Standing silhouettes

Isle of Sheppey, England. 2022

Nikon FE, Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Ai on Ilford HP5+ with a yellow filter.

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Rushenden

Out and about with the F60 again, I visited an area the other afternoon which is actually called ‘Ladies Hole Point’ but I decided not to use that name for this post for obvious reasons. Funny how there is some curious place names around Britain and I find it fascinating how they come about.

Found just west of the village of Rushenden, near Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey. Ladies Hole Point wharf is a disused railway jetty and was used for coal washing at one time and later operated by Queenborough Rolling Mill Company. Sadly the site has long since closed and the two cranes, railway lines have been long since removed.

Rushenden Pier

There is only industrial containers and two mobile cranes on the old railway pier used by a marine engineering company. I believe there was also a glue works and a shipbreaking yard here which the old metal was then moved by rail the Queenborough Rolling Mill.

Keep off!

Now having got film developing off to a fine art now without causing disruption to the wife in the kitchen, plus found I quite enjoyed shooting landscapes with an single lens reflex, this is something I think I will do more often. I will have drag out my old Nikon FE plus the Nikkor prime lenses I have stashed away.

Nikon FE

All images shot with the Nikon F60, with a Tamron AF 28-80mm ASPH lens, yellow filter, on Ilford HP5 plus rated stock speed and developed in stock Ilford ID11 for 7 minutes.

Elmley

While waiting for the Leica M6 to come back from it’s repair, I thought I would take out my Nikon F60. This camera I had purchased as a sort of replacement for my broken F80 which I found out was uneconomical to have repaired.

The F60 body cost £15 ($20) on eBay couple of years back and I hadn’t used it since receiving the camera. A couple of weeks ago I found on Ffordes Photographic website they had a new old stock Tamron AF 28-80mm ASPH lens for sale for a mere £89.00 ($120.00) which I’m almost certain is half the original price. Both camera and lens are very light, plastic and I wouldn’t hold much hope I you were to drop such a setup on the floor!

So with two rolls of Ilford HP5, I rated for an ISO of 800, I made my way to Elmley Nature reserve. If your wondering how I push the HP5 on a DX coded only camera, I just used -1.5 stop on the exposure compensation. I had seen pictures of the old school building and was part of the old village of Elmley which from what I read was finally given up in the 1920’s. The church had become derelict by the 1960’s and was knocked down leaving just the head stones. Last surviving build from the village is the Grade II listed ‘Kingshill Farmhouse’

Some nice stormy weather was coming in which with the HP5 rated at 800 and a Hoya yellow filter made some contrasty black and white images. Think my favorite is the first picture and while I’m totally geared up to use a Leica rangefinder system, this made quite a refreshing change using this cheap camera setup for some landscape photography. I wasn’t expecting very good results to be honest but was impressed when I first viewed the freshly developed negatives, even more so after I scanned them.

All images shot with the Nikon F60, with a Tamron AF 28-80mm ASPH lens, yellow filter and developed in stock Ilford ID11 for 12 minutes.

Onward

Isle of Sheppey, England. 2022

Leica M6, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH taken on Ilford HP5 plus and a B&W yellow filter.

La Cambe cemetery

Last year I shelfed this post because I felt some might be offended by it’s latter content. As I found out, there is still some very strong feelings about this cemetery in Normandy, France.


I have an interest in the history of the second world war and Normandy of course was a battle ground during the months of June and July 1944. On the occasions I have been to France, I have seen and visited few sites where battles took place, museums and Allied cemeteries but I’d never been to the German cemetery in La Cambe. We stumbled across it by chance on our way back to the house we stay at in Vimoutiers.

 The Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof at La Cambe, Normandie

I’m always cautious and respectful when taking images around churches, cemeteries or graveyards. In the picture above, there’s a family ahead and when they passed me earlier at the entrance to the cemetery, I could clearly hear they were German speaking and wasn’t to sure how they might react seeing someone with a camera, let alone an Englishmen, but as the saying goes over here …“Keep calm, carry on”

Thankfully a Leica rangefinder is discreet, quiet and small although maybe some would say a bit sneaky! Years ago as I was taking pictures, I did have a woman take offence that I was using a camera in such a place, so I do like to be mindful of where I am and not to disturb others.


Before walking though the entrance a sign tells you, Until 1947, this was an American cemetery. The remains were exhumed and shipped to the United States. It has been German since 1948, and contains over 21,000 graves. With its melancholy rigour, it is a graveyard for soldiers not all of whom had chosen either the cause or the fight. They too have found rest in our soil of France.

I can understand why some in France still have ill feeling about the existence of this place.

As I start walking quietly though the main a gate your meet with a small marble hall with the large letters on the wall ‘HIER RUHEN DEUTSCHE SOLDATEN + ICI REPOSENT DESSOLDATS ALLEMANDS’ translated, Here lie German Soldiers.

Although very uniformed and tidy, unlike Allied cemeteries there are no headstones or white marble crosses, just stone plaques with the names of the fallen with roughly carved black stone crosses in groups of five dotted among the trees. On the overcast but very warm day I visited there where two national wreaths, one French, one German on stands in the middle of the cemetery. A few smaller wreaths lie on some plaques but no flowers or poppies but what stood out to me was among the bare graves, one plaque was covered in flowers and pictures.

Below is the grave plaque of one SS-Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann the German tank ace who was killed near Gaumesnil, Normandie.

Michael Wittmann grave in La Cambe cemetery

I was surprised that his plaque was surrounded by coins, some fresh flowers, some not so fresh as well as pictures of him in his wartime uniform. I am well aware of the exploits of this man, his achievements as a panzer commander and his subsequent demise in 1944. Although there is no record of Wittmann being involved with any crimes, he was still a member of the Waffen-Schutzstaffel who themselves carried out war crimes throughout the war and was born out of one of the worst authoritarian regimes mankind has ever known. I think one must forgive that some individuals still have the misguided belief of having a ‘cult’ status is ‘OK’ regardless of the crimes committed by the same organisation that this man belonged to throughout the conflict.


One final point, outside the La Cambe cemetery there are various plinths on which there are famous quotes. One stood out to me;

“The question of peace is not a globe question but a personal question for each individual”

Karl Jaspers

All pictures taken with my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Ilford HP5 plus film in August 2020.

Unshipping the wheels

Now I know what it means!

No seriously, ‘unshipping’ means to load, unload a ship or the sailors progressed rapidly with the task of unshipping the packages and caged animals. “Unshipping the wheels” meanings Larboard battery, unship your rear wheels from the cannons to raise the angle of fire.

Think in this case it’s not to get an angle of attack, more like to prevent theft of boat and trailer from the sailing club yard.

Taken last March, on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Ilford HP5 plus film.

Medieval market

Saint Pierre Sur Dives – August 2020

This structure is the inside view of the 11th century market hall in the town which unfortunately was completely destroyed by fire during the battle for the town in 1944. Although the wonderful building was lovely reproduced after the war the timbers are clearly cut with modern tools unlike the original medieval beams. The building is still used to this day for food, livestock and antiques markets every Monday and first Sunday of the month. Well worth a visit if your in the Normandy area.

Taken on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Ilford HP5, rated at 800.

The outside of the 11th-century market hall taken on my phone.

Further reading and images; https://www.normandythenandnow.com/the-wooden-phoenix-of-saint-pierre-sur-dives/

The Alleyway

I have a thing about alleyways and especially when I find one like this one. Plain, simple image but with loads of tones, character, converging angles and great for film photography. I found this narrow passage in Le Sap, Normandie which is a tiny hamlet in the northwestern France.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Ilford HP5 plus, rated at 800.

Hiding

Vimoutiers, France. August 2020

Taken on a very dull morning this image is a bit grainy but it I think it works. This shy little boy was standing in front of his mother while she was talking on the street outside this cafe. Sitting at a table opposite while drinking a morning tea, waiting for a possible shot, the moment came when peered under his mothers hand for me.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Ilford HP5 plus, rated at 800.

The four

These four Starlings where sitting calling at the top of the telegraph pole. There was no other sound this morning, no people, cars or buses, only the sea was the only other sound to be heard. Strange times, good for landscapes as there no vapor trails across the sky unyet we cannot go far, good for the environment with pollution levels dropping… maybe this will become the norm one day, to help our planet recover.

The four

Leica M3, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Ilford HP5 plus film expired 2006 and push one stop.