Film Forays and Father Christmas

A frozen Serpentine in Hyde Park, circa ‘1950s.

No, not really 1950’s. That was yesterday afternoon. It’s from my third roll of film, lovingly (and somewhat clumsily) developed in a nice, relaxing darkroom session immediately after my walk in Hyde Park.

The last of some snow dusts the ground on a hazy day in Hyde Park.
The Piccadilly Line, the lifeline of Clayponds Village and Heathrow visitors…

My adventures with film have been great fun so far. I learned as a kid with my mum’s old 35mm SLR, and I’m just rediscovering the coolness of it all. Something about the grain, the random imperfections, the feel of winding on the film, the satisfying thud of the old shutter snapping closed, a proper manual focusing system…

The scanner only wanted to detect this part of the image for some reason. It’s cool anyway!
No digital camera can reach the creepiness of black and white film in a graveyard!

For more photos from my first couple of rolls of film, check out my latest student blog post. But it’s not all about film… it’s the Christmas season! It will be my first time celebrating away from my family, which is going to be odd, but I’m sure I’ll still have a good time in London. Unfortunately, I learned something important: Santa isn’t compatible with modern science! Fellow science communicator Ben did the sums and worked out some rather intriguing facts about what’s needed to give every child in the world a transformer. Check it out… and be sure to stop by for more yearly roundups, coming soon!

Nothing like Retro 100 film to make a playground look sinister… Merry Christmas, kids!
Categories: photos, Thoughts | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Film Forays and Father Christmas

  1. hamy935

    The graveyard one reminds me of Hitchcock. The black and white brings a sense of darkness in these photos. Nice try!

  2. Very nice. I have to agree that no digital camera can get that graveyard look – makes me want to get a film SLR now.

    I thought I’d also say congrats on being freshly pressed – very nice photos. I always try to post on a different post than the one that gets pressed… I was pressed once and couldn’t possibly see all the comments on that one post. It was insane, but awesome. Congrats again.

    • I agree Josh, it’s such a nuts thing, there’s no way to really process all the comments and people! And a film SLR is very rewarding, but for me it has been made accessible by the well-subsidized darkroom/film on my campus. Otherwise it’d just be more expense than I can justify.

      • That’s exactly what holds me back (long-term cost) – though I know going through the pain of having to develop a picture and hot having immediate review will make me a better photographer – just like my prime lens did.

        My dad also has an old Minolta, but it’s on the other side of the world as I live in Taiwan.

  3. Nice pictures.

  4. Kostas

    The snooker balls and the playground are really nice!

  5. southwindtrails

    Those photos are amazing, this makes me miss my darkroom days SO much. It’s nice to know that someone else still loves good old B&W film.

    • Yes, there’s just something about it. People look at me funny when I say I like lots of grain, or that I don’t take the utmost care in the developing/scanning process – but so much of the joy of it for me is in that process, the results are just a bonus!

  6. hamy935

    This is an interesting point: having fun in the process and take the results as a bonus.

  7. Wow, these are fantastic. My favourites: “Hazy day in Hyde Park” and “The Piccadilly Line”. Like the silhouetted trees in both.

  8. Where was your header photo taken?

  9. Cheers! And the new header was taken at the Serpentine in Hyde Park back in early Autumn. The shot’s quite boring as a normal crop but seems to work for now! I might try to update it a little more often, it would make a cool regular ‘photo assignment’ to compose a shot for that type of crop.

    • I like your header.But I agree, it’s better if you’ve actually taken a photograph bearing in mind how it’s going to be cropped. Look forward to following your header assignments!

  10. sam

    I love what the scanner did to the snooker shot! Awesome crop! If you want to get the whole frame unclick the thumbnail box when scanning and select the individual frame.

    • Ah, OK, I was wondering how to fix it! Was quite irritating but I was in a rush and didn’t have time to correct it. A couple of others turned out like that too, I’ll have to re-scan them.


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