Author Archives: Brad

Kentmere 400 pushed to 1600

The Winter Solstice

Every year on the 22nd of December Druids and Pagans gather at Stonehenge to celebrate the passing of the shortest day of the year. Under normal circumstances the stones are not allowed to be touched or have visitors in close proximity but the Winter Solstice is one of four gatherings (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice) where visitors are able to touch and sit with the stones for symbolic purposes.

At the Summer Solstice there can be up to 10,000 people visiting and because of the warmer temperatures it attracts visitors who celebrate the solstice but also who want to party. This is not the case at the Winter Solstice which attracts far less visitors and is seen as a more meaningful event with deep ancestral routes.

People wear traditional clothing to pay homage to their ancestors and percussion instruments are played at the early hours as the sun is rising with chanting and singing in groups or as individuals too. In ancient times midwinter feasts were part of the solstice as archeological digs have unearthed large amounts of cattle bones. The passing of winter was recognised and celebrated more than the passing of summer due to the hardships that were faced in the winter with short, colder days and less food to eat with crops unable to grow.

The photograph below is one from 2 rolls of 24 exposure film. Continue reading to see more.

Man standing in the fields surrounding the stones. Kentmere 1600.

Plan your journey

It was 0ºc, frosty and a clear sky with amazing moonlight coverage when my partner and I left our Travel Lodge at 06:20. We walked to a small nearby town then along Stonehenge Road to the main bypass. Note: There is no walking allowed (signposted) from the main roundabout and police monitor it … however there is walking allowed from Stonehenge Road to the Bypass, once you’re on the bypass there is a path and eventually a road crossing (lots of traffic so be careful!) to a gate. The gate will take you straight up the field to the Stones. Every road nearby is coned off and there are police in trucks continuously driving around – this is to stop people parking cars.

Route from Travel Lodge to the Stones. Image Source: Google Maps
Path from the bypass to the stones. Photograph Credit: James Wakelin

When we arrived at the stones the mist was starting to lift the sky was a deep red, violet and oranges.

Photograph Credit: James Wakelin

Moonlight filled the centre of the stones where everyone gathered to listen to the Druids

Photograph Credit: James Wakelin

The sunrise was rich and colourful, when the sun burst over the horizon there was an eruption of cheering and drums banging.

Photograph Credit: James Wakelin

Set up

Canon EOS 1 and Sigma 50mm f1.4 Prime Lens with 2 rolls of Kentmere 400. Due to the low light I pushed the ISO to 1600 for both rolls of film. I shot mostly between f1.4 to f5.6

Develop

  1. The developer I used was R09 Spezial at 1+30 for 25 minutes (test strip of spare Kentmere film done first at 1600 to see if the soup mix was correct as I usually use Fomadon to develop. Test come out perfectly). Agitate the soup every 30s and tap the base to release any bubbles.
  2. Fomacitro 1+19 stop bath for 1 minute with constant agitation
  3. Fomafix 1+5 with agitation every 30s to fix the film for 10 minutes (you can not over fix and I tend to go over the recommended box numbers to be on the safe side).
  4. Finally I rinsed with cold water for 10 minutes. I haven’t got any wetting agent or deionised (or distilled) water at the moment so where any mineral marks remain on the film after drying were wiped away using a very fine microfibre cleaning cloth and a cleaning agent called Fotospeed FC50.

The Photographs

Two men watching the sunrise.

I’m really happy with the results of this film push. The tone is very even and the grain not too intrusive. In a previous post I pushed Kentmere 100 to 1600 and the images looked far too flat and lifeless. I think this was due to the slower development (120mins still develop with 1+100).

This film was very clean without many dust/scratches. Its handled very well with the push processing and I don’t see why this couldn’t be pushed to 3200 or even 6400.

The photograph below is of a scene I found particularly interesting because the man laying on the floor is completely motionless and along with everyone else is facing in the same direction towards the stones. The young girl is the only person looking in the opposite direction. I watched her after I took this photograph and she ran towards a Hula-Hoop and started to play with it.

A child looks left, everyone else looks right, a man laying down.

I love the fur that the woman below is wearing. The texture of her hat and clothing is soft and warm compared with the rugged and moss covered cold stone that she is leaning on. When I approached the woman for a photograph she agreed and kept her focus completely locked on the light that was being cast on her from the sun.

A woman stands against the stones wearing furs.

I was walking along the outskirts of the stones and turned to the right to see a father and his two sons. I love how they positioned themselves on different levels.

Father and his sons positioned on the rocks

The photograph below is one of my favourites. I took it just as the sun was bursting over the horizon and everyone was facing the same direction, I turned around and saw people mesmerised by the red sky and trying to take photos. The older boy was trying to tackle the younger boy to the floor. He looked straight at the camera and I took the photograph.

To see the full gallery please click on the photos below

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kodak Portra 400 Pushed To 800

I love London Pride and i’m sad to see that this year it has been cancelled due to COVID-19. This will be the first time since the first pride march in 1972 that there wont be a march. It’s very sad and feels like the right time to post this roll of film which I shot last year at London Pride 2019 and then a few frames after at the London Wetland Centre.

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Kodak Kodacolour 200

Hey there!

Below is a collection of photographs taken in Devon, 2019. To see how I developed the C-41 please check out the Lomography Colour 100 post.

 

Tagged , , , , , ,

Fuji Velvia 50 Cross Processed

Hey there!

In 2013 I bought 2 rolls of Fuji Velvia 50. I shot the first roll pretty quickly on a trip to New York City…to my surprise i’ve not uploaded that roll to the blog so at a later date will go back and rescan the negative for you all to see. Fast forward to 2020 and i’m shocked it took me 7 years to shoot the other roll (London Pride 2019)…I remember thinking it’s because Velvia is an E6 process. Which for the colour noobies out there E6 is a film processing technique using a different variation of chemicals and timings. The end results is a positive image instead of a negative image created with C-41.

E6 film is usually very fine grain, pin sharp image quality and vivid colours. However it doesn’t have the exposure latitude of C-41 colour negatives so your shots need to be perfectly exposed each time! For more information on the differences between E6 and C-41 check out this blog post from The Darkroom

As I don’t own E6 chemicals and wasn’t going to invest in any for 1 roll of film I decided to cross process with Tetenal C-41. Cross Processing is where you develop a roll of E6 > C-41 or C-41 with E6. For E6 > C-41 process you will usually get strong contrast and a lot of colour cast. For C-41 > E6 you’d normally see a flatter image with muted colours.

For my process I have a very prominent green colour cast.

Changing settings in Silverfast to compensate for Green Colour Cast.

 

You can see from the images below the highlights are blown out and the contrast is really high in places but overall i’m happy with the results!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Kodak Portra 400 Pushed to 1600

Last year I visited Chedder Gorge and Woolacombe in Devon. The weather was rainy & overcast….fantastic for diffusing light and creating soft shadows…an opportunity for me to push a roll of Portra to 1600. To follow steps on how to develop colour film check out my other post on Lomography Color Film

I’m very impressed with how this roll of Kodak Portra held up. I was expecting the shadows to be muddier but the contrasts and colours are looking great. The photos in Chedder Gorge on a rainy day work better than on a sunnier day in Woolacombe. On brighter days the contrast looses detail in the shadows.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

KODAK ULTRAMAX 400 PUSHED TO 1600

Hey there!

Here is a collection of photographs from a visit to London Zoo, Devon and Trafalgar Square. To see the development recipe please check out my blog post Lomography 100 Color which uses the same Tetenal C-41 Developer

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fuji Pro 400H

Last summer we took a break to North Devon – a beautiful part of the UK. Rolling hills, friendly people, places to explore and a rugged coast line – perfect. In this roll of film it shows some shots of when we visited Exmoor National Park and Dartmoor, a Bonsai Tree Centre, and Buckfast Monastery.

Bonsai Centre, North Devon.

 

James standing at Exmoor National Park, North Devon

 

Buckfast Abbey, North Devon

 

Dubblefilm Moonstruck 200

Canon EOS 620. F/8. 1/250. 40mm.

This collection of photographs is from a trip to Devon in the summer. Dubblefilm partially expose kodak stock of film with a blue hue. The film was exceptionally dusty – i’ve didn’t have this with other rolls I developed in the same tank or dried at the same time so I am assuming it’s from where the film is partially exposed and then wound back in to the cassette.

Nothing some cleaning can’t fix and the end results are interesting.

Tagged , , , ,

Portra 400: London Pride 2019

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Dubblefilm Sunstroke 200

Southend Arcade, UK.

Welcome light leaks.

When I was a child my parents took my sister and I to Majorca for a family holiday. They gave us both a disposable camera to use and when we returned and had the film processed we found my roll had tons of light leaks. My father explained the reasons why this happened and seemed upset – but I loved them!

The Canon EOS 620 I use today has good light seals so I seldom see them anymore. So I bought a roll of Dubblefilm Sunstroke which is partially exposed Kodak film that simulates light leaks.

Dubblefilm comes in a variety of film types including:

Bubblegum 200 – Added tones

Pacific 200 – Added tones

Jelly 200 – Added mix of colour tones

Apollo 200 – Added tone to make highlights pop

Stereo 200 – Full red to blue tint across the negative

Solar 200 – Lightleaks

KONO! and Dubblefilm also paired up to created Moonstruck, Monsoon and Sunstroke film types. You will see on the Dubblefilm website they’re currently teamed up with Revlog.

Southend Arcade, UK.

Southend Arcade, UK.

London Zoo

During the summer my sister convinced my niece in to thinking she was coming to London to watch a rugby game with her. My niece was not impressed – complaining the entire run up to the weekend and wanting to stay at home. What she was unaware of was this ruse was because my partner and I had planned to have her stay over the weekend but wanted to keep it a surprise. My sister was still going to the rugby game with her partner but we surprised my niece at the train station…it took her a few minutes to work out what was going on but she was soooooo happy to NOT be going to rugby! Instead she had a weekend of fun things to do around London. Which included the zoo 🙂

Tagged , , , , ,