice seems to have got better too :-)

The house of  Mrs 'Up Yours'.

See this 'ere image? I snapped it wif the Kodak Twin20 without so much as a by-you-leave as I passed. Today I disappeared into the darkroom that doubles as the bike shed and produced some prints on Silver Gelatin. That's the sort of person I am. Used Silverprint Proof matt paper and all. Came out nice eh? I shall shoot Mrs Up Yours too soon [wif the camera since you ask], stick 'er on a bit of paper [when me special lith chemicals arrive! ] and make 'er look 'interesting' and everything,. Miracles can happen :-).

Ooh, I am enjoying the sound of Mr Wyatt. And just cus your wonderin, the woman wif the trombone in the background of that vid is Annie Whitehead. There. 

Monday, December 03, 2012



It’s that time of year again. You know the one; where fake snow appears like dandruff on the windows of shoppes, the awful songs of the period are recycled yet again and Noddy Holder awaits in anticipation of another cheque dropping onto the mat.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like some of the songs – those olde carols of that are still sung in ye Yorkshire pubs I can cope with and Kate Rusby did a fine version of some of those too.

But to be quite honest Mr Nicholas, you have a lot to answer for. Or maybe it’s us that has to do the answering though since your wonderworking with little gifts has rather been taken to excess and co-opted to help preserve the consumer capitalist society we find ourselves in. To the extent that now I consider the time to be a Festival of Over -consuming. It wasn't meant to be like that was it? This week for example, three days before people celebrate your day, it is now called Mega-Monday or some such nonsense!

Then there’s those imposter types that have weedled there way into this consuming-led life - Santa Klaus, Father Christmas and the like. NOT A RED COAT - GREEN FOR GOODNESS SAKES! Honestly, that was some AmeriCAn fizzy drinks company that made it red I think. Anyway, I don’t believe.

Getting back to the point of  this letter Mr Nicholas, my little brain cells are exploding as I try to think of a small but thoughtful gift to give my dear Eve with whom I have been civilly partnered [which you probably don’t understand – but hey… ] for 6 years and with for 12 wonderful years.

Torn between making something – which I am not very good at, and buying something, I might have to go with the latter. Only books and CD of the type Eve may like cannot be bought locally but since Amazon have not been paying taxes properly I am less inclined to buy from there. Similarly, the orange that used to nestle in the bottom of my Christmas pillow-case  comes with too many food miles. The veg for a hearty meal are sprayed with ghastly chemicals that are laying waste to the bees – among other creatures and that outrages my elder sister and puts us all in peril in the future.

Should I Mr Nicholas, just shower Eve with the love and affection she well deserves, ignore the Festival of Over Consumption altogether or what?

I know you aren't really there, I know you can't answer me - although, just in case I am wrong I'd love a nice night's sleep without nightmares and things, but perhaps I'm asking the wrong person here and it's not in your remit. Anyway, Saint, may I call you Saint? Saint, what do I do?

yours with not much hope


Saint Nicholas; if you do read this do follow this link for a lovely treat. :-)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Lith and all that wabi and sabi stuff

I like wabi and sabi and the thoughts behind it - whatever they are.The idea is sound trust me. This image I might think has a touch of the sabi about it with the essence of wabi. It shows The Crofter - bless his little cotton-mix-socks admiring the beasts that are his coows and currently residing on an apportionment.

I liked the image so much I took the neg into the darkroom along with the last of my lith developer and exposed the thing onto Agfa Portriga paper - happily out of date. The result was muddy, un-defined and somewhat flawed. I chucked it into some sepia bleach for a minute or so, washed it then threw it into the sepia itself.

It wasn't any better so it became assigned to the sabi of the wabi essence slot.

This is art. Trust me.