52 Rolls Weeks 15: My Grandad’s folding Brownie by Jacqui Booth

Well, I said they’d be some cheats, and seeing as I’m falling behind then this is going to have to do!  I started this roll of film last summer and because the camera belonged to my Grandad Booth, I wanted to run family shots through it…and these things take time.

But with a squeal of delight which alarmed the baby and just about shifted the sorrow caused by my realisation that I’d wasted a frame AND most likely blurred a couple of shots in snap happy haste, the roll of Neopan was ready to meet its Rodinal.

So, I was kitchen bound…the soundtrack was Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Tender Pray and much singing and dancing was done between agitations.  This is how Saturday mornings should be.

And lo, there were pictures!  Pictures of the wife and descendants of the Booth man himself.  Not all of the family by a long shot – I may have to round them up.  And enter into some sort of unholy alliance with a tripod…

This was risky – a indoor shot with only bright sunlight from the window to the right.  That’s my expectant sister with my Grandma.  I should probably have left using the camera to her to be fair – she must have used it before!

And here’s a motley selection of 1st and 2nd generation descendants – with a 3rd generation in utero.  I can’t have taken the 2nd pic as I’m in it!  I suspect Mr Z was called to help again.  I may have told him to stand too far back.

And later, here’s my newly adopted fave pub for lunch – you’ll notice that there’s now four generations all out in the open!

And a few months later, here she is valiantly tolerating her first day in my sole care.  And I was treated to smiles.  And I messed it up!  Still, I’ve tested it and I can fit a tripod under her pushchair.  Next time.

Note to self:  Just stop it with the light leaks!

52 Rolls Week 5: Kodak Auto Colorsnap 35. Trainspotting by Jacqui Booth


One of my favourite weeks so far from 52 rolls...

This week’s crop of photos is from the local heritage railway, the Great Central.  I’ve just heard a steam train from my house, so this is still conforming to my doorstep rule, albeit a little bit cheaty as the dayticket for me and the smallster took us to Loughborough, but hey – it’s like entering a wormhole into another dimension so I’m going to let myself off.  And I’ve come to love the railway, in my own way.

We hand over a considerable amount of cash and nestle into the vintage carriages and trundle away, past the badger holes, my first house, past the allotment and friends’ backgardens.  The day is given over to a gentle trudge over familar ground and I get to spend some time with my lad, who is transported in his own way.  We both have our favourite things – he’s only just stopped being scared of the engine sheds in Loughborough, where I could always spend longer and he loves the trains themselves (you’ll notice I barely paid them any attention…ahem), running alongside them as they leave the platform.  I love the way the powerful trains loom over me…he still seems a little unnerved.  Neither of us quite know what to do with the more over earnest trainspotters but we love it when they’re swallowed up by steam, big lensed SLR and all, and we always look out for welly man, our favourite local trainspotter.

But you’re not here for the trains, are you? We need to talk cameras and it was with a little leap of joy that I realised I’d overlooked a 35mm camera – a Kodak Auto Colorsnap 35 and, as I’d never used it before, it was duly googled and fitted with film.  Its belly was full of expired Kodak Ultra Plus 200 which was to be exposed at 100 ISO as the camera dial only went to 160.  The idea was to adjust for this when the film was processed but after a couple of rather tense discussions about whether it was to be pushed or pulled (pulled – I was right) and weighing up the expired film element I decided to just do it in exactly the same way as Week 3. Pictures happened.

Well, it wasn’t that simple.  Some were the most woeful pieces of shit you ever did see. I don’t ever want to see them again and won’t be subjecting you to them.  A lot of the time I simply forgot to set the distance meter thingy, or simply didn’t employ enough care, and they were just awful.  The rest aren’t great but hopefully won’t be too offensive.  There’s a bit of film slippage and double exposures but I can live with that.  It’s as well as at some point I’m going to use my Bakelite Brownie again and that’s all that does sometimes.

I guess that the above area won’t be around for much longer in the way that it is now, as the track is going to be extended towards Nottingham, over the graffiti bridge and straight through the barbed wire topped fence in a year or two, which I imagine will mean that much of this must be swept away.  Right now, it’s well off the tourist track and one of my favourite places at the railway. (There is a real ale shed but I saw them draw the last pint of bitter…for the man in front of me.  I pulled up my big girl pants and survived.  Just.)

And so another day out at the Great Central Railway was complete.  We stopped off at Rothley to see the model railway but by then the light was fading and so you’ll just have to trust me that it’s one of the most bizarre set ups you’ll ever see.

And in case you’re worried, I did find a bottle of beer there which was sort of how we accidentally travelled back in First Class.  It was very nice, thank you.

This blog was first published on 52rolls.net