Sunday, 25 January 2009

A Pentax 6x7 tale

Its been a week since my last post and a busy one too, both for archaeology in trying to finish off part of a site and for photographic stuff.
I was still working on the website but have just about finished at last, and I have had the first films back from the Pentax 6x7 medium format camera I got over the festive break (thanks to my wonderfull other half!).
I love medium format film. Its got a depth and gentleness to it that digital lacks and while I do get a lot of enjoyment from using the Nikon D1x, film still holds a fascination for me.
The Pentax is a beast of a camera, an overgrown SLR that you cann't fail to admire. Its' heavy and the shutter sound is the loudest Iv'e ever come across but that sound is so satisfying, signaling the end of what you hope will be a good photograph. Plus taking a 6x7 negative means lots of detail and an image that the best digital SLRs would only just match.
Its true to say I have become addicted to this beautifull new brick of a camera. Though at only ten shots per film it could get to be an expensive addiction!
The Boat photograph was taken on the river Avon by Seamills station, in the late afternoon on a very frosty day earlier this month. The Fuji Provia 100 film has given a wonderfully colour saturated image that sums up the beauty of this part of the river. The vignetting was a bit of a surprise but the aperture was opened right up and in older lenses this is not uncommon. To be honest I really like the effect and will probably go on to use it deliberately.
Watch this space for more lyrical waxings on the Pentax!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Polar bear

After last nights weather it was a real treat to see the sun again this morning. I had planned on an outing with the Pentax 6x7 but the sunlight streaming through the windows illuminated a block of crystal on a table and made me think of a studio set-up instead.
I had got the polar bear a couple of months earlier but I couldn't make my mind up how to shoot it. I wanted to put it in a not too un-natural setting, something that felt icy and remote. So, when the crystal lit up this morning and resembled a block of glacial ice, I suddenly thought of the bear.
Given the weather reports are suggesting snow in the next couple of days it may be an apt image!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

A bit of a windy day for a market stall!

Its early evening, the wind is howling around the eaves and the rain is lashing against the attic windows. The street lights outside appear as warm flickering glows, though the rattling of the old sash window frames does spoil the illusion.
It was not the best day for a market stall. No, let me rephrase that, the morning was fine but the afternoon should definately have come with a nerves warning! There is nothing more guaranteed to stretch the mental stability of a photographer on a stall than having to constantly leap into action to stop frames from tumbling over and cards from making a desperate bid for freedom down the next street. I gave up in the end and took down the larger frames, then finally admitted defeat and packed up completely. Just in time, as when I reached home the skies opened and the watering can of the clouds tipped up!
It wasn't a brilliant day but not a wasted one as I chatted to several interesting people, including a young photographer just about to have her first exhibition. If you like cross processed film photography I recommend you check out the work of Sarah Macfarlane at
I like her querky view on life.
Now though its time for tea, a hot soup to warm the cockles of my soul and perhaps a good film to wind down with. Something spooky. But with NO storms involved!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Madame Talbots victorian gothic

I found a gem in last months edition of Fortean Times; The work of a Madame Talbot. On visiting her website you are introduced to a world of odd dolls, hand illustrated and inked posters (no computers here) and the strange monkeys' paw set in red velvet amongst many others. She has a love of everything that is victorian gothic and her work is wonderfully bizarre. For admirers of the macabre victorian oddity you can do no better than visit this ladies on-line parlour.

Monday, 12 January 2009

RandomHamster photographs featured on Autonomous Artist blogsite

I was lucky enough to have the good folks at Autonomous Artisans choose to publish an interview with me for their featured artist spot this week, in my guise as RandomHamster photography. Actually its the thing that finally moved me off the couch to set up my own blog again.
The site champions handmade goods, craftspersons and artists and is well worth following. I certainly feel very chuffed at being on there! Visit the Autonomous Artisans page

I must get on with doing some more shots though, I really want to add to the victorian gothic collection I have been working on. My favorite style of photography is the darker more atmospheric images, predominatly medium format film based but I use the digital as well. I like a sense of the macabre and want to delve more deeply into this with my photography. Watch this space...mwraahahahaha....(spooky laugh).

First post on a rainy day

What a day. Muddy does not describe it! I'm not going to do much of an introduction kind of thing for my first blog post, except to say I am an archaeologist by trade but photographer for the love of it. I work on site most of the week, run a market stall selling my photographs two days a week and hibernate on sundays. Somewhere in there I also try to find time to take the pictures...!
Today was a perfect illustration of why archaeologists are mad. Heavy rain most of the day, a clay site and time running out...recipe for a mud bath. Luckily we could work an area that wasn't strong in archaeology so no risk of ruining it by huge muddy boots tramping all over the place. Still, theres a limit to what you can do when the weather turns against you.
Time for a cuppa...hang that coat up to dry and feet up.