The joy (aka anguish) of film

A sunny Wednesday afternoon, half way into our week off work. What better time to develop a roll of Tri-X 400? That was what I thought, especially having used this blog post to work out how to more efficiently use my Kaiser film leader retriever.

Film, spiral, developing tank into the light bag. Film wound straight onto spiral, the hair drier having done the trick before spiral went into the bag. Much satisfaction and looking forward to seeing the images, until I realised that I’d made an error with the easiest, but most crucial element, and had reassembled the tank incorrectly. The result? One totally exposed roll of Tri-X 400, and one unhappy photographer. Also an unhappy wifey, who’d been looking forward to seeing the shots from Rotherham Fair that I took on Sunday, particularly of the hamster show.

The only positive I can take is yet another lesson learnt, and a mistake to ensure that isn’t repeated. Sadly these are rather stacking up.

Yesterday’s visit to York is still in the camera on a roll of HP5+, so intending to shoot the remainder of the film tomorrow and develop that on Friday, hopefully with more satisfying results.

Monday evening brought dinner with my old photography teacher, and some experimentation with the Canon kit. Not sure that I have ever had so many photographs taken of myself, so it’ll be interesting to drop the images into Lightroom and check out some professional, if not entirely sober, portraits.

Time to fire off the remaining HP5+ and load in another roll of Tri-X, not sure that the first roll was really a good way to evaluate it.

Happy snapping!

It’s a blog post, it’s the first of a regular thing

The life of this blog so far has been intermittent, which somewhat overstates its output. It has briefly sparked into life when we have been to an event, taken a series of photographs, and handed out some cards to competitors so that they have a way of finding where the images will be uploaded.

However, I have recently had my enthusiasm for photography rekindled by a combination of circumstances. Firstly, our local gallery, Pomfret Gallery, advertised a photography competition. A very open-ended one, with the criteria simply an “eye catching” image taken in West Yorshire. It had previously been suggested to me by Andrew Scriven that a good way to develop my photography would be to enter some competitions, so I decided to try and come up with something for this, and I knew that I wanted to submit a photograph taken with the competition in mind, rather than peruse my collection for one that would be suitable.

Friday, 8 August was traumatic for many people in this area of West Yorkshire: I noticed around 1600 that rain had started to fall quite heavily, then when it was time to collect Mrs Gosney from the railway station around 1745 the rain was pouring down. I grabbed the Canon on the way out of the house, anticipating that there might some interesting images to be had, but the weather was too bad to get out of the car with the Canon, and instead we drove home and I grabbed the baby Fuji, my walking boots and a cagoule. Some imperfect shots of the bad weather were picked up from Twitter by both ITV Calendar News and our local newspaper, so I felt that getting drenched was worthwhile, and two of the images made the front page of the Pontefract & Castleford Express the following Thursday.

The Pontefract Grand Prix cycle event was scheduled for the Sunday following the heavy rain, and we’d already decided to go along to take some photographs, but we were even more determined when I managed to grab two VIP passes on Twitter. It was great fun to photograph, despite the rain, and was only 10 minutes walk away to allow for the occasional dry off. Reaction to the photographs was very positive (images are here, and whilst shooting I realised that one of them could become my competition entry: taken after the competition’s launch, in Pontefract, on an exciting day for the town.

Pontefract Grand Prix 2014

After many weeks of on and off attempts at us organising something, my old photography teacher and I finally met up for a couple of drinks. It was great both from a social perspective, but from a photographic perspective to talk to someone who is prepared to be bluntly critical. The flip side is that appreciation of images is worth significantly more when you’re confident that there would be no hesitation to provide constructive criticism should it be needed.

The combination of these situations has really fired my enthusiasm for photography, and specifically going back to basics with a camera that I treated myself to last year and which has been so far very under-used, my Leica M6. Having shot b&w film at school (certainly not with a Leica), the attraction of having the option of film that I could develop myself briefly fired before we moved house, and it is now back: a roll of Ilford FP4 that was mainly shot in London either side of a customer visit was developed at home and scanned with a Plustek 8100 (eventually selected after months of debating the economics of commercial processing / scanning against short term costs of scanner to go with the developing kit already purchased).

London - street veg stall

I’m now determined to continue to enjoy the Leica, and enjoy the relaxation of shooting with film and a light, fully manual camera. I’m hoping that documentary photography, primarily focusing on our local area, will drive my engagement with photography even further forward, helped by some great online resources and inspirational photo books. Further to this, the intention is to publish a blog post once a week with an image or two, and some observations on where I’ve got to and what’s planned. This weekend a brief trip to York’s on the agenda followed by an evening with friends where I suspect the merits of digital vs film will be heavily debated over a bottle or two of wine.

Enjoy the weekend!

Strongman Competition at Atlas Fitness

We’ve just returned from our first Strongman competition hosted by Hulks Strongman @ Atlas Fitness in Rotherham.

Lovely day watching some very strong guys have a crack at what looks like some nastily-tricky events.

The link to some shots from the day will be posted in the next couple of days, but in the meantime here’s one of Liam and two of his fellow competitors:

Strongman Competition

Time for another kettlebell competition

It’s nearly that time again, this time for the Yorkshire Kettlebell Club team to head to Manchester Kettlebell Club on Saturday.

However, rather than the two of us being photographer and assistant as we were at Glasgow, this time it will be photographer and competitor as Mrs G is entering the ladies’ biathalon competition.

Looking forward to watching her and the rest of the team compete, and hopefully grabbing some decent images of what I’m sure will be a memorable day.

In the meantime, here’s one from Glasgow:

Celebrating one of the performances of the day

First photos from Glasgow now online

I’ve imported and distilled the 1600 shots that were taken yesterday in Glasgow.

The first images of Yorkshire Kettlebell Club members, before and during their jerk sets, are now online.

All the images will be added to the YKC Flickr group, which is located here. I’ll process and post the rest over the next 24 hours.

Yorkshire Kettlebell Team entering Glasgow competition

We are travelling to Glasgow on Friday evening along with the other members of the Yorkshire Kettlebell team.


However, whilst they are putting themselves through the strain of competition on Saturday (see here), we are restricting ourselves to photography and support.

Looking forward to cheering on our fellow team members, and editing then posting the images on Sunday.

First Explore

There was much excitement yesterday morning when I realised that one of my photographs had made it onto the day’s Explore on Flickr.

Pink Rose

A very enjoyable first experience of Explore, and some lovely comments from my fellow Flickr users.

Slightly ironic that this shot took around 60 seconds to set up, three exposures were taken and I simply chose the best, applied a slight crop and border, and posted to Flickr.  Perhaps there’s a lesson in there that sometimes less is more.

Thanks everyone for showing your appreciation for this image.