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April 2015

Photography

My first adventure with Daddy’s old camera

April 26, 2015
White Pony in Barford

Hello, my name is Esther. I am eight years old. I love doing photography with my family. I took these photos yesterday with my Daddy’s old camera. This was my first experience with the Nikon D50 camera and I really enjoyed using it. I took so many photos that I had to choose my favourite ones out of 131 photos!

It was very hard choosing which ones to keep and also which ones I was going to use for this website so, my sisters (Elisabeth and Rebekah) had to help me choose them. It was a very difficult task to do because I liked all of them so much. But those photos (the pony ones) were four of my favourites out of 42 photos. So… I ended up with only 42 out of 131 in the end! I liked the photos that I am keeping now because, they have interesting subjects. We also had to think about the rule of thirds for deciding which ones to keep. The rule of thirds helps to make photos that are pleasing to look at, more interesting, and also allows you to glide into the photo.

I decided that the photos of the pony looked better in black and white so I tried different filters to see which one suited each photo.

I hope you like them too!

Pony behind the gate in Barford

Pony in Barford

White Pony behind the gate in Barford

Photography

Having fun with some classic black and white film

April 18, 2015
Compton Verney on a warm day in the spring

I am really enjoying shooting film and decided it was time to try some black and white. This time I used a Nikon F65 film camera which I picked up on eBay for £30 which included delivery from Germany. It was in mint condition, boxed and with a 12 month guarantee. I am not sure it has ever been used. It was also in black, which I happen to think looks better than the metallic silver version. I already had a 50mm F1.8 lens that I use on my Nikon DSLR so I put that on the camera and loaded up a roll of Ilford FP4plus ISO 125 Black and White film. The great thing about this camera and lens combination is that the lens is small, light and optically extremely sharp whilst the camera body is also very light, so this setup is easy to carry around. The housing of the camera is plastic with a metal lens mount and the overall look and feel is very similar to a Nikon DSLR, being one of the last consumer film cameras that Nikon produced. The camera is very easy to use having several automated modes but I tend to choose aperture priority so I can control the depth of field and get that lovely background blur for portraits. I may have used the sport mode too, for fast moving children! Unlike the Minolta SRT this camera has autofocus but you can switch focusing to manual. I didn’t!

Once I had shot the film I sent it off to Ilford Labs to have it developed and scanned. Once they had processed the film, which took a couple of days, they sent me a download link for the images and put the negatives in the post. I chose standard resolution for the scans and they are absolutely fine for the web and displaying on the computer but Hi Res scans are available and I’m slightly kicking myself I didn’t go for that option. Having said that, this was really a test run to make sure the camera was working properly, so I didn’t want to pay extra if the photos didn’t come out. Of course I now have the negatives so I could take them somewhere to be scanned or scan them at home. My office scanner is probably not up to the job though. Anyway I was quite pleased with the results particularly the monochrome tones which are captivating. With the higher Res scan I would have more scope to manipulate the images and make my own prints if I wish but you can get enlargement prints from the negative too. In this post are some of the shots from this first roll of film. I haven’t cropped, adjusted or retouched the images at all. They are displayed as shot, just resized for the web with a little sharpening for the screen applied. I must admit I do like monochrome and the Ilford FP4plus is great film to use.

Cycling in the Park at Barford

Children by the lake at Compton Verney

Compton Verney House

Young photographers at Compton Verney

Cyclocross in the park at Barford

Cyclocross in the park at Barford 2

Portrait in the grounds of Compton Verney

Cyclocross in the park at Barford with two cyclists

Checking photos outside Compton Verney House

Young Photographers by the lake at Compton Verney

Swinging in the park at Barford

Young photographer at attention outside Compton Verney House

Harvest sculpture at Compton Verney House

Compton Verney House with a couple passing the harvest sculpture

Photography

Here we go, the first roll of film

April 11, 2015
Sheep and lambs in the spring

Following on from my previous post on the Minolta SRT 303 SLR camera, I decide to load up the early 1970’s SLR with a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 colour negative film. I have the camera’s original instruction manual so I followed the guide in there. This particular camera is fully manual except for the light meter, which means that you advance the film by using a lever. Then you set the shutter speed on the top of the camera and the aperture by adjusting a ring on the lens. Focus is manual too, by twisting the lens barrel.

The large bright viewfinder allows you to see through the lens and has a clever prism to help you focus correctly. It also has a straightforward light meter where two needles align to get the correct exposure. Correct exposure is achieved by adjusting the shutter speed and aperture. Sounds complicated to describe but in practice it is very straightforward.

I found using the camera really refreshing. It is certainly great fun to take photographs with. The shutter is quite loud, enough to startle a slightly nervous ewe a few metres away! This is probably not going to be the camera for stealth street photography but I do love the sound of the shutter firing. I must admit it took a little getting used to, using a fully manual camera again. A few subjects (i.e. my children) got a little impatient with waiting for me to finish fiddling with the camera and take the shot. A bit more practice and I will get into the swing of it. I might try some still life next time to hone the skills!

After shooting the film I rewound the film back into the canister. There is a lever that folds out on top of the camera, and after a good few turns you feel the leader come off the spool, a few turns more and you can be sure the film is back in the canister. After I had done this I popped the film in the post to Photo Express in Hull. They processed the film on the day they received it and sent the negatives and CD with scanned images in the post back to me. Great service!

The images in this post are all taken from this first roll of film. I have resized them and applied a small amount of sharpening for the screen, but they are shown as shot with no cropping, retouching, colour correction etc. I must admit I really like the colour rendition of the Kodak Ektar 100 film. It is probably not the best for skin tones but is great for general bright outdoor conditions. Seeing the scans on screen for the first time I was really aware of how different the whole film look is compared to the ubiquitous digital camera images. I am certainly looking forward to trying a few different types of film and seeing what results I get. Um, what film will be next?