Sunday, December 22, 2019

Well, That Was A Quick One Wasn't It.

Eheu !

You'll need to look up the above - best place to start is How To Be Topp by Ronald Searle and Geoffrey Willans - one of my favourite books.

Anyway, firstly a Happy Seasonal Season to you all - thanks for reading and putting up with some bonkers off-kilter photography related stuff!
As I've said before, this is an Empire Of One, so I can write whatever I like, but if you've enjoyed what you've read, Thank You - it is very much appreciated.

Anyway, in common with recent years, this is a photographic run-down from me.
I certainly took more pictures this year, but not quite enough . . . but isn't that always the case?
It's been a weird and good year - weird from the point of view that I purchased two (very good) secondhand digital cameras, and weird from the point of view that I no longer own either of them!
I've not bought any film related stuff this year simply because I've got it all and any further expense seems rather daft.
I also managed to cement a few things in my mind:

I'm not in the slightest bit interested in digital photography.
Quite a statement eh?
And even though writing this and holidays etc render it semi-necessary . . . I just can't get excited about it.
Not quite sure why, but anyway, that's just me.

I'm also not really a 35mm photographer either.
Never one for doing things by halves, that's another quite a statement.
Even though 35mm film has been used this year I have barely used any of my 35mm cameras at all, which again is kind of daft when you think about it, seeing as I own 6!

Suitably A-tyred

Yes, I know the above photo belies what I just said, but the reason it has been slipped in here is because I like the image and thought it would be a good one to head up the thumbnails at the side of the page.
Despite my semi-aversion to 35mm photography, I was really tempted around the start of summer to go Bugger It! and purchase a dual-range Summicron with some funds I'd released from selling guitar gear.
Unfortunately I didn't.
And that's not like me at all - but something stopped me.
It was pretty significant too, because the DR was something I've wanted for a long long time, but anyway, that's for further down this page!

So, without further ado, grip your zimmers, here's a really boring round-robin of my year!


Well, I started how I meant to go on, and that meant ACTION!
I loaded a roll of Tri-X (probably the last time I'll use it as it is now too expensive!) into the F3 with the 28mm AI-s and off I went - 25 photos in around an hour and a half.
It was major FUN - there's a lot to be said for Nikon's old Automatic Indexing System - it just works and very reliably too.

Seabraes Yard Walkway With Willy Wonka, Dundee

I enjoyed it so much, that later in the month I used another roll!

Broken Seabraes Yard Bridge, Dundee

Seabraes Yard Lift 1, Dundee

Seabraes Yard Lift 2, Dundee

All the above are scans off the negs - never got as far as printing that lot . . .

Early in January the weather was truly dreich and 'orrible up here, but that didn't stop me - I loaded the SWC with some HP5 and whilst out for a lovely walk with t'missus, blasted through 12 frames.
Unfortunately, whether it was too much rum imbibed or a genuine fault with my light meter, the film was well-underexposed. I was gutted!

View From Seabraes Bridge, With Rain And Bonus Gloom

That's a scan from the print - I had to use Pot-Ferry to bleach back the highlights a bit, but even then it was exceptionally difficult to print.

And so started a period of doubt about the Gossen - I wasn't sure about it even though I re-tested it against meters I knew were working (the F3 and the Sony A6000, and Lux on a piephone).


On a lovely crisp morning's walk, I was so impressed with the light on the way back, that I went home, loaded the 500 C/M with HP5 (my new main squeeze - thank you Dave Lee Roth) and went out again, toting the 150mm Sonnar - worra lens.
It helped me make what I think is probably one of the best people pictures I've taken - not that I take many people pictures, but all the same.
It was of well-known Dundee grafitti artist C-Gul.
He's a really nice chap and is very amenable to having his portrait taken. I generally bump into him about once a year.

Monsieur C-Gul esq.

I also finished off another roll of Tri-X that I'd started at the end of January - again the F3/28mm AIs combo worked perfectly.

Time Dilation, Perth

At the end of the month, I'd planned a mountain trip, but a dodgy knee stopped me, so instead I went (nearly) to Balmerino along the Fife Coastal Path.
The whole adventure was detailed in 101 Uses For A (Nearly) Dead Sheep.

Quiet Riverside Morning, Wormit


You know what, nothing photographic happened in March apart from some printing, so here's a scan of a print to fill up the blank space.

Hall Of Light - Trainworld, Brussels

The above is another of my Brussels photographs - it was taken with the F3/28mm AI-s combo - of all my prints of recent times, this is the one I have hanging in my study - there's just something about it.
If you're ever in Brussels, and even if you DON'T like trains, this is one of the very best museums in the world . . .

There, that's better isn't it.


Ah, well some people would call it unlucky, but me? nah, brilliant. I started a 4 day working week, which initially was novel, but at the end of the year proved to be an absolute panacea to my adult working life - everyone should do it. Time is the most precious thing we don't own.

Suitably bouyed with enthusiasm, I hit the mountains!
The whole adventure was written about in Pastures Unknown

And here's a pic from then.

Wild Party Going On

At the end of the month, with the early morning light improving, I got up pre-dawn and hit the town on Easter morning.
The light was astonishing, but what sealed it to me was a group of Christians standing beside the River Tay and reading bible passages at dawn. Were it not for the fact that they were dressed in modern garb, drove Hyundais, and were standing next to the V&A, you could literally have been removed in time back hundreds of years.
It was humbling, moving and awe-inspiring all at the same time.

Easter Morning Prayer, V&A Dundee

I did a fair amount of printing in April, courtesy of new found freedom, however I soon replaced that with a list of jobs I had been putting off for years . . .


Did some more printing in May, but no photographing, so here's a print made then . .

Vandalised Gigantic Poster, Brussels

This was made the year previously on the F3/28mm combo, in Brussels no less. All the black faces have been picked off - nice to see they have racists over there too (he said ironically).
Truth be told, this was a pissing spot for drunks, so I guess anything would have been 'done' anyway.


June was a mad month.
My son suddenly declared he'd need a camera for an upcoming European road trip - 8 countries in a few weeks no less - he's braver than I was at his age.
Film flashed through my mind, and I thought how about a Nikkormat - cheapish, hands-on and reliable . . but then, when he declared he wanted to use ONLY colour my thinking changed.
Anyway, after a wee test out in Perthshire to see how it would handle things, I thought I'd entrust him with the Sony A6000.
Therein lay another problem - I'd only used it with an adaptor and manual Nikkors, and he declared he wanted something with a zoom!

OK old bean I thought, have the shirt off my back why dontcha, you young 'uns . . etc etc . . 

Now I know what you're thinking, prime lenses only that's the sort of man I am, and despite my having explained it all to him, about compromises with zooms vs, tip-top imaging with a prime, it was no good . . so I ended up getting the kit lens for the Sony, the 16-50 zoom - to give it its correct terminology:

Sony E 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS

It was cheap at WEX with a year's guarantee, and you know what . . it's alright!

Riverside Bridge, Seabrae Yards, Dundee

And that left me with a conundrum.
We were going to Rome.
I was supposed to be taking the F3/28mm, our 11 year old Panasonic digital compact, and also the Sony, except now it was no longer in the equation.
So I started thinking digitally and the upshot of it was, I purchased a great condition Nikon D300S with  a 18-70 f3.4/4.5 zoom as my travel camera and married it up, because of bulk and weight, with the Leica M2 and a collapsible Elmar (1932  vintage) and also the old Panasonic digi.

When I initially got the D300S I did a shoot-out with it and the SW . . the SW won of course, but the D300S was no slouch.

DJCA Alley, Dundee
Nikon D300S and Zoooooooooom

DJCA Alley, Dundee
Hasselblad SWC/M And Shoe-Leather Zoooooooom

I thought the D300S would be the dog's bahookies - the ideal machine for getting all that colourful Roman stuff!

And whilst it was a fine (really fine actually) photo-making machine, my goodness, it was like schlepping an anchor around in 90 degree heat . . in other words I quickly began to hate it.

Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II - Panoramic Terrace Lift

See what I mean - no issues with colours or sharpness, and it was fortunate we had it, because halfway through the holiday, we left the Panasonic behind on a bench and despite heading back for it 20 minutes odd later, some thieving Roman git had had it.
I will say, if you go to Rome, whilst it is a lovely place, don't do something like this, because the Roman Police department will give you no help at all, and neither will the locals.
So that was that, our holiday camera gone and it had all the sensible pics on it too.
The D300S was employed and ended up taking the rest of the holiday snaps.

The Vatican On A Quiet Afternoon

Fractured Holiday View

Plastic Seagull, Rome

On the whole, I like the results from the Nikon, but by comparison, the M2 was a revelation and easily the most fun to use 35mm I've ever toted around.
It was just so damn instinctive and quick and quiet and svelt.
In other words PURE JOY.

Stuffed Swans Trapped In The Vatican

When we got back from Rome, we still had anudder week, so I used the M2 with the 35mm Summaron. Here's a pic taken in tiny light onboard the Unicorn in Dundee.
The print looks like it has been lithed, but it's the result of extreme bleaching in pot-ferry - to me it looks like something washed up after a nuclear disaster and has a poignancy I can't place.

Tiny Light, HMS Unicorn, Dundee


Y'see that D300S?
It developed a noise or two (weird hums n' stuff) . . so I sent it back to WEX and they were superb about it letting me exchange it . . for . . anudder digi-cam - a Fuji X2ES with a 27mm Pancake.
It was more expensive, but is easily the nicest digital camera I've handled.
Intuitive, VERY lightweight, light on sub-menus (unless you wanted to) and relatively unfootery.
A camera with some thought put into it.
It also took a cracking picture too - I was delighted.

Victorianised Dell

Have These Students Got Nothing Better To Do, Part 1

Have These Students Got Nothing Better To Do, Part 2

I also finished processing my Roman films in July and was astonished at what a brilliant little lens the ancient Elmar was.
Honest, just about the cheapest Leitz-branded lens you can buy.
I use mine with a Voigtlander adapter as it is a screw-mount one.
I also used it with a Fison hood and it was a royal pain to change aperture, but it just made me approach things differently - think before you shoot and be prepared.

Quiet Graveyard

Look at the creaminess of those greys - quite unlike anything else I own.


Y'see that Fuji?
Guess what . . . it developed an occasional hum when the shutter was operated, so, not wanting to saddle myself with a faulty camera, I sent it back, got a refund and decided there and then that digital photography was not for me.
I simply couldn't be arsed to be honest, even faced with some excellent pixel-peepin'-poppin'-and-a snappin' sharp images from the Fuji - they just did nothing for me at all, so I nailed my trousers to the mast and said nah.
The Sony is now our holiday cam, simply because with the loss of our dear old Panasonic, we have nothing else . . well, I still have my ancient Olympus MjU . . !

So, in celebration of my new-found freedom from having to think about something else, I mounted my ancient Canon LTM 50mm f1.8 - the "Japanese Summicron", on the M2, and you know, I think that seems to be a pretty good description
The below is a typical pic.
As they say round these parts in a West Country accent:

"Look a tha' bokee on tha'"

Tyre Dump, Spokes, Dundee

The Canon was probably the second cheapest lens I've bought for Leicas - it was originally going to be mounted on the fungusy IIIf!
However I loved it's rendering of detail, greys and the dread bokeeee so much, that it made me think  there was actually no point in buying a DR Summicron.
The money would be better employed elsewhere, and so it was.

Near the end of the month, I was all set for a hillwalk, but somehow talked myself out of it (well, actually it was gale force winds that did the talking) and ended up photographing the footings of the Tay railbridge instead - a slippy shitey journey, but semi-worth it, even without anywhere on my tripod to attach the camera . . .

Tay Rail Bridge Footings

And at the end of the month I did actually get to do a hillwalk, albeit one curtailed by mist and cowardice.
It was all detailed in Fun With Rocks And Mist (Again).

Quiet Glade

Gawd does all he do, is go on holiday?
Well no, but we had a few nights in Edinburgh and it was really wonderful.
The weather was half decent for a start, and as an added bonus, I spared the missus all the usual:

 "Hold it, can you wait a sec"

moves and didn't take a film camera.
The Sony sufficed and actually got some semi-decent images.

Whisky Galore!

Quiet Morning

Shop Display, Edinburgh

Who Are You And Why Are You Taking My Photograph?

Remember these are all taken with what is effectively a budget lens for the Sony - none too tardy are they!
I especially like the last one - I was randomly snapping the bloke behind the bar, but fortunately the chap with the audio-guide looked directly at the camera!
And that was it photographically for September.


The weather in October was mostly ghastly tbh and photographically the only thing I did, was accept an invite to a gallery opening (Printspace in Newport) to see the Edinburgh Lo-Fi exhibition which I enjoyed, but could have done with some more photographs! Printspace is a really nice gallery and shop run by Sheila and Alan Borthwick who used to run the Tayside Scottish Photographers Meetings. You can have a butchers at this link

It got me thinking that I should really start rummaging through my prints and getting myself together - empetus for the Winter months.
But in the meantime, here's another print from the archives . . gads that blank page stuff is awful isn't it.

Ghost Discovered In Abandoned Tent

The above was taken a couple of years ago with the Sonnar, beside a campsite (in a cutting). 
The tent had obviously been rendered useless and had been chucked over the fence into the cutting. 
It looked totally incongruous in the gloom, so I photographed it with the 500 C/M and the 150mm Sonnar. 
This is a pretty good demo of the Sonnar's qualities. 
It is a scan off a print made on Ilford Grade 2 Galerie (RIP).

On a sad note (for me) Mr. Malcolm Thompson died. Malcolm I have known for years - he ran a small but busy lab (Studio M) and has taken photographs all his life - in latter years he taught B&W at the DCA. I'll always remember him as a passionate jazz fan who was grumpy and kind all at the same time - he also took some very fine photographs, and even with Parkinson's disease which meant he had to sell his 5x4 camera, and found his Rollei SL66 too big to use, still took photographs with whatever lightweight device came to hand.
R.I.P Malcolm.

And the other sad note alluded to above is that I discovered Ilford had discontinued Galerie - the best fibre paper ever made. I can understand the financial aspect, but all the same it was gutting.
Luckily I still have a box of 100 sheets of 8x10" Grade 2. 
To be used wisely methinks!


OK, it's a run-off from another holiday at the end of October/start of Novemember, but the main photographic thing I did was detailed in The Crunge

There was another film taken at the end of the month though, but I am just not sure what I feel about the images - they were pretty rough and quickly taken AND I haven't contacted or printed any of them yet  . . .

This being said, despite having had a wee break from thinking about cameras and photography, I can feel it building again.


Well, that's where we are now and as this is being published, we've hit the Solstice and are on the up-ramp to lighter nights - WOOHOO!!.
Anyway, I'll wind this ramble up - if you have time off lined up . . what are you waiting for? Get out there and take some photographs - you know it's good for you!
And remember, it doesn't matter if nobody looks at your photos, so long as you are enjoying them and learning something and training your eye all at the same time, that's all that counts.

Misty Night In The Garden

And The Same Scene Reversed

The above illustrates my old adage about taking a picture of a scene or whatever and then turning round - the scene behind can often be as interesting.

Anyway, on the whole, don't you think that photography has become pretty much meaningless in today's world?

That's why we need to start thinking about it differently.

Thinking about why we do it and what (if) any purpose there is to it.
It does seem like a mug's game; an expensive (and getting more expensiver) game that only means something to you, the photographer.
Actually, just reading that again, I wonder what really is the point in it?
I mean (and not to piss on your chips or anything) actually, is there any point? 
Is it just an amusement to while away the hours till death? 
What does anything mean to anyone outwith your social circle anyway?

I suppose, just like any creative pursuit, it is almost impossible to quantify.
We do it because we want to, because it gives us pleasure, and hope; twisted narcissism and satisfaction!
So, far from going all nihilistic on you, I'll just say, if you enjoy it, DO IT.
Hang the expense and hang the pain in the neck when things go wrong - and with printing and taking they often can do!

Talking of which (finally) welcome to The Hairiest Print In The World (Retouched).

Have You Finished Yet, Y'Old Git?

I found this whilst rummaging and love the imagery - Alec Turnips was all knackered after a long walk, and was patient (just about) enough to let me take his picture.
It was made with the old Rollei T at f3.5 and just shows what an incredible lens a Zeiss Tessar is.
I've retouched it a bit on the Mac but it really is an incredibly hairy print, made a long time ago when I was farting around with anti-static brushes on negatives.
The bloody thing (and it was a really good one) deposited more dust than it removed. These days, using the Astrid Ioniser as my baseline, I find a scissor wipe with my first and second finger removes pretty much everything.

Anyway, that's enough - you're knackered and need a break too.

I'll leave the final words to Mr. DH Lawrence. A man who knew a bit about writing.
I've known this poem since buying Mott The Hoople's Mott album in 1973 - he got it right:

A Sane Revolution

If you make a revolution, make it for fun,
don’t make it in ghastly seriousness,
don’t do it in deadly earnest,
do it for fun.

Don’t do it because you hate people,
do it just to spit in their eye.

Don’t do it for the money,
do it and be damned to the money.

Don’t do it for equality,
do it because we’ve got too much equality
and it would be fun to upset the apple-cart
and see which way the apples would go a-rolling.

Don’t do it for the working classes.
Do it so that we can all of us be little aristocracies on our own
and kick our heels like jolly escaped asses.

Don’t do it, anyhow, for international Labour.
Labour is the one thing a man has had too much of.
Let’s abolish labour, let’s have done with labouring!
Work can be fun, and men can enjoy it; then it’s not labour.
Let’s have it so! Let’s make a revolution for fun!

And on that note, thanks for making it this far. Have a fantastic Christmas and a positive, happy and  totally creative New Year.
TTFN, and remember sprouts are supposed to be eaten, not hidden under a rug, in a plant pot or in someone else's pockets . . .

Tot quot, clot!

Saturday, December 07, 2019

The Crunge

In which our hapless photographer discovers that the world is awash with other people!

Maybe some of you will get the title, but not necessarily so, anyway, to quote Robot Planet and The Crunge (on Houses Of The Holy, if you're interested):

Ah, excuse me
Oh, will ya excuse me
I'm just trying to find the bridge

Has anybody seen the bridge?

Have you seen the bridge?
I ain't seen the bridge!
Where's that confounded bridge?

And yes, he's paraphrasing the mighty JB (James Brown) on "Sex Machine":

Bobby! Should I take 'em to the bridge? (Go ahead!)

Take 'em on to the bridge! (Take em to the bridge!)

Can I take 'em to the bridge? (Yeah!)

Take 'em to the bridge? (Go ahead!)
Hit me now!


No James Browns' Were Hurt In The Making Of This Enlargement

The Above, But BIGGER

So how does that relate to anything you're even remotely interested?
I've no idea, but what I will say, is that although the bridge was there, trying to get a point where I could photograph uninterrupted (oh how fecking selfish of me!) was damn nigh impossible . . .

Well, not damn nigh impossible, just not fun, but more of that in a minute, because before I get there, how's this for an incendiary statement.

"Liking" anything on any Social Media or 'Review' website (like Trip Advisor) means you'll never be able to enjoy it again.

To paraphrase (seeing as we're fond of that this morning) Heraclitus (again, I've done it before in FB):

No tourist can Like the same place twice, for it will NEVER be the same place again and they'll be unable to push through the hordes.

Or, more scholarly examples (© Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):

"The established scholarly method is to try to verify Plato’s interpretation by looking at Heraclitus’ own words, if possible. There are three alleged “river fragments”:

B12. potamoisi toisin autoisin embainousin hetera kai hetera hudata epirrei.
On those stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters flow. (Cleanthes from Arius Didymus from Eusebius) 

B49a. potamois tois autois … 
Into the same rivers we step and do not step, we are and are not. (Heraclitus Homericus) 

B91[a]. potamôi … tôi autôi …
It is not possible to step twice into the same river according to Heraclitus, or to come into contact twice with a mortal being in the same state. (Plutarch)"

See what I mean - he got it right!

Oh yes, it's quite a statement, and loosely runs alongside the modern paraphrasing lines of:

"Ah, I remember the days when you could go to (Place X or wherever) and not meet a soul. But look at it now!"

Y'see, like a lumbering behemoth, if you see somewhere beautiful looking online (take for example The Fairy Pools, on the Isle Of Skye, that being a neat and incredible example) - maybe it's been "Liked" or Reviewed - you can guarantee that there will be at least 15 coaches, 75 cars, 2 million dogs, 15 push chairs with squaling tots and a thousand shades of velcro and solid outdoor gear tramping over every square inch in the queue in front of you.

Gone are the days when such places were visited by manageable hordes. OK, a horde is a horde and let's face it, pilgrimages and visiting have been going on since Ug told Ugh about a Mammoth Graveyard over in the next valley.
It's part of your makeup to want to go and see and experience something new . . or at least it should be.

But nowadays, like most everything else, it's become over-subscribed. Global tourism is a massive thing - fer feck's sake I even see tourists taking selfies outside Dundee's wonderful City Centre pubs!
I wonder if they're all Jackie Leven fans?
He wrote a song called The Bars Of Dundee . . apparently after being taken in like a waif and stray by the city centre regulars.
This being said, my down-to-earth missus says people take selfies everywhere and at all times and she's right.

Anyway, I digress as usual . . crowds everywhere, yes, and along with the hordes, something new - well I say new, but in reality it's been going on for 10 years, but seems to be getting worser.
Know what it is yet?
Well, as far as I can see, it's a need to validate your life.
You, yes that's YOU, have to PROVE that you're ALIVE
You prove it by photographing yourself and documenting every single little thing and posting it online.
And why?
Well, it proves to others that you are learned, wordly-wise and not afraid of taking a few chances:

Phwah, we nearly missed that Audi in that car park didn't we? 
Phwah, yeah, that was a close one. 

It says that you have been places and are going places, because in going places, one says, I have x-expendable moolah to expend on what I like.
I am interesting!
I will expand my brain and go somewhere and other people will find me interesting too!

Y'know, in the Vatican Museum, I saw a bloke who would, at other times possibly be considered mentally ill - he was basically photographing every single thing, from his family, to coving on ceilings, to objects, to fire extinguishers, to well . . you get the idea . . everything.

Even I, as someone who enjoys taking a snap or two, was non-plussed. Was there any point? Did he really think he'd forget things?
Well he probably would, but I can't quite imagine, ten years down the line, him saying to his partner:

"Remember this cracking bit of coving in the Vatican?"

And I can't understand that, I really can't.
But it has become the norm.

The uptake of travel is part and parcel of modern life.
It's enjoyable, mind-blowing, tiring, wonderful, ecstatic, life-enhancing . . so what right have I to pontificate about anything?
Well, I think what my comment is really about is that, in today's world, it is completely and utterly overblown.
The assault is relentless and at all times of year too.

Bruce (of The Online Darkroom . . yes he IS still alive) reckons that he'd like to do the North Coast 500 (NC 500) in Winter when it is quieter, but then again Bruce, so do a billion other people - everyone weighs it up:

"What d'y reckon .  . Winter? It'll be quieter then." 
"Yeah, that sounds good to me"

And the next thing you know is that you're stuck behind 30 cars, who are also stuck behind a jackknifed coach on a single track A-Road in a Scottish Highland Winter!
There's simply no let up.

And how does this relate then you old twat? 
C'mon then, we're bored rigid!

OK, so there we were, me and t'missus, with a day off and no rain predicted . . so we thought we'd go somewhere we hadn't been in about 15 years . . The Hermitage at Dunkeld. 
Oh dang - there goes the parking . . . .

It's a woodland walk past some of the tallest trees in the country, along the River Braan, with a nice 18th century folly perched over a spectacular gorge. 
It's a hell of a beautiful place
Nature owns it and impresses with her power and peace.

The times we'd been in the past, there were other people, but to be frank, not many, and so we thought, a nice Tuesday morning at the arse end of October, it'll be deserted(ish), job's a good'un.
How wrong we were

Film #66/61

29/10/19 - The Hermitage

Delta 400 - EI 200

1./ 1/60th f8 ZIII - Ali
2./ 1/30th f8 ZIII - Bridge
3./ 1/30th f8 ZIII - Bridge
4./ 1/30th f8 ZIII - Viewpoint Under Bridge
5./ 1/30th f8 ZIII - Bridge/Vegetation
6./ 1/8th f8 ZIII - Bridge
7./ 1/30th f4.5 ZIII - Selfies
8./ 1/15th f8 ZIII - Ali
9./ 1/8th f5.6 ZIII - Ossian's Hall
10./ ? - Possibly Same As The Last One
11./ 1/2 Sec f4.5 ZIII - Ossian's Hall
12./ 1/15th f8 ZIII - Viewpoint

Hasselblad SWC/M - took the TTT and cable release, but never used them - the world's most sophiticated point and shoot!
PHD - new 22℃  - usual to 15mins - stand to 17 mins. Just about perfect - great tonal qualities.

Where I expected to be able to photograph quietly and in an un-stressed and un-bothered way, I was jostled, followed, stared at and generally put off. It was lovely, but also terrible. The place was wonderful, but just too many people. Maybe I should go at dusk on a January's evening . . .

Anyway, the film above was executed in double-quick time - you can tell can't you.

This being said, strangely I think the SW would make a good reportage camera, albeit a bit big, simply because you can get it really super-close with no distortion . . .  but that's another story.

One (More) Man And His Dog

This bloke and his dog just wouldn't move - he was there well before we got there (you could see him on the approach) and he was there after we'd left. In other words he gave photographers a bad name by hanging around like a fart in a lift, but that's the digital democracy - it's made all those mad, impressive, cliched smoky water pics easy as piss to take by anyone with a camera and a tripod. 
They were easy before too tbh, but not many people had seem them outwith the work of Wynn Bullock and John Blakemore . . .

Man With Dog Becomes A Nuisance

He's still there!
This was a small mob of dog walkers - all those yappers were flying about, nipping heels and crapping everywhere - well, I exagerate - they were mostly well behaved, but there weren't half a lot of them, along with shouts of:
"King, c'mere" 
"Fido, wtf are you doing you stupid dog?" 
etc etc.

S'cuse Me Mate, Is That Your Dog?

Yep, STILL THERE and hogging the whole of the balcony - hope he got something interesting to look at.

Is This Far Enough Away?

This gives you an idea of the sheer difficulty of using a SW - see my arm in the centre of the photo? I was holding the camera! My intention was to get just half faces filling the edge of the frame, but nope - you'd probably need to have it about 6 inches from your face for that and even then . . . 
The out of focusness of me and t'missus was deliberate - I was thinking fun a la Lee Friedlander.

Where's Me Reindeer?

I rather like this one - it's not scanned well,  but the light on the print is really lovely. The whole gorge was in shadow apart from a wee bit of sun shining through. My missus looks like she's just emerged from a Laavu (no, not a Lavi - a Laavu is a Finnish shelter).
I had no idea she looked so Scandinavian before.

Hanging Around Like A Fart In A Lift

AND HE IS STILL THERE. You can see him. Might be a bit difficult but I suppose that's the problem with using a super wide lens for landscape - everyfink is a loong way away.
Check the chumps on the bridge - bloody millions of them.

But Closer

I had to do a wee sectional enlargement just so you could see. 
This was WAVE 3!

Where's That Confounded Bridge?

I've taken a better picture from this viewpoint before, using a 6x9 Agfa box camera and Ilford SFX  (those were the days when you didn't need to sell your body-parts to buy it!).
Anyway, no sooner had I emerged from the undergrowth (you need to scout through some wild stuff to get to it) than some fecking uncouth twat with a digicam and 300,000,000mm lens, pushed past me with his partner in crime, saying 
Honest, it was enough to make me spit.

But that's just me.

Anyway, that's it - all of the above were scanned off of Ilford MGRC, Grade 3 - easy to print as always from Pyrocat negatives. The film was some nearly out of date Delta 400 - possibly the last time I'll use it - I love it, but HP5 is cheaper.

And that brings this to an end - I'll maybe have another yearly round-up to publish at the end of the month and that's another year under the bridge - amazing where it all went!

Till then, take care, and remember to help someone this season - you never know when they might help you.