Large Format Photography

Is this the end? I started with my large format camera in mid-2016, having ordered an Intrepid 5x4 on the back of their Kickstarter campaign in late 2014.It's a beautiful bit of kit - I even have a black cloth to put over my head while I focus it. No exploding hand-held flash though. Large format was one of those things that had been at the back of my mind for a long time as I experimented with photography, but it was always way out of reach because the cameras were so expensive - Intrepid changed that. I hadn't shot much film beyond a little bit of pinhole work for several years, but I couldn't resist when I saw the Intrepid Kickstarter - it was only £130 on the original offer, although they are now £280 now, on the 4th version of it. OK, I had to buy a lens as well (I eventually bought a second), and I had buy some...
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Clevedon Marine Lake, September 2020

The photos here are from two separate visits to photograph the seawater swimming lake in Clevedon, just a few days apart. I wasn't happy with the results from the first visit, so actually went back and had another go. We visited the lake last summer (see Clevedon & Portishead, June 2019), when I realised that it would be perfect for some long exposures - so having some time off work in September, I decided to give it a go. I specifically avoided a sunny day, as that wouldn't work so well. One other thing I had to do was make sure that the swimmers knew I wasn't taking photos of them - it's a public space so you can just pitch up and take photos. I made it clear to everyone that I wasn't photographing them and was using long exposures - it actually made for a few conversations as people were interested in the film cameras and the technique. The first set...
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Purton Hulks, September 2020

I'd only been to the Purton Hulks once before, on a bitterly cold December day in 2017, so visiting on a warm September day was a bit of a change.Basically, the spit of land between the River Severn and the Sharpness/Gloucester Canal was shored up in the 1950s with a number of boats and barges, which have decayed over the decades - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purton_Hulks It's a fascinating location, definitely worth a visit. These are a mix of digital and film, with the film being taken on the Hasselblad. I tried a new film - Lomography Metropolis, which had been recommended to me as something with de-saturated colours. It's lovely stuff, but not cheap. I realised when I looked for a link to the 2017 shots that I'd never blogged them - so here's a selection. ...
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Cumberland Basin, July & August 2020

The photos here are from two separate visits to Cumberland Basin in Bristol, pretty much my favourite concrete place to photograph. The first, in July, was my first post-lockdown photographic trip out and was an all film affair - some of the shots are on the Hasselblad (mainly Fuji Acros, with a bit of Kodak Tri-X), while the others are from the Intrepid 5x4 large format (on Ilford Delta).These are fairly standard stuff, the sort of thing I take a lot of. For the second visit, at the end of August, I actually went out with a plan - I wanted to shoot a lot darker than normal, and to use shadow a lot more.I used the Fuji digital on manual mode (I'm normally on aperture-priority), and sometimes with an old Helios lens I bought. I also used my dad's old Pentax MX with some old Ilford Delta film. And I'm really pleased with what I took, it's quite different to what I...
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Arnos Vale, September 2020

Making the most of some time off work in September, combined with a relatively relaxed period of lockdown, I met a friend for a socially-distanced wander around Arnos Vale. It's been tidied up a lot since I first went there back in 2003, but there are still large areas that are heavily overgrown - it's a fascinating place, well worth a visit. The square ones here were taken on the Hasselblad, with Ilford XP2 film. ...
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