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.

Government Sanctioned Exercise

Lockdown, quarantine, social distancing, coved 19 response measures – whatever you call it, it continues.

Easter break is over so we’re back to home schooling and the challenges that come with it.

On Sunday morning, my lovely wife told me to go for a walk. Did she see that I needed a break or did she just want rid of me for an hour? Either way it was a welcome distraction and I too the chance to shoot a roll of Vision3 500T.

This is a cinema film balanced for tungsten light. When it’s shot in daylight the resulting image is very blue. After some digital colour correction you get what you see below.

There is a slight magenta cast which I love as it also leaves the greens a little washed out. This can be further corrected but then leaves the images looking far too warm in my opinion. There are occasions it just looks odd, check the image with the bench, what was black paint looks very ‘wrong’.

So that’s that. Another week done, another few rolls of film shot and a bank balance that just keeps dwindling.

What have you guys been up to?

Less face/more story

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ll probably have spotted a trend of late; I’ve been attempting to document my family life but with less faces in the photos. This isn’t due to any notion of privacy but an attempt to tell more stories with my work.

When we photograph those we love we tend to have them look at the camera and grin, and although this may produce some excellent images it often fails to tell a story. What I’ve been trying to do is focus on what the subject is doing and if their face ends up in the photo then that’s fine and if it doesn’t, that’s fine too.

What I’ve found is the images I capture conjure more vivid memories of where we were and what we were doing and isn’t that why we’re making images in the first place, memories?

This may seem a little alien at first but if you consider the audience for your family photographs I think you’ll find they can all recognise those in the pictures without their faces being included.

This may not be for everyone but I think if you try it for a while you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

As always, I’d love to hear any thoughts you have on this subject.