Archive for October, 2007

Film Swap (part I) – Edinburgh vs São Paulo

October 29, 2007

A while ago Karla (from holgarithms) got in touch with me and suggested a film swap. At the time I didn’t know what she meant but she soon explained and I thought it was a great idea. For those who dont know what this is, one person shoots a roll of film and then rewinds it and sends it to the other. They shoot over the top of the other persons film and then develop it and see what lady luck has given them.

I think we did pretty well (or got pretty lucky…). It is pretty amazing to think that the photographs were taken half the world away (Karla lives in São Paulo) from each other and traveled all that way and even survived the postal strike!

The whole set is here. Karlas blog is here and her flickr stream is here.

There is more to come, Karla also shot a half frame roll by masking off one side of the frame with cardboard. When I get a chance (hopefully next weekend) I will mask off the other side and ahoot away! I am looking forward to seeing what we got. Details on how Karla did this here.

Johar Valley

October 25, 2007

These are both old photographs from a trip I did to Uttaranchal in India with my friend Neil.

This is the Johar Valley, home of the Shauka. It is the part of India close to the borders of both Tibet and Nepal and the culture here is influenced by both.

Kundan on the trail...

Traditionally the Shauka are traders, using large herds of pack animals to transport goods between Tibet and India. This lifestyle made them rich and the villages in this valley have intricate wood carvings around all the doors and windows. However the Sino-Indian war of 1962 lead to the border at the head of the valley being closed and ever since the valley has been in decline. This is sad for the livelihood of the people of the valley but it has had the effect of almost freezing it in time and is part of what makes it such a fascinating place to visit.

The major reason that people walk up this valley these days are the views of Nanda Devi, the highest mountain entirely in India (7,816 m or 25,643 ft) and to see the Milam Glacier. The mountain took a long time to conquer partly because it is a technical and dangerous climb but also because it is almost surrounded by 6000m peaks. The only way into this ring is through a treacherous gorge that drains it and a safe way through took nearly 50 years to find. When Tenzing Norgay (one of the first 2 men to climb Everest along with Edmund Hilary) was asked what the most difficult climb he had ever been involved with he surprised people by saying Nanda Devi East. The expedition he was part of led to the death of several of the team.

We were lucky enough to get an amazing sunrise view of it. The mountain shares its name with the local deity, she is an incarnation of Parvati and lives on the mountain.

Nanda Devi East at Sunrise

More family snaps from Oban

October 23, 2007

Here are some more family pictures from our trip to Oban. These are all from a roll I shot with my leica m7.

Charlie on the brink of teenagerhood…

Iver in motion:

Zoe doing some speed drinking:

Zoe in a thoughtful moment…

Robert playing peek-a-boo with his granny:

Robert being a mummies boy…

… the only one missing is Holly who was avoiding my camera as usual.

Memorable things

October 12, 2007

I was lucky enough to see two things that really stuck in my head yesterday.

On our way home from work yesterday my friend and I went to look at an abandoned farmhouse I had found a couple of months ago. Its a pretty cool place and I had taken some pics before and told him about it and he wanted a look. When we got inside we heard a flutter of wings and out of the darkness a white owl flew towards us. It did a couple of circuits of the barn before flying out of the broken roof. I only wish I had had the presence of mind to take some pictures. In any case it was a rare treat….

The second was more prosaic – a piece of graffiti scrawled in an underpass. It not earth shattering or anything but it really struck a cord with me.

Expression can proceed understanding

It really struck me because I was just walking back from the pub where I had a discussion with someone about things from my childhood and realised I was saying things that I had never consciously worked out for myself before and the act of expression was crystallizing how I felt about it and how I made sense of it. Edinburgh can have a high class of graffiti…

Lochs & Light

October 10, 2007

I have had the chance to do a bit of landscape photography over the last month or so – first on a trip up north with my friend Rob and then last weekend on a trip to Oban with my family.

Anyway, this is the dock side on Loch Awe next to the world famous tea train. Well okay maybe not world famous but it is a Tea Train. A stationary train that serves tea, why has no one thought of it before? They also have a completely knackered old bench sitting outside that is covered is moss and just generally a bit manky. The sign says ‘this bench is for use be customers of the tea train only’. Only is bold and underlined if I remember rightly.

Loch Awe

And this is Ben Lomond taken from the bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond.

Both shot with my Bronica s2a on velvia.


October 8, 2007

My two youngest Nephews Iver & Robert on a nice sunny Saturday morning on a recent family trip to Oban.

I wish I had taken some more that morning – the light was great and both of the babies were content enough to have me photographing them.

Mystery Object

October 4, 2007

I don’t know what this and I have no memory of taking it but I like it. This is a cheap and dirty scan of a contact sheet I did – I think it is so scuzzy looking because I didnt leave it in the fixer for long enough or something like that. The pictures of my nephew in the previous post are from the same contact sheet.

I like the scuzzieness if it though, I think it really suits the strangeness of the image. I think I will probably try a proper print soon but hopefully work out a way to do it full frame like this (the negative holder for the medium format scanner I have is a bit too ‘neat’).

The film is Pan F 50  btw, which has just reminded me I need more of it…

Young Photographer

October 3, 2007

At the weekend I was in Oban with my whole family (15 of us in a farmhouse).

This is my nephew Charlie borrowing my digital camera (I was using it as a glorified light meter). These ones are messy and squint because they are just quick scans from a contact sheet that I did that I dont think was fixed properly, hence all the white marks.

The last pic is one that Charlie took himself and I think is great.