Chester Street Photography with the Mamiya C33 and Ilford FP4+ . . .

“That guy must really like his camera, he hasn’t stopped looking at it for the past 10 minutes?”

At least that’s how I imagine the average ‘Joe’ might regard someone shooting Street Photography with a TLR camera, such as the Mamiya C33.

In all honesty I’ve never felt more comfortable photographing strangers and candid situations, than when using the Mamiya C33 TLR Medium Format camera.

Young Girl in Chester Finds Something Amusing Medium Format

Admittedly the ‘outfit’, with it’s 135mm Sekor lens (90mm in 35mm terms) does weigh as much as a Carling 8-Pack (whatever one of those is). Fortunately this minor (?) handicap is utterly negated by the unorthodox (by modern standards) shooting style.

Continue reading “Chester Street Photography with the Mamiya C33 and Ilford FP4+ . . .”

Morecambe Not Wise – Expired . . .

. . . To be completely honest and as far as I was concerned, photography was dead to me.

Regular visitors to the Street Photography Blog will be all too aware of my eternal battle with ‘seasonal disappointment’, brought on when the days shorten and the sky turns an uninspirational shade of morbid-grey.

In this frame of mind I would habitually ‘hibernate’ throughout each autumn and winter period, until one day the overcast horizon’s lift, that strange ‘light in the sky’ makes a much anticipated appearance, and it’s no longer necessary to wear five layers of clothing just to go shopping.

Morecambe Walking The Dog UK Street Photography Mamiya C33

This time round however, things felt oddly different.

Continue reading “Morecambe Not Wise – Expired . . .”

A Late Street Photography Postcard from London . . .

It’s that ‘quiet time’ on the blog again. The London trip came and went, a good time was had and many favourite photographs were captured, using both the Leica M2 and M-E.

Truth is however that before I knew it, my number-one pastime was becoming more of a ‘job’ (again and unpaid at that), with ‘appointments’ being made, promises promised and items for review provided.

So I decided to take a break from the whole photography scene, with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram ‘holidays’ booked. 🙂

And what an absolute joy it’s been without the constant thought of ‘this has to be done’ and ‘must sort that out’ etc. Instead I’ve been able to completely forget about all of ‘that stuff’ and concentrate on other things instead, such as music and my first motorbike in 3 years – nice.

So what about the pictures from London? Well for now I’d like to present what is for me, probably the finest photograph I’ve taken to date (in my opinion). Taken with the Leica M2, Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 Classic lens, Ilford HP5+ and processed in a new (for me) developer, Tetenal Paranol S (review to come).

Chow for now and enjoy.

Naked Bike Ride London 2015 Leica M2 CV 35 1.4 Paranol S Kevin Shelley Street Photography Blog UK

Another New eBook “The British – A Pictorial Guide for Other Nations” . . .

. . . Yep, following my visit to Bowness near Windermere in the Lake District and my experiences shooting Street with the Medium Format Mamiya C33 TLR, I have emerged from the fumes, flames, smoke and explosions of the Street Photography Blog laboratory, with another eBook.

“The British – A Pictorial Guide for Other Nations” is a light-hearted and ‘tongue-in-cheek’ search for the elusive and stereotypical representations of how other nations (may possibly) view the British. As it turns out, there is actually a strong basis for these (possible) misconceptions.

As usual, click eBooks to visit that page and download the eBook (PDF), or click the picture below.

Cheers,

The British - A Pictorial Guide for Other Nations eBook PDF Street Photography Blog UK

Medium Format Street Photography With A Mamiya TLR And Darkroom Excitement . . .

. . . If anyone was to tell you that ‘film is dead’, suggest to them that they place a post on Twitter and include the hashtags #Film #Photography. Leave to simmer for a few hours and if the number of favourites, enthusiastic responses and re-tweets they’ll receive are anything to go by, film is apparently continuing to grow in popularity – and I for one can understand why.

Leaving aside the obvious attractions of its inherent image quality, the ‘feel’ and the limited number of exposures available (with the benefits this brings to your photography), there is also a level of anticipation and excitement when it comes to viewing your finished images, which is impossible to achieve with digital. (UPDATE : Unless you’re shooting the Leica M Edition 60 – My 3-Part review starting here).

These unique qualities can be experienced whether you send your films away to be processed, or choose (as I do) to do the work yourself. However, it’s only in the darkroom that you’ll experience the full gamut of emotions.

Take for example the last two days, one Mamiya C33 TLR and four rolls of ‘expired’ Ilford FP4 Medium Format film.

Mamiya C33 TLR Medium Format Camera Street Photography Blog

It began a few days ago, when I accidentally tripped over my ancient (and beige) National Geographic canvas camera bag, poking out from under a table – “Ah the old Mamiya” I thought. Very shortly I’d pulled the camera from the bag and soon discovered there were also four rolls of unexposed black & white film in a front pocket. A quick once-over and several film-less test shots later confirmed everything was (somewhat surprisingly) in good order. The old grey-matter quickly got to work and in no time, a plan was hatched.

Continue reading “Medium Format Street Photography With A Mamiya TLR And Darkroom Excitement . . .”

Street Photography Is Like A Box Of Chocolates . . .

. . . Yes you’ve guessed it, “you never know what you’re gonna get” (especially where 35mm is concerned). I could also quote a favourite saying of one-time TV football pundit, Jimmy Greeves – “It’s a funny old game.”

At least that’s how it felt as I took my place amongst the crazed swathes of early Christmas shoppers on the streets of Chester recently, one dark and cold Saturday morning.

Mercifully though and despite the ominous blanket of moody black cloud that appeared to hover inches above our heads, the day remained dry. Add to the equation that there was barely a square foot of pavement available to each pedestrian and you have the perfect environment (?) for the Street Photographer, be it one who’s still in recovery from a good-old-fashioned nervous breakdown.

Which brings me nicely to the reason I was now standing approximately centre-left of a shopping thoroughfare, the Leica M2 loaded with HP5 and a Voigtlander 50 f/1.5 lens mounted.

It had been at least 10 weeks since I’d even dared to pickup a camera, partly through fear that doing so might trigger another ‘episode’. What if I started panicking again, or worse still, began sobbing and wailing uncontrollably like some great grizzly bear and in full view of every bewildered passerby?

“Pull yourself together Kevin”, I told myself “you’re made of stronger stuff than this”!?

So whilst utilising some simple meditative techniques I’d learnt just days before, and with an extra large deep breath, I aquired a subject and clicked the shutter.

asian lady talks on phone rummages in handbag and stands on one leg chester street photography uk photographer kevin shelley prints for sale leica m2 voigtlander 50 1.5

Continue reading “Street Photography Is Like A Box Of Chocolates . . .”

Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part Two) – Leica M6 . . .

. . . Of my two days shooting Street Photography at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I spent half of the first day with the Fuji X-E1 (article here) and the remainder of that day and all of the next shooting with the Leica M6 & Voigtlander 50 1.5 LTM Classic lens (review here). Here then are the photographs taken . . .

What is this ‘thing’ with film that you just don’t get with digital? It can’t be superior image quality as digital technology has more than surpassed 35mm in that respect. Nor for that matter can it be grain, as software such as Silver Efex can easily add as much or as little to your digital files as you like.

very tall scotsman in kilt walks his very small dog edinburgh fringe festival 2014 street photography uk photographer kevin shelley prints for sale leica m6 voigtlander 50 1.5

Continue reading “Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part Two) – Leica M6 . . .”

Leica M6 & Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 LTM Review – A Tale of Two Classics . . .

. . . Ah, you see what I did with the title there, “Two Classics”? That’s because (aside from the Fuji X-E1), I also took along to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 a new film camera and lens – the Leica M6 ‘Classic’ and Voigtlander (CV) 50mm f/1.5 LTM ‘Classic’. Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I LOVE LEICA M’s.”

leica m6 front view with voigtlander 50 1.5

Now it’s only a little over 2 months since I bought the Leica M2 (review here), which has proven revelatory when it comes to no frills 35mm Street Photography. However, the Leica M6 and CV 50mm f/1.5 have taken what was already a superb package and quashed the last remaining issue I had with the M2 – that being no built-in light metering.

Continue reading “Leica M6 & Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 LTM Review – A Tale of Two Classics . . .”

A 35mm Film Hard Case Storage Box – So Simple, Yet So Useful . . .

. . . It’s often said that the simplest (and cheapest) things in life are the best and when it comes to my latest Street Photography related purchase, I couldn’t agree more.

Let’s be honest, how many times (and how much time) have us film photographers spent fumbling about in those dark and unexplored regions of our camera bags? Afterall, that fresh and unexposed roll of 35mm film is in there somewhere. However, when it’s rolling about amongst five or more identical cannisters, some exposed and some not, it quickly becomes a frustrating game of ‘lucky dip’. Often the only solution is to empty the whole lot onto whatever ‘unsuitable’ surface presents itself.

But swear and curse no more, for the solution is both ingenious, cheap and simple.

IMG_3321.JPG

Continue reading “A 35mm Film Hard Case Storage Box – So Simple, Yet So Useful . . .”

What’s In My Camera Bag . . ?

. . . A little over 3 years ago I did a short video for Youtube of what was in my camera bag at that time (video at the bottom of this post and somewhat embarrasingly shot in portrait and don’t get me started on the hairstyle. 😀 ).

Back then, my ‘weapon’ of choice was a silver-chromed Leica M8 with a 50mm f/1.8 Canon Serenar and a Voigtlander 35mm f/2.5 Color Skopar. My bag of choice was the ‘M-Classics’ messenger style bag.

Today, the bag remains but the kit has changed beyond all recognition.

kevin shelley street photography kit bag leica m2 voigtlander 50 1.5 fuji x-e1 xf 35 1.4 sekonic l308s light meter 35mm film m classics bag

Continue reading “What’s In My Camera Bag . . ?”

Manchester (UK) – The Grit, Glamour & Tattoos . . .

GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING – This is going to be a long post. 🙂

. . . If the truth be known, I’ve never felt as mentally and physically exhausted after a day’s Street Photography as I did just last weekend in Manchester. Mind you, I probably didn’t do myself any favours by spending the previous day shooting on the streets of Chester and on both occasions wearing what are without doubt the most uncomfortable pair of boots I’ve ever owned. 🙂

old man rave dancing in manchester whilst young lad cheers him on street photography uk photographer kevin shelley prints for sale leica m2 jupiter 8 50 f2

Continue reading “Manchester (UK) – The Grit, Glamour & Tattoos . . .”

Leica M2 and 50mm Jupiter 8 Lens, Review and Street Photographs . . .

. . . Yes I have a soft spot for Leica cameras, especially film M’s.

Just a cursory glance through past articles here on the Street Photography Blog will reveal a recurrent theme. Two M8’s, three CL’s (yes they are real Leica’s) and an M5. Now despite selling these and giving up film around 11 months ago for a Fuji X-E1, the siren call of 35mm simply refused to go away. So now a new ‘M’ joins the fray, the Leica M2.

Leica M2 with Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.4 Classic Lens. Street Photography.

Continue reading “Leica M2 and 50mm Jupiter 8 Lens, Review and Street Photographs . . .”

Why a 400 ISO (Fast Film) Is Good for Street Photography . . .

. . . When I made the change to using film exclusively for Street, I used the film I had in my bulk loader at the time – Ilford FP4 Plus, an ISO 125 Fine Grain Film. However, with our typical British climate (cloudy) and my preference for Zone Focussing, I ran into problems with achieving a workable DOF.

With Street, most of the subject matter exhibits an annoying tendency to move unpredictably. Further, it has a nasty habit of not keeping a consistant distance from the lens from subject to subject. Continue reading “Why a 400 ISO (Fast Film) Is Good for Street Photography . . .”

Ilford HP5 Plus and Rodinal with Salt – An Experiment to Minimize Grain and Improve Contrast . . .

. . . A video to accompany this test is on my YouTube Channel and you will find the link at the bottom of this post. Also, quite a long thread has grown from this experiment over at APUG.ORG and a point has been raised about the 4th set of images below (1:100 with Salt). I have added the revision below.

In an attempt to find the best method for reducing the appearance of grain to a minimum when shooting Ilford HP5 Plus and processing in Rodinal (Adox Adonal), I conducted the following experiment.

Continue reading “Ilford HP5 Plus and Rodinal with Salt – An Experiment to Minimize Grain and Improve Contrast . . .”

I Have Come to Admire and Respect People Like This . . .

. . . There was a time (during my younger days), when I would despise these sorts. But with maturity has come a new found respect. There they stand in all weathers, preaching the word of God. Very few passersby ever take any notice, yet still they carry on unabated and just as enthusiasticly.

If you believe in something that strongly, you surely deserve respect ?

20121012-235906.jpg