Looking for images for a future blog post I came across a few negatives I’d scanned in a while ago (of course I didn’t find the ones I was looking for !) I thought this one would be good for Leanne Cole’s“Monochrome Wednesday” challenge.
Olympus OM2n, Vivitar 19mm, Konica ir750 infrared film, Red filter.
I took this image in 1993 whilst wandering around Latvia in my uncle’s old Moskvitch car that he kindly insured and placed at my disposal. It was great being on the road at that time, there was so little traffic about once you got out of the confines Riga.
20-20 vision, I’m not sure if I have ever had that level of eyesight, it’s about 14-15 now, the joy’s of getting older. I bought a couple of lenses from that auction site for my Minolta X700 film camera, couldn’t resist, they were from a charity seller (excuse) The lenses were a Minolta MD 35-70mm f3.5 zoom and Minolta MD 50mm f1.7. Took them with me on a couple of walks last week to test them out.
The image above reminded me of what my eyesight is like if I haven’t got my contacts in or my glasses on. I deliberately focused on the foreground with the lens wide open to see what the bokeh was like in the background.
I had the Olympus OM2sp CLA’d a few months back but after using it I noticed the selector lever for the exposure modes was loose and getting looser. So I sent the camera back and they adjusted it foc, and it’s now working as it should. Took it with me to Dams Spinney last week loaded with Ilford SFX 200 (expired 2009) with just one lens a Vivitar 19mm wide angle with a Red 25A filter attached to try and bring out some infrared effects, because the film was so expired I wasn’t sure what I would get. Developed the film in D76 stock solution and was pleasantly surprised by the results, good job as I have another 2 rolls in the egg compartment of the refrigerator.
Next time I use this film I’ll try an R72 filter to get more of an infrared look. Really enjoyed using the Oly OM2sp, it has a lovely big viewfinder and spot metering, which I used for most of the film to help with the tricky lighting in the spinney. And best of all the negatives were really clean, I filtered all the chemicals before pouring into the developing tank and added a little bit of IPA (not beer) isopropyl alcohol to the final rinse.
Went for a walk again last week to Dams Spinney armed with my Olympus OM2sp loaded with Kodak TriX rated at 800asa. It was for a change a bright cold day. I’m really enjoying visiting this old spinney but worry how much longer it’s going to be there, seems to be little if any tree management or maintenance on the site, you have to clamber over fallen trees that straddle the path around the spinney, but it’s good for the wildlife and that’s so important in this day and age.
I woke up at 4 am this morning to the soft sound of a Tawny owl calling, so lovely. It’s normally the screech of a Barn owl that I hear on a few occasions, they seem to like my very tall “Tree of Heaven” (Ailanthus altissima) to perch in.
It’s a sure sign of the start of spring when the Tom cats come prowling around the garden. My two Female cats are both spayed and watch on with indifference. Being an unashamed cat lover I feel sorry for these guys not having a home so always leave some food outside for them, the dishes are licked clean when I collect them in next morning.
Into The Sun
It was a really warm day for February yesterday so I went back to the Spinney to see what if anything had changed, there were signs of new growth and some blossoms coming through. I took my faithful old Olympus OM2n that I bought secondhand in 1992, slipped in some new batteries and it was ready to go. For over 2 years now I’ve had a roll of Cinestill 800T film resting in the fridge so I loaded it up and am hoping for the best, will send it off for processing next week.
Some friends suggested going for a walk last Wednesday, nothing too strenuous as we had all over indulged over the Christmas holidays and the weather hasn’t been the best for getting out and about. I suggested a walk to the Arboretum and a place called Dam’s Spinney which is just a bit further along, until a friend told me about this area a couple of weeks ago I no idea it was there. Of course on the day it was dull and raining but we decided to make the effort. I was going to take a film camera but opted for my little Sigma DP1. I had to set it to 800 asa (maximum it will go to) and convert the images to Black & White, the Sigma looses a lot of colour information at this asa. With the lens set to wide open the shutter speeds were 1/30th or slower at times.
It’s situated at the edge of a medieval pathway, the whole area is adjacent to an old Roman road that eventually runs on into the city.
A Fine Specimen
There’s a lake too.
It Was A Bit Muddy
New Growth On Old
It Feels Quite Wild In Some Parts
The lens fogged over at this point.
The site is next to an old farm which is now a pub and small business area.
We walked around 5 miles (8Km) altogether, so not too far, then back to my place for a pot of tea. Can’t wait to visit again in better weather with some film cameras and watch the seasons change the spinney.
Zits, hickey’s (UK English definition !) spots, my negatives had lots of them even though I used demineralised water for mixing the stock developer solution. I think I now know what’s giving my negatives a bad case of acne. Kodak D76 developer is a sachet of powder that needs mixing with water at 50 – 55 deg C, simply the developer isn’t fully dissolving, so I will be using Ilford ID11 from now on, this is virtually the same as D76 but the developer powder comes in two separate sachets (mixed separately) and from a dim and distant memory is easier to mix, and why I used to use it. The only upside to all these Zits and spots is that I need to spend a long long time in Lightroom cloning them out, this becomes an invitation for my cats to take it in turns sitting on my lap and Purring.
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