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 16: Chrome Hill and the Quiet Woman by Jacqui Booth

I’ve encountered quite a lot of kindness along the way of doing 52 Rolls.  At least three people have bequeathed me their stashes of expired film, the Impossible Project were generous when I ordered the wrong polaroid film and had return it and a very kind man has given me cameras, bought me cake, coffee and leant me his ear.  In fact, he’s been good enough to become my friend.

This week’s expired film is from a close workmate and fellow skinny dipper, Jane, once a keen photographer herself.  However, the roll of Ilford 400 B&W film seemed destined to be trapped in its canister and so she very kindly posted it so me along with a good stash of other film.  So, when an email came from Karen to say that we needed to get together or else, then it seemed like the right occasion to take this film out and show it a good time.  Or at least some photons.  I'm pretty sure I used the Canon AE-1 for this.

Karen is officially my Aunt (and has kindly supplied me with an Uncle Bob, so Bob really is my Uncle).  However, a wild generation gap and a bit of meeting in the middle means that our kids are the same age, which has been brilliant as my sister has only just had the decency to make me an Aunty.

So, my cousins became my pseudo-nieces and still are…and now they’re at that difficult age.  Still, considering the terrifying mix of boys v. girls our families now consist of, I think it went rather well, my youngest aside…

Please feel free to smirk at my predicament.  We hike in jeans despite warnings from all good walking sources that this will lead to certain death should the heavens open.  They have good walking gear.  My son forgot to bring a coat – that’s my spare he’s wearing. The girls more or less obediently walk.  My youngest stages a sit in.  The girls pose sweetly for photos…my kids pull faces.  They don’t swear.  I do.  The saving grace is that I caught these two beautiful mostly vegetarian, organically growncreatures gnashing their way through a Ginsters sausage roll. Monsters.

Still, the walk went rather well.  Chrome Hill (owned and named by Google Chrome*) is also known as the Dragon’s Back.  Aye, I thought – even the spiniest ridges are never that bad when you’re actually on them though, are they?  So, as various members of the family opted for the sensible route around the hill, I scrambled up a vertical incline after Uncle Bob, right behind my smallest pseudo-niece.  If she could do it, so could I, right?  Hmm – it seems I could but only with a bit of shaking and help down off the hill from my watchful eldest lad (in deeply unsuitable Clockwork Orange T-shirt) as everyone waited.  Ah, the shame…

But then – the reward.  We were back in time for a pint at The Pub.  Not just any pub.  I’d been told tales of it along the route, about how the landlord only sold pork pies and other family bar staff based horrors.  But nothing could really have prepared me for the full joy that this place would bring.  You HAVE to go there.  It’s one of those places that will die with the Landlord – a quintessentially Derbyshire pub if ever there was one.  The League of Gentlemen missed a trick when they didn’t use this place.  Or maybe they just twisted it into the household with the colour coded towels and the frogs.

For starters, it was called the Quiet Woman.  The poor wench on the sign HAS NO HEAD.  There’s a newer sign on the roadside too which isn’t much better.  And the whole place is still in the 1980’s – it would be earlier but church ROOF ALARMS are clearly space age technology.

You can camp there too, but you mustn’t wash your pots in the loo sinks.  Not that you’d want to when you see the grey towel on the rail.  I bet it speaks to you after a few pints.

There are useful notes around the place, to help you maximise your enjoyment of the facilities.

TABLE TRAYS

Please do not remove from their tables.

Packets from Snacks have to be collected and removed.

Anyone putting waste into empty glasses will hear harsh words from the Landlord.

I suspect when I return they’ll be a note asking me not to snigger and take pictures of the signs, and something about unauthorised reproduction of the words being prohibited.

We took our leave before we could get into proper trouble – but not before finding an ancient sticker designed by Uncle Bob himself!

Cheesey family photo time.  Spot the freaks that belong to me…

And so, another day of the decendents of Booth passed by happily.

 

*This may not be true.

PS.I do not have cats to complete the last two frames so meet Rietta and Vienna…Rietta has since become very bold and I found The Teenager cleaning up her poo from my office as few weeks ago.  Awww.

Technical Shit:

After being a bit disappointed by Rodinal on my last two B&W films, I used Ilfotech HC 1:31 8 mins to dev this lot.  I think I like it more.
I accidentally threw my fix down the sink again.  Must stop doing that.

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 14: Canon AE-1 – Handmade Festival 2016 by Jacqui Booth

Well, using film is extra fun at a gig.  The terrible truth is that when I took most of the photos here I was really very drunk, so even if I knew which bands I was heading to see at the time, now I’ve sent off the film, waited, fannied around and scanned it I can now, hand on my heart, say that I have very little idea who these people are nor tell you if they were any good.  Except for the comedian Ian Hall, but that’s cheating ‘cos I sort of know him through work.

ANYWAY, I can confirm that the particular level of cider intake, an unusual choice for me, won’t be repeated in a hurry.  It was quite palatable though, even if it allegedly meant that I took rather a longer time than usual reaching the bus stop.  The words”punch drunk” were mentioned…

Huge thanks goes to Handmade’s photo curator and all round good guy Dave W Clarke, who had asked me to jointly exhibit my somewhat more sober photos at Handmade and had therefore plonked me on the guestlist.  For reasons now apparent, the house mamil was given the photo pass.  However, this made it way to me along with a roll of 800 ISO CineStill Film (colour film for low light) so I did some dancing around in the way of serious photo people in th press pit who were concentrating very hard on taking photos with digital cameras.  Well, they did the sideways poses and proper squinty faces anyway.  I employed a nonchalant walk and click, which I beginning to suspect was actually a drunken stagger and a wide grin, rather like a toddler with a new Fisher Price camera.

Some basic tweaks and a billion dust removals later*, this is what ensued…first up is Club Smashing with the aforementioned Ian Hall and Shark Lady.  I guess you had to be there…

And here are the bands…I’ll figure them out in a bit. There’s definitely Three Trapped Tigers there, and Swim Deep.


*Yeah, I left the film in the holder on the dining room table.  For a week.  This wasn’t clever, but hell – I was busy!

And, just so you can see what the film does in truly low light – eg. no stage lights, here’s me. Be kind.  I’m inebriated!

52 Rolls Week 13: Holga Wide Pinhole Camera. Cornwall by Jacqui Booth

Alright, this is chronologically wrong, but what the heck.  April has been mental, to say the least.  This last week has been rather wonderful photographically, give or take Week 12’s disaster.

As I mentioned, I spent three nights at the Eden Project as a participant on the Big Lunch Extras course for people who do astounding stuff in their communities.  It was pretty intense and I responded to the challenge sensibly by having six whole hours sleep on the first night.  I followed this up with two nights of five hours kip.  What do you know – these were nice people to be around.  BUT despite being so tired that I was more or less mute until lunchtime on World Pinhole Day, I managed to get a few seconds out of the hectic schedule to snap the iconic biomes.

Below is part of our small regional group, on the way to another workshop.  There were sixty of us in all, from all around the UK.  The loon in the middle is my mate Lisa Pidgeon, who, when she’s not sticking her bum in the air, is the brains behind Little Bird SOS – who we were working hard for all weekend.  Well, in the daytime at least

And then it was time for us all to make our way home.  Except I sort of didn’t.  After travelling so far the draw of a day’s camera play was just too much, and after so pathetically thankfully being allowed early access to my Premier Inn room in St Austell and a couple of hours dozing whilst the sea winked at me from outside my window, I headed out for a walk along the coast.  THEN I SLEPT.  The next morning I stuffed some Eden Project chocolate into my gob and headed out behind the hotel, followed the fence until I found a me-sized hole and hopped into this quarry.  Though I did make my way all the way down into it, this is taken from the lip of the quarry using a travel sized two legged tripod that for some reason I still have, like its broken leg is going to miraculously heal or something…

So, this is what happens when you use your own knees as a tripod, whilst trying not to slip over the edge and sort of hide from the quarry landrover.

And, thank f**k, they more or less worked!

Massive massive thanks goes to Tony S who got in touch after reading Week 11 and gave me a beautiful Agfa Isolette and the stonking Holga Wide Pinhole Camera that was used for this post.  I really appeciate this and am very much looking forward to not messing up the next Agfa film…