Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ok, Ok I'm here

Sorry, bit late and everything. Should have got this sorted yesterday but life got in the way.

Worth the wait though - a nice lith print on Slavich Unibrom of Harris road. Used a Bronica and Chinese film - as you do.

You like?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Now that's a coat!

Made by someone fab I'm told. Has a label and all that. Bought at a very up-market establishment and here modelled by Yvonne Davidson [I think !]. Mrs Davidson brought her photographist husband along for a coffee too that day. Only, I don't like the snap I took of him - you can recognise him and all that. That'll never do. I shall put this snap down as a practice run for old Meadsey who will be here later in the week. Although whether he has such sartorial elegance, remains to be seen.

Now, it's 9pm and I've just been to look at the Lith print I made of this on Bergger Prestige paper. Not too bad although perhaps has a lacking in it somewhere. I think perhaps it might sing better as a 'normal' silver gelatin print doused in sepia - split toned sort of thing. I shall try that soon I think. In the meantime, if the print is dry in the morning I might even ad it to this post. If you are good.

So here is a ]badly scanned ] Lith print. Eh?

Orders now being taken for your Festival of over-consumption portraits. Eh?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This sooooo very grungy Negative [technical term there] that I shall be taking it into the darkroom

I mean, how good is that? Eh? If I can get a light to shine through the neg onto some lovely Slavich Unibrom paper I should think we shall have a masterpeice. Just something about all the flaws that really does it for me.

Now, you go off and enjoy your day while I slog away in the dark to see if I have something to show you soon.

Monday, October 28, 2013

It doesn't deserve a showing but.......

I know, another portrait of a place - a place too that has no soul after so many photos taken there, it's all been sucked out. But just got back from a little trip down the island here - and back in the pouring rain and wind and have not had a chance to dip the exposed film into 'stuff' and make the pictures show themselves so this will have to do.

As per, I met Mr Maher who was ensconced in the fine Butty Bus at Obbe ferry terminal. Twas lovely as usual. We talked over our coffees with Tara looking on and Chris the Maitre d making sure we were well satisfied with this fine venue. [We were. We always are]. Mr Maher along with Mr Paterson has an exhibition coming up in An Lanntair soon. To be honest, I am rather looking forward to it. Look, you can see the 'stuff' about it here. I might even don me best wellies and tramp out for the opening - wine glass in hand and all. That's the sort of tart I am. I am sure Mr Maher will tell you that :-)

And just before that excellent exhibition, at the same venue is the Faclan book thingy. Mr Ronson of Guardian fame is coming and Meadesey too. The latter character creating a right old buzz round the place with his presence. Might even be protests outside! Who knows.

Gosh, this is a wonderful time to be on Lewis and Harris. The weather is not so bad as the rest of GB either!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Of course they are brilliant! What do you expect?

Granted it's taken a bit of time. I took these marvellous snaps in Venice earlier this year. It was warm, crowded and OK. Just about. Not so keen on places like this with all the rabble milling about like they own the place, crowding up the squares eating pizza bits and taking pictures of their argued-with ones who have just posed in front of a fountain with their foot jauntily pointed as if they were on a cat-walk or something.

I preferred to lurk in the back alleys pointing my old camera at this and that, then sitting quietly in a nice cafe with my loved one watching the world go by.

Anyway I did finally find the negs - we cleared off the settee to celebrate the visitation of Mr Wilman and there they were. So I shined a light through them onto some Oriental Seagull paper, sloshed the paper in Rollei-Lith developer and there you have them. Rather wrinkled in this scanned state on account that they don't really fit in the scanner thing. You'll just have to part with £25 if you want to see one in person. That's if I was selling. And I'm not!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Now don't get expecting this sort of thing regular like

I know, I know. No blurr or anything.. Just a lith-print of Italy. Eh? What's going on I hear you ask.

Well, I've not long had a moment or two with James Dyas Davidson, his wife and his sister. Their raison d'etre sort of rubbed off on me. The sensibleness, the lack of blurr, the proper artistry and everything. Yes, go on. Go and have a look at his images - I'm used to that. Just make sure you come back here otherwise I shall come looking for you.

Yes, yes, he knows what he is on about. Can write a nice line and wear a beret with pride and all. Takes a fine image too by all accounts and, despite being a teacher is extremely nice - no offence to teachers out there - I knew there must have been a few nice ones out there - like my sister in-law, Mr Wilman, Mr Robson from Welsh Wales, Mr J Thompson from Manc and everything. It's just I'm scarred a bit from my younger days. Granted that was a long time back but scars are scars. eh?

Anyway, there you have it, all printed lithily on Oriental Seagull paper.

Now, where's me blurryfier?

Friday, October 25, 2013


Are you a movie film buff? Or just like film? I mean 'proper' stuff not the flim-flam usually presented at most local cinemas but something that gets those brain-cells doing back flips. You know like "Death in Venice", 'Diva', Leon or Aguirre the wrath of God. Eh? What's that all about then? Look it up! Anyone who can make a film and drag a ship over a mountain in the process is ok by me.

Then there's Wim Wenders who made the truly wonderful Wings of Desire and everything. Which reminds me, I must watch that again and send the DVD back! And don't forget Pina and Buena Vista Social Club. Not only that but our Wim is a photographist.

Plus, and this is the best bit, our Wim is the husband of the very fine photographist - namely Donata Wenders whose work I really admire. I mean, look at that image below; fair raises the cockles of ones bottom - or whatever one says these days.

It seems full of emotion and questions. And something else I can't quite pin down. Yet.

Yes, leave here and go and look at Donata Wenders work. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One of these days I'll post something interesting. Maybe Friday

But I cannot wait that long. I had this feeling come over me this-afters. Had to post another one or two. Another  2 Perkeo ones from this week as it happens. While Nick Drake sings to me and everything. His cd anyway. Nick that is.


Chimney near water

Ok, I can wait till Friday now.


Taken with the Perkeo near Marsden

I know I have posted something before. I realise that. I got up this morning, fed the Smits kats, diggled the neighbours fire and then felt the need to communicate.

I found this; from a few years back when I lived near the place. And a lovely area it is too. 

Now, that is a proper wall.

In anticipation of Fridays Artists post :-)

With Mr Wilman

Mr Wilman was here and now he's gone. All sad. All missing the man. We like Mr Wilman. Known him for a few years now and he's just lovely. A great teacher by all accounts too. We used to run the Yasumitsu-Schlapp cycling team together. Now there's a snappy name - especially when you add Vital or Aztec sponsors name to it. But all the same it was full of Olympic, World and National title holders so can't have been all bad.

Now, why has Mr Wilman gone all sepia on me? Is it the same with you? When I first posted it there was just black, white and some grey - as it should be. Now some brownish stuff leaked in. Maybe it does it automatically when it detects an oldie. Even though Mr Wilman is younger than me. Oh well.

We took Mr Wilman down to Uig and Bhaltos. All sheeps and sand down there. Look, that's a fank in action. With sheeps.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Some of you might like this; please refer to Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry - Reith Lecture 1. If you can, please listen.

It was a mistake. I'd taken Lizz Cardwell- a pixel-peeping photographiser down to see The Crofter's sheeps - at least some of them anyway. They were down on the common grazings above the beach down that way. Tis nice down there and when I'm not taking snaps of that bench, I might be found looking at this place. I don't usually  take a snap here mind you - as you may know, I don't 'do' landscapes. But I sort of did. Shot at the bright thing in the sky and took a slice of scape in view - along with a woolly-back sheeps.

Sorry and all that.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Yes, it's been lovely.

Good weather, wonderful visitors and lovely little trips out made for a brilliant if tiring few days. I'm not complaining though. Not yet anyway.

Look at the mountains on the mainland, it's sure to be raining soon.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I hope that sea is calm.

He's gone. That nice man from down south called Wilman. Gone off to the mainland to see his son playing badminton and everything. What's that all about then? It's called love.

Mr Wilman was a little concerned about the state of the sea before he left but there was hardly a ripple. Not a breath of wind and the sun was still shining too. Must have had a sleep on the ferry I should think - or watched the dolphins, sang to the whales perhaps. Wish he could have stayed longer - we had a such a lovely time.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

WTCD -2013. The real thing.

World Toy Camera day. It's been and gone and I have some snaps taken with my Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim plastic fantastic camera.

What a  wonderful few days we have had - what with the visitation of the AmerIcan photographiser and then the very wonderful Mr Wilman Sir of Englandshire - we are well sated in pleasure. And we enjoyed the brilliant company of Mr Windy and Deanne last night too. How good is that? Very good as it happens. Very very good indeed all in all. I'm buzzing from it all. And everything.

Mr Wilman came out with us to see the wilder parts of this little island here - with his pixel catching machine at home he only had his Hephone or something. But Uig, Bhaltos and Bosta look wonderful whatever device one has in hand. Here's a selection of the worst from the day - blurry and all.

 Mr Wilman assuming the pose - in the blurr

Van Morrison. 
Oh no sorry - Lewis Chess man replica [homage to Captn Beefhart]

Saturday, October 19, 2013

WTCD. And I am part of it.

World Toy Camera Day is today.

You take out your simple 'toy' camera often made of plastic loaded with film and shoot. I like this day. Enables me to shoot without thinking of anything bar the image. Apart from the weather. And what we are having for tea. And Mr Wilman Sir who is staying with us - which is just lovely and everything. That's not to say the snaps are any good but I like shooting them anyway. I am, as it happens using an Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim this year - because I have one. Paid a least 99p for it some years ago.

I took it for a stroll the other day - just to let it breathe. It did.

What a little gem this plastic box is. Just love the thing. I shall use it all day I think. Maybe two rolls of film. Snip, snap, that sort of thing.

Ellen Hunter OBE; see above this is what one does!

In for a penny or possibly £1.50.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ragnar Axelsson & James Ravilious

Yeah! Rax has a new book. I rather hope Father Festival of Over Consumption can find a little corner to get it in my housey. The book looks fab. If it's anything like his last one - which I have in German [ the images are in English though] it's going to brill.

And yes the images are made on film. And yes his website is well worth your time to look at it.. Faeroe s and Greenland. Well, all of it really. I can't show you any of his work here but look here as well as web-site. And the Vid is brill.

After the late James Ravilious, I can't think of anyone's work I prefer. Yes, go and look at Mr Ravilous. It's wonderful work - made on real film with real cameras and proper silver gelatin paper of England of the rose coloured type. It moves me to tears almost. There a vid too.

If I had merely one image on the wall at home, it might well be this one. Just love it.

And if I could take just one image which moved me as much as work by Mr Ravilious or Mr Axelsson, I would be a very happy bunny

Archie Parkhouse and his dog Sally by James Ravilious © Beaford Arts

Photograph by James Ravilious © Beaford Arts

Thursday, October 17, 2013

She's a 'proper' photographer and I know it!

Apart from the fact she mainly uses pixels, Lizz Cardwell is what one might term a proper photographer. I took advantage, she was sitting in the warming room yesterday and I took a snap or two. Proper snaps and everything - on film and almost in focus. That's because focus is hugely over-rated. I read that somewhere and I took it to heart. Bound to be true surely. Even HCB had off focus images that were wonderful - trust me.

I love this snap - taken with a Bronica that I have not really got the hang of. Something about this snap says "wow" and everything. I mean, look at the grain, the tilt and the hair. The mood and all.

That last one is even better than this one here. Although I had high hopes for it, it lacks a certain something the other one has. I shall ask Lizz as she sups her Cullen Skink tonight why that is. She'll be bound to know. She is a proper photographer after all.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Vision from the USA [via Danmark]

How did that happen then?

No idea but we did enjoy a fine meal at a Stornoway Eatery last evening with The Crofter, Eve, I and the American photographist. And then we came back to introduce her to Irn Bru - as you do. She didn't like the Ginger Wine though. Bad mark against her to be honest.

And since you ask, I like the texture that arrived on this film. No idea why it's there. I have my thoughts but my thoughts are mine and there you are.

"And this is a 10 year old Irn Bru"


Mr Crofter Sir, David, Sue Eve and I enjoyed the visitation and the photographising. Murray and John Angus too. And as I write John A has found some peat to stack, a fence to mend and a ram to ,,,,,, do something with/to. In his smart garb too. Funny that :-)

Liz will be off back to Danmark soon but we hope she comes back and see some 'proper' horizontal Western Isles weather.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I may seem a little frantic but there's a shrew loose in the hoose.

Despite our esteemed visitor - or perhaps because of her, HHHCB has brought in a shrew this morning and now the flippin thing is running loose - and I can't find it.

Perhaps I'm a tad tired too after chasing the Aurora last night. Lovely green lights sparkling in the sky despite the huge and very wasteful street lights we have that make the place look like an outsize horizontal Christmas tree - without the baubles.

No, I have no snap of it, I preferred the reality of it's actuality - although our esteemed visitor took a few snaps with her electrical image capturing device as we stood shivering on the moor in the dark night. Mr Crofter saw it too - first time for him though he's been here 10 years.

I do have another fank snap though. And that's all you get till I take something more.

We have a photographer around

I took her in. Well, we fed her and she is staying elsewhere in the village with a spare bed and everything. When you live in a house the size of a shrunken dolls house, we have to compromise.

Liz, for that is her name has come from AmerIca via Arhus in Denmark. Lovely too. She'll be around the place for a couple of days so, don't hide; she likes Crofters :-) Interesting work too. See here.

For your delectation today [while I listen to the Reith Lecture on Radio 4 don't you know] is another snap [above] from the fank. Hector and his doggie whose name escapes me but is a fine sheeper dog - tootle off to bring a few more sheeps for their swim in the smelly stuff. They love their quads round here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

One man and his imaginary dog

I imagined the dog anyway.

He, didn't need a dog, the sheeps knew where they were going - at least they did when they saw the fank. They were not too keen on that. And I wouldn't be either. They were dipping the sheeps in 'orrible smelling 'stuff'.

'They' were all there - or most of them anyway. Didn't see Mr Crofter Sir as he was still shaping teeth for the masses. It's a nice place to see old pals, to pass the time of day or take a snap or two.
I might have some more soon.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Profound apologies

I have to apologise for yesterdays outburst - for all the good it did anyway! The sun was out and I'd been stood in it for too long in Ness having a really interesting conversation with this lovely fella me-lad of a granpa with his sweet twin granddaughters. Obviously it had got to me - the sun that is. We are not used to up here you know. The chap was really good to talk to - had to tear myself away from telling him how this consumer-capitalist society we have  is incompatible with the closed biosphere we 'live' in and are quickly destroying. And how the gross inequalities in the UK are not good for us and how those countries where they have smaller inequalities in society have better health, crime figures etc. And how.... . Well you get the idea. He was gong to agree with me - eventually. But we just hadn't got to that point yet and the cafe was calling.  I wonder if he could adopt me since I'd enjoy another conversation with that 'lad'.

So that was why I was so out of sorts. You can see that from the suitably deteriorating snap of me - the current parlance being a 'selfie' - although I do hate that term. I prefer Self-Landscape. It's from a while back but discovered it yesterday while sorting a space for The Wardrobe.

Urban cyclists have a way of annoying me too - calling their lovely fixed wheel bicycles 'fixies'. Eh? What's that all about then? BTW; That author fella Kevin McNeil who wrote The Stornoway Way rides a fixed wheel bike :-). Can't be all bad can it?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Please just leave a comment; I'm tired.

Look, I'm writing this every day almost. Snap up snaps, slosh them about in stuff, print them sometimes and everything and only one or two of you ever comment! Eh? And one of you is off to NZ for goodness sake - without some much as a bye your leave or whatever ones says these days. ['whatever' probably].

What's that all about then? I know I don't comment much but that doesn't mean you don't have to does it?

Yes, I'm tired and just a bit on the grumpy side after playing with the boat outside the housey - doing 'things' to it. Too technical for here - as I don't really know what I was doing anyway. It made me feel important though - and that's good. And that was after  a bit of wardrobe measuring, Ness visiting, photographising, drinking coffee in yet another cafe and what have you. All in the name of research - obviously.

Ok, here's a print I prepared earlier - and everything;

Of course it's from Island Crofters. Doh! And yes it looks better in reality! Doesn't it always? :-)

Just a bit tempted!

That's what happens when you have a lot of snaps; the darkroom work is rubbish. They call it 'sods law' for the technically minded.

The Graflex Baby Pacemaker camera came with us to Seil. It came via Fleur and the late Monty - for which I am mightily grateful. It's a lovely Press camera which looks really impressive and, takes some fine snaps if one points it in the right direction and all that sort of thing. I'd loaded it with the last of my Hp5 in honour of the day and set out onto the course of the Oban Sportive nearish the end so I could enjoy the riders suffering up the hills. Only I ended up going out to find a fallen rider who had also broken his bike. His handlebars had taken a right remodelling so I loaded the bike into the car, the rider into the front seat and took off to the finish.

I got back soon after and took these snaps - only to find Eve had fallen off too - hurt her arm and shoulder but continued anyway. As she does. Been to the Physio today as it happens as the shoulder is still crook..

Nice area innit? That's the road the riders slogged up after 80 miles or so. Several more after that before the finish as well. At least the sun was shining - unlike last years Ullapool sportive.

Look, I pointed it everything that didn't move. It is not a camera for dynamic stuff, rather it's best for posing. I do that well. Anyway, a few portraits of the near-Oban countryside for you.

Now, I need to go and sort out pile of wet useless paper in the darkroom :-(

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's the Future; or it was back then anyway.

A while back someone who should know mentioned that one of my prints had a Futurist look to them. I think it was John Nanian if my ailing mind remembers correctly. Twas this print. Nice eh? It's in CaNada now since someone took a liking to it.

Now, not knowing anything about Futurism let alone futurism in photography a bought a second-hand book on the subject and came across Anton Guilio Bragaglia and futurist Photography - a movement rather stained by it's association with Facism. Still, the imagery was interesting to say the least and made me look further. There are some really nice images here.

Then my pal Henry Iddon mentioned his MA paper he wrote entitled Photography, Embodiment and the ‘Athletic Experience’ - it's a fine read of course but I won't bother you with it here only that he mentioned Mr Bragaglia there too. How good is that?

I'm hooked on the 'movement' now as it were. I have several images of this ilk  just waiting to be printed. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Elk on Easdale Island alarm

It's a boat.

Did that title worry you somewhat? Probably not since you may not even know the island. It's weird. An old slate quarry island with nice little cottages, a pub and no roads. But there is a safe mooring where The Elk classic yacht is moored - and is now for sale. I love the look of that boatee but think it may be beyond my means and skills no doubt. I have skills I might add, but sailing big nice boatees is not one of them. Yet.


See, it's nice little place - with too many tourists at times - at least on the Seil side of the place in or near the Tat shoppe.

Weird eh? [Not Eve. Obviously]


 Somewhere on the island.

Al fresco Ceilidh anyone? 

On the ferry

We will be going back to Seil. Remember, it's OUR SPECIAL PLACE ! Eh?