Monday, 22 January 2018

Union Street, Bath

Like some giant brightly-lit bird of paradise is about to land:

Christmas Markets, Nov 2017.  5x7 print. Sepia and selenium.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Sister Morgan

The view from the entrance to The Mineral Water Hospital, Bath.  Etched forever in my memory, this view:

The Min, 2017.  Pentax ME Super, HP5+, Adox paper.

So in the mid 1980s when I started attending The Min for physiotherapy all of us patients with ankylosing spondylitis stayed on Cambridge Ward, up on the second floor.  Of course we weren't sick per se and we were encouraged to get out and about whenever we weren't being stretched or pulled in the gym or the hydro pool.  And naturally, being young and adventurous types, in the evenings we did our fair share of exploring the local hostelries - of which there are many within staggering distance of the hospital.  Drink was taken. And, on occasion, it is only fair to admit that perhaps one or two more beers were consumed than absolutely necessary...

I recall one such evening when we all came back to the hospital in even higher spirits than usual.  Of course it was (and still is) a hospital and there were patients who were genuinely ill so we were trying our best to calm down as we came in through the front door.  At the top of the stairs in the print above was stood Sister Morgan, hands on hips with a face like thunder.  Sister Morgan was pretty scary at the best of times, it has to be said.  'This is not a hotel' she hissed at us as we shuffled sheepishly past her en route to Cambridge Ward.  From memory that did little to dampen our spirits - it probably had the opposite effect, truth be told.

By the time I was due in for another course of treatment a couple of years later they had put all us AS patients into a dedicated house in Trim Street, just opposite the hospital.  Good plan.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


Bath Christmas Markets, 2017.  Is it just me or does Christmas seem like an age ago?  I mean, it's only the 17th Jan (16th as I write this), so it's not that long ago, right?  I dunno...there's so much happening these days that life is just whizzing by.  I can barely get time to do any photographing, let alone darkroom work.  But I did get into the dark place this morning and managed to print a few more from the Bath series from November.  This was one of them:

Bath Christmas Markets, 2017.  Pentax ME Super, HP5+, Adox paper.  Toned in old-ish sepia and then even older selenium.

I was actually fair-to-middlin' happy with this one. Makes a change. I don't have much of a strategy these days, other than snap on and print on and hopefully have a little fun on the way.  Maybe that's the best strategy anyways.

It's a little over a year since I made the decision to only show scans of darkroom prints on this place.  It's gone better than I expected. As you might have noticed, I've kind of settled into a Monday/Wednesday/Friday posting routine.  Yes there are times when the tail (this place) starts to wag the dog (me) but sometimes it's good having a bit of a push to actually get on and produce something...anything.  Yes on occasion I do feel myself 'knocking one or two out' just for the sake of the blog, but when I have time and if I think the negative warrants it I like to experiment a bit and see what gives in the darkroom.  That usually involves making a series of prints - ideally each one better than the last but as we know it doesn't always work that way.  I'm still drawn to lith in a big way.  And I'm drawn more and more to toning.  I tend to tone pretty much every print nowadays and while up to now I've used off-the-shelf toning kits (mostly from Fotospeed) I've just bought myself a bunch of raw chemicals to get really down and dirty.  Actually, I can't wait to see how that goes. 

Monday, 15 January 2018

Bird feeder

One I printed a while back - a feeder in our garden for the blue tits, great tits and any other little feathered friend that chooses to visit us.

From the 'Blad, HP5 and Warmtone paper, sepia tone.

Friday, 12 January 2018

That's what happens, sometimes

The wee one, in pensive mood the other day when we were out for our tea:

Missy in Truva Restaurant, late 2017.  Via the rangefinder - handheld at some stupidly low speed, as you do.

Truva was the name of the establishment, in case you were wondering.  Turkish.  Eh? In the Liberties?  I know - we're getting all sophistimaceted in Ireland these days. Where will it all end, eh?  I wonder if they have Irish Restaurants in Istanbul.  I bet they've those themed Irish Bars...y'know - the O'Briens and those sorts of places that bear no resemblance at all to any bar in Ireland I've been in.  Ah well, can't knock them for trying, I suppose...

Anyway, yer man the proprietor of Truva was some craic, I can tell you.  I mean he came up to us just as we were finishing our meal and introduced himself and what have you.  Honest to goodness, he can talk for Ireland, that one.  Not bad considering he's from across the water - and then some.  I mean, he can really talk. 10 out of 10 for effort, I'll give you that, but sometimes you just want a wee quiet night and while a bit of banter rarely goes amiss there are moments when you just think, Jeez Louise will you give my head peace.  But we'll be back as the food was good, the prices were keen and well, we just liked the whole thing, really.  Loads of interesting (and tasty) veggie options, which makes a pleasant change around this part of the world (meat&potatoes, piled high).

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Huntsman

The Huntsman cellar bar by Orange Grove in Bath was a frequent haunt of us students back in the early 80s.  Nowadays the cellar bar is closed, but upstairs is still open and looked particularly inviting all done for Christmas:

Monday, 8 January 2018

By Bath Abbey

Looking up from Abbey Green on the first night of the Bath Christmas markets:

From Abbey Green, looking towards Bath Abbey, late November 2017, HP5, Adox paper

It was just after I snapped this scene when me film ran out.  Memorable not for the getting to the end of the film, rather the complete hames I made of loading the new film into the Pentax.  Was it the fact that it was pretty dark?  Perhaps.  Loads of people around? Maybe.  More likely that the loading mechanism in the Pentax is non-standard...well, different to that in the OM-1, FM3a or M6 which might normally be in my sweaty palms.  The take-up spool has some sort of plastic attachment which presumably is meant to make it easier to load.  Not in this case it didn't.  I can put it down to lack of familiarity, but if anyone was watching I'm sure it was good entertainment.