Well my car is at the garage having it’s breaks serviced, and I’m stuck at home twiddling my thumbs till it’s ready. I got a couple of jobs on my list done, including ordering some more film for a trip to Ilkley Moor on Monday, so after having completed all these taxing tasks I decided to reward myself with a cup of tea and a biscuit and to make a new post on the blog.
One of my Christmas presents my parents bought me was a fantastic book written by Hugh Marwick. It was published in 1951 for County Books about Orkney, it’s a kind of travel guide come history book illustrated with maps and old photographs. It got me reminiscing about our fantastic holiday we had there this summer, and it brought back memories of the wet and windy day me, Helen and Alice decided to get the ferry to the Isle of Hoy and visit the lonely grave of Betty Corrigall and an ancient stone cut tomb called the Dwarfie Stane. The ferry boat we boarded at Houton was small and open to elements, and while Helen and Alice sheltered from the weather in the car I decided to film our progress across Scapa Flow with my 35mm Lomokino.
I always feel that music can really make a difference to the feel of a film, and I was really lucky that my friend Patrick who lives a few doors down the road from me (who also has a soft spot for wild places and many fond memories of Orkney) happens to be very good at composing some really creative music. Thankfully it didn’t take much arm twisting for him to create this incredible sound track for my little film.
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!!