Mini landscapes through a long lens

I was recently gifted a Spotmatic II with a trio of lenses 35mm 55mm and 135mm. Until now the longest I have shot with is 85mm and even then it was very limited – I just found the focal length too suffocating so I was curious to try shooting with the 135mm and some years have passed since I tried shooting beyond 55mm.

The quality of Super Takumar lenses is already well covered elsewhere. Asahi Pentax really did know their proverbial. Having already shot a roll on the street with the 135mm I know I have to keep my shutter speed 1/250 to ensure a sharp image.

On a sunny day I found myself on the Inverclyde coast by Wemyss Bay. The beach was mostly pebble with lots of sandstone slab poking through. I started viewing these slabs as miniature landscapes to be arranged. This turned into quite a fun exercise and something I’ll definitely try again in future.

Let me kow any thoughts you have on this shooting process or if you have any similar experience yourself, either picking out landscape details or shooting focal lengths outside your comfort zone.

Adios amigos

Stirling Castle, handheld challenges & a couple of clowns.

Stirling Castle is one of the largest and historically most important castles in Scottish history. Before the union with England, Stirling Castle was also one of the most used of the many Scottish royal residences, very much a palace as well as a fortress. Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542, and others were born or died there.

Edinburgh Castle may be the one people think to visit first but Stirling probably offers more to do. We arrived at 1pm and before we know it five hours had passed and it was time to go home.

I shot three rolls of Ilford RB67 through the Mamiya RB67 and once again it justified its weight and inconvenience. I continue to be more and more impressed with this camera.

The royal apartments are beautifully restored but shooting HP5 at box speed of ISO 400 I was worried about light levels. These were shot wide open at f/5.6 and at 1/15 so I was worried about blurry, shaky images but the excellent mirror dampening, combined with a leaf shutter and heavy camera make for surprisingly easy handheld performance.

And of course it wouldn’t be a family day out without these two posers getting in on the act.

A couple of shots from the cemetery and gardens next to the castle.

Camera Obscura/World of Illusions/Photographers Wet Dream

We have been putting off going to Camera Obscura & World of Illusions in Edinburgh for years but we’re glad we finally did; the place is like photography porn (and it’s fun for the kid).

After carrying Big Boy around Edinburgh yesterday I fancied travelling light and the old X-Pro 1 with the little 18mm f/2 fit the bill perfectly. All these images will need a click to see the full image.

Summerlee Industrial Museum

Located near Coatbridge Central train station this place is great on a nice day. Lots of old chunky pieces of heavy metal machinery and plenty of fresh air. Also some nice interactive stuff indoors if the weather turns on you.

I took the Big Boy RB67 with me and a couple of posers for something to point at 😀

As is often the case these were shot on HP5 and cooked in Rodinal for 11 minutes at 1+50

Things I saw yesterday

Not much to report here. Had a fairly lazy day. We chilled in the morning. Went for a Parma Violet latte and Hot Chocolate at Cafe Rawnchy in Dennistoun. I had the Lavender and White Chocolate cake yum yum yum. Shot some stuff on the X-Pro1 with the VM 35mm f/1.4 and there’s even an iPhone shot in there from when the M mount lens couldn’t get close enough.

New toys

Nikon FM/FE, Fuji X, Leica M, Minolta TLR… all my cameras have had something in common; they’re relatively small within their corner of the photography world. Then this happened…

It was just sitting there in the shop window – giving me that sexy little smile. I entered the shop expecting to find this old beast a little unwieldy to handle but no, it felt good but I summoned the strength to leave it there. Then I spend the next three days browsing the web and youtube vids trying to find something that would put me off but I failed. Now it’s mine. All mine.

I only took the one lens, a 90mm f/3.8. I went straight from the camera store to the Botanic Gardens in the west end of Glasgow and shot a roll of Ilford Delta 400. I expected a quality jump from the Minolta Autocord but the improvement surprised me.