2015

As 2015 comes to an end I wanted to take a quick look at my year in photography. My wife and I have been lucky enough to travel a bit this year. Visiting Berlin, Lisbon and Barbados as well as several weekend trips in the UK. I have collected below a handful of some of my favourite photos from the year. They are all shot on film, which has been a big change in my photography this year. I will always shoot digital as well but I love the process of shooting film and the results really are unique. 

I started the year with the Leica M6 and after following many medium format shooters on twitter added a Hasselblad 500cm to my collection in the summer. I feel this combination is ideal for me as the Leica makes a perfect everyday camera. While the Hasselblad is so much fun to shoot and the image quality is simply stunning. 

Looking forward to 2016 I plan to join many others and embark on a 365 photo project. This will mean shooting at least one photo per day for the year whilst sharing some of my favourite images along the way. I will shoot this with one camera and one lens and only using b&w film. This combination will be my Leica M6, Summicron 50mm f2 lens and ilford HP5 400 or Kodak Tri-X 400 film.

I hope this will help my photography to evolve as well being a great way to keep a visual diary of the year ahead. I also plan to develop the majority of film at home to keep costs down as well as to learn more about the developing and scanning process.

Thanks to everyone who makes the online photographic community so great.

Happy New Year all!

Barbados

It already feels like a lifetime ago we took this trip. I wanted to share these photos sooner but had a big hold up getting my film developed. I had sent off my rolls on the 21st September and they only arrived at Carmencita Lab in Spain on the 3rd November, that’s 6 weeks! Not good from Royal mail! Finally getting the email saying they had arrived at the lab was the best feeling, as I really thought I wouldn’t see them again.

Travelling to Barbados in September was a bit of a gamble as it falls in their rainy/monsoon season. But after doing some research and speaking to friends that had been at that time we decided to go for it.

As our plane touched down we were greeted with some of the heaviest rain I have ever seen. It was so heavy that they didn’t let us off the plain until it calmed down. We looked at each other and hoped we hadn’t made a terrible mistake. Luckily throughout our trip we experienced a couple of days of rain but on the whole the weather was great.

We were staying on the south coast near the village of Oistins. The island is much smaller than I had imaged. Measuring just 21 miles from north to south and 14 miles across. This made it fairly easy to get about and see a lot of the island's beautiful landscape. It's amazing just how different the coastline is on each side of the island. The south coast is dotted with smaller hotels and a lively strip of bars called St Lawrence gap. Then there is the more expensive west coast where the 5 star resorts line the pristine beaches and the celebrities hang out. Across the island on the east the coastline is rugged and baron. The water is too rough there to swim but great for surfing.

Whilst we were there we had a mixture of chilling on the beaches as well as doing a few trips. Some highlights were snorkeling with the turtles, going down 150ft in a submarine, exploring Harrison's cave, St Nicholas Abbey and taking the Mount Gay Rum tour. The local people really are some of the friendliest we have ever come across. They were all so welcoming and made our stay really memorable. For anyone thinking about going I would highly recommend making the trip. You won't be disappointed.

I knew for this trip I wanted to shoot mainly film. Having recently bought a Hasselblad 500cm it seemed to be the perfect time to get to grips shooting medium format.I also took along my trusty Leica M6 as well as my Xpro-1. My Fuji didn’t get a lot of use, as the light was so good I just wanted to shoot film. I had a few rolls of b&w Tri-x but I couldn’t bring myself to shoot them, as Barbados is a place, which needs to be captured in colour.

All images below were either taken with the Hasselblad 500CM and the Carl Zeiss Planar CF 2.8/80 or with the Leica M6 and the Voiglander Nokton 1.5/50 VM on Kodak Portra 400, Fuji 400H & Cinestill 50. All images scanned and processed by Carmencita Lab in Spain.



Lisbon

A couple of weeks ago I hit a big milestone in my life. I turned 30. As this was a special birthday, my wife kindly said she was going to take me away to a surprise destination to celebrate. We both booked a week off work and I had no idea where we would be going. All she said was that it would be hot, so to pack for good weather. After a weekend of celebrating with family and friends, Monday morning came and we set off early for the airport. On the way I was given a poem written by my wife which held the clues to our destination. It took me longer than it should have to decipher the clues and work out that we were off to Lisbon for 6 days. 

I have been lucky enough to visit many amazing parts of Europe. However had never made it to Portugal and didn’t really know what to expect from Lisbon. I was given a guidebook after cracking the poem so was able to begin reading up on what we would be experiencing.

We had a small apartment in Alfama which is the old part of town. This was great as we were able to walk everywhere. It also meant we were in the perfect place to wonder the side streets where the locals hang out. Lisbon really is a beautiful and picturesque city. The mixture of old and new architecture along with the San Francisco like hills and trams make it such a cool place to explore. 

As well as Lisbon we took a day trip out to Sintra to visit the national Palace and the Moorish castle. I can honestly say as castles go it was the best I have visited. Perched high on a hilltop it gave some breathtaking views over the towns and valleys below. Another great thing about Lisbon is that it is only a 30 minute train ride to the beach. With the temperature hitting 32 °C we had two days at Cascais which had great beaches and restaurants and was perfect to escape the city when it got too hot.

During this trip I was really keen to shoot primarily with film. This was all going to plan until I accidentally managed to knock my M6 and bent the winding lever out of shape, which meant it wouldn’t advance properly. I was gutted so switched to my trusty X-pro1. Later that night I did  manage to bend the winder enough to make it turn, so the M6 was just about usable for the rest of the trip. I have since had the winder replaced.

This really was an unforgettable week and for anyone who hasn’t been I would definitely recommend adding Lisbon to your list of places to visit.

All images were taken with the Leica M6 and Nokton 50mm 1.5 VM on Kodak Portra 400 film. Developed and scanned by Carmencita Lab.