It was a few months ago a friend and fellow photographer Andrew Bartram of https://andrewbartram.wordpress.com/ just so happened to be working up North and had a morning free to spend roaming around my local fell with a camera and me as his guide. We both share a love of old sheds and barns and were soon absorbed by the numerous chicken shacks and pigeon crees which are scattered across the moor. I was drawn to one shed in particular, the dull overcast weather seemed to lend a sombre mood to it making it’s dirty old white window frames glimmer against its tarred blackened wood.
It took me a while to get round to processing my negatives, in the end I decided to develop them in Caffenol CL the low sodium low stand recipe from the Caffenol Bible which work very well with the Fomapan Classic 100 5×4 film I tend to use. The results seemed worthy enough to print with the last few sheets of my expired Kodak Bromide Grade 2 paper, but I think it may be a negative I will return to.
Many of you may not know but photography is not my only passion, I have another which has sometimes kept me away from the darkroom when I should have been working and sometimes away from my bed when I should have been sleeping, and that is the gentle art of fishing. So I was over the moon when I was given the opportunity to combine my two passions and create an article for the wonderful fishing journal Fallon’s Angler. I had a fantastic time exploring some of my favourite rivers with my 5×4 camera and a fishing rod while trying to capture some of the essence of being on the bankside and fond memories of fishing with my grandfather.
If you want to find out more and maybe purchase a copy to read for yourself please follow this link
Last week I had some fantastic news that one of my liquid silver emulsion pictures “Dwarfie Stane, Hoy” had been accepted to be part of the ACTINIC Festival show in Edinburgh this summer!!
Dwarfie Stane, Hoy. 100x75cm liquid emulsion on water colour paper.
I originally took the picture back in August 2013 when Helen, Alice and me travelled to the far north for a holiday on the isles of Orkney, and when I heard about this competition out of the four photographs I submitted it was this one I hoped they would pick! The exhibition will take place in July and has been organised by a fantastic group called Alt-Photo Scotland who dedicated to connecting and promoting alternative photography in Scotland and beyond so it really is a great honor to be chosen to display my work amongst some of the best in the world! More information about dates etc to follow!!
Yad Moss to Cow Green, 6X9 Schnieder Rolflex with HP5+ in Caffenol CL
Well autumn has finally arrived and the moorlands of the North Pennines are calling me. With an exciting new commission which has recently come in from Gallerina and some amazing new places to explore over the coming month I can’t wait to lose myself in the bleak fells of the Durham Moors!!
Just a quick post this time. A few weeks ago me and my girlfriend were woken up by an almighty bang!! It was 2 o clock in the morning and the large wood book-case that I thought was safely fixed to the wall, had decided to give in to gravity and collapse onto our bed just missing us both as we slept. Next morning me and Helen set about putting the book-case back up (this time with much bigger screws and lots of them) and tidying up all the books which had been scattered across the bedroom floor, in the midst of all this destruction I found a roll of exposed 120 film? I’m not the most organised of people, and like usual I hadn’t bothered to write anything on the film to tell me what it had been used for so I hadn’t a clue what it contained, so I decided the only way to figure out what was on it was to develop it. I had a couple of other films to process so I added the extra film into the mix. And I was so pleased I did!!
Tern, Inner Farne, Northumberland.
Rolleicord TLR, Fomapan 400 in Caffenol CL for 70mins.
For ages I had been wondering where one of the films from our holiday to Northumberland had gone. Though we had a superb time it hadn’t been the most successful in regards to photography. Everything from my old MPP 5×4 bellows leaking light to a sticky shutter on my Rolleicord, but every time I looked through the negs there was something missing? Some shots I swore I had taken but couldn’t find them, and here they where! Printing this photo really brought back a lots of great memories of a wonderful trip!!
Sorry for the lack of recent activity on my blog. I’m pleased to say I haven’t just been setting here idly waiting for the autumn leaves to change before I took any new photographs, I have in fact been on a trip to distant lands. At the beginning of August I was lucky to take my family all the way across the sea to the Isles of Orkney. This dramatic group of islands lie off the northern most point of Scotland and are steeped in history, so much so the islanders say “if you cut the surface of the land, it will bleed archaeology!” Everywhere you look you can see the remnants of its past, from standing stones and ancient burial tombs all the way through time to the ship wrecks and coastal defences of the Second World War. Its incredible to be in such a landscape with so many layers of history, some hidden just beneath the surface while others like the Ring Of Brodgar which even after 4000 years still dominate the landscape! It was a magical trip and even better because I was able to share it with my family.
Dwarfie Stane, Isle of Hoy.
Block Ship, Scapa Flow.
The Birsay Whale, Orkney Mainland.
Waiting for the return, Birsay.
The lonely Grave of Betty Corrigall, Hoy.
Cotton Grass, Ring Of Brodgar, Orkney Mainland.
Because this was a family holiday when it came to my camera gear I needed to travel as light as possible. I wanted to keep in simple so packed my Shen-Hoa TFC45 IIB Field Camera, a couple of lenses including my much-loved 90mm Schneider Angulon (which to be honest was the only lens I used the whole trip) and a good old reliable Schneider Solida II 6×6 folder. The 5×4 darkslides were loaded with Fomapan 100, and for role film I took Kodak TriX 400. When we got home and it came to developing the films I decided to try something a bit different. Over the last few months I’ve been researching about the incredible potential of instant coffee and black and white film i.e Caffenol, more about that to come!!