Gap of Dunloe

Taken an age ago on one of the increasingly less frequent (I know, I know) romps around parts of Kerry that aren’t 1; Molls Gap, 2; Kenmare or 3; Killarney. Back when I was only too delighted to leave the car, throw the tripod & bronica loaded with velvia over my shoulder and go off in search of a tasty foreground rock. Nowadays, Velvia (at least the developing and scanning part of it) has gotten old to the point where I don’t see myself planning on buying any more any time soon, the bronica sits in a dusty corner and I never get any further than 100 yards from the car anymore. Must try harder.

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).

That time of year

Been on a bit of an analog thing of late, thanks in no small part to the quantity of velvia scanned some weeks back. No updates in a while because I started a new job a couple of weeks ago and outside all of the settling in, trying to remember as many new names as possible and all that, I haven’t been hugely inclined to udpate the blog. These three were taken with the Diana fisheye lens that Julie got me some time ago for my birthday and/or Christmas. To tell the truth, I’d never successfully used it on the Diana before and it spent much of it’s time on my 5D thanks to the EF adapter that came with the gift.

I completely blew these out too but after some scanning luck and some wild slide bar wanging in lightroom, I got a somewhat acceptable outcome. Not to everyone’s taste I’m sure.  Subject wise, they are of course in the botanic gardens in Dublin on one of the last (or possibly the last) photowalk I attended up there while the place was under a blanket of snow about this time last year. The increasingly dark and cold evenings reminded me of these photos and have made me hope that the snow either stays away for as long as possible or doesn’t come at all this year.

Maybe some ‘novelty’ snow on Christmas Eve/Day. After that, I can’t be dealing with it.

Not very wintry but it was the next shot on the same roll so what the hell. The inside of the greenhouse at a much more friendly temperature.

Last Winter

Now that all the France holiday posts are done, I can get back to reviewing some of the more recent additions to my lightroom catalog. This was from a batch of Velvia I developed recently (and had been sitting on the shelf in the spare room for about a year previous to that). How do I know that? Because other shots on the roll were from Christmas/New Year 2010 at the Botanic Gardens. This was shot with the Diana, something I haven’t picked up in quite a while. I initially thought the light leaks this roll picked up from nearly a year sitting on a shelf would ruin the roll but once scanned some of the shots didn’t look too bad. Almost usable, like the above.

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.

Watering Hole

It must be the very first time I got all the way through scanning three entire 120 rolls of Velvia without swearing loudly and thrashing my arms like a mad man. Anyone that’s ever been in that position will know that what you get on screen is a hell of a lot different than what you get when you hold the developed film up to daylight. Although these shots might not be the best examples of what Velvia is good for, I liked them enough to post them.

Much of what I’ve got through tonight are rolls that have been sitting in their paper sleeves for about 12 months, in that ‘I’ll scan that someday’ pile. Today was that productive day. Or hour anyway. I think I was spurred on somewhat by ogling cheap 6×6 cameras earlier today on ebay. Then after scanning the first of these frames shot on my Bronica, I’m almost inspired to shoot a few more of the rolls that have been sitting in the fridge since 2009. Most of the pain with E6 is the not to be underestimated job of developing after the relatively easy part of correctly exposing is done. After my first outing and complete disaster into the world of E6 development, I treated myself to an expensive used Jobo CPE2 Plus from a chap in the US. It took a good portion of the leg work out of the process, tank agitation and the all important temperature control. Of course with the kit I bought there are seven separate chemicals so it was still a time consuming pain in the balls but when that final rinse was done and a half dozen rolls of perfect slides came out of the tank, the task seemed to be worth it.

But that was before I knew I could get slide film processed for about a fiver a roll. Like having your favorite meal served up to you and not having to do any of the washing up afterward. You’re still paying for the pleasure, you just don’t have to do the nasty part. Sounds alright to me.

So that leaves me thinking about passing the Jobo on to a new owner. This isn’t a me being a shill, I’d genuinely be sad to see the Jobo go. It just hasn’t been used in such a long time that it’s really pointless keeping it. That and the amount of E6 I shoot makes up probably about 5% of my total film use. We’ll see. If anyone does want to sell me an affordable 6×6 camera, do get in touch.

More about this place I guess. Going from what was on the roll before and after it, I’m guessing it’s somewhere in either West Cork or Kerry. Before it on the roll, Inchidoney. After it, more Inchidoney. Pretty sure that’s just because I screwed up scanning the roll in the right order. Glengarriff, Bantry, Timoleague and all those other nice places. If there ever was a happy roll of Velvia, this is it.


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.

Cab to the pier

Cab to the pier
I’ve been thinking over the last week or so that I need to blow the dust off the Diana and throw some film into it. I’m far more inclined to do that than go to the trouble of bringing the bronica out with me. This photo is neither here nor there really, it’s just a Diana Velvia shot from NYC that I was somewhat happy with and represents my inclination to shoot some more of the same!

Indoor Park

Indoor Park
So yeah, long story short while we were in New York I cracked and bought a Diana. Then I bought 10 rolls of Velvia. I didn’t use all ten thankfully, but I did nearly get through half of it. Instead of shooting one roll, seeing how it came out (I was initially quite skeptical about the whole Diana thing) I decided to go hell for leather. Win. Developed them tonight and this one (and a few more) have jumped to the front of the now even longer scanning queue. Expect more, when I do eventually go into madcap scanning mode and get through a few rolls.

Torc Waterfall

Torc Waterfall
Part of the stack of Velvia that\’s been sitting, waiting to be scanned for months. This is my very first post of a shot taken on velvia and I\’m going to start as I mean to go on. All the velvia shots I\’m going to post will be exactly as they came out of the scanner. Which, hopefully, will be very close to exactly how they came out of the camera. The only alterations I\’m going to allow myself are crops to remove frame borders and very minor colour temp shifts where for some inexplicable reason, my scanner decides to tint the scans purple or blue.