Out and about at night, again

The carnival was out in town tonight. I didn’t get a lot of time to shoot, mainly as I had taken my youngest daughter with me to see it, so I just managed to get a few images in the end. It was nice and busy though in town, so on another occasion it would have made for some good photo opportunities.

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Shooting from the hip

I was in London late last week, whilst there I decided to play a ‘game’ whilst out doing street photography on the walk back from work to the train station. The game was about shooting from the hip, there were two rules (1) to obviously not look through the viewfinder and (2) no cropping of the images is allowed. I took the little Fuji X100F with me as it is small and relatively unobtrusive (I have the silver, rather than black version).

I have only posted up a very short edit from the shoot. A lot were rubbish or a bit boring. I noticed that I tend to hold the camera on a tilt, making for a more dramatic perspective. I quite like it, but I will try and work on straightening up the camera at the time. It was a lot of fun and I will try it again when I am next in London!

The X100 is such a great little camera, in the short period I have owned it – it is has gone pretty much everywhere with me. The image quality is excellent, the lens sharp and, critically, it is fun to use. Fuji’s are making some excellent cameras at the moment – my poor Canon is struggling to see the light of day. Canon take note here – I am waiting for a mirrorless full-frame camera for those amazing L lenses, although whether even that will be better than the Fuji stuff will remain to be seen…

The darkroom returns

After some 15 years of my darkroom sitting in various attics quietly hoping for the day it would return to use – that day has finally come. A couple of nights ago, I printed a couple of basic photos on 10″x8″ and 12″x16″ Ilford Multigrade IV RC paper. I was really rusty, but I took my time and everything turned out okay. Even though it’s been a very long time, the process still feels quite natural to me – including the dodging and burning.

I printed sample images from Ilford HP5+, Adox Silvermax and Kodak Tr-X. All the films looked good on the photographic paper. As expected the Tri-X gave fantastic rich blacks, Silvermax a great tonal range and HP5+ the classic slightly flat look it is famous for. What I mostly noticed was that grain is much less apparent in an actual darkroom print than a digital scan. The image posted here does very little justice to the original print. I had read that scanners tend to enlarge grain on film, and this seems to be the case from my very limited experience here.

In terms of the photographs I printed, HP5+ has been my favourite to print. The images have a classic photojournalistic look – because the film is, of course, a classic photojournalists’ film!

Over the coming months I will use it some more, but not often as time is limited. A single decent final print can take several hours (test print; straight print; adjustments to grade and dodging and burning, etc.). However, the process for me is about enjoyment and taking photography back to basics.

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