Hauser & Wirth, May 2019

As I had a random day off, we headed out to Hauser & Wirth in Somerset. We had discovered that their current exhibitions had finished the Sunday before, but we went anyway to see their other galleries and their grounds. To start with, the other galleries and the main shop were closed as the space was being used for bits & pieces while they took down the exhibitions - which meant that there was pretty much nothing to see.About the only thing there was a couple of Don McCullin originals - his landscapes. On sale for a mere £8250 plus framing plus VAT. But there were still the gardens (designed by Piet Oudolf), which were actually quite nice. There's an odd modern building at the top of the garden though - you'd think something like that would be quite out of place in a rural setting like Hauser & Wirth but it doesn't grate and it is photographically quite interesting - its's...
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Severn Beach 2019

The logical follow-on from Aust photos is Severn Beach - just along the Severn estuary, and another slightly bleak landscape. These were taken in March and April 2019, and are all on film - I probably went out and shot film more times than digital last year.These are a mix of 35mm (when I was testing my dad's Pentaxes), medium format (Hasselblad) and large format. You will notice one recurring subject - that tower, hugely photogenic. Well, for my definition of photogenic anyway.One on 35mm, one on medium format, one on large format! ...
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Aust 2019

As ever, I kept going back to Aust just outside Bristol - my favourite bleak location. The first visit was in February - the forecast looked promising and when I got up early (for a Sunday), it looked even better as it was a bit misty. When I got there, I saw a lovely bit of mist with the pylon and the old Severn Bridge in bright sunlight above it. However as I walked the last bit, it got foggier and foggier - to the point that I couldn't actually see much at all. These shots were taken on a variety of film cameras - I was testing some of my dad;s old Pentaxes before selling them. So we have an MX, and ME Super and a Z1 - some shot on Ilford FP4, some on Kodak Tri-X 400, all developed by me. The second visit was on a June morning, when conditions were very different - lovely bright sunshine. Most of these were...
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Cumberland Basin and Scouring

Note for those unfamiliar with Bristol: Cumberland Basin is the bit of the Bristol harbour system that sits between the Floating Harbour (where the historical docks are/were) and the tidal River Avon that heads out under Clifton Suspension Bridge and into the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth (where the modern docks are). This is not the same Avon as Stratford-upon-Avon - that joins the Severn at Tewkesbury. Cumberland Basin normally looks like this. A few weeks ago someone at work mentioned that Cumberland Basin was empty, which sounded unusual so I quickly googled to see what was going on - and apparently it's something that happens quite regularly, with a schedule published on the harbourmaster's website.It's all part of the process to stop the Floating Harbour from getting silted up - they let the Cumberland Basin empty with the tide and then open sluice gates to allow water from the Floating Harbour out, which takes silt with it. The process is called "scouring". Given...
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Using A Vintage Camera

One of the cameras I inherited from my father was his parents' camera - an Ansco No.3, which is now somewhere in the region of 100 years old.I'm pretty sure that this is the camera my dad took with him when he cycled through the Alps in 1953, which was a couple of years before he bought his own camera. It's a lovely old folding camera, but with some surprises. It has movements - rise and fall and some swing.It takes 118 rollfilm (more on that in a moment) but also has a separate back for sheet film - quarter plate, for which there are also a dozen (heavy) dark slides.You can see on the photo below that it even has a small built-in stand that folds out - there's another for when you use it landscape. It's always looked in good condition (although I have had to re-stick the leather(ette) cover, and the shutter speeds seemed sensible. The big blocker has...
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