Thursday, April 30, 2015

Back home without 14 layers and a fladen suit!

Yes, back home after a few days on the mainland - or floating through the mainland mostly. On the Caledonian Canal on a nice yatchy thing hired from West Highland Sailing. Lovely peeps there. Nice boat thing and everything. Terrible weather with snow and what have you. See here perhaps for little vids.

We managed a fair bit of sailing though - and a short grounding when the pointy thing underneath the boat stuck on some sand someone had put there. Still, the good people from WHS soon towed us off and thanked us for the fun!

We found a pub barge too :-)

Snaps soonish

The usual

There's a few little harbours around the island - this one, like so many seem to have a dodgy reputation. Still, they are interesting places to visit - always lots of creels. Goodness knows if many still get used.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Looked like a plug had been pulled in the harbour in Stornoway the other day, such was the lowness of the tide. All the collected detritus of the years came into view along with the gluey mud that's there.

Yes, I'm not around at the moment - hence the short, boring posts.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Taking a stroll with the Petri7s and the Toots.

Yesterday morning and all that. I am with the Toots on Gress beach drinking in the air, watching the seals and playing with my Petri7s. The camera was loaded with Polypan-f film and I'd taped the lens in the vain attempt to alleviate the flare. It seems to work too.

Had a lovely stroll as well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

An easy launch

This is a MoBo. It has just been launched by one chap on Cuddy Point. I snapped it up. I snapped it up nearish the same time as I snapped it with the pinhole camera and the glass plates. Can you tell? I'm interested. Not because it makes an interesting snap but because of the method that said MoBo man uses - namely a extended pole thing

See, there it is. And I'm interested because we have a little boatee currently sat in front of the house awaiting launching - which in the past has been a right pain I can tell you - even with 6 personages on hand. And the nice MoBo said I might be able to borrow said pole thing too. Nice nice man. If only I knew his name!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dead sheeps in developer

The title of this post may not be entirely accurate to be totally honest. I'm sure the local shoppe wouldn't let that happen but all the same there always seems to be an inordinate amount of crud on the negs from there. Just found the unopened can of developed negs and thought I'd scan them. Even when an infra-red clean is used on the Vuescan software, it barely gets better. Perhaps I need Digital ICE - or better still, Digital deep-freeze.

All the same you can just make out Eve posing among the strategically placed coloured things in the steps of a B&B on the mainland sometime back when we went down for The Pirate's 75th I think it was.

Of course we had balloons. Who doesn't at a party - although not sure what purpose they served bar ensure the visitors were still breathing.

And we visited local shoppes and cafes. Of course we did - here's Eve with Ms Angela .

An yes there was a dog too - when we took a stroll along the beach under Culzean Castle.

Maybe this is why I rarely use colour!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Did I tell you I have glass plates?

Not sure Neipce would be pleased with this one. I mean, it's a lot easier to take a snap with a dry plate than with the method that he used a year or two back. I used an old R25 Ilford plate  - 4x5. Exposed in a pinhole box too. Rather like the effect as it happens. Might have to print this one.

This second one - same sort of plate but taken first is less appealing to me. Talking of which I saw a little book in An Lanntair which was all about what makes good photographs good! I didn't bother to read it as I suspect it has the air of a camera club about it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

little hole

I found a little hole the other day. It was knocking around the house amongst the dust. So I stuck some tin foil around it and put onto the front of a home manufactured box that fits 4x5 darkslides. Surprisingly, I snuck some Ortho film in the darkslide and then took the whole affair out for a little trip to see the moor. Or part of it - and the car roof. As you do.

Yes, of course it's a masterpiece. Why shouldn't be? I'm sure that you all will be telling me that anyway.

Friday, April 17, 2015


I still have a few miles of Polypan-f copy film in the fridge. I use it from time to time with varying results. Best of all the stuff, shot at 100 and developed in Rodinal 1:100 can be nice and crispy.

This is not developed in Rodinal but Acurol-N - at 1;100. I know one shouldn't but I did and I'm not sure about it - bit muddy and all that. Having said that it might be them ducks who make it muddy. Granted the snap was taken towards the drizzly sun, the dusks weren't keen and demanded recompense - which they didn't get I might add.

This old boat stood still long enough for me to get this action shot. Again with the OM1n and Polypan-f but developed with Rodinal. Nice eh? Not bad for 1s / 3d a roll. The boat is at Brevig harbour where several boats of this ilk seem to be retirement - or at least in respite!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


There's this road here in the village. It goes just down from here [over there] to there [pointing]. It nice too - especially on the day when the sun shines. Curves wonderfully and the land lies just right, the grass waggles a bit in the soft breeze and the fence post threaten to throw them selves down the cliff onto a beach.

I believe it's classy tarmac too - but that's not an area of expertise for me. I'll ask the local MP as they have an opinion on everything.

The road ends here - just where the path to Tolsta Head begins. I was out there with The Crofter and his fiancée as they took the long walk to find sheeps. There's a house here too - to the left of the hut and thing that looks suspiciously like a Steve Dilworth rip off - only with less usefulness.

Slow and easy

I'm having a tired time at the moment. Not sure why completely - although I do have an idea. So, I slowly look at my snaps after I have developed the things. That pleases me. I actually managed a darkroom hour or two the other day too.

Anyway, tis some walls I found - down Valtos way. Snapped up with the OM1n and Polypan-f.

I have a thing about walls. I like nice ones with character and history. Moss and gaps. That sort of thing. These walls have all these me thinks. My fav is the boundary wall across Valtos - think it's on Valtos anyway. Walked the length of it before now, enjoying its being and everything. Well worth the effort too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eve lookng at the Curlies

Or maybe she was looking at,,,, at something else. In the sun. With our little motorised vehicle in the background. On the island and everything.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Yep, colour. I used to use colour - before I was saved and everything. Slides too. Sometimes they look nice too.

Nice road in Chile on the edge of the Atacama near Bolivia/Argentine. Got the jeep stuck soon after at about 15,000 ft.

Somewhere nearish by in the Atacama or somewhere thereabouts. Does anyone know that creature? I think it may have been Domino, the ragged Llama.

Oh, and a nice camping place in the Faeroes. Sometime last century in both cases.

Looking at these again I may try some more slides - if I can find the cost of the developing!

Monday, April 13, 2015


There we were minding our own business on our way to meet the lovely Holdens when we spotted this curly haired creature. In fact there are eight of the little blighters romping around this croft grunting and squeaking. Yes squeaking. I wasn't expecting that.

Looked it up and everything and apparently they are Mangalitsa piggies. Never heard of them but lovely creatures they are.
Had a lovely day with Mr & Mrs Holden too :-)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I messed with it

Have not been inspired to get in the darkroom lately. Must be all the nonsense on the radio about the would-be politicians at the moment. Let me tell you now, I shall be voting in a reverse relationship to the amount of wasted paper coming through the door and the amount of rubbish attached to lamposts. Now you know.

So, I took this snap with the Agfa Record 6x9, cut out the badly developed bit on account that I forgot to fill the developing tank up then messed with it. I like it. Then, I like the place too.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

This shouldn't be allowed.

You see, apparently FOMA400 film does not push and certainly not in Rodinal. Only it does - although perhaps not too well. These are mere neg scans but I guess they would print ok.

I found these snaps on a roll of exposed film from a dodgy Soviet Kiev rf camera I have. William below has had his birthday recently. Toots will have one sometime this year i'm told.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I must stop using this film

This film is awful. I mean really awful. I'm afraid to say it's HP5 - although it has obviously been cooked at gas mark 5 for a few months in a warehouse in Spain - where I bought it from for a about 2/9d a thousand metres. Just as well Mr Coelyne doesn't read this blog now as I'd be hearing his tutting from here - and he lives 800miles away!

Pity about the film really as the configuration of the roads - just outside the village boundary - were just right this morning. And I had a camera that [sort of] works with me that had a nice little lens on it too - Industar26m.

Took this one on the same stroll. Metered for the shadow and better for it! Is it me or the knackered film? Both me thinks.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Found; in a box

Found a stash of old snaps from the days when pixels hadn't seen the common world. I took this at the World Cycling Champs in Leicester in 1982. No idea what camera I had back then - or the film but I took a nice snap of the motor-pace finals.

If you have never seen an event like this before - one that isn't run as a world championships any more due in part to the collusion of the pacers and money changing hands - look here  and here NOW.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


I now have this little FED Zarya with Jupiter12 attached. Lovely little thing but, and here's the rub, I'm getting what could either be gross flare from the Jupiter lens or a light leak from the body.

This snap is ok I think. I like it too.

However, these next two are not so good. This appears at irregular times on the roll.

Ideas would be appreciated. We are not used to sun here so I'm flummoxed!

Later; Ok, think I have already sorted it. I think I hadn't closed the back properly. Novices eh? :-)

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Take this as a warning!

Come here enjoying our air, looking at our sheeps and walking on our island eh? You'll be snapping all over the place if you are not careful.

See, we went out to enjoy the sun, cameras in hand, boots on feet and what have you. Got no further than here before I had to use another camera that had film in it. I'd been snapping hither and thither with the scale focus thing I had with me.

Yes, we walked up here and down again.

Looked out on here too. I liked it. Still do as it happens.

So, be warned if you come here!

Monday, April 06, 2015

So which is which?

Mr Keith Thompson from CaNada kindly sent me a little Fed Zarya to use. I stuck on the Jupiter12 he had kindly sent me previously - a very kind and generous gentleman this - loaded up with Tmax400 and took it out on a little island road trip yesterday. The Zarya is a scale focus affair so, for comparison of some sort I took out an old rattling [from a screw loose inside] Koday Retinette 1a I had knocking about and loaded that with Foma400. The Retinette I acquired in response to the Retinette 017 my father left me refusing to work as the shutter link had collapsed and I was told I could no longer be sorted. Pity, because that was one nice little camera. But the Retinette1a was only £4 so it wasn't robbed!

The trip we took was down to Uig area, a particularly lovely spot just thirty or so miles away. First though I couldn't resist a visit to my favourite Valtos before going on down to Carnish. All the time shooting with both cameras variously focusing Hyper-focally [as both lens are marked for this] or guessing.

I know they are not of the same subject or on the same film but hey, I am not a camera tester or a geek! This first snap is from one camera and the second from the other. Which is which then?

Camper vans are already here. Great huge things with a motorbike on the back in some cases. Sorry about the subject matter but nothing to snap up here - apart from the scenery and the vans and the sunshine. Yes, we had sunshine and everything!

Actually, I love this snap below depicting a fine wall. I like walls not that you'd know. And a road above it which we explored for the very first time. Right lovely it was too. Muur de Cliffe. Well worth a visit on the bicycle if you like a nice challenge.

And yes, I had a lens hood on both lens. So, which is which - without looking at the file names and all.

BTW; as you can see from the snaps, it is a lovely island. Not many people here at the moment - and that's the best way!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

He is there not here

Here he is, swanning round the local metropolis enjoying the sunshine. Only he isn't here. He is elsewhere enjoying the sunshine there. Pity.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Stoned again

My yearly snap of the Callanish Stones. Best one I have taken by far even though the focus was a bit off, the 'local' moved and everything. See, that's the stones - or some of them near the top of the hummock. That's all you need to see of them to be honest.
The coffee in the visitors centre was nice though.

Friday, April 03, 2015


This is there. Not Hoolish but Tolastadh Chaolais. [Say; Tolsta Hoolish].
Yep, been there, done that with a Perkeo camera and everything. In sun, note that! Was awfully cold though.

Thursday, April 02, 2015


First campers of the year on one of the local beaches. And yes, that's hail piled up to the right of he tent!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

This is the day we are meant to come up some jokey near-realistic thing to get you all wound up. But I don't do such things. All my posts are true to reality - whatever that is.

This is a nice lith-print trust me. It is not going anywhere - perhaps on the wall in a frame - that sort of thing.
It is a mere snibbit of memory from our recent trip to the Moon. I didn't realise it had trees and everything but it does. The camera never lies.

We landed at midday [Stornoway Midday that is]. The earth was still there in the distance - glowing. The trip was a test trip from the Stornoway Space Centre to be. Obviously it took a few hours but twas nice all the same. Not sure who built the ditch things - perhaps it was little green people. You know the type. We didn't meet any while we were there. Just as well possibly as my grasp on Moonish is low. Non existent actually.

Please don't mention this to anyone, they'll all want to go and there are no more test flights for a while as I believe the track-rod end or something like that needs replacing on the spaceship.