Monday, 29 December 2014

2014 was the beginning of a journey yet it continues.

I woke up this morning and looked out my window at the landscape it was a beautiful winters day all  frosty, one could say it was a dusting of snow....

It was just beautiful and breathtaking.  I had to load my two Brownies with film as it seems like the weeks have flown past since I was last out with the cameras. As I loaded the films it was strange as it felt so normal to just load them without having to do any research whatsoever, as I now know the cameras so well.  

Off I went and it was absolutely freezing outside.  As I drove along the Cumbrian countryside looking for something different to capture. 

The roads were narrow with sharp bends and of course icy but I kept going and I pulled over a few times to take photos.  The scenery was beautiful. 

After driving around for what it seemed like ages, then the sun began to came up and the frost began to melt, the whole landscape changed so I decided to abandon taking photos with the cameras as I'm sure this cold snap is here to stay for longer which will enable me to take more frosty landscape  photos as the days go past.  My aim is to finish the two films this year 2014. 

The Box Brownie 1 has a colour film in it and the Reflex has B&W film.  So two very different perspectives.  I am excited to see what tomorrow brings as I venture out once again but in the other direction.  It would be amazing if I stumble across some mist in the frozen landscape can you imagine the images I could get with the B&W film it would be just amazing, as having now seen photos printed from that camera. 

So in the New Year the JOURNEY CONTINUES...

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Work on show

As I approached the college this morning really I had no idea what the photos on display would look like at the exhibition.  It was the first time ever that I was exhibiting images from the Reflex Brownie as previously I'd only seen them on my computer monitor alongside the negatives.  

As I was walking my phone beeped it was a notification from FB a friend was sharing about her work which was also being showcased at the same exhibition, she simply said my work was superb, yet again I hadn't seen them.  

The gallery doors opened and as I walked through I was blown away they were indeed amazing to look at for the first time ever I was looking at photos taken with a camera from the 1940's they just took my breath away. 

For myself it's the start of a new project and having seen what the camera now produces its outstanding I'm just thrilled completely.  My ex-tutors were so encouraging as well so much positive feedback was given today.

Simply they're just beautiful and worth all the effort of going the extra mile.

I want to share those photos with you, and I hope that you will enjoy them.


Monday, 8 December 2014

Exhibition is now open

The exhibition is now open at the college where I undertook my Degree it is open to the public until 13th February 2015.  

will be visiting the college tomorrow to see the images that I submitted for the show also it will be a great opportunity to see the work from other artists and to read of the journeys they've had or are having, I can't wait to see this exhibition. 

A new post alongside some images will appear shortly from my visit. 

The exhibition is at Blackpool & The Fylde College so if your in the area pop into see the show. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

New Website is now live

My new website is now live.  I will be posting upcoming projects as time goes past.
Box Brownie images will also be found on the website as I journey on with this amazing camera.


Monday, 17 November 2014


I am delighted to be sharing that I will be exhibiting sooner than planned.  An opportunity has arisen to show some of my images from the Reflex Brownie at the college where I did my degree.

The images selected are from the first film I put through the camera....excitement is running  through me right now.

The Exhibition will run from 8th December 2014 until 13th February 2015.

Three of my images will be shown alongside other Artists who once walked those corridors and sat in those classrooms at Blackpool & The Fylde College.  What an amazing show this going to be and simply I can't wait to see the work and hear the stories from the other artists to walk with other story tellers. 

I am deeply encouraged.  I will post news and photos of the event.

Exhbition, Blackpool&TheFyldeCollege, ReflexBrownie

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Reflex Brownie First Film

It's been somewhat nearly three weeks since I sent the 127 Black&white film away to be developed.  It's been an interesting three weeks as the waiting has been the hardest part simply because I wanted to just get the film back as seeing it's the first film I put through the Reflex Brownie.  

In between that time I've been taken back a few steps to really think about Black & White photography quite a number of factors has crossed my mind...

Things like the Zone system, composition, time of day, how it takes time to capture a single frame and how you have to stop and think about what your about to photograph etc.  whereas if you shot digital you can see the results instantly and you can make the necessary adjustments on the spot, but with film it doesn't work that way. So doing Analog photography it takes time to shoot a single frame.  But believe me when you have the final results the time taken to shoot on film is worthwhile.

I have now got the film back and the finished results are better than I expected the images look old and grainy but perfect, you can also be the judge of what you think as well as you view the images.
I understand also the film I used has a huge role to play in the finished results too.  I used a Rera Pan 100 Black & White film.  However I would like to explore using faster film speeds with the reflex and I plan to experiment with trying to cut down a 120 film to fit the Reflex, one can only try. 

As you look at the images you can see not only the grainy effects but some are a little dark I guess it was to not only do with the film speed but time of day. 

The photos are in raw format no editing has been done.

I have now tried all three brownies so the journey has begun and I am excited beyond words...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Reflex Brownie

The day finally arrived when I could use the Reflex Brownie.  I was excited to be using this vintage camera it is beautiful not only to hold but to use. I set off out to explore and take photos not really knowing what I would capture but at the same time had a plan the weather wasn't as I expected so had to do with the rain. As I wondered around in an autumn wonderland it was lovely dare I say even in the was damp, wet and muddy but that didn't bother me at all. 

The first frame was shot then another it gave me such joy to be out using this amazing camera I love it so much.  As I slowly went through the frames I was learning at the same time.

One thing I'm finding is one MUST hold these cameras absolutely still, but it didn't stop me from trying to hold it in my hands (as it's designed to be held in the hands) I'm sure at times I'll not always have my tripod so it's worth a try. 

Experimenting is also on my agenda as i walk with these cameras.  
The 127 film is so small the length of it is the same as my little pinky it is!  

I traveled around today while using the reflex as wanted to capture different areas, and to just see what I could do the film is now finished and ready to be sent off. Should have the results next week.

More photos soon.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Second film

Just last week I went out locally with the Box Brownie 1 which was mentioned in the last post. 

It was great experimenting with B&W film again as its been years to be honest since I used a B&W film.

I remember running around as excitement filled me I was just so happy to be out on the go again but with a different brownie as to what I used with the first film.  All set up, with my tripod and the little platform to help keep the camera absolutely still.

The first frame was shot then another and simply I couldn't stop.  I finished the film in no time at all as was simply testing the camera to see if it works.  Of course it was working!

The film was sent off and anticipation filled me I couldn't wait to see the results, a whole week passed then today the negatives arrived.

Here are the photos from Brownie 1. 

I haven't edited them these are straight prints, had to crop a few as they're not quite right.

I dare say these are a huge improvement from the first film and it's just what I wanted to see happen.

Now one feels they must begin to build a project a carefully chosen this moment I'm not fully sure what that will be...  

But first I will experiment with the Brownie Reflex Camera which takes 127 film that film is very rare but as I type I have managed to source a 127 film it also arrived today...  So the next blog will be on the 127 film with the Reflex Brownie...  But having used the other brownies I'm sure I will get good results from the Reflex, I love that camera and it has little marks on the lens which I feel adds to the prints as its such a old camera.  So watch for my next post in a week or so....

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Brownie Model 1

Just yesterday I put a 120 B&W film into the "Brownie 1" for another experiment to see if the camera works, of course it works.   The film is now on its way to be developed.  Also I used the platform to keep the camera still and in doing that was also tempted to hold the camera at waist level to see if I could do it that way so when the CD and negatives arrive back the truth will be shown.  So the end of the week we shall know.

Although I have to say I haven't taken any photos in B&W for quite some time, so hope for the best.
Having now used the brownie 1 I loved experimenting with it and is a joy to use a real classic camera.

Photos at the end of the week. 

I have to say that using film again is something we all need to consider as nothing beats it to be honest.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Moving on with Brownie

Firstly having used a film in the brownie, I realised that I had to do something about keeping the camera absolutely still.  A friend kindly made a small platform that I can attach to my tripod. It's just a small piece of wood that sits on top of the tripod with a split level to make sure the camera is straight.

A few weeks have passed since I had a go with the camera.  I am waiting on film being delivered simply I love to work with colour then convert it to B&W on the computer as that way you can be flexible with the final results. 

I am very excited about working with the brownie to produce something different.  To be honest at this moment in time I'm not quite sure what I will produce, I guess the camera will say it all within the images.

Just yesterday I received a wonderful surprise it touched my heart deeply the thoughtfulness and kindnesses of what this person did will stay with me forever they have no idea what they did it's beyond words.  It was a belated birthday gift. 

The surprise was these two wonderful brownies below. 

Having now researched the Reflex Brownie simply it's a beautiful camera to hold mint condition as well.  As I tried to look for the viewfinder I didn't realise that the top of it opens up like a Hasselblad it just pops up.  And as I looked through just beautiful, below is a snapshot that I took with my iPhone as I was just excited and wanted to see what I could do with the camera. I'm looking down into the camera in which the mirror reflexes the image.   With most old cameras you can't help but notice everything is back to front or the other way round. 

Makes one wonder what the results will be from an actual film as I love the flecks that are on the lens it kind of gives a vintage feel to what you see. The film format is a 127mm which is a compact medium format which I'd probably call it the 'Baby' that is found within the medium format range of films.  However the 127mm is very rare to purchase I found a company online who produce them in B&W only.  These cameras are what one would call 'classic' and sometimes one might need to hack a film to make it fit the camera as the chosen film formats are no longer being produced.

However I have been researching and found that some people use 35mm in this camera but I'm not fully sure, I guess I'd have to give it a go and see if this is workable. 

Also I saw on Google+ a company who wants to see '100 more years of Analog Film' they are looking for support, I feel this is a must as I don't want to see film disappear totally.  

One of the main reasons I went 'Digital' was due to the degree I undertook.  I was anti-digital ever since it surfaced.  I love film and didn't want to change my methods within the world of imagery. 

So using these cameras take me back to the beginning again and I'm just excited to see what I can produce.  I have never owned a Brownie until recently so this is all new but to go back to film is something I like very much.  I could go on and on about why I like film but I don't want to bore you.  I guess we all have a choice as to what we do and don't like within the feild of photography today. 

Moving on to the Brownie Model 1 camera also mint condition and ohhhhh I do love it.  Having now handled this camera and referred it with the other brownie I've noticed that the wind on key doesn't turn the other way, hence my error with experimenting with the first brownie.  

I will be using 120mm film with this as having done previously.  

So watch for upcoming photos and more posts. 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

First Film...

The film was inside the camera ready to use....I was so excited but at the same time I knew it would be a learning curve.  As I walked around with the brownie it drew a lot of attention as people were passing by they were curious and asked in a polite way what was I doing? 

After taking the first photo I had to remind myself to hold my breath and hold the brownie against my body at waist level in order to keep the brownie still, little did I realise how hard it was to do such a simple task.

As I walked around wondering what to capture and decided that my first film would be focused on the open landscape.  

I even got up,early one morning at 4:15am to drive to Coniston Water to capture the dawn I wanted to see what I could do with the brownie.  Really you can capture anything with a brownie their is no restrictions. 

As I began to go through the film capturing beautiful landscapes, it was only when I was taking the finished spool out that I realised I wounded the film on the wrong way.  It was strange as most film cameras will not let that happen. 

It was hard to know what to do seeing it was wounded on the wrong way.  As I strongly felt I'd lost all the images, in the end I sent the film off to get developed really not sure what would happen or if I'd be embarrassed getting it back blank.  Anyway I had to see if there was anything worth saving from the actual film.

The very next day the company that was processing the film got in touch and said they were able to save some images....I was so happy at this news.

Below is two of the images taken with the first film in the will be able to see camera shake but it's almost abstract.

How does this camera work?

As I sat down that very evening looking at the brownie I began to wonder how it works,
excitement filled me at the thought of being able to use this camera.

I knew I had to find the manual.

Google is an amazing tool for finding things that are hard to comeby, especially something like this I began searching and yes it was online so I downloaded it.

As I began to read through the manual I knew the first thing was to understand how the camera works then to purchase some 120 film.  But little did I realise the actual camera takes 620 film which are no longer available.  Again I turned to Google and saw that I had two options one was to either re-spool the film from the 120 to 620 spool or to try and trim the 120 film to fit the camera. The only difference between the two films are the spool size the 620 is slightly smaller than the 120.

So I began the process of trimming the 120 spool being careful not to get anything on the actual film as I did it.  And to my amazement I managed to do that, then I inserted the film ready to take some photos.

Excitement filled me like I was a child again.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Box Brownie

It all began when talking about cameras on a Facebook thread.... Someone mentioned they had a box brownie, I asked if I could see this classic camera but they'd given it away.  

A few weeks passed and one of my friends from Iceland told me she'd just bought a box brownie, I was envious and wanted to see this lovely camera...little did I know what was about to happen. This friend from Iceland visited me in July and she said I have a present for you but you have to accept it.

She put her hand into her backpack and pulled out the Box Brownie I was just speechless, I couldn't accept this from her but she this is the beginning of my journey with the Box Brownie.

Major Project

Having received the grades for my recent exams it’s time to focus on the MP. Just last week I began to think about the next step on my pro...