Roll One – January 2017. Frosty Reflections.


Frosty Reflections. f1.7, 1/125 second

I had warned of mundanity in my previous blog post, but you have only just been spared the most uninspired set of pictures that existed. I mean really drab. Putting-the-mono-in monochrome types shots. The highlight was going to be a cat on a bin (I’m not kidding, here it is)

Now, don’t get me wrong I love cats as much as the next internet-person (must be a better name for that?!). But in all seriousness this was going to be one seriously and humourlessly (or humorously) bad roll from what I could tell. Nevertheless, I persisted, shot more and had more hope for the latter half of the roll.

So, now the first roll is shot (in its entirety), developed, scanned and archived. A few technical (idiotic) issues, e.g initially leaving the ISO dial at 400 (see the first image for the surprisingly pleasing result of that error) and at some point the ISO dial was knocked from 125 to 64! I blame the cold (it want that cold). However, no major issue in the end, especially as I was developing at roughly N – 2. Also, better over than under exposure.

Exposure: Apart from the very amateurish ISO dial errors, I was pretty vigilant about taking meter readings of the highlights and the shadows, recording both and going for (on the whole) roughly two stops above the shadow detail I wanted to keep (putting the shadows on zone III, if I am understanding Ansel right).

Development: Rodinal 1:50 for 13:00 (rather than the Massive Development Chart’s recommended 15:00). Idea was to retain the highlights despite overexposing to keep the shadows.

Roll One was shot entirely in my close locality. Fair amount of boring shots, mostly just focusing for now on wide ranges of luminance to test and hone my skills. Not exactly a game-changing roll of film. But, then again that wasn’t my aim.  What I have realised is that I should plan for photo opportunities in these coming months. It’d be nice to have more interesting stuff to share! 12 rolls of a medium sized town in Wiltshire, UK is not too exciting.

                                                                     Light. F1.7, 1/250 second

Tree: f5.6, 1/125 second                             Trees: f8, 1/60 second

(Details in the shadows falling on Zone III. Pretty happy with the detail in shadows and highlights here.)

f4, 1/60 second (Shadows on IV)              f 5.6, 1/125 second (Shadows on about II)

(Thinking about Ansel Adams’ idea of visualisation when taking these shots – seeing how two alternatively exposed images end up in the final product. I like both, the left represents the scene more objectively, but the right is more atmospheric).

Having shot little more than trees, houses and the like, I was going to go for a wander. Asking a dog-walker about where a lane leads we (he) got talking. After chatting for ten minutes or so about a bunch of stuff I asked him if he’d mind a portrait for a project I am doing (as lame as this might sound, asking a stranger this sort of thing really is something I have never done before, but I will have to do more of in the future). He was absolutely fine with it so I snapped a few shots whilst we talked. He was a nice guy, clearly wanted to chat.

                                                                                                     Roy F4 1/125 second

Roy seemed to have collected jobs in his 70-something years. He had been a vet, training in 1964, a tree surgeon, game keeper… The list went on and I don’t recall them all. The father of two daughters, who recently became a grandfather, he moved to Wiltshire from Oxford a year ago. He was a genuine, nice guy.

You can walk anywhere here. If you just walked around like that in the Chilterns, you’d have been shot!

Roy f4, 1/125 Second

By the way, this isn’t my dog…

Roy and (someone’s) dog. f4, 1/125 Second


My current record keeping equipment for this project:

  1. Small notebook in which I record development times, temps, techniques etc.
  2. iPad for the Massive Development Chart app. A very good starting point for times and split timer.
  3. PhotoMemo, from ShootFilmCo which I have only started using for this project to record shots, exposure as well as meter readings for he shadows and highlights so I can really see and analyse the effects of my development.
  4. Kenro file with a mixture of 135 and 120 glassine sheets, numbered with a contents page denoting date, film, speed and basic development information.
  5. Miscellaneous: One analogue recording keeping & undo device, one Parker ballpoint, two ShootFilmCo vinyl stickers.

4 thoughts on “Roll One – January 2017. Frosty Reflections.

  1. I remember reading this but left thinkingI have to come back to comment. The photos perhaps capture the mood of the area you live in. I’ve never visited the UK so I can’t tell. But it looks sleepy, perhaps foggy, somewhere you don’t meet a lot of people and there’s a hollowness. Not unlike some of the towns in Arizona, but very different from the vibrance of say NYC or London.
    Sometimes I think my town is just as boring but I have decided to shake that off and photograph that boringness itself. If it exists, if all these people live here, it must be worth photographing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Dev. There is something to documenting, almost regardless of the place if it has some sort of personal importance or meaning. I love this place in lots of ways, not a tremendous amount going on though.


  2. I once owned an Olympus 35 SP and my lens produced mediocre images im terms of sharpness. Do you think I had a defective lens? What scanner are you using by the way?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe it was a defective one, or could the rangefinder possibly have been slightly misaligned, so the focus was slightly out? The scanner is Epson perfection 3490 photo. It’s not great, but does the job. Looking to upgrade.


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