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.
After attaching my new (£15.00) 37mm Mir lens to the Canon 500n/Rebel G and half pressing the shutter button the batteries immediately expired, and I didn’t have any spares. So I dug out my M42 to PK adaptor and decided to give the Pentax Super A an outing. The Pentax is in really good condition apart from the viewfinder which at some time in its life has had water ingress which has left staining on the focusing screen. Loaded it up with Kodak TriX and set off reasonably early to the Arboretum, the Sun was out and coming in at a low winter angle. After a couple of shots I realised the back of the lens caught the mirror if it was focused at anything approaching Infinity, fortunately I had packed an Helios 44-M – 58mm lens, which I used for the rest of the frames.
Low Light Tangles
After the above 2 shots I switched to the Helios lens.
The weather has not been very good over the last few days in my part of the UK, the barometer was well into stormy when I looked this morning. The forecast for tomorrow though looks more promising. So I will set the alarm for early and go out for a walk with a film camera, probably to the local Arboretum where I took the following shots on a lovely sunny October day.
Silver On Blue
These were taken on my old Olympus E620 Digital with a polarising filter.
An old Buddy of mine called and asked if I fancied a walk with the lads, Chipping Norton to the Rollright Stones in the Cotswold hills. Yes please I said, it’s been quite a while since I visited that lovely part of the world. We set off from Chipping Norton following the footpath across the fields and hills. I took my Sigma DP1 digital, and a Konica Lexio film camera with me, together with Tuna and Tomato Sandwiches, a Banana and some fruit juice. The weather was good for walking, partly sunny and not too hot.
Footpath To The Stones
Ready For Harvest
Caught My Eye
The footpath took us through a youngish wood. I really like walking through woodland, think it must be something to do with the Northern European half of my DNA.
According to a notice at the start of the path through the wood, all the trimmings and and off cuts are left in the wood for natural recycling and wildlife, some being arranged quite artistically.
It was quite dark in the wood so I converted the images to Black & White using Silver Efx plugin in Lightroom.
Had my Olympus OM2sp serviced at Luton Camera Repair last month as the film wind on was misbehaving. They did a great job with it, replacing all the foam light seals, checking the electronics, and re tensioning the shutter. The camera felt really good so I took with me on a walk to the local arboretum. It was a really hot humid day, but there were some nice clouds about.
Path To The Arboretum
Most of the images were taken using 24mm Zuiko, and 50mm Zuiko lenses, using a Red or R72 Infrared filter
Trees & Clouds
Through The leaves
The film has given the Fir a bit of a surreal look.
I’ll post some more shots from this roll over the next few days.
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