Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Large-ish scale hunt for small clipboard exclusive.

It appeared eventually you'll be pleased to hear. Callum at the Coop where we help get the 'stuff' for ye olde village shoppe had lost The List. Looked in the fridge with the milk, in the big shoppe and everything and all the time it was in his little cubby hole. Bound to make the headlines in the local paper though.

I celebrated with a few snaps in town with a Fujica SLR and some Kodak Fine grain Positive film @ 5asa!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I like this

On the film that came out of the Retinette, yes, the rattly one, was this image. It's an image from Stornoway You can tell that because this erb has bought a Tv and the only places one can buy these abominable things are in Stornoway. On the island that is.

I played around in the darkish room the other morning emerging from time to time to breathe the air and blink in the bright sunshine. I tried lith - but really got nowhere much. Then I broke out some old Kodak paper I had, shone a light through the neg onto it then threw it in some ordinary developer. This came out. I like it. It has something don't you think?

Monday, April 28, 2014

I broke out the Retinette again

The Retinette is a lovely cheap but classic metal camera if you don't already know. Mine has a acquired a rattle and an occasional jamming of the winding mechanism as a screw that holds a thing on the top plate has fallen inside. I know full well if I take the thing apart it will never go back together again so, I use it upside down. That works!

See, this is another masterpiece. Not my best masterpiece - but that's coming soon.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A proper wall.

This is, as I'm sure you know, my favourite wall. Eve and I have walked its length, marvelled at its stones and the way it is still complete as it sits there across Valtos way. I can hardly ever resit a snap here - even with a Bronica [yes the neg is cropped] with RolleiRPX25.

I'm not sure this si the ideal film for shooting on bright days - it is a rather contrasty film to start with. Only, on less bright days there's hardly enough light to shoot it. See below, my attempt at shooting up HHHCB at The Croft the other day.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Have YOU been there?

I am sure you know where his is eh? Just down the road and all that. turn right at the crucial moment, left then you are here looking at this. Feeling the concrete of the jetty between your toes if you want to. Enjoy sand-filled sandwiches on the beaches here about. Look at the islands. 

Walk along a bit, turn left up the creek to the tyre in the sand. That's how you know you are on the Hebrides. The rest of the vehicle is around under the sand probably.

There's walls round this way. Lots of lovely walls that I really quite like. Take this one around a graveyard on the side of a hill over-looking the sea. Keeping the broken statue from walking away I shouldn't wonder.

That's all at Kneep  [Cnip] on the Valtos [Bhaltos] peninsula.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Baile an Truiseil

Look here, one of the tallest standing stones in Scotland as it happens - Clach an Trushal - over on the West Side. And I wus there the other day - pointing a camera [Zorki4/Jupiter12] at it. Didn't seem to mind either. Too much sun though. The film - Polypan didn't like that. Toots didn't like the house just there and the car either. Best bit I thought!

I'd gone over to the West Side to get the mechanical paddling device back from Colin of the Grass. He'd given the thing to Angus the Outboard you see so he could twiddle this and that. He did and got it back. I crossed Colin's palm with paper and brought the MPD back ready for my next water-borne journey.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I went to see Toots

He was slumped semi-comatose on the settee in from of the huge TV. Took ages to get him to answer the door - me ringing and ringing and everything. In the end I let myself in, sat down on the chair in the well-appointed hallway waiting for the sleepy man to appear. Toots had fallen asleep 'watching' snooker. I'm not surprised really since the chaps no sooner had put the balls in a hole than the other man got them out again. At that rate they would be going at it a week next Thursday.

Anyway, I had a camera with me and caught the fella staggering around waking up. Maybe he required a dip in a lochen. I dragged him out for a stroll all the same - but not near a lochen as it happens.

Sad snooker man

Monday, April 21, 2014

Double handed voyage across Loch Gormag Mor - including a little swimlette.

Oh no, I got wet. Fell backwards into a lochen. And gosh was it cold. Fair took the wind out my sails I can tell you.

We, Eve and I were trying out the wee inflatable tender boat thing prior to putting the bigger boatee in the harbour thing. Thought we better get used to paddling since the mechanical paddling device is yet to appear back from Angus the Outboard.

A rather water-damaged snap of Eve, the motorised carriage and the wee boatee - prior to my swimming incident.

I mean, the sun was shining, we'd spent all morning up to our armpits in soap suds washing the big boatee, airing the blanket things you hang on the big pole in the middle of the boatee and what have you. So I suggested we go up to a lochen on the way out to our peats. Twas Loch Gormag Mor apparently - all water and no people to gawp at us. Only, after putting the thing in the water, Eve climbed on board in her dainty way while I pushed the thing away from the shallow water - then 'leapt' in - actually, when I say 'leapt in' I really mean struggled in but it doesn't sound quite so proficient -especially when you then proceed to topple everso slowly but definitely backwards into the cold peaty water.

I laughed. An everso strained laugh but I definitely laughed an then got in again, boots filled to the brim with water and then proceeded at a leisurely paddling pace northish until the breeze blew us westish after about 3 yards until we grounded - again. I leapt out and pulled the tender thing to the side. We came home soon after where I dried out then went to bed for a little while to recover my senses.

As it happens, this camera - the Olympus XA2 - was in my pocket when I 'swam' so the snaps are not what they could have been. Sorry and all that.

I must go and watch the local football

I have been to four 'proper' football matches in my time. Chippenham FC back when the football was leather and the ground wet and muddy. Briftol Rovers V Exeter on a Boxing day at a pitch with a speedway/dog track around the outside, some game in Chile and Man City v someone - for which I got free tickets - back when City didn't win much and I worked over the road.

I didn't really enjoy any of the games - but the crowds were fascinating. In Chile the TV reporters went onto the field to get a  few words from a player if he fell over near the edge of the pitch. At Man City some chaps in the stand spent ages berating some player fella - until he scored, then he was the best thing since sliced bread [which I really don't like as it happens].

But I'm keen to get a few snaps of the milieu as it were. The 'crowds' as the react to the play. I must do that sometime. It came to my mind after snapping up Internationale Carloway ground the other day. 

See, I love the work of one Cyrille Rabilliard like this one from a horse race. I might just go along one day.

In the meantime, here is a snap of sheeps. That's what they look like. Well, this one anyway.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Please: don't judge me

It was that sort of day and the sun had got to me.

I came home and took a snap of a rained on window

I had to do it. I wasn't feeling that bright to be honest. I'd been 'got-down' or something. So here we are, a snap of a window.

Someone had been chewing a wasp!

The Voigtlander Bessa R with Jupiter 8 got a run out for this and, I broke out the Foma 400 and rated it at 800. As I do. Then sloshed it in Rodinal.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

It has to be done from time to time

Had a lovely visitation from The Artist formerly known as Jon the other evening. What a lovely surprise that was - especially since he brought Andrea with him. That's the sculpterister Andrea not me. From Edinburgh apparently. And very lovely she is too I must say. We talked all three of us and then four as Eve came home. That's Eve from Leeds way, the partnerister.

In front of the cooking device we talked - it's warm there. And the reels were waiting where they had been earlier. Waiting for the film from the Perkeo and everything.

This is from the film in the Perkeo. Was it worth the wait?

The Artist spoke fondly of the film at the Arts centre - so we went to watch it. Something of a metaphor along the lines of cake is not a good thing' or something like that. Didn't really understand the thing - the colours were nice, Tilda Swinton looked fab and the shapes on the screen too were interesting, but the story? I was hoping The Artist would explain all. Only he didn't go. It was The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Don't try and tell me we are not sophisticated here.

Is sunshine a mark of sophistication? If it is, and it might well be somewhere, we had that. The other day for an hour or more. And I have a snap to prove it. The local chapter of boys on bikes were out in force, doing their thing. With gusto. If that's not sophistication, what is?

And I noticed The Moped parked in front of An Lanntair. Sun glistening on its,,,,, its bits. Is that not sophisticated?

I know, I took these snaps with some dodgy cinematic copy film using a little point and shoot camera I found down the back of the settee, but hey, did I look sophisticated?

Er,,,, No.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A fencescape

I get annoyed when you see a nice fence by the road in the rain and you find that if you don't want to get out of the dry car to image up the thing, the scene can get compromised. See here, the flippin bits of rock things got in the way. Ruined my fencescape.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Vistor

It was Angelica over here breathing our air taking our views in and everything - from Germany via Danmark and Ullapool. Making films for someone in power by all accounts and then kipping in the Summer Parlour. Like you do.

Telling us all about Soka Gakkai and all that stuff. I listened and everything because it is very interesting and I might have learned something. I might have. And Angelica is very nice too. Here she is taking in the spring warmth on the beach.

She has gone back o'er the water now, but I think she will be back again.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


No not ours.

We have lovely neighbours as it happens. These two are neighbours elsewhere in the village. I was up doing a little visitation to Royston who was in fine form regaling my of travels many in his past working life as a long distance lorry driver. All double declutching, brewing up in the middle of Yugoslavia and all that sort of thing. Interesting to say the least. See, I like listening as well as talking.

Then on leaving I bumped into Ian, Roy's neighbour who lives with his partner Margaret and a little white yappy dog. Ian was remaking the collapsed seat in front of the castle. It's the sort of thing that happens - like his trailer.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dustbinscapes; I've Dun Carloway

I'm not that partial to landscapes [wash my mouth out etc]. You may know this if you have been here before - and I do hope you have. And come back again too. The only trouble of living on this rock out here on the edge of the British Isles is that it is rather lovely. The land is wonderful. The weather too - cloud and rain to accompany the wind on a regular basis. And 'street' photo snaps here are less than traditional. I find myself trying to see the place through new eyes, trying to create a portrait of the place that is new, to me at least.

So I snook out in the morning yesterday armed with nothing but a 6x9 folding Agfa Record camera and a roll of GP3 film. And a lightmeter. Plus a few other cameras that were lurking about. Obviously. I learnt that from 'The award winning Alex Boyd' who always seems to have a sack-full of various cameras with him. I figured to win awards one needs to do that - only it doesn't seem to be working for me.

I trolled over the Pentland road to Carloway and the Broch. Everyone snaps that up. But I thought I'd try for a new image of the place. This is it. My new dustbinscape - with Carloway Broch in the background. Nice eh?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Half of someone is better than nothing at all

Did I tell you we have had a visitor? No? Well recently, we have had a visitor. From far away and everything. From Germany via Danmark and er,,, Ullapool. Proper film maker and all.

We even watched a German film one night. A Wenders - but not one of his best I can assure you. I did take the oppotunity to expose a neg at Angelica - for that is her name. Put the 5x7 neg in a darkslide, fix that onto the back of a box with a little hole in it with the requisite sloppy knicker elastic and now I have an image. I might even expose UV light through this and try [again] to make an oilprint. Nothing like wasting materials on a Saturday is there?

Yes, this only part of the neg. Full marks for spotting that only, I scanned the thing in two halves but the task of joining the two parts on the pooter defeated me - for the moment!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

PLEASE; read this quietly.

HHHCB is asleep as I write. Or at least pretending to be. She won't like me showering her with praises on here, so I won't.

But you won't get a more purrfect cat, albeit a near Royal one, as HHHCB. The same cannot be said of snap - which is, I must admit, a near disaster. I used polypan-f film. I know it's 50asa copy film but I reckon you can use it at 200asa with a good soak in Rodinal. And one can - if you don't mind the sort of mush grain along with it. And a scratch across the neg and a hair now thankfully removed from the camera gate. Apart from that. Just purrfect.

Where did my mojo go?

No idea where it has gone to be honest. Spent ages looking for a book Spirit of Salts yesterday but it was only when my dear Eve came home that it revealed itself. My mojo has disappeared though. Lost and gorn. For the moment anyway. It will come back again, whack me round the back of the head with a thrwupp. That's the plan anyway.

I was looking at these snap of my 'futurist' phase and thought I might explore that again. Got to be better than spending my time trying to conquer oilprints again - as I am doing.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Eve. And everything

Probably not everything. Eve wouldn't like that. Hopefully Eve won't get to see this snap taken with the Kodak Cresta she bought me as it, I must admit, is not the best snap ever of her. Never mind, Eve is riding her bike home from work through the showers and wind and will not be bothered to look here. I mean, dinner is in the oven and everything.

No, not everything. I wasn't going to tell you everything although I think the Cresta does a fine job of explaining most things. Like, summer must be on its way if Eve dresses down like this.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I had a shock

The phone rang. In itself not a surprising thing these days. It's usually someone trying to sell me something or trying to scam some money from me. But I answered it all the same - it might have been Eve. It wasn't Eve but Toots talking down the line from his gaff in sunny Spain. Apparently the phone was working now although I suspect Toots was really gloating about the weather they have.

Ah well, it was nice to hear from him all the same.

Monday, April 07, 2014

It has to be done

Mr Bac Pharmacy was out doing his husky impression Saturday pulling a poor unfortunate who was dressed in a red cow suit and sat in Mr B-P's kite pram thing from Tolsta to Bac [or Back, but not back as it were]. I know what I'm talking about - and they were doing to raise monies for charitable purposes. So it's allowed. Trust me.

We went to cheer them off and Eve rode with them - and laughed at there downhill antics!

This is where they ended up. Here one I made earlier [quoting Blue Peter].

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Don't look too closely

The lens I was using at the time with its accompanying yellow filter seems to have flared a tad. Or maybe its the film - Agfa400s which is a bit UV sensitive and what have you. All the same, it does make the moor look 'interesting' doesn't one think?

Just DON'T look too closely eh?

Friday, April 04, 2014

Shall I or shan't I?

Dear reader,
I need your help.

Ove rthe las tanount oftime I haveb een Snapp inup andpos tingh ere. The images are 'straight' in that they either come from a print or a neg without too much messing about with on the pooter to make them them look as bad as they do. I like them that way in the main. I may 'mess wif them' a bit in the darkroom using tissue paper or whatever comes to hand - but it is organic as they [I] say. However, and here's the rub, I rather like images that have a  painterly look. And I like some images that have been messed wif digitally. You know the sort of thing - like here. And no, I have no idea how I did it to be honest.

The question is; should I do that more? I might add as an addendum here that I will take little notice of what you say but I really value your comments all the same. Possibly.

Anyway, back to sort sort of reality;
Mr Unknown has posted a fine albeit pixeled up image on his site. Yes, go and have a look then come back. Please.

I tried holding a piece of old paper in front of this neg but I couldn't see through it so here's the thing 'straight' as it were. Some castle thing in DurHam, England. Used the Kodak Cresta for this shot. Now, don't you all rush out and buy up stocks of this little gem, the idea is mine, all mine. Apart from all the other people who thought of using one. Obviously.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Ok, I was bored

Got the old pinhole going and all that. A pinhole camera made from some black foamboard, glued and gaffer taped to an inch of its life. Loaded with old Agfa RC paper and pointed at,,,, at,,, Me.

I almost stayed still but I forgot to remind myself while I was doing it. Bother. Still, I rather like it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Camera test

I'm not sure I've done one of these before. Sort of a new direction for me. Anyway, the camera in question is the Kodak Cresta. And no, I have no snap of it either. You will have to follow the link. As with this type of camera it takes 120 roll film and has a knob thing to make the film move on to the next frame - if you can see the film number through the little red window on the back.

It fits snugly in one's hands and the black modern plastic gives it a classy feel. The optical viewfinder is excellent as one might expect from a device of this price [ £1 - charity shop] and some of the new electronic imaging device makers could do well to copy it.

The shutter is set off by depressing the little white snib-bit poking out the top. I called it all names under the sun. I even ignored it for a while but it still remained annoyingly perky. So I pressed it down with my finger instead - which seemed to do the trick.

The resulting images are excellent - apart from the subject matter - obviously. The Kodet lens with its f14 aperture does all that is asked of it. It is not so sharp though. Moody I'd say.

The camera comes highly recommended in this format and if you ever passing through 1955 again, I'd buy a new one.

Fiat; Such a small car is no problem at all for the Cresta camera capturing its smallness perfectly.

Charabanc; Obviously, it would have worked better with a double decker charabanc as the Cresta would have recognised it quicker

Workman eating sandwich on a bench next to a postbox in which letters still reside; I suspect they were eggy sandwiches on account of no-one sitting next to him. I think the Cresta caught that very well.

Next up if you are really unlucky, a quick run through of my 2 1/4 square Box Houghton Butchers' sensor cleaning device.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

There is going to be a bit of a change ahead

Here we are; our new blow-up toy. Next to the solidish floaty one - on the blow-up ones left that is. So now we move ahead with our plans to live afloat and eschew all that is land-based and what have you. Summer up here in the Isles and winter, well, up here in the Isles for the moment too. We do realise we need a little experience before sailing to Cuba or even Ullapool - as if anyone wants to go there, but soon the world will be our lobster as the saying goes.

Yes, I have figured a way to rig up a darkish room on the bigger boatee thing. It might mean HHHCB has to live on the blow-up toy but never mind, photographs come first and all that.
We are most grateful to our lovely pals Paul and Ellen Hunter [OBE] who furnished us with the blow-up tub with, and here I was touched, an accompanying motorised paddling device. Once we get it going again. Never mind, the big boatee has a motorised paddling device as well as big blanket things you hang from a tall pole on the boat to make it go forward pointed around by a lovely wooden and soon to be polished steering stick.

I have decided to take just 35mm cameras with me so will be giving away all my other stuff before we go. 

It's going to be a big change but a life afirming and interesting one. We will endeavour to keep you informed of our whereabouts.

In the meantime check out our sailing friends site here.