52 Rolls Week 11: Zeiss Ikon colour 120. The pits. by Jacqui Booth

Due to only having enough chemicals to cover 35mm film, not 120, I eventually had to send this to Peak Imaging for processing. The delay in popping this in the post meant that there’s been a strange hiatus between taking these photos and adding them here.  In terms of writing about them this isn’t good.  My mood has changed.  I’ve been really busy making myself a website at last, and sorting out some Instagram snaps for an exhibition at Brewdog in Leicester – plus all the other delights things that having two jobs and two kids entails.

Anyway, anyone who’s seen my Instagram stream will know that I’m not that keen on where I live.  A trail of photos entitled ‘Leicestershire: A Difficult Place to Love’ has most likely pissed off anyone who believes that Leicestershire is the bees knees.

Week 11 saw me heading to Watermead Park – basically wasteland, sandwiched between a few overgrown villages that reaches almost into the city itself.  The reasons for not really liking this place go on and on – in the last year my visits have been marred by me being hassled, meeting quite a scared runner who’d warned me away from an area from which she’d just been harrassed, giant clouds of gnats, floods, the vast amount of litter that hangs from the trees and the river banks after the floods and a path being closed whilst a poor woman was fished out of a lake.  Add that to my slight apprehension some years ago as a man with an entire spider web face tattoo appeared out of the mist one dawn and the traditional drowning of dog owners whenever the lakes ice over, then it’s a pretty grim place to hang out.  It’s not the first time I’ve taken pics here – a previous lot included a dead fox, a loo seat and a sodden stuffed hippo.  The weir quite often harbours a bizarre catch of ghee oil drums and coconuts.  And on my last visit I nearly trod on a condom.

But it’s within walking distance and vaguely countrysidey. It isn’t countryside of course.  It’s flooded gravel pits, but I’ll take it.

And sometimes – just sometimes – it can feel like an escape.

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52 Rolls Week 7: Holga – Jack White (at the allotment) by Jacqui Booth

Well, I had a week off work.  You’d have thought that would make things easier, right?  But no…I barely managed to get out to do this one.  Due to my “start at the doorstep and work out” the allotment was next.  It should be an idyllic place but sadly the local council’s contribution to an allotmenteers wellbeing is to come over all officious at every opportunity and after a good start I’ve very nearly lost all enthusiasm for it.  Last year’s seed potatoes had shrivelled on the bench and yesterday I just glanced at the new stocks in the shop.  I might just clear it up this year and give the hostility a miss.

BUT the Jack White Holga was primed and ready to go.  I’d wanted this camera for years – since my eldest son was born – but couldn’t justify buying it.  Last year I bought what turned out to be a really knackered 2nd hand one.  The masks are missing too, but I’m only going to tape the thing up and ruin it further, so it doesn’t really matter.  The tape fetches off the red on this and the Diana Meg – so there’s no point being too precious about it.

The day before my sister, knowing that we really needed to get out, drove us to Foxton Locks, a popular tourist ‘beauty spot’ in South Leicestershire.  We got there late so there’s just one shot of the canal.  Then we tried to save a lamb that had foolishly squeezed out through the fence and, to put not too fine a point on it, was shitting it.  As we decided that giving up was the best bet (this creature could not fathom the concept of gates and she had her baby in a sling) the farmboy turned up…and the lamb bolted out of the field entirely and onto the towpath.  He called it ‘mate’ a lot and eventually coaxed it back.  We could all sleep well.

So then it was time to face the allotment.  Not surprisingly, my neglected polytunnel was the worse for wear.  The whole thing had shifted onto the herb patch but some kind soul had caught the torn cover and weighed it down with a bit of fence.  I gratefully shoved the muddy cover into the shed and sat in the drizzle for a bit, looking around at the mainly vacant plots.

Time to wander…

I’ve photographed this place many times before – not with the Holga though and not with a fisheye lens (which is three times as heavy as the camera and dutifully plopped off into the mud after the first shot) so it was really quite a quick whizz round, especially considering the wintry conditions and the low light.

Seeing as the light was low, it seemed a good time to pop out a double exposure too.

The last shot is of the local primary school, which thankfully both my kids have left (we had the misfortuntune to attend under the management of the most bonkers head mistress ever experienced.  I’m being kind here).  It was a strange feeling looking out onto the scene of many nativities, though happily the memory of my naughty little donkey shaking his fist at the innocently singing robin character was the strongest…an improvised performance I’m told he repeated the next day too.  Ahem.

I turned towards the exit and moved on.


Technical shit:

Film: Fomapan 100 B&W – not expired!

Pre soak 20 deg water 2-3 mins, with waggles.  Water went crazily green.  I was scared.
Developed in Ilfotech HC 1+22 @ 20deg – agitated for 1st min then for 5 seconds every 30 seconds
Water rinse 20 deg water 30 seconds, with waggles
Fix 10 minutes – agitated each minutes
Water rinse 20 deg water , changed frequently, just over 10 mins as I couldn’t be arsed to do it for 20 mins.

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