France 2018

We stayed in Bordeaux on the way down to our holiday in France - I had a Big Birthday shortly beforehand and fancied visiting some vineyards and doing a couple of tastings.We visited Chateaux Siran in Margaux, Chasse-Spleen in Moulis-en-Medoc and Bouscaut in Pessac-Leognan. The tours were interesting, particularly the Siran nuclear bunker... Once at the gite we actually did very little (which was lovely), but I still managed to take quite a lot of photos - we had the usual good sunsets, as well as one morning with a thick fog. There will be more images from the gite in the film update I'll be posting later. On the way home, we stopped off in the Loire for a Chateau visit - Azay-le-Rideau this time. And of course there was a decent selection of meals... As we'd been to this particular gite before, we knew that there would be plenty of opportunity for photographing the stars. ...
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Amsterdam

In June I was given the opportunity to attend a conference in Amsterdam, at just a few days notice. Never having been before, I graciously accepted. As it happens, the conference itself was really interesting, and then I headed out every evening with my camera.Doing some research beforehand I found an Amsterdam photography blog (whose name I now shamefully forget) which pointed out the best places for photogenic bridges, churches and houses - very useful. Everything you've heard about cycling in Amsterdam is true, and then some - an amazing number of cyclists, and I saw about 3 people in lycra or on bike with anything more than basic gears. The bike park at the station is a sight to behold! The last photo is from the conference, where one of the keynote talks was from Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. A lovely city that I barely scratched the surface of - I didn't get to any museums because of the conference - so...
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Going Back to Film, part 2

A bit of a follow-up on the previous post, with some more on my adventures back into film photography. In February I upgraded the TLR, buying an MPP Microcord. Unfortunately it turned out that mine was faulty so it went back to the supplier. The first images on it were taken during the heavy snow we had - I wish I could claim that I was trying to emulate the soft look of some of the early photographers, but no - the shutter was slow and it also had issues with winding on. It did take some slightly sharper shots on a visit to Aust for the spring tides, and at the SS great Britain, but it wasn't good enough so back it went.   This left me with the dilemma about what to try next. In the end I went for a substantial upgrade and succumbed to a Hasselblad, having lusted after them for many years. I found one on Ebay at a...
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Going Back to Film

Long and a bit image heavy... I was about to post something about getting back into taking and developing my own black and white film when I realised that I haven't actually posted anything at all about starting off with large format photography, which was where the whole film thing started - so this is going to be a long post with quite a few photos. This dates back to late 2014 when I heard about a Kickstarter project that was launching an affordable 5x4 large format camera, the Intrepid Camera Company. That's something I've thought about a few times over the last 20 years, but it's always been way out of my league - far too expensive. But suddenly this made it affordable, so I signed up. It took them quite a while to get production sorted and I didn't get my camera until mid-2016, and it's been a slow process getting used to it. I started with some cheap film,...
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France 2017

We went back to France for our summery holiday, after a slight aberration last year when we spent a few days in a caravan in Cornwall - any mention of that holiday now gets us both whistling the theme tune to Peter Kaye's Phoenix Nights, given the quality of the evening entertainment the caravan park laid on... We went back to a gite we've been to a couple of times before - it's nice, it's a good size for the two of us, it's quiet, it's very close to the local wine producer and it's got very clear views of the night sky. So here's a few different sets: Giverny On the way down through France, we stopped off at Giverny to visit the Monet gardens - we'd been a couple of times about 15 years ago now and thought it time for another visit. The last image is a little different - not taken at Giverny but fairly close by. Slightly inspired by the...
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