Film Friday – Steep Hill Tea

Leica M4 35 Summicron, Fuji Superia - Time for Tea
Leica M4 35 Summicron, Fuji Superia – Time for Tea

Its been far too long since we had a film Friday, but this week I finally got round to having a couple of rolls developed that I shot with my M4.

This is part of a long term book project I am working on documenting the area around Lincoln Bailgate.


Well after the power cut at my home village earlier in the week giving me lots of fun with Lightroom, we had another bigger power cut this evening taking out a lot of Lincoln and the surrounding area.

Film Scans in LR4
Film Scans in LR4

It made me think about our modern reliance on power and so tonight I packed my Hasselblad bag with some medium format film and am going to try and shoot some film for the next few days.

The down side is that I will not be able to share the images, well at least not for a few months with you on this site as it takes me a while to finish a roll of film, get it developed and scanned and published.

So i’ll also take my Leica M8 for some fun shots.

Film Friday – Antiques

Shopping for Antiques
Shopping for Antiques

I have shared this one before with you before as a photograph of the month, but I thought I would share a little more information about this shot.

Technically it is very simple, I think it was shot at 1/60 at about f/8 on a Leica M4 with a Leica 35mm Summicron.  The film was Ilford HP5 Plus and was developed in Kodak X-Tol developer.  Its been many years since I last had my own dark room so I now send out my films and have then developed and scanned for me.

I see a time in the future that I may have to go back to doing this again myself as less and less labs are around to deal with film, particularly Black & White and none 35mm film such as 120 and 5 x 4 film which I also shoot.  Lets hope its a long time before that happens.

This is a local antiques shop near to the Bailgate in uphill Lincoln, I find it a interesting view point.  So I setup opposite and waited for interesting people or interesting compositions to occur.  Up hill Lincoln is a great area for photography and an area I return to about once a month.

Film Friday – Bicycles


Its been a while but here is another film image.  Taken on a walk down Brayford Wharf in Lincoln one lunch time.  This was shot on my old Leica M4 with a 35mm Summicron on HP5 Film.

Its part of a project I have been working on for a number years now but I thought I would share this one with you.

Film Friday – Old and New

Kings Cross, Leica M4, Film HP5Plus
Kings Cross, Leica M4, Film HP5Plus

While travelling back to Lincolnshire from London, I had a while to wait in Kings Cross Railway Station.  Its a very curious mix of old and Architecture and has a number of photographic opportunities.  Since I took this photo I have seen a few by another Leica Shooter on the DPReviews called Michael Toye.  You can see more on his flicker Gallery here:  Much better then mine I think you would agree.

My shot here was shot on my Leica M4, with a Leica 35mm Summicron, on Ilford HP5 Plus developed in Kodak X-Tol developer.

Film Friday – Testing Film – Ilford HP5 Plus

Medium Format 120 Ilford HP5 Plus.

Its been a few years since I shot much Black & White film. About twenty years I had a two year period where I shot nothing but Black & White, developing and printing it myself, but apart from a few rolls of medium format film in the last couple of years shot on my Hasselblad, I have not shot any.  Most of my Black & White has been either digital or Colour film converted to Black & White.

During the summer I tested some Ilford HP5 Plus on the Hasselblad in quite bright and contrasty conditions, I was very impressed with how it handled the dynamic range.

The last couple of weeks I have been trying out some Ilford HP5 in my Leica M4.

Its generally rated at 100ISO but you can go much higher, its a bit grainer then some people would like but even in these duller shots its handled itself quite well.  When the sun came out and the contrast increased it certainly looked better. A Black & White film for those high contrast days I suspect.

When shooting people with the Leica, I used zone focusing in the shots above, which meant setting the aperture to f/8 to give me enough depth of field, this meant on occasion the shutter speed was a little low resulting in blurred movement, in this shots they still work but it is something I need to be more aware of.  If I was shooting with my DSLR’s (Nikon D200) or my CSC (Nikon System One V1), I would just ramp up the ISO to give me a faster shutter speed, but with film or a camera with poor high ISO capability, that is something you cannot do.


Film Friday – Large Format Testing – Lincoln Cathedral

Post dated post – 21st July 2012

Last July I spent some time at Lincoln Cathedral, doing some large format testing.  I still have some difficulty visualising the field of view from my 5 x 4 camera.  Practice is what I need so I went out to capture a few shots.

Ebony 45s, Fuji Provia 100, 150mm Nikkor f/5.6, ex f/25 1/4 second

My first shot was of a door, I have a long term project shooting doors and windows, and this will join this.  The high-lights were metered at EVA 12.4, the darkest shadows at 10.5, this gave me an average of 11.6EV.  So I set the lens to f/22 with a shutter speed of 1/4 second.

Inspecting the film with a lupe, the level of detail is simply amazing, yes medium format digital or a 35mm digital stitch on say a Nikon D800 could also produce this level for detail, but there is a simple joy in using the Large Format Ebony that makes the whole shoot an event to enjoy.

There are some wonderful features and details to Lincoln Cathedral and i’ll certainly be going back again to shoot large format again there.

Film Friday – Sunrise on Lewis

Over the last few years we have been slowly visiting each of the main habitable islands that make up the British Isle’s and photographing them.

Last year we visited the Isle of Skye again (one of our favourite Islands) but also spent a week exploring the Isle of Lewis and Harris.

When shooting film, sometimes you are very pleased with the results, other times less so.  I find whether shooting digital or film, its often worth revisiting a photograph months later, when the emotional side of taking the photograph can no longer influence you.

Sometimes you want to like a photograph because of the effort it took to take it.  The above shots are a little like this.

There was quite an effort to get down to the coast and setup for 4:30 in the morning to be ready for the dawn.  When the results came back I was a little disappointed, all that effort for not a very good result.

I reviewed these shots again, and this time I liked them.

Its interesting what time can do to your opinions on photography and on life.


Holiday on Isle of Lewis.

Film Friday: Testing the Leica M4 & Leica 35mm Summicron f/2

Its another film Friday!

Leica 35mm Summicron wide open
Leica 35mm Summicron wide open

Now that I finally have a Leica M camera, it was time to see what the lens could do.  They say that Leica M lens control the light well, even shooting into direct sunlight they handle the contrast and flare extremely well.

I currently own two Leica Lens, Leica 35mm Summicron f/2 and a Leica 24mm Elmar f/3.8.

This set was shot with the 35mm Summicron.  Shots into the light work very well, and while it does desaturate the image, flare and contrast is controlled exceptionally well.

While the lens is a good performer stopped down, with the right subject, shooting wide open at f/2 is where you get that lovely dreamy Leica look that everyone wants.

I also took a few sports shots.  The other weekend was the Saxilby 5k, and while most people were photographing the event with either Camera Phones, Compacts or SLR’s; I tried the unthinkable, the Leica M4 and a wide Angle lens.  Not only that, I picked a shutter speed what would not freeze the movement, but would leave some image blur to the image.

I think they work extremely well. Using a camera that many consider much more restrictive then the 35mm DSLR certainly makes you think more about the photograph, and any mistakes or successes are certainly my own and not due to the electronics in the camera.