Friday, 18 August 2017

Rathlin

As y'all know Missy&I had our annual Rathlin Island trip recently. If you don't know, Rathlin lies just off the North Antrim Coast, between Ireland and Scotland.  It's a small island, only a few miles in any direction but it is inhabited by people, seabirds and seals and is well worth a visit if you are in the area. The museum on the island is spectacular, I have to say - an upstairs bit and a downstairs bit but is just brilliant.  History?  Oh, history by the bucket-load.  Mostly horrible, mind you.

This is the view from near the West Lighthouse where all the seabirds are, looking South towards 'the mainland' of Ireland.  Funny - Ulster-folk talk about 'The Mainland', meaning Britain (that big bit of rock comprising Scotland&Wales&England) but I guess when on Rathlin 'the mainland' is Ireland.  The Liberties are a bit to the right of the land in the distance there and a bit inland, in case you were wondering.  We don't have a view of Rathlin from our front door, but drive a mile or so towards Portrush and we can see Rathlin, the Giant's Causeway and even the Paps of Jura on a good day.


The usual lith combination for me: Foma 131 fibre paper and EasyLith developer.  Untoned, in case you were wondering.


Hmm...lovely lithy tones, albeit the detail in the Sea Stacks are lost a bit.  I've a way to go yet with regard to perfecting contrast control in lith, but I'm getting there...

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Side-street, Porto

Just off Rua des Flores where our aparthotel was:

HP5+, Ilford Warmtone RC paper 10"x8"
As you can see there are a lot of ups-and-downs in Porto...rather too many, truth be told, when the old legs are used to the flat of Portstewart Strand but there you go.

Talking of flat, this print is a bit flat, but I find myself increasingly rebelling against the prevailing necessity for every snap to rendered at the highest contrast possible.  I blame Salgado but it's probably just jealously on my part.  It's not Salgado's fault, of course - if anything, it's more that most images are being viewed on computer screens these days...that backlit technology sure makes for snappy images but when you've a B&W print in your hand, or on the wall, you want to see some mid-tones.  Well I do, anyway.  Not that the print above is the finest example of mid-tones and I'm quite aware that I'm rambling incoherently so I'll stop now.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Seaweed and stuff

Just some seaweed and stuff on the little beach by Portstewart Prom. The Hound loves to rip the seaweed up for some reason...really goes for it, he does.
Note the alien claw entering from the left
On Ilford Warmtone RC, bleached back and then sepia toned.  I was trying to get the sand to look, well, sand-coloured.  From the Nikon so cropped. Well, the square format is well, just so appealing, don't you find.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Sardines, anyone?

Back to Porto - I found a film from our recent trip which I'd forgotten about.  Maybe better frames on it than the other Porto snaps what I showed you a while ago.

'Those sardines ready yet?' - Porto, festival of Sao Jaoa, June 2017.  A little bit of sepia toning seemed to work well.
When I see this I want to go back!  Isn't that the sign of a good holiday?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

You can ring my bell

Not just any doorbell, a posh one if you please.  This one was at the entrance of the Grand Hotel do Porto, on Rua de Santa Catarina.   I think it was a doorbell although I didn't test its functionality.

I wonder whose fingers have pressed this over the years...

I printed this one Foma paper and used lith developer, but it didn't come out great - so it was either a poor choice of materials or simply poor execution.  Yup, I was thinking the same - poor execution.  Anyway, to try to improve things I dunked the print in some hot selenium for a few minutes and the image came to life - as well as having a slight reddish tinge to it, as you can see. I think the scan has accentuated the colour shift a little, compared to the print.

If you're of a certain age the title of this post will perhaps have raised a smile.  A chart hit in the UK back in the late 70s it was very catchy, even if it wasn't something a teenage boy would ever have admitted liking.  You might be scratching your head, wondering, 'Ah...now who was that singer?'.  I'll be honest - I had to Google it, but I'll save you the bother.  It was sung by the very glamorous Anita Ward.  There.  Or rather here if you want to see the video.  Over 3 million views - very impressive Ms Ward, very impressive, even if the lyrics are pretty funny from today's perspective, some 38 years later....something about 'Lay back and relax while I put away the dishes and then you and me can...'.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Made in Ireland

This particular model was made in Ireland and was first spotted around the North East Liberties of Coleraine around 2003.  Snapped up the other week and printed on Ilford Warmtone on the first Sunday in August 2017 - yesterday in fact.  It was a wet morning so it seemed like the only decent thing to do...

Missy, via the Nikon/50mm/HP5. 

Friday, 4 August 2017

Steps

It was the lines and shadows of the steps and railings that caught my eyes...and then just as I was about to press the shutter release the gentleman walked into the middle of the frame.  I wasn't unhappy at the time, truth be told, as people generally add something to a snap.  Of course since we're talking proper film photography here, I had to be content with delayed gratification - in this case more than a few weeks.  But sure isn't that half the fun?  I mean, all this fascination with instant feedback, eh? - surely the root cause of most of the problems in society these days...

A bit of cropping of the HP5+ negative out of the Nikon/50mm combination and this is what came out from the darkroom on Ilford Warmtone RC paper:


Shadows and steps and lower legs, Porto, June 2017
And take note of the quality of that heel strike.  These things are important for proper walking, y'know.  Ah, the things you learn when you spend time in the company of physical therapists, as is so often the case when one has ankylosing spondylitis.




Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Rathlin Island Ferry

Missy and I had our annual excursion to Rathlin a couple of weeks ago.  The weather wasn't great on the second day but the day we arrived things were very pleasant.  We did the RSPB Bird Sanctuary out at the West Lighthouse and in the evening we just dandered about Church Bay and watched the seals frolicking about.  Well, perhaps not exactly frolicking, more lazing around if truth be told, although one or two of the younger ones were swimming.  Whatever they were doing, it's always very calming to sit and watch them for a while.

There was a fair bit of weather around but it mostly seemed to be out West, towards the mainland.  I snapped up the old Rathlin Island Ferry as it came in.  This is what came out on Foma paper in lith developer:

Church Bay, Rathlin Island, July 2017.  Hasselblad, 50mm lens, HP5+