Sunday, September 29, 2013

I don't know why I bother with a 'proper' camera when a 50p camera does the job just as well. Or better.

I put it down to incompetence on my part. I took this snap with an old Konica fx50 compact camera I found down the back of the settee. Put some self-rolled Agfa ASP traffic 400s film in rated at 800 [due to the DX coded canister I used] and guessed the development times. I must do that again.

I usually pose around with a RF camera of Soviet era, or a SLR I can no longer focus well. Manual exposure with lightmeter and everything. Point it at all the right things and all. Then for some reason I use this little box made of plastic and well, I rather like the results. Perhaps it's because I just have to point it at things and not think about what I am doing.

Perhaps this is why d*g*tal cameras are so popular - all the hard work is done for you :-)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gus Wylie

I make no apologies for featuring Mr William Holden again only I think I must have been channelling Gus Wylie here. Mr Wylie really does it for me when it come to snaps on the islands and no doubt has rather influenced my snapping. Pity my snaps are not of the quality of Mr Wylie's though,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not sure where Roy came from!

Roy snook in earlier. Earlier than I had planned - badly it seems. So, in recompense, here's a snap of Freyja coming home courtesy of The Crofter prior to the big-blow that never came. I didn't want her blown to bits in the wind so now she's sheltered between the hooses for the while. Till I'm better and everything.

Roy and Steve

In Steve's Workshop.

Had a lovely time

I think William has caused a glitch in my pooter since he's gone all sepia on me! Must ask him how he did that. Perhaps it was his Sunday outfit that did it when we visited himself and the delightful Gemma in Cromore. Gemma wasn't there to sort his attire so William is doing a right William on us. Fantastic people though, wonderful place. I want to live there.

That's my William, looking all sheperherdy and all that. I actually didn't take my preferred camera - I didn't know we were strolling on the moor, so these lovely snaps come from an old  Konica Compact! And the 400s ASA traffic film was rated @ 800asa and I'd never done that before. Looks nice eh?

I shall visit again. Perhaps Robert James Stuart will visit agin. We hope so.

Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Monday. It could have been Wednesday, but it wasn't

 Coelyne of The Coelynes

If you really want to get a snap of Coelyne without him waving something in your face, you wait until he has his hands full of,,,,, things. See, that's Coelyne looking at me with his "what the ... " look about him as he and Painless Robertson move the thing in the van. I might add I have a Painless Robertson print in my housey - and really nice it si too. And yes, I paid for it! 

The other handsome chap is Barry of  FADU eh? How good is that? He's from Priddy too. Love it :-) Barry was directing affairs.

See, P.R. being a bit coy. Probably pulled a sickie or something. :-)

Coelyne and Barry in England now - and no doubt missing the island and we are them!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Have you ever tried snapping up the elusive Coelyne of the Coelynes? I have. Many times. It usually ends like this;

I mean, scroll through this lot and you'll see what I mean.

Well, his flappyhankerkeifship has now left the island so I won't get a chance to try again - till the next time I surprise him - or when I develop the roll of film in the camera at the moment.

The snap could be better even than this one;

Love it!

Wishing The Coelynes all the very best love and wishes for their new home in where-ever-it-is near the sea, down south somewhere, on the mainland - o'er The Minch and everything.

Missing Coelyne already.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hats, masks, ether and silver

It's Friday. The bolt stayed put and I got in there - so to speak. [btw; if you are coming to this late you may not know what I'm talking about - join the club].

I'm going out on a limb here - my limb so it's ok, you needn't get worried.

I have been going down an alley that was presenting it'self to me and I want you to join me in the journey if you will. Just press your cheek against the screen for a few moments so I can authenticate you and then we will begin.

I mentioned the work of Katie Cooke the other day and if, just if you followed some links in the script you may have noticed that Katie has also become a Wet-Plate Collodianist. It's an old process of making images that produces one-off physical plates - usually on tin using smelly chemicals, black cloths and skill. In the main. I could try and explain it all, I have seen it done a few times, smelt the ether, peered into the darkness and nearly passed out in the Coelynes kitchen as Carl Radford did his stuff. But I won't. You can read about it elsewhere. Needless to say it takes skill.

I recently enjoyed a morning with David Gillanders and his cycling-mad kids on the island doing some plates. And then there's Mr Alex Boyd - him of the hat and the funny camera thing with a cloth over his head [hereby officially known as HotHatFCTwaCoHH for short].

There's plenty of wonderful artists who dabble in this dark art - as one can see here - with a variety of styles.

Explore; it's a big, wonderful world out there! And you could do little better than look here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Desire; with Wings

My saxophonist seems to be less excited about the Collective and its possibilities than I do. I think perhaps it is because he is the middle of writing a book, and finishing the darkroom - and cooking tea. Or maybe we haven't got the best image to go with the sounds [and 'shapes that we will throw' - no doubt].

Couldn't find the scissors to make the collage I'd planned and there seems to be so little interest in helping that even Mrs Trellis hasn't posted her thoughts. Eh? Perhaps I shall move on. Perhaps my 'readers' already have !

So here's a snap of Toots Wilson, the reluctant free-improvisational saxophonist doing his best  Wings of Desire * thing. Eh?

* Been trying to re-watch that film again. You know, on CD thing through the post. Only it seems some of the Angels must have got caught in the sorting machine on the way over as it stopped half-way through. Must write into the Hebrides News about that, there's quite a correspondence there about such things.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

End of the road

Monaco is slowly collapsing as the years of lack of care have taken their toll. She no longer rises and falls with the tides. It looks very sad. I suspect she won't be there much longer as 'men' were on board the other day checking things out.

And not before time .

I hear the lawyers got rich though.

Bb A C S B and all that

Sleep came easily last night. Must have been tired what with the formation of the new Collective and all that. Must remember to tell Toots about it.

Checked out sub-optimal life on the tinternet and all that. Found this wonderful site and thought I must put together something - you know, for our first 78 rpm  or whatever they call them these days. When I send the cassette tape to Late Junction, it's got to look the the part.

As yet, the image is just a figment of my furtive imagination and all that. Having said that I do have a couple of snaps I took a while back and with a bit of dodgy pixelshoppe I might be able to cobble something together. On second thoughts, I'll just get the scissors and glue. 

These are my starting point snaps. Please feel free to do your stuff :-)


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A window of Opportunity

Toots and I were having a little conversation today. I'd already had my ticker taped, been to check Coelyne of the Coelynes is actually leaving the island - he was with Barry and Colin the tooth doing the lifting. I didn't stay that long. Once I'd eaten the bun, drunk the coffee and seen the 'boys' stagger around under the weight of an under-pinnner [eh?] I felt rather tired. Exhausted in fact. And the van was empty nearly at the time. That's why I left. Once I said goodbye and all that.

So, the Broadbay Agnostic Collective Small  Band has been formed. Toots on lead sax - the only sax as it happens. I'm on accordion and vocals. And Uke if I can find it. That's why we called it Small. The accordion fits me and I can make it squawk - a bit. A bit like the old punks couldn't play.  And I cannot sing like Victoria Beckham - but then it didn't do her any harm, either. And anyway, we are going to do free improvisation stuff so that won't matter either. Toots has already been thinkng of doing some music theory work - whatever that is - possibly like VanDyke printing but who knows.

So, keep watching as  we might be taking Christmas bookings as a sideline to my booming weeding snapping [sic] thing. [when I say booming, read 'potentially booming' once the word gets out].

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm resting

Life takes twists and turns and sometimes the turns are not what is wanted or required. Still, it is the experience of life that informs how we live it, how we move through it and how we leave it eventually.

I need to recuperate my energies a little.

My mind is still thinking about the next piece of work though. :-)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Just pretend it's Friday.

The week has got out of sync a bit. One of the bolts came loose and the days slipped around a little. Thursday came on quicker than normally is the case pushing Friday into and out of the lime light in such a quick time it was Saturday before I realised it. Sorry about that. I have re tightened the offending bolt.

By Katie Cooke.

So, here we have a fine pinholist of the artistic type whom I had the pleasure of meeting in her home of Edinburgh some time back. I play with pinhole cameras myself a bit. The holes are free, Leica has not got patent on those, the 'cameras' can be made of anything and you never quite know how things are going to come out - in my case anyway.

Not in the case of Katie Cooke though. See these lovely images eh? I particularly love the self-portraits. But, follow the link to Katie's new site and see all of her wonderful creations - well worth the time.

Another self-portraitist I loved was the wonderful Lauren Simonutti, sadly no longer with us. Have a look at her work all the same - large-format camera and dark-room made images including selective toning. Inspiring? Have a look at work here and here at the very least.

I will introduce you to the work of Mark Tweedie soon too - but here is not the time. I saw a print of his at the RPS print show in my home town of Bath a a few years back. Best print in show by far. And his pinhole still rocks.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Looks like it may be a bit breezy

The Crofter moved the boat on the trailer to a more sheltered spot in front of our little house. HHHCB loves the new plaything to climb on. That ok then.

I found another nice snap from the same roll of film as yesterday - but you'll be pleased to hear I have developed another today :-)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

and I found these hanging in the darkroom.

No doubt the thought that these snaps missed the delights of the back of the settee might surprise you but things have been going a tad slowly these last few days so I've been looking around for a neg or two to scan. These, it seems came from the plastic assemble ones-self Recesky TLR 'camera'. The lens is plastic, you have little idea of the time the shutter takes as it struggles across the aperture - which itself can be changed by taking out or putting in little circles of plastic. It is difficult to focus too - apart from that it's brilliant. So much so I think there were two recognisable images on this roll of polypan-f.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cakes, ring cushions and life - as I know it.

Another day when the ring-cushion lent by my kind neighbours has come in very useful. Especially for sitting on.

Then the postman arrived bearing a fine little package from near Manchester and my good friend and former cycling team member Jeanette Baxter. I couldn't resist - so I didn't. Might just have to move back to near Manchester if that's what the cyclists get at the Manchester Velodrome training sessions these days!

Anyway, it remended me that the great Paul Hardy is retiring from the Velodrome in the near future. Been there before it opened making sure they built the thing properly and to be honest, I have no idea what they are going to do when he leaves. Still, have  wonderful retirement Paul.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spinning not drowning.

I did try spinning once. It didn't press my buttons I must say - no matter what colour I could dye the wool. The peeps at the class were lovely though and that's what mattered. No, I refer to Oberon here seen spinning lazily in mid-air in the bedroom as I contemplate my navel and wonder why I feel less than 100%. Well, less than 60% really.

I made another visitation today to the friendly Dr who promptly consigned me to the scrap-heap. Took a whole armful of blood, had me x-rayed up and everything. Toots Wilson bravely drove me around as I whinged - for which I thank him profusely.Perhaps  shall be back on song soon.

Monday, September 09, 2013

I hope you realise this is all 'performance art'. Eh? Act 1 as it happens.

Not sure my bot knows this but I think that's what I'm doing. Otherwise I'm wasting an opportunity. I guess if you can't see it, that's your loss. Trust me it is quite a performance. HHHCB is very impressed - so much so she hasn't appeared in the house since gulping her Felix [other brands are available but less well enjoyed] and bobbing out the door into the sunshine. Who could blame her? Tell me that? I'm not since I'm in the middle of a performance.

All in the search of the image - not snap mark you. The Image. What happens today, what happened last week will all be transcribed in some way into the next image I make. The film is already in the camera - already in lots of cameras as it happens since I enjoyed the performance part of re-spooling the stuff from the big roll to the smaller ones to fit the camera. Try putting 90m roll of film into a Zorki4 eh?

The Artist formerly known as Jon understands. I think he does anyway. I managed to snap him up with the Instax just before he hurtled out of the house with that startled 'what the....' sort of look on his face. Pure performance I might add. I'd expect nothing else.

William came by too - although he doesn't seem quite so at ease with the 'situation' as he might. Not sure how au-fait he is with the concept of 'performance Art' to be totally honest. Much more at home with sheeps - even if he hasn't any now.

Mr Toots was ok though. Seen it all before. Didn't smile or anything - or grimace come to that. Spent all his time here channelling Carl Radford rather than appreciating my performance.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Nope; still out of commision

I've just stepped on this neg rubbing around on the floor behind the settee  - an obvious masterpiece that needs Lithing or sepiering or just messing about with in the the darkroom.
It is by all accounts, a snap from The Wedding. And no, I'm still not taking bookings for other weddings! What do you take me for? A capitalist? Eh? Tell me that!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Old snaps

I may have posted this some years before - I have no idea really and I can't be bothered to look. But I rather like the snap - taken through the glass that used to reside in the wall between the kitchen and the, , , the other now non-existent room. I think I took the snap with a Kiev60 - now gone to the great camera place in the sky. Yes, it's my dearest Eve.

USA TT tandem team

And this snap comes from Athens - the Paralympic Games and all that. The time trial for visually impaired stokers. Paul Hunter and Ian Sharp were riding too - they didn't get a  medal here - or in the road race where they punctured but they did get two bronze in the track at the same Games - 4km pursuit and the 1km TT beating the GB favourites as well.

 Hunter/Sharpe on their ill-fated RR ride in Athens

Celebrating with me in Athens after a bronze medal ride

Ellen Hunter OBE and Aileen McGlynn on their way to silver in the sprint after winning the Kilo TT

Yes they are old snaps - although we do still have a bouquet from that event  which is lovely. Only I am still very sore and less than able to snap more snaps or print more images till things improve at my nether regions!

Two flowers

Not cauli

Three Onions

No, I am not getting short of things to snap up. It's just that I've been a bit limited to home of late as a result of over-fiddling with my rear-end by a Dr. So, why not snap up some onions? Eh?

We are rarely short of onions round the place and I had a few frames left in the Hassie from a recent trip out. I looked out some close-up lens', cleaned off a bit of dust to let some light through and shot the blighters. There you have it

Friday, September 06, 2013

Friday's artist; Emil Schildt

La Traviata by Emil Schildt

That ladies and gentlemen is a cyanotype by the great Emil Schildt - from Denmark I think. A tutor at a Vraa Folk college for photography of the Alternative type. I must say I find his work amazing - the mood which he manages to capture in his images. Works in cyanotype, Bromoil, Photopolygraveure, liquid emulsion among other things. Go and have a look. Having said that, if you are offended by nudity, do not look at his site here. Look here if you can though.

Thursday, September 05, 2013


Every now and again I try and sort through my camera / photo cupboard at the top of the main stairs in the west wing. This time I found to my astonishment that there was still a film in the old Kiev4a the late Monty had given me years ago. The film I'd marked on some tape on the back of the camera [foma400@1600] so a least I knew what to do with it.

The trouble with Kiev cameras is the trouble you get with Keiv cameras. Often something wrong or fallen off - light-leaks, shutter up the creek or, in the case of my fav one - a jammed Jupiter12 lens on it. Well, this one had a jupiter8 although the film rewind release button was gone. I shot off he last couple of frames, took the film out in the darkbag sloshed it in some Rodinal and found, among other snaps, this nice HCB-esque picture of Carl who had come over for a quick visit.

Now this intrigued me a little since I sort of remembered the image - even though I hadn't even developed the thing before. So I looked through the blog and there he is - all snapped up with a Zorki6.

Carl is a photographiser too. See his work here.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Under the water

See the flippin Monaco has decided to finally fall apart and sits in the harbour being washed over by the tides - and water pouring out her hull when the tide goes out. Surely it was never meant to be like that?

Neither was my little op I was having yesterday on my nether region. I wasn't so small an op after all and the un-planned night in hospital was torrid - and painful.. Lovely peoples there mind you or, they probably are nice if you understand Gaelic anyway.

I'm back home now but only tentatively sitting down! And it's still mighty painful too.


Did you realise I like walls?

I do.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Do

Sadly, our great friends Barbara and Colin of The Coelynes fame are leaving the island in the near future. Going back down to dear old Essex or somewhere out in the back of beyond. And we shall miss them greatly that's for sure.

Still, The Coelynes organised a fine Ceildh with loads of lovely food, drink and dance. As it happens, I looked down the back of the settee and found these negs.

 Stripping the Willow

Talking about Stripping....


Toots being Toots

Monday, September 02, 2013

Villages and peats

There's a fine exhibition coming up in the near future at An Lanntair.  And it's photos too. Mr John Mayer - aka The Flying Monk - along with Ian Paterson will be showing interior images from some of the many abandoned properties around the island. If you look here, you can see a preview for yourself. Going to be well worth a visit - not least because Mr Maher has progressed recently to using a film camera!

And not only that but there's another exhibition running currently which has plenty of scans from old negs and glass plates from island villages showing the peat-cutting and stacking -along with a real life stack in the gallery and an old tractor that looks in better nick than a lot I see working around the place. Well worth a visit. Having said that I'd love to print some of those negs and plates properly - as they were meant to be done - in the darkroom!

Hopefully, this is a a turn-round of having more photography in the arts centre.

 The track to the peats

A village stack

Two more snaps found down the back of the settee :-)