Sheeps Head

It’s probably as much about the pilgrimage to the end of the world as it is about the photography, but Sheeps Head is one hell of a location. It’s almost always as windy as hell (or as windy as I imagine hell might be on a windy day) down there, soggy or even sinky under foot for at least 30% of the walk and you never really know if one of the animals roaming the headland is going to take an instant dislike to you and formulate some kind of velociraptor styled attack. Having said all that, I wouldn’t change it one bit. If it’s not my favorite location in west Cork for the last few years, it’s certainly in the top three.

As with many of my favorite locations, it did eventually receive the Bronica coverage. PanF+ was the film of choice. This all happened a couple of years ago. Then the film sat on a shelf and greeted the full extent of the morning sun every morning for months. The only reprieve it got was when it was wound clumsily onto a spool, thrust into a tank by a ham-fisted operator (that’ll be me by the way), developed incorrectly (most likely) and hung up to dry in a dusty spare bathroom. So if you see some spots, water marks, hairs and some light leaks in these pictures, you’ll understand how they got there. Having said all that, I still intend on printing at least two of this set. I think it’s got less to do with being happy with the photos because they’re technically good (which they obviously aren’t) and more to do with the location.

Remembering finer days

Until I actually produce some new images in 2012 (I haven’t picked up the camera at all this year yet), I’m not going to stray too far from safe ground. The safe ground is currently Velvia. Going back over the old images I should have blogged months and sometimes years ago, I found these images from Powerscourt in Wicklow that sat in Lightroom being tweaked and fiddled with every now and then. Velvia has always been, for me at least, quite difficult to get right colour balance wise. Sometimes I hit the nail on the head and replicate exactly what I recall from the day and other times it ends up being too blue, too green or too much like nuclear fallout.

Remembering finer days; Because now that I’ve dusted off the motorbike for 2012, I’d like to see some blue in the sky again. Maybe even temperatures above 4-6 degrees in the middle of the day. I don’t ask much really.

Maybe now that I’ve dusted the bike off, I’ll take the opportunity to blow the dust off at least one camera and actually get out and press the shutter button. Oh and get to west Cork on it (the bike, be surprised if you see me riding around Bantry on a Bronica).

Reasons to be West

Another from the couple of rolls of Velvia scanned recently. West Cork again, just as the sun was going down. After fecking about with Vuescan and a couple more for what seemed like an eternity, I think I’ve finally got close enough to the negative to stop worrying about it. This is pretty much straight out of the scanner. Just got rid of some of the more noticeable marks and spots.

Garden Rambling

Back to the grounds of IMMA before I retire these two rolls worth of scans into the cavernous expanses of my photo archive. First, some Pan F 50 lovingly modified by lightroom.

Secondly some SFX, split toned in the only method I know; Ham-fisted. That’s about it for IMMA this time around I think. Of the 26 or so photos from this session I haven’t put up, I think they’ll have to remain semi-retired sitting in the ‘current jobs’ folder until I clear out that lingering job from 2009.

Cloistered

Another from IMMA, this time shot on Ilford PanF+ (5o ISO) to somewhat illustrate the difference between this and the previous shot in SFX 200. Both rolls processed using Rodinal for the recommended time.

I love using PanF+ but at 50 ISO, a tripod is quite often if not always necessary. Again I’m very impressed with how the metered prism did with the exposure and I’ll continue to use it now instead of carrying around the light meter or just guessing at exposure. Knowing that I can get decent exposure now will probably also inspire me to get through some of the remaining Velvia. Shoot it at least. I’m sure it’ll then spend about 12 months sitting on a shelf waiting to be developed. Then another 6-8 months waiting to be scanned. It’s not so much a workflow as it is a workslow. See what I did there?

The Royal Hospital

IMMAAfter yesterdays ‘oh shit I can’t post what I wanted to post so I’ll post something else taken with the same camera’ entry, here’s what I wanted to post. Having got my hands on some fresh developer, this is the result of the test SFX 200 roll I’ve had sitting in the fridge for over a year. It taunted me every time I went in there for milk so it had to get used.

Having looked over the roll, I’d give the result an astounding ‘meh’. For €4.85, I expected more of the ‘near IR’ to be visible. Maybe it requires something in post processing to pull that out, mabye I screwed the exposure, maybe I screwed the developing? Maybe it doesn’t like Rodinal? As with everything film camera based, there are way too many variables to consider.

I’m going to have to scan the roll of Pan F+ I shot the same day in the same location to work out the differences, but from looking at the negs drying I can’t see much in it. At least my untrained eye can’t.

IMMA is such an amazing location, more or less peaceful, amazing building, fantastic grounds and you don’t get hassled. Well, much. I was approached at one point by a security guard checking who I was working for because I ‘looked professional’. Nice guy though. Certainly didn’t give me any trouble as I strolled around with a bulky tripod and a camera noticably larger than your average tourist point & shoot.

But I digress. SFX? Pah! I’ll stick with Pan F+ in the Bronica, Neopan 100 in the Canon A1. Nice to try it out though. If nothing else, it lets you know you’re not missing anything special. Having said that, I welcome all commenters offering their two cents on what I did wrong.

Meander

DunloeA bit further up (if I remember correctly) from where I took this, but the same roll of film none the less. Spurred on today having just had the Bronica out for the first time in a hell of a long time. Shot two rolls of B&W in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, came home all enthusiastic ready to dev & scan. Nope, developer is well expired. Balls. Decided not to risk it with the rolls as one of them is SFX 200 that I’ve had in the fridge for the last 18 months at least. I really want to see how that comes out. Shot the whole roll with a 25A red filter and chanced my arm using the metered prism finder.

Anyway, that’s the reason for the medium format shot today. Also reminded me that we passed the Gap of Dunloe only a few weeks ago on the way back from Waterville and my intense desire to ride up through there on the bike was cut short by worries about the lack of tread left on the rear wheel. Still haven’t managed to get the tyres changed so riding has been somewhat restricted of late. That and the weather is pants. This is priority one for the next trip to Cork. Spin down to Killarney, through the gap and onto the pancake house nearish Kenmare for something cheesy and bacony.

I’m sure the sun will come back for at least another week…

Place to be

The weather is beginning to turn again and although some Donegal weather forecasting prophet has predicted more snow in the next couple of weeks, I think I’ll take a chance on a green Patricks day instead of a white one. So yeah, weather turning. Thoughts of getting back out and taking some landscapes. Loaded up lightroom and this jumped out of my catalog list. It’s from an almost forgotten roll of velvia I scanned some time back. I’m pretty sure this was taken at Barley lake in west Cork.

It also serves well to remind me that I haven’t done a tap this year photography wise and also that I’ve got a whole balls-load* of velvia to get through. I’ve never been much of a fan of slide scanning, mostly because it’s a pain in the arse to get the colours right on screen. Or maybe I’m just crap at it, that’s also a distinct possibility.

So this is the place to be. I might just print this one out and stick it to the side of my monitor in work. Possibly next to the countdown clock that I’ve set to mark my departure to the UK on my motorbike next month for a wee spot of touring.

*the new collective term for a lot of film to scan.

Stone Wall

Stone Wall
Taken for my sofobomo project, this is in The Burren in Co. Clare. During our weekend on the west coast, I spent a bit of time searching for the right wall, with the right patch of grass beneath it and the right patch of clouds behind it. I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out.

I [heart] Velvia

I [heart] Velvia
Spending a few days around Cork & Kerry shooting a mixture of Velvia, Neopan and PanF. After (very successfully) developing three rolls of Velvia so far, I have to say that I’m in love. It’s a pain to develop but it’s just too worth it. This is the top of the hill at Barley Lake between Kenmare & Bantry. The lake is behind me somewhere. Must dev those last three rolls soon.

Landmark

Landmark
Kinda back where I started, nice landscapes catching my eye and the first from the film that I will get printed over the coming week or so. Driving back towards Dublin after a day around the Wicklow and Sally gap. Really love that Ilford Pan F 50 iso film too. Going to have to stock up on that! On a related note to the title of the image, today marks one year since I posted the first photo on glassey alley. Now, 174 photos later, it’s still going. Not quite an image a day I’ll grant you, but thankfully it’s still here. Keep an eye out for a little project I’ve got underway, more details to come in the next few days. Here’s to the next year!

The Gap

The Gap
Driving through the Gap of Dunloe in Kerry. This time with a camera and with the inclination to take photos. Last time, not so much. There was a heavy mist lying low on the hills so the black and whites possibly look a bit dull and grey. The velvia should be interesting though. The place was crazy colourful.

The Black Stuff

The Black Stuff
In a similar shot posted by a whole load more people that were there on the day, heres a bit of Guinness for ya! Mine took a bit longer to get online due to the whole pesky developing, drying, scanning, processing thing. I\’m sure you understand. Also, feels a little strange that as I’m uploading this, I’m looking out the office window at the building in the picture. Fuhreaky!