holga

52 Rolls:21 Denmark. Holga Meg Diana+ by Jacqui Booth

My family is very varied.  Some folk never venture far from home.  Others decide that they’re going to get as far away from it as possible.  I was talking to perhaps the most wayward member of my family in my Grandma’s flat one afternoon when I said “Well, next time you’re in Europe, give me a yell and I’ll hop on a plane”.  And she yelled.  And I did.

So it came to pass that after a hastily rejigged departure following a flight cancellation, I left the newly bolted together house mamil still sweating off post operative drugs in the care of my laziest youngest offspring, and got into a cab, caught a train to Luton, an airport bus, a plane to Denmark (the Teenagers’s first flight and only my third), took the Metro into Copenhagen, and another train out to Odense.  Heather was located at the top of an elevator, and we all got on the bus to her digs.

The main aim was to catch up with digital photos – so there’s only one from Odense here.  The whole country is so utterly tidy and there are safe cycle lanes right out into the middle of nowhere.  And they’re not kidding when they say it’s flat.  Seriously, even I can ride a bike there for miles and miles.  You’ve got to be a maniac to ride one in the UK in comparison.  I did when I got back – that’s been filed under Not Fun.

This flat, well kept country was potentially quite uninteresting for me as I like the slightly messier asides – but with the help of the Uni staff we did find some run down areas.  However, this was spotted by my son just metres from Heather’s extremely pleasant Ikea infested digs.  We spent a lovely time in the drizzle with the wild horses getting this snap.

After three days it was time to let Heather do some work and for her partner, Mark, to head off on even wilder travels with the tiniest lightest camping kit ever, so we headed to Copenhagen for a day and a bit, staying with a 20-something over tall volleyball enthusiast named Rasmus, who rented out a painfully cool room on Air BnB.  We wandered out on the first day to explore…you’ll notice from the overlapped photos that the Holga was set to the wrong exposure option.  16, rather than 12.  I suspect Teenager involvement (I borrowed his Holga later and it was set wrong), but I don’t have a film mask for this camera so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

The second day was spent in the National Museum of Photography, the Design Museum, and the National Gallery of Denmark so there wasn’t much time for photos.  Besides, the Teenager’s patience was stretched enough as it was by the time we hit the modern art that he staged a sit in (I may have left him in front of one of the more out-there exhibits on purpose) and I had to call in an emergency all you can eat buffet stop at Riz Raz.  He was a bit rancid during the refuelling process but we survived.

We both really liked Denmark, despite us still coming quite seriously unstuck with two cancelled trains along the way and we were rather naffed off to be back in the UK.  But we headed out to the ‘the pits’ for a wander soon afterwards – well, we needed to finish the film, catch pokemon and eat ice cream.  I think we’ve adapted again now to our comparatively under funded over populated environment.  It’s a lot less relaxing, bit infinitely more varied.

And we’re planning our next trip. California/Nevada/Utah, I’m told…2019. I hope we do it.

Technical shit:

I really have very little idea.  It was ages ago.  Bear with me!  I know I used Digibase C-41 Ready to use pre diluted softpacks.  The temp was 25 as it was such a hot weekend and after I following the 21 temp instructions earlier in the day I followed the instructions for the 25 temp…but I’m not sure it was the best idea.  Another film in the same canister was less than impressive – but it was probably just way too out of date.

Week 21: The Holga and Naked Tim by Jacqui Booth

Hmm, where to start with this one?  Well, I’ll try from the beginning and keep it brief.  At some point nearly two years ago, I was browsing through Twitter and Tim Andrews (who happens to have Parkinsons and was well into his Over the Hill project at the time) had posted something interesting from another photographer, which I ‘liked’ and might even have commented on.  I knew of him through a mate, but wasn’t going to slavishly follow for that reason, because I was awkward back then.  Fortunately, Tim followed me. ‘Did I take photos?’ he said.  Yes, I said, and sent him a link to flickr and instagram.  ‘Would I like to photograph him?’ he said.

“Oh my shitty christ” I thought.

BUT – I was on a mission to do the very things that scared me. And this did scare me.  I was nervous.  I didn’t really take photos of people. But my mate Al badgered me until I’d set a date (this took a while) and encouraged the heck out of me.  We went for walks and talked.  It would be okay.

Al and I, by Tim Andrews. I’m the taller one.

Al and I, by Tim Andrews. I’m the taller one.

Meanwhile, I went through Al’s big book of photos which he’d foolishly lent out a year or two back.  I still had it and was devouring every page.  Notes were made.  You see, everyone seemed to photograph Tim naked and I thought it was a cop out.  I wanted to just take a bloody good photo of him without the “Ooo, he’s got his willy out” shock value.  But, to be fair, as we settled into the studio, started to talk and I began to wrap his hands in yarn, the clothes…well, they just had to go.  They were in the way.

And so, my family and friends learnt of Naked Tim, so called because I know too many Tim’s and it became hard to differentiate.  Though as it happened, the photo we chose from the first day was clothed and was shown at Goldsmiths College in November 2015.  I wasn’t there.  I was watching a baby emerge from my sister.

Anyway, the moment Tim learnt that I knew the legendary Al Brydon (aka my twit of a mate) he decided that a joint shoot should occur.  Hence more wandering through the hills and valleys of the Peak District with Al whilst we decided what the hell we were going to do.  At the time, second ‘Tim shoots’ were rare, so we were a bit chuffed.  Little did we know that this would lead to shoot three.  This is the fourth and was almost wholly on film in honour of 52rolls.  Tim posed, Al and I bickered happily, we both bought along equipment, I developed the film and Al proved that he was better at processing it in Lightroom or whatever than me.

Pocket Al and Pocket Tim, perched on a Holga

It became a terribly soggy and wet day in the Peaks, and for me it had started off quite stressfully, but it was so comfortable and absorbing just making the photos together that I forgot to be worried and just enjoyed their company.  That kind of thing is important to me.

Outtakes:

Previous Tim pics on my website

Tim’s version of events…
I can help you out

The first time:
My time has come

The second time
Three is not a crowd
Special Offering
Helpless

The third time
Silent Song

This blog was first published on 52rolls.net

Week 17: Pushchairs and Pinholes by Jacqui Booth

Future me is going to be awfully confused. I’m behind with this but I’ve decided it’s best not to be too precious.  The motto for this year has been DO DO DO.  I’ve yet to achieve a balance, but balance is dull, so let’s just do it.

This film was started some time ago and I ended up with four frames that just needed to be shot so I could see the first two. Which didn’t turn out.  Fairies are notoriously difficult to capture ;)*

So, I headed out one Friday with the following:

Holga Wide Pinhole Camera
Tripod
Pushchair
Baby
Sun hat
Change bag
Sippy cup of water
Blanket
Beetroot and lettuce seedlings (sensible purchase planning is not my strong point)

It’s a bloody good job I’m not too self conscious these days.  Wandering round with the camera stuck on the tripod whilst talking at length to said baby niece about the terrible habits of mallard drakes is bound to make a person a little conspicuous.  We also got a bit of counting practice in as I wildly estimated the exposure times.  Then she fell asleep so I was left talking to myself.

Anyway, honouring the ‘starting at the doorstep out’ approach I adopted at the beginning of all this, here’s more of Watermead Park, about 15 mins from my house.  To say it’s picturesque may be pushing it, but it looks slightly less like a horror movie location.  I hope you hate the third photo as much as I do.

 

*Taking photos in a dark tunnel is not advisable with a pinhole, unless you have all day.  It’s a bit sad as they were of me and a couple of mates, but hey ho and all that.

Technical Shit:

Ilford FP4 ISO125
Ilfotech HC1+31 8mins at 20°
An increasingly cavalier attititude to chemical management and timings.

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.

This blog was first published on 52rolls.net