Sometimes things go wrong and the results might be worth keeping. Here a few of my recent favourites:
In the above photo, I accidently put the camera in multi-exposure mode and took some long exposures from different angles. The Pentax MZ-S is a professional 35mm camera with all the settings conveniently available as switches on the outside of the camera for quick adjustments, yet it also means that you do need to check the settings when pulling the camera out of the bag.
If you work without tripod and put the camera on the railing of a bridge for a long exposure or night photography, make sure it is not a train bridge! I had put my camera on the railing of Norra Järnvägsbron in Stockholm to photograph the City Hall for this eight second exposure and the moment I released the shutter a long train came by.
While walking around Skansen in Stockholm I had the chance to shoot some ADOX Color Implosion film and some Kodak TRI-X. As Skansen isn’t too large, we came upon the same scenes several times and I shot the same things with the different films.
This is not intended to be a comparison between colour and black and white as ADOX Color Implosion film is of course a very atypical colour film.
Even though I enjoyed shooting the ADOX colour film and the results were fun, I probably won’t be buying it and will continue to rely on slidefilm for my colour photos and for black and white film for everything else.
During my visit to Scottsdale, Arizona, we walked the short, 3.7 mile, Marcus Landslide trail at the McDowell Mountain Regional Park in the Sonoran desert north of Scottsdale. Some 500,000 years ago one of the instable mountains crumbled and 5.5 million cubic meters of granite rock, vegetation and soil flowed eastward for 1.5-kilometres.
What’s left is a very scenic area with beautiful and changing vistas around every corner of the hike with the mountains on one side and the valley on the other.
The surprising thing is that this enormous landslide was only “discovered” in 2002. I think the word really is “recognized” as the location had been known for ages, of course, it was just that nobody had recognized it as the remains of a catastrophic landslide.
Shot on Kodak TRI-X at EI 400 using an orange filter, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds.
After my grandfather had died, my grandmother from my mother’s side remarried a retired farmer who had a farm in Wapenveld, Holland, see here for the location. The family name was “Warning,” and the farm was worked by the youngest son. The farm building, Hulsbergen, is interesting as it contains remains of a medieval friars’ abbey, the “klooster” to which the local names refer.
Adjacent to the farm is still a forest and a stream, this forest was the main reason for my father to visit the farm as my father was photographing birds and wildlife at the time and the area was quiet like an early bird sanctuary and full of rare species of birds.
Sometime in the early 1960s, my father took a series of photos of life at the farm that I recovered and scanned. I love these photos: the photos of today, are the quaint and vintage photos of tomorrow. With about forty milk cows, at the time this was a decent sized farm and I do wonder what happened to the farm in later years when farms became fewer but larger. As you can see on Google Maps via the link above, the farm is still there and is still in the same family.
This will be a series of occasional blog posts going into a few more details of the Chichibu 34 Kannon Temples pilgrimage that I walked in October/November 2013.
One of the most impressive temples of the pilgrimage is Temple 32, Hosho-ji. The much photographed Kannon hall is located next to a cave, very picturesque, but there is also a path that will lead you to another kannon statue and a nice view.
When waiting for the stamp, the monk pointed us to a set of stone ‘footsteps,’ standing on the footsteps ,you could just make out a kannon statue on the top of the rock. It takes about an hour to visit and the path involves a bit of climbing and holding onto iron chains and railings for dear life. There were signs up there in kanji which I, unfortunately, couldn’t read but after a while I made it up to one of the statues.
I would have liked to explore the other directions but with my wife and friend waiting below, I chose to climb down again.
Going on a trip with my Pentax 67II is definitely different from travelling with my Pentax 645NII. The Pentax 645NII I can use like a 35mm camera, it goes everywhere and I can shoot it handheld at amazing low shutter speeds. I have brought it on my last two trips to Japan as my only camera.
The Pentax 67II, on the other hand, is too heavy to carry in a rucksack during our hikes so I found myself spotting for locations and then returning to these locations afterwards by car to actually shoot. A completely different experience for me and I came home with a very different set of my normal photos, far fewer snapshots, more thinking about the shots in advance.
July 4 marked the date that blast furnace B opened its doors in Beval in the very south of Luxembourg, a few hundred meters away from the French border. Having worked almost next door and endured the constant noise, tremors and dust of the construction for so many months, I was keen to get inside and change my view of the annoyance that is working next to a construction site to the pleasure that is working next door to a great photo location.
I was not disappointed:The surroundings were transformed and the view over Belval was magnificent. For me the most fascinating part is the hall on the first floor where there is plenty of space and original parts of the furnace to imagine how working at a blast furnace must have been.
But also the view from the 40 meter high platform is worth the climb with a view of the Halle des Soufflantes and the gas cleaning tanks and pipes surrounding the blast furnace.
Belval is really recommended for a Photo Walk!
There is a lot more to Nara than just Nara Park with its famous temples and its hordes of tourists being enthralled by the deer. If you prefer to venture a bit off the beaten track there is this rather unique walk that even the most seasoned visitor of Japan hasn’t done yet: From the beautiful Yagyū no sato (柳生の里) area east of Nara, the Takisaka-no-michi is a 12km, 3 hours walk from Enjō-ji Temple to Nara Park.
Take the bus from Nara JR Station to Enjō-ji Temple, ask the tourist information at the station for bus number and pick up a Nara Bus Pass as the trip is covered by the pass. Enjō-ji Temple is already worth the trip, but once you’re done there, take the footpath that starts on the other side of the road via which you arrived. You’re now on the Takisaka-no-michi which first leads up gently and then descends towards Nara past tea fields, a tea house (a stop here is recommended!), Ojizō-sama statues and plenty of rock carvings of monks and Ojizō-sama.
The walk is easy and doesn’t require any particular skills or any particular fitness. If you have a look at the map provided by the tourist board, you will notice a loop just past the halfway point: if you turn left here there is a little more climbing to be done through a gorge with some beautiful rock carvings, but if you would like to take it easy, just continue and both routes will join again a little later.
What I particularly liked about this walk was that it led through so many different landscapes: First meandering over the tops of the mountains, then down into a rural valley with farms and the tea harvest in progress. A little further the landscape changed again dramatically when we descended into the gorge and crossed the river over tiny bridges. After we left the gorge and entered the forest again, we eventually joined a river again and the unpaved footpath changed into a flagstone paved path that must have been important and probably filled with pilgrims in the past. The path eventually led us back to Nara.
The walk was quiet, we met a few Japanese tourists and didn’t run into the crowds again until we entered Nara Park. None of the people in the crowd seemed to sense that there was so much more to be enjoyed in Nara.
Having lived around London for several years and having carried my camera on me for many an impromptu photo walk, I usually went to the South Bank if I didn’t go to the Battersea area. I liked the space you have on the banks of the River Thames and the chances for some easy street photography with the tourists and the performers.
So, many times I have walked underneath Waterloo Bridge being intrigued by the underside of the bridge or by the skateboarders on the Southbank Skatepark, but little did I know that a far more interesting place lies just on the other side of the river: Somerset House.
Somerset House has regular photo exhibitions, free access and a free guided tour. The most well known photography subjects in Somerset House are the Stamp Office staircase and the Nelson staircase.
On my 35mm camera I had brought a 20mm lens to be able to get as much as possible inside the frame. The first time I visited I had loaded Ilford HP5+ at EI 400 which was perfect. The next time I visited I had loaded Fuji Acros 100 at EI 100 and that almost was a mistake as it was darker than you would expect.
Sun Ra and his Arkestra at the North Sea Jazz Festival – Saturday 17 July 1982.
A Sun Ra concert is something you will remember for the rest of your life: it is a mix between a big-band free-jazz concert, a religious ceremony and a trip to outer space. Long before UFO abduction stories had been heard of, Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount) had become convinced that his roots lay on the planet Saturn which he visited by spaceship and he developed “cosmic” philosophies and lyrical poetry as he preached “awareness” and peace above all in his music. No need to point out that the concert of Sun Ra and his Arkestra that I visited on the Roof Garden scene at the North Sea Jazz Festival 1982 was quite the spectacle with the space music, poem recitals and space costumes.