52 Rolls Week 9: Canon Ixus APS - Beer festival with the lads by Jacqui Booth

Hasselblad owners please look away now.  The following content may be disturbing.

Steps to quality photography:

1) Be given a 40 exposure APS film – a type I’d never seen before – by my neighbours.
2) Head to eBay for a 2nd hand camera.
3) Make the local Lofi group look a bit perplexed about suitable film dev reels.  They need to be smaller reels as the film is narrower than 35mm.
4) Talk to a mate about the horrors of scanning APS film.  It lives in its tiny reel post exposure so is as curly as you like.
5) Send the lot off to Photo Express in Hull to be developed.
6) Experience the joy of receiving photos through the post like the olden days.  Okay, they were on a CD, but you know…

Ah yes – there’s the middle bit – the taking photos.  For this level of technical photographic excellence I needed a Beer Festival in the Polish Club on the terribly inappropriately named True Lovers Walk in Loughborough and some really old drinking buddies.  In fact, I’m not entirely sure I’ve spent more than a few hours with this lot sober in the 20+ years I’ve known them.  Ahem.  As beer was clearly the priority here, the camera was put on the table, like a disposable camera at a wedding, and we did our worst…

I felt a bit bad about ambushing this poor man, but hey – he’s behind the bar at a beer festival.  It can’t be the worst thing that’s happened to him.

I did try and take some outside but I think my judgement was a bit off…the “Rubber Queen” bike wheel is less amusing when sober, and True Lover’s Lane is a bit horrid.

I’m particularly proud of the finger slightly over the lens.

We valiantly tried to bez through the 40 exposures but there were three left at the end.  There’s a setting on the camera to take C, H and P (panoramic?) printand the manual says that this can be changed mid rolls.  As you can see, the results are stunningly diverse.




Right, next time I’ll use a camera that’s a bit more proper.  Promise!

This blog was first published on

52 Rolls - Week 3: Canon AE-1. Ghosts by Jacqui Booth

Well, 36 shots is a lot to take.  35 came out okay (one was of me) and it seems a heck of a lot to inflict on folk, but praps if I make them small it won’t be so bad?

I continued with my idea of starting at my doorstep and working outwards.  I was interested to find that if I felt self conscious taking a shot it came out wonky – so a couple have been straightened up in Lightroom to overcome my ineptness when taking photos as my neighbours whizz past in their cars (I tend to be greeted with “I saw you…” which is kinda worrying).

There’s three main things going on here – the park, the fields near the house and the graveyard which is stupendously popular for some reason.  Try as I might to loiter around on my own I always find myself skirting around avoiding folk who drive in, do whatever it is you do at graves, and drive off again.  One of these days I fear someone is going to give me an earful (perhaps someone I lobbed a snail at, but that’s another story).

The park was sad.  There’s no two ways about it.  Full of memories of the kids being small.  Not always good ones.  We are unfortunately to be blessed with a familial group of children who we’ll call the Twatlets.  Feeling safety in numbers they managed to make sure that my eldest’s visits to the park were generally unpleasant.  But even the benches make me sad.  Memories of talking with other exhausted mums about our worries for our children, which haven’t necessarily abated over time.  But there’s happy stuff too – endless stamping across the tiny play fort, getting dizzy on the roundabout, or on the climbing frame with my tiny cousins.  But very much a mixed bag of emotions that wasn’t an easy thing to take.  I stayed and sat for a while, until a bewilderingly shouty dog owner came in and started stomping around.  Time to leave.

The next day was a bit of a tour of my old favourites.  The two fields are a familar place where I can just about pretend I’m somewhere else, though one was too muddy to bother with.  The mud v reward quotient near home is very low and I’ve learned not to bother.  I went as far as graffiti bridge and headed back.  On the plus side I had the place to myself – a real rarity round here, where there are people EVERYWHERE.  I explored a new bit near the railway bridge on the other side of the road where I marvelled at the ability of stoned folk navigating the steep dirt path a couple of years ago.  Not that I saw them, but as I stood on the bridge in the dark I could hear (and smell) them…so I let off my camera flash.  All went quiet and I giggled all the way home, knowingly imagining their paranoid befuddlement.

And so onto the graveyard with its iron railings, lurid flower displays, sad fake roses and my fave one armed cherubim.  And strangely constant stream of visitors.  Christ, it’s a popular place.

Then – after bottling it earlier – it was time for the lightening struck house.  No-one was working on it, though with my back to the shops I felt a bit conspicuous.  Questions will be asked next time I’m in the chemist.  Late last summer I sat on my bed with my scared son, looking out of the bay window, not too close to the glass though in what I considered to be a wildly conservative precaution.  As I sagely spoke about how safe we were, there was an almighty bang.  Lightening had struck and a protective urge (that I was relieved to find I had) caused me to cover my scrawny lad.  Still, the utter danger of the situation was not quite realised until the three fire engines arrived and flames licked ferociously out of the gable end.  My kids now have pretty good reason not to feel reassured by anything I say…

So that’s it.  I guess I should do the technical stuff.  In fact – let’s have a heading:

Technical Shit: Cold water developed

Expired Kodak Colour Film ISO 200

Pre soak 20 deg water 2-3 mins, with waggles
Dev 20 mins at 22 deg, inverted and stuff continuously for 15 seconds, then agitated every 30 seconds
Water rinse 20 deg 2.5 mins, with waggles
Bleach 10 mins, agitated every 30 seconds
Water rinse 20 deg 2.5 mins, with waggles
Fix 10 mins, agitated every 30 seconds
Water rinse 20 deg 2.5 mins, with waggles
Gloves on (at last?)
Stabiliser, in a jug, film chucked in for a minute

Hung in garage, gloves off, accidentally handled carcinogen covered film whilst wet anyway.  Duh.
Moment of panic that nothing had happened.

This blog was first published on