Archive for May, 2009

SoFoBoMo 2009

Posted in Life, SoFoBoMo, Uncategorized on May 26, 2009 by sojournerphoto

bike and braai

Well, the James Ravilious documentary has caused a few thoughts about time, not least demonstrated by my ability to have spent all of 3 hours shooting for my SoFoBoMo project. This has become ‘This Small Space’ and consists of pictures around our small back yard – with a couple of cheats from the front of the house. I’ve done most of the images and my daughter has also contributed, making it a joint book. I’ve included one above, a happy juxtaposition of an old barbeque and bike in the corner of the yard.

Other things that have irritated me this week include the politicians who have systematically abused their expense system and then tried to cover it up – how true was the jest that ‘the official secrets act exists to protect officials, not secrets…’  The really galling thing, to me, is that there is no sense from the political classes that everyone who is implicated should resign or be barred from holding public office, and that it would be appropriate for the to be replaced by new people that have never been part of the system. It is as if they believe and expect the public at large to just accept that they are the only choice. Surely there are 600 intelligent people in the uK who could be called to public service – particularly given the rising tide of unemployment we face as a result of the current recessionary climate.



James Ravilious documentary

Posted in Life, Working on May 17, 2009 by sojournerphoto

 Jura and Islay-15

The documentary on James Ravilious that is on you tube has just been brought to my attention. I have just enjoyed watching it, and was struck by the progression from being asked to ‘take a few photos’ of the area, as the Arts centre believed that the rural way of life was threatened, that then became a 19 year plus project. Over that time James Ravilious took some 80,000 photos. I also thought that whilst this seems a lot if is actually under 4,000 per year – a number that many seem proud to exceed by huge margins in these days – this works out to less than half a roll of film per day. Unlike ‘many’ he has left a lasting legacy in his record of the life of the area over that time – somehting of great value in my view.

There was another comment in the documentary that I was thankful for – it was observed that monochrome solves the prblem of green in portraying the english countryside. I was actually relieved to hear someone else comment on this as I have had the ‘green’ problem for many years and was beginning to think it was just me…

If you haven’t seen it then I recommend the video if you have half an hour.


SoFoBoMo 2009

Posted in SoFoBoMo, Working on May 11, 2009 by sojournerphoto


My book title on the SoFoBoMo website still says ‘Two Mills’, but I will get around to changing it. Work has been very busy lately and so I’m not sure that I’ll manage my plan to get out and spend some time at lunch shooting over a few days. As a result I’m falling back on another idea – one of my wife’s – and plan on shooting some work in our back yard early in the morning. This will be a challenge to put together 35 images, but having a limited scope also forces the creative juices (and they’re very absent photographically during the day at the moment!) and I’ve got a few ideas starting.

Colin, over on auspicious dragon has just posted about his plans to adopt a short shooting routine and limited processing time. Mine shall be likewise. I will shoot using a dslr and probably stick to the canon 100 macro lens, although I am permitting myself the luxury of a 28 if I need it.

The two mills idea is still there, but will require some time to put together. An alternative is simply to shoot Caudwell’s Mill in Derbyshire, and it’s possible that I will get a chance at this later.


Colin’s back

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2009 by sojournerphoto

In passingI saw that Colin is back online at The Auspicious Dragon. And, he’s put down a deposit on a Bessa III – a new medium format folder.

Welcome back Colin

His blog is well worth a visit.


Happy Birthday

Posted in Life on May 10, 2009 by sojournerphoto


We made a special poodle cake for our daughter’s seventh birthday the other week. This has become a bit of a tradition and the younger one had a jungle a couple of weeks back. Over the years we’ve also constructed a Ladybird, Rondavel, Picture Cake and others.

I was reminded tonight, in a phone call, of how easy it is to lose sight of the things that matter. My cousin and her husband to be have care of 5 children. They have little time and work hard to earnt their living. But I was reminded that once you have enough to keep yourself and those around you it’s time to give them some time, because more money is unlikely to be as good a gift.


Manic megapixels

Posted in Film, Lens, Northumberland, Rangefinder, Workflow, Working on May 10, 2009 by sojournerphoto

20090510-013 Percy Wood

First off a confession – I do have a dslr with lots of megapixels that I use quite a lot. I’ve also got a 35mm film rangefinder that I use quite a lot.

Now a rant:) I’ve just started to read (and quickly stopped) yet another thread on a web forum in the battle between film and digital. This time between medium format film and 35mm digital. I see people all around who apparently can’t decide what to spend their money on and what they need to do their photography. But then it seems that they really need 21 or 24 or 39 or even 60 megapixels to have sufficient resolution, and those pixels must all be clean at previously unheard of isos.  Sorry, but this is arrant nonsense. Yes, it’s nice to have stuff we never dreamed of 10 years ago, never mind 30, but the old stuff can still make moving pictures.

I’ve just printed, using a hybrid film-digital process(!), a 15 by 10 of the above shot that I grabbed whilst walking the og this weekend. It’s on Adox CHS100, which is an old school film, and I used a second hand Voigtlander R2M and 35mm color skopar lens to take it. At 15 by 10 I can see that it has some grain and that I need to clean up the dust spots on the neg, but it works at any sensible viewing distance. Most of my prints don’t end up that big any way – I just printed it because I was irritated, but most are printed on paper that fits into my 13 by 9.5 inch box.

Today’s moral – enjoy what you’ve got. Change it if you have a need, but we have a plethora of riches available to us and it seems that we really don’t appreciate them. Perhaps it’s just another reflection on the irony that is western society – the richest culture ever and one of the most unhappy.


Running again

Posted in Life on May 6, 2009 by sojournerphoto



I’ve had a few years off running – mostly time, work and the usual, but I’ve just started getting out again and on Monday ran about 5 miles around Thruscross Reservoir. It was good to be out again – muddy, sweaty and painful:)