A dedicated photographer of the environment, weather, landscape and its inhabitants, Simon has assembled a collection of awe-inspiring images for this exhibition. Many in colour, but a number in black & white - a medium which suits Simon’s love of the dramatic in photography.
Starting from these photographs, Simon has produced linocuts and woodcuts as well as sculptures in wood. Each of these inspired by what he has seen on his many walks in the region and beyond.
Large prints of the photographs help convey the feeling of being in the pictures, many of these in a wide, panoramic format.
Alongside prints and cards all work is for sale.
Tempted by the low price I have some 10-year-old Kodabrome photographic paper to try as paper negative in my large format 10×8 1900s field camera.
I bought some IlFord Bromophen developer (as powder makes 5 litres diluting 1:3 for use) to process it.
Initial results show that is “fast” as its technical description says – at least ISO12 as compared to 6 for ilford multigrade RC paper.
The initial images show a much softer tonal gradation compared to the ilford paper and no pre-flashing is needed. Whether this is because if the age of the paper or its chemistry I don’t know – but I love it!
I have only tried the paper in the studio under studio fluorescent lights. It will be interesting to see how it behaves in natural light and natural light outdoors.
With the arrival of a sturdy period tripod (Gandolfi) I had much more success photographing in Bristol around the Cumberland Basin today. With light leaks in the film holders I am using the focussing cloth to cover the camera whilst taking the shots. This is heavy – hence the need for a strong tripod. Also the tripod makes taking macro shots better – as the extended bellows are harder to balance on a single ordinary tripod.
I made use of a graduated neutral density filter to tone down the brightness of the clouds. The clouds look very pleasing in this set of images, but the darker elements are underexposed. (exposure: F45 – Iso 6 – 8 seconds). I have ordered a darker (1.2 stop) GND filter to help balance the exposure of the brighter skies with the landscape/cityscape.
From my previous post it will be clear there was a serious light leak problem with my 10×8 1909 bellows field camera. Investigations in a dark room with an led torch inside the camera did show a few pinhole leaks in the corners of the bellows but nothing serious. A potentially more serious leak arose from a loose clip holding the back of the camera on, but after securing this further testing with a paper negative loaded in the camera, showed there was still a problem – it must be coming from the film holders and gaps around the sliding covers. A temporary solution has been to cover the whole back of the camera with the black focussing cloth whilst exposing the negative. Doing this I came back from my trip to Bristol’s Brunel heritage sites with 4 good-ish negatives ( no leaks).
The image of the SS Great Britain was blurred as my tripod head is just not able to cope with the added weight of the focussing cloth on the back of camera. I am now waiting for delivery of a vintage wooden Gandolfi tripod which should be good for the job – I’ll report back on that….
(Image below of 10×8 on location and digitally produced positive image of the paper negative produced.)
Saturday – A trip to Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot museum with the 10×8 and 4 negatives to shoot – sadly 3 big shadows on the images.
I ran a test on another fresh negative at home on Sunday morning and then went to Clevedon Pier as the day was grey and overcast – low contrast lighting which I was waiting for and 3 out of four shots here too with dark shadows.
I put a battery LED lamp inside the camera in the darkroom and went through the motions of adding the slide carrier, exposing the negative and replacing the dark slide to see if any light leaked out. On the second attempt yes – a light leak from the top of the camera as I was moving the dark slide. This was because one of the flimsy catches holding the camera back in place had slipped undone – something I noticed had happened at the pier, so I am pretty sure that is the source of the leak. I have added a strip of black felt along the top of the back of the camera body to help make a tighter seal and hopefully make the catches engaged more firmly. – So we try again tomorrow.
Here is the one more successful image of Lacock and Fox Talbot’s window.
Successful experiment to to use 100 yr old field camera as the enlarger for the 5×7 negatives taken with it. Key breakthrough was using a kindle then an ipad as the uniform light source. Now I can make 10×8 prints instead of just contact prints from these negatives (x-ray film). Initial horizontal test to establish distance needed (40cm) then tripod mounted. Just the light leaks to seal and we are good to go.
Today I took the 100 year old large format (10×8) camera to Wales – waterfall country. Recent heavy rains meant a good flow of water over the falls.
I took 4 pieces of pre-flashed photo paper in the two dark slides plus some spare paper and my black-out changing bag. Today I would see if it was feasible to change the sheets “in the field”, having practiced at home in the darkroom – it did work , so I’ll definitely use the method again.
4 reasonably successful images of the first set of falls – I was exposing for mid grey – but the brightness of the water is blown out – so next time I’ll try underexposing and then leave the paper in the developer longer to bring out detail in the shadows – I think that’s how it works!? Exposure times of 4 -13s at F11-22 ISO 6.
The second waterfall site I visited – Henrhyd Falls was much more challenging as there was a lot of spray being blown off the falls. Also the tripod head wasn’t stable and kept moving so only one picture here. (4 seconds at F16 ISO 6)
All images here are scans of the original paper negatives which have been made positive in Lightroom.