Sep 172014

Ridgewalk Moor, Derwent Woodland

I have a love/hate relationship with my Zeiss Nettar. It doesn’t seem to hold the film tightly enough, which means that you get lose reels when unloading the film, ofter resulting in light leaks, and one corner of the image is slightly softer as the film isn’t held flat. On the plus side, it’s small enough to just about fit into the back pocket of my jeans and only cost £20.

Lower Small Clough Shooting HutLow Cloud on Ridgewalk Moor

Sep 022014

When Lomography announced their LomoChrome Purple film in early 2013 I was pretty excited – so excited in fact that I preordered 10 rolls (5×120, 5x35mm) even though it wasn’t due to ship for 6 months or so. Why? Well this film was an attempt to mimic the look of the now no longer produced Kodak Aerochome Colour Infrared film that I’d always wanted to try but had been scared off by the prices on ebay.

Does it look like Aerochome? Well, no. It seems to be styled on a particular Aerochome look, similar to Richard Mosse’s images from the battlefields of the Democratic Republic of Congo – in fact those images seemed to be the ones most used in early articles about what LomoChrome Purple might look like (and with good reason as they are fantastic).

Is it good value for money? No. At the time of writing this film is almost £10 a roll. I know the people at Lomo need a good thick layer of gold plating on their Rolls Royce’s but even for them that is quite a price.

Have I learnt anything from using this film? Green is infinitely more pleasing than purple.

I do quite like the film – I’d like it more if it were cheaper – but for me the purples are too dark and indistinct (certainly when shooting at the ISO400 rating). If anything, foliage looks less interesting with this film than normal colour film, which for me is something of an epic fail for a film pretending to be an infrared film.

Will I be buying more? Perhaps. I sold 5 of the 10 rolls that I originally purchased to people who wanted to try it but didn’t want to buy the 5 packs that were on offer at the time. I’ve not heard any of these people singing the films praises yet, but it is fun and it might be entertaining every now and again.

BelowA couple of images taken with LomoChrome Purple at Warwick Castle using an Olympus XA2.

LomoChrome Purple, Warwick Castle

LomoChrome Purple, Warwick Castle

 Posted by at 6:07 pm
Aug 252014

I was surprised to see that it was already four years since I did the Crinkle Crags/Bowfell walk in the Lake District (The old blog post can be found here). I didn’t do a great deal of walking for about a year after that as I damaged my right knee – Crinkle Crags and Bowfell both feature quite difficult, rocky, terrain and the constant jarring was obviously too much for my unaccustomed knees, probably not helped by the heavy backpack.

I should just have packed the infrared converted camera this time and left the other at home, but there is always a nagging feeling that I’ll need both.

Mottled sunlight on Black Wars, Lake District, 590nm Infrared

Rocks at Brown Howe, Lake District, 590nm Infrared

I’ve returned to this valley so many times – camping at the Great Langdale National Trust campsite a couple of times as a teenager, taking the kids on the walk up to Stickle Ghyll every time we are in The Lake District. Driving down the ever narrowing roads from Ambleside, or dropping in via Hardknott and Wrynose, always feels so familiar and welcoming.

If you do stay at the Great Langdale campsite, remember not to stop in The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel Hikers’ Bar until 11pm, flush with the success of your walking endeavours and fortified with many of their various wonderous ales. If you do stay out late, remember to tip-toe back and conduct all post 11pm discussion via the medium of mime.

Aug 142014

Montparnasse Cemetery hadn’t really been on our list of places to visit in Paris, but when we got to the Catacombs far too late on a Sunday (which I suspect is the busiest day) and overheard someone say that the queueing time was about 3hrs we decided to walk the short distance to Montparnasse Cemetery and leave the Catacombs visit for another year.

We had planned to (and did) visit Père Lachaise Cemetery on the Sunday afternoon and whilst Père Lachaise is perhaps more iconic and visually interesting, Montparnasse seemed to have more in the way of infrared photo material. That, however, could just have been because it was occasionally sunny when these pictures were taken but stormy by the time we made it to Père Lachaise, after an extended child grumblefest about what would be acceptable for lunch.

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, 590nm Infrared

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, 590nm InfraredMontparnasse Cemetery, Paris, 590nm Infrared

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, 590nm InfraredMontparnasse Cemetery, Paris, 590nm Infrared

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, 590nm Infrared

Aug 132014

B-29 Superfortress, Bleaklow, 590nm Infrared

B-29 Superfortress, Bleaklow, 590nm InfraredB-29 Superfortress, Bleaklow, 590nm Infrared

B-29 Superfortress, Bleaklow, 590nm InfraredB-29 Superfortress, Bleaklow, 590nm Infrared

B-29 Superfortress, Bleaklow, 590nm Infrared

My previous visit to this crash site had been part of a longer walk – up Ashton Clough, past the Hern Stones and on to Bleaklow Head, then back to the wreckage for dusk. We walked back in the dark and because of this (and my general ignorance) I hadn’t realised just how easy to reach this site was.

This time we parked on Snake Pass, where the Pennine Way crosses it, and walked north on the Pennine Way until we saw a rock on the ground that someone had kindly drawn a crude representation of an aircraft on, along with an arrow pointing west. With Bleaklow not being the sort of place to wander blindly I’d got a map, compass, GPS and a bloody good idea of where we were headed but this marker took the guess work out of when to leave the path. We headed down into the valley, across the many scars in the landscape cut into the soft peat by rainwater, then back up the other side towards Higher Shelf Stones, where we found the wreckage not far from the summit.

Aug 082014

Temple de la Sibylle, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Infrared

Temple de la Sibylle Reflection, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

A sweltering hot, cloudless day – the perfect time to drag the kids to see the Temple de la Sibylle in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, a public park situated in northeast of Paris. The threatened revolt was quelled with fancy continental flavoured Calippo, sitting in the shade by the lake.

Aug 072014

Wells-next-the-Sea, Sand Dunes and Pine Trees

Wells-next-the-Sea, Sand Dunes, 590nm InfraredWells-next-the-Sea, Sand Dunes, 590nm Infrared

Wells-next-the-Sea, Beach Huts

As part of an ongoing “thing” (I can’t use the word “project”, it makes me shudder) I’m attempting to take my 590nm IR converted camera everywhere that I would normally take a camera. Last year I tried to take a film camera everywhere instead of my main camera, this year I always pack the infrared camera before anything else.

When I chose the 590nm conversion I wasn’t really prepared for how the images would look – they are a lot brighter and lacking in contrast compared to the previous filter I was using (650nm) and they often don’t make for good black & white conversions so, initially reluctantly, I’ve been keeping them in colour but processing them in such a way that gives me a palette of colours that I’m more comfortable with.

This set of images was from a weekend trip to Wells-next-the-Sea – an almost yearly event since the kids were tiny. The sun and rain took it in turns, allowing us to both get sunburnt and cram into a tiny beach tent to avoid a heavy rain shower.

Wells really is the perfect English seaside town – at low tide the beach stretches for miles and there are sand dunes, which everybody knows are de rigueur for a good beach. It has proper English seaside things like chip shops and amusement arcades but on Staithe St it also has what must be the perfect variety of shops (there are no record shops, but then it’s not 1980s anymore).

Prints, posters and cards of selected images are available from photo4me

Jul 312014

I always feel a bit guilty whenever I take pictures of these statues – it’s hardly the most original thing to photograph locally but it’s within cycling distance at lunchtime and when I’ve got a new camera to play with I have to admit that originality isn’t high on the agenda (not that it is the rest of the time either).

The camera in question wasn’t strictly a new camera, but a 590nm infrared conversion of an old camera, carried out by Protech Photographic.

The 590nm filter is mainly used to create “false colour” images – red and blue channels are swapped in Photoshop which results in the red/pink tone of the sky becoming blue, leaving the rest of the image looking somewhat surreal.

Whatever these statues are made from reflects a lot of IR light, leaving them bright white rather than the mucky grey/cream/yellow colour that they appear in normal light. I think they look a lot more striking like this, especially surrounded by the mid-blue of the rest of the image.

An infrared image of the statues on King Lear's Lake, Watermead Park

An infrared image of the statues on King Lear's Lake, Watermead Park

Two false colour 590nm infrared images of the statues on King Lear’s Lake at Watermead Park, Birstall.