C41 Process Black and White Photography

Harbour highways, Barcelona

These are a short series of images taken around the cruise-ship terminal in Barcelona. They were taken using a mixture of Fuji Superia 200 and Ilford XP2 Super 400 films, both using the standard C41 process. The Ilford is interesting in that it is a black-and-white dye-based film, rather than traditional silver-halide. The first two shots were taken at ISO 200 using the Fuji, scanned using Vuescan and a PlusTek 7600i, and then converted in to black and white in Lightroom. A virtual red filter was applied in post-processing to help darken the […]

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Daybreak

Barceloneta

A few simple pictures taken early in the morning along the beach between Port Olimpic and Barceloneta. This is quite a good time of year to catch the transient morning light as it is no longer necessary to get up at 4am… Shot with the DSLR rather than film so that I could use a short-telephoto lens (here the excellent Canon 135mm f2). The lens gives a nice telephoto compression that seems to work well with the relatively empty shots, suiting the early morning tranquility. There are surprisingly few ape-descended life forms people at the beach at […]

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Port Vell

Port Vell

Early morning view of the W-Hotel at Barceloneta, taken from the ferry jetty at the Port Vell harbour. It is rather a strange shot, as although there are numerous people and traders on the jetty above, the photograph implies a stillness and calm that is somewhat at odds with the nearby reality. I quite like the way that using film makes this scene look so much older.  

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One Hundred

Sant Antoni Sunday Book Market, Barcelona

What better way to mark the 100th post here but with a photograph of people browsing the second-hand books and magazines at the Sant Antoni Sunday Book Market, Barcelona. The transition from traditional printed matter to online sources is radically transforming almost all media that we use today. In modern parlance, people no longer simply read books, they “consume content” – a change in terminology that embraces both the increasing number of different media forms and also the notion of disposable hyper-consumption. As media moves increasingly online it becomes a pick-and-choose buffet of short snacks that […]

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Port Vell and the Leica M7

Port Vell

Early morning shot looking towards fishing harbour taken from alongside the Maremagnum at Port Vell, Barcelona. This is one of the first pictures taken with a newly acquired Leica M7 and 35mm Zeiss Vogon Biogon lens. To ensure even less continuity, this was also the first time that I have used Kodak Ektar 100 colour negative film. Shooting with a rangefinder camera is very much a different experience to a film SLR. The rangefinder itself is very easy to use and much faster to focus accurately than the usual SLR split-screen.Using the viewfinder with […]

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Analogue Lessons

That 70's vibe

I am gradually catching up with processing  the recent film shots and scanning the results. Rather than posting the better images I thought that it might be fun to first post some of the disasters and try to understand what when wrong. All the images here were taken with the Minolta XD-s using Fuji C200 colour film. The first image (above) has a seriously 70’s vibe to it thanks to an incredible amount of unintended noise – the result of a seriously underexposed image. When shooting with a modern digital camera you […]

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La Diada

La Diada and the Via Catalana

The 11th of September is the National Day of Catalunya – or more commonly just “La Diada”. Precisely three hundred years ago Catalunya lost the Siege of Barcelona ending the Spanish war of Succession and effectively establishing the basis of what has become modern Spain. And so perhaps unsurprisingly this regional day of holiday has become a focus for the Catalan independence movement. This year, the movement has become more powerful than ever as the region prepares for a vote on independence from Spain on the 9th of November. As the slogans and […]

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The Old Dairy

Milk churn and racks of maturing cheeses, Pian delle Betulle, Italy

  The walk from Pian delle Betulle, in Alta Valsassina, to the Larice Bruciato (burnt larch)  is a lovely trail through a beech forest and pasturelands. On the way there is the Alpe Ortighera, a summer pasture, where there is the old dairy illustrated in this post. This is the main room at the entrance of the dairy with the churning machine to make butter (the stainless steel drum on the right) and some of the season production of ricotta, a whey cheese. The forms on the shelves are left to […]

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Fragments and Scenes

Church Fresco, Pasturo, Italy.

Random fragmentary memories from the North of Italy. I quite like using small contextless fragmentary images as opposed to something with more context and depth. The image becomes more about the texture and pattern than the content. I like that the fragments are completely detached – but even more contextualised images (such as the ones below) can be sufficiently alien to take on a similar character if the view is not familiar with the area being photographed and the subjects are not well known: All images were taken with the […]

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Valsassina Panoramas

Valsassina Storm Clouds, Italy

  Three images of Valsassina, looking up towards the head of the valley from the side of Monte Giumello, Italy. These are stitched panoramas using a 50mm lens with a polariser. By careful rotation of the polariser it is possible to bring out a lot of detail in the storm clouds, and also significantly change the apparent colour of the sky. Sadly, this did not allow us to change the weather…  

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Five Textures

Old weathered log

Again, something slightly different from usual with some abstract(ish) natural textures photographed while walking in the Alps. With one exception these were again shot using a polarising filter – which lived on the camera most of the time as a way to cut out haze and reflections on this rather damp trip.

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Green

Woodland path, Sanico, Italy

A slightly different post from normal, with some images of greenery from what was the wettest August I have ever seen in the Alps. When not being deluged with water we were usually embedded in the low clouds, making any walking and photography interesting in the best proverbial sense. One thing that really stood out visually was the presence of the colour green. The plants were clearly enjoying the weather better than the humans (and cats) and the foliage produced some very vivid colour while wet. These photographs are not […]

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