10 Dec 2008

Met up with a couple of photographers who I’ve got to know since moving to Dorset.

Both are avid users of film over digital and I thought I was the only one left. Brendan, who came over in the afternoon, brought along some prints and we had a good chat about technical matters relating to printing (quite nerdy really – that’s describing me by the way). I did a portrait of Brendan using his 6×6 SLR which was beautiful to use and then some on the Leica mainly as I’m on a roll at the moment with portraits. As long as people fall into the category of being human and have a head, I’m interested. If you don’t have a head, I’m still quite interested. I’m just obsessed with finding and portraying the (as I see it) inherent good in people.


There was late-night-shopping in Bridport, Christmas and all, and Rachel was helping on the treewise stall. It was very cold. Dry-and-brittle-with-smoke-coming-out-of-your-mouth cold. I took Elliot along to Santa’s Grotto. We’re very keen to encourage a sense and appreciation of magic and wonder in our children and it’s surprisingly difficult to do. The general impression I get is that even some children are adopting the concept of Father Christmas as a bit ‘wink-wink’ ironic.

Anyway, I also bumped into Michael Harvey who is a small-camera nut like me. He was out with his Leica and some fast film and he was using a viewfinder eyepiece that goes onto the hotshoe. I had a go and, honestly, if you thought capturing the world with a rangefinder camera was satisfying, uncomplicated and vital, just try it with this viewfinder. A measure of how nerdy I can be is that I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Also, popped into the darkroom to do a bit of printing. Did two hours. Listened to Mark Radcliffe on Radio 2 and froze my fingers washing the prints. 

And here, with no connection to this post is a recent snap of where we live. In the distance is Colmer’s Hill:



2 thoughts on “10 Dec 2008

  1. Have been reading your blog and as a result got my old Sony Alpha out, dusted it down and started shooting in black and white. Ok, it’s digital but I have really enjoyed using it.
    Of course, I have not got a clue what most of the dials and buttons do, but I seem to be able to get some nice shots of my children. Only problem is bluring in low light conditions. Especially when you do not want to use flash… what can you do about that?

  2. Hi Matt. Black & White is the only medium worth recording the world in – in my humble opinion. Blurring in low light is due to one of two things – either the subject is moving or you, the photographer, are moving. A way round this is to make sure the camera’s shutter goes ‘snap’ very rapidly (a high shutter speed) – rapidly enough that you can ignore any movement. And the only way you can achieve this is by using a high ‘film speed’ or in your case a high ISO setting. You could also try moving the camera with your subject as you snap. This would mean that you’re all moving in the same direction at the same speed resulting in a sharper picture. And of course there’s always a tripod. This will sort the problem of your shaky hands but doesn’t solve the little ones hoofing about!
    Merry Christmas by the way!

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