Changes

Things change, everything in our lives seems to have changed one way or another. Photography, particular street photography for me has changed in the last 16 months, a laugh, smiles or talking are hidden by masks and so my photographic life has put on the back burner these last seven months. The first three months of this year both my wife and I had a self imposed isolation at home, neither of us being the most healthiest of people. My wife Helen is a larger lady with related problems. Myself, I’ve had pneumonia twice before, an ex-smoker and was recommended by our Doctor if possible, that we both kept away from others. Other than going out with the dog for a walk, I find myself no longer carrying my camera because everyone is wearing masks, no one is either getting close or even socialising for the fear of the virus and restrictions on any unnecessary travel, my photography shutdown.

I’ve also had to change since moving into our new home. Developing films in the new house isn’t very easy as it was in the old property. The bathroom, (also known as the washroom in the colonies) in the new house is in fact just a shower room with a very small hand basin, not even big enough to get a Patterson developing tank in and so it’s the kitchen then. While my wife is pretty easy going with most matters there’s a line been drawn …I can, but only on a Saturday morning while she’s out doing her volunteering job. There’s no room in the new home although bigger house, for a dedicated developing room. Also with work commitments and continuing work for yours truly to do around the house, I’m finding very difficult to allocate time for film developing but hopefully as this latest lockdown ends I’ll be able to start getting out shooting.

Having time think while driving the truck at work has given to the idea that maybe I should think about using a digital camera, no developing, just upload to the computer …but then I would dismissed the idea a number of times before, cost, new system, not understand what all the buttons, knobs do, file systems and sizes, finding my mind going in circles back to where I started to the original answer, I don’t need one.

I’m not a technophobe, I am just don’t like a lot of unnecessary controls and features that I’ll never use or just confuse the hell out of my simple brain! For me a camera needs just three things, an aperture dial, manual focus and shutter speed dial and this why I couldn’t get on with digital cameras in the past. I’m not interested in noise, histograms or any of this digital manipulation, a bit of dodge and burn, cloning out any spots and adding a frame, then yes.

Then I was reading Thorsten von Overgaard blog about using a Leica digital rangefinders which I know these cameras are very good but getting one of Leica bodies are somewhat expensive. In the back of my mind is also the worry of the electronics with second hand cameras around the £3000 to £4000 mark which could become an expensive problem. Further on, his website has a link to Thorsten’s Youtube videos, one is about buying and using Leica M9, M240 and the new wallet busting Leica M10 in which he mentions the price of second hand cameras. He also goes on to explain about the simplicity of the camera menus which from what I can understand seem no worse than my Samsung phone.

So we come to today, after a lot of research, I decided on a Leica M (Typ-240) body which now retail for around £2500 for in good condition. This went slightly awry when I discovered the Leica shop Mayfair in London. It have never occurred to me that they sell second hand Leica cameras, let alone ex-demo cameras. Having a little money from my late fathers estate I made a telephone call, card in hand. I’m now the owner of a ex-demonstration Leica M-P (Typ-240) complete with it’s box, papers and associated accessories, plus 12 months warranty as it’s classed as a new camera still. Don’t ask how much!

I’ll be selling my M4-2 body to off set the dent in my bank account a little but will continue to use from time to time my Leica M3 with it’s Summicron 50mm duel range lens.

Just hope this new acquisition works out for me …wish me luck.


All images taken with my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and shot on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.

The M3 image was taken with a Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on Kodak Tri-X film.


Thorsten Von Overgaard website link below

https://www.overgaard.dk/thorsten-overgaard-photography-lounge.html


Along the Broad

Another image from my archives, taken back in the summer of 2017 from a short holiday break to the Norfolk broads, England. My wife said to me I had taken some nice pictures in Norfolk, I’d found I had taken a couple of rolls of colour print in Norfolk that summer, had them developed, scanned and forgotten all about them. Having found this shot I now use as a desktop wallpaper on my Linux PC.


I haven’t done very much photography of late as we are in the process of moving house. I say moving, we are having work done to the new house before we move in which is Victorian built around 1850’s so a lot of work to be completed. We expect to be actually moving in to the new house end of April, start of May. Hopefully, once settled and restrictions have gone I can get out and about shooting again.

Taken on a Nikon FE, 28mm f/2.8 Ai Nikkor on Kodak Color Plus 200 film.

Damp Morning

Taken on Sunday, damp morning before sunrise looking down Marine Parade Sheerness, England. It’s a shame you cannot get any detail in streetlights anymore. These new LED lights burn out all detail on film I find.

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Nikon FE, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Ai on Kodak Tri-X film pushed to an ISO of 800.

 

Red Zone

Picture from two years ago, I have just got back from France and am knee deep in Ilford ID11 developer!

This is the sea defence perimeter Sheerness dockyard, England. I spotted on this rock the notice ‘start of red zone’ Originally hoping to photograph Garrison Point which is by the docks just behond these rocks, only to I find I could go no further than this barrier.

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Nikon FE, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Ai lens on Fomapan 400 Action film with a red Hoya filter and developed in Kodak D76 for 12.5 minutes at 20ºc.

Patience

If you hadn’t realized by now, I love dogs. While in Great Yarmouth 2017 on a hot day I spotted these three, I hesitated about taking a frame then walked on having not taken the shot. Upon returning with my wife, I was amazed to see the woman with the same dogs still patiently waiting in the same spot.

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Taken with a Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm F1.8 AI, on Fomapan 100 Classic film with a red Hoya filter. Developed in Kodak D76 for 9 minutes at 20°C.

A Summer’s Day

I spotted this elderly gentleman sitting on the seafront looking across the Thames estuary out to Southend on Sea on a very dull, cold July day. Typical English weather, it’s no wonder we Brits are always talking about it!

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Taken in 2016 on a Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D on Kodak T-MAX 400 film and developed in Kodak D76.

A-B-SEA

I saw this gifts and second hand shop in Whitstable high street, England back in 2016. Whitstable being a seaside town, it was rather appropriate, if not somewhat corny with these chairs outside this shop.

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Taken on a Nikon FE, with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on Fomapan 100 Classic film.

Number 3

For the life of me I cannot remember where exactly I took this shot! I thought it was Gacé, France but having looked on Google Street View, apparently not.

Anyway it was taken in Normandy, because I liked the dilapidated beams and window frames of this house and the typical front step of many Normandy houses.

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Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai with a yellow Photax filter and taken on Fomapan Classic 100 film.

Anglers hope

Vierville-sur-Mer, Normandie in France, better known to you as Omaha Beach. This picture I shot as the weather closed in, moments later the heavens began to open. The view is looking out from the seafront to this pier is now joined to what was part of Mulberry A Harbour. Later on having developed the film I discovered I had underexposed the shot by a stop, but all the same I’m pleased with the resulting image.

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Taken on a Nikon FE, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Ai with a Yellow Photax filter on Fomapan 100 Classic film and developed in Ilford ID11 for 6 minutes at 22ºc.

Decades

Rusting mooring post on the old Neptune jetty in Sheerness, England. I deliberately over exposed this picture in the bright sunlight with a shallow depth of field, which also give the image an old look about it.

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Taken on Fomapan 100 Classic film with a Nikon F80, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D and developed in Kodak D76.