The first post for 2021, with some images taken on a recent work trip to Bulgaria. Street and social-documentary photography has been badly curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Barcelona there are heavy restrictions on all forms of movement, with both a curfew and limitations how far it is possible to move. Added to this is the expectation of social distancing, which makes conventional street photography with a wide-angle lens and close proximity with people problematic. Street photography is invariably something that feels risky, but with a highly contagious […]
A short photo essay on the easing of lock-down and the (quasi) return to normal life, albeit somewhat cautiously. These images were shot on a short and cautious trip to Italy, with some hiking in the mountains both in Italy and neighbouring Switzerland. It is clear that the COVID19 situation is going to persist for some time to come, not least because there is still widespread confusion and/or refusal to take simple preventative measures against infection. Surprisingly, the flights and public transport were perhaps the lowest risk in the trip, […]
Barcelona, and indeed all of Spain, is now shut down thanks to the COVID-19 emergency. It is now illegal for people to go out of their homes other than for essential purposes such as food or medical supplies, and the police are actively enforcing the measures and fining or arresting violators.
This is a short look the Leica M-A film camera, from the perspective of someone used to shooting the technically much more advanced M7. The M7 has been my main film camera for more than five years now. What started as an experiment to reduce the size and weight of camera equipment has ultimately led a growing reliance on Leica M series rangefinders for most of my photography. A key advantage being the ability to keep the same lenses and basic shooting experience in both digital and 35mm film media.
A short set of images from the independence backing encampment in Plaça Universidad, which was recently disbanded after more than three weeks of blocking traffic and a key public transport interchange in the centre of the city.
Continuing the series of night-time street photographs in Barcelona. This time I have tried using a 28mm lens, which has proven very difficult. You might expect that the wider angle would mean needing a lower shutter speed, but in practise if you try to get closer to the subject to compensate for the wider field-of-view there is no real advantage. Add to this the practical limitation that my 28mm is a stop slower than my usual lenses, and it is very hard to catch images successfully. With the typical light […]
Four more night-time street images shot on film, with a focus on tourism and commercialism.
A short set of new images in the Barcelona Dark series. I am gradually managing to tame the processing and also gradually migrating away from 50mm to 35mm for the shots – largely because the 35mm is noticeably easier to focus and hand-hold. Some of this might just be psychological, but fear of failing to get rapid and accurate focus with a 50mm means that I seem to have more close-up images of subjects with the wider lens. These are also somewhat more randomly framed than usual. Not sure if […]
A short set of Italian alpine landscape images, which seems appropriate for the time of year. These were shot in several locations, from Vall di Mello to Lago di Como, and are a pretty good summary of what August should be like. Unfortunately for us, August is going to be a busy month, and I am putting the blog on hold now until things settle down in September, when it might also be cool enough to process film again…
More night-time photographs from Barcelona, again shot on Tri-X (400TX) and processed in ID-11 with the M7 and 35mm f1.4. The 35mm does make it easier to deal with focus, but it is very difficult to get close to or isolate subjects except in the narrowest of streets.
Now that the camera, film-stock and developer issues are resolved it is finally time to get around to starting the project that was originally meant to start in January – night photography in Barcelona.
A new set of night shots on film from Barcelona – this time using pushed Tri-X (400TX) developed in ID-11.
The M7 is now back from its latest repair attempt in Leica, and I have shot a couple of test films to re-check the focus calibration and metering. So far, it looks promising. The metering is now usable at ISO 400, and ISO 1600 looks ok down to about 1/8th second (a huge improvement from before, where it was failing at 1/125th). But…
This is a very very late user review of the Leica M10, based on just over a year of use. It is a deliberately image-heavy post, with a varied selection of photographs that I hope show some of the capabilities of the camera.
A quick set of images of the Walden 7, an innovative high-density housing block in Sant Just Desvern, on the edge of Barcelona. These were taken on the way back from a walk along the hills at the edge of the city, with a conscious detour to see the block that was just possible before heavy thunderstorms arrived.
On Sunday, more than a million people marched in London to protest against the debacle that is the UK’s Brexit process, demanding a referendum on whether or not to proceed with Theresa May’s negotiated exit deal. Unfortunately, I was not able to be there – so this is an alternative photographic commentary on the current state of Brexit and British politics.