They say it's going to be 36 degrees tomorrow - that should be fun. Only music can save us now - here's one of my favourite Australian songs, the Go Betweens and Bye Bye Pride:
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The next few pics were taken with the square old Leica Minilux using cheapo Kodak Elite Chrome slide film. I should use the Minilux more because it has that nice Summarit lens and is quite handy - but most of all because it allows me to do fill in flash, which I've learnt is essential for outdoor portraits in Sydney's glaring sun - otherwise faces just turn out as shadows. The two things I don't like about the Minilux are a) its boxy shape and sharp corners, and b) its loud mechnical film autowinder, which makes it sound like Robocamera. And unlike many Minilux users I have s far escaped the dreaded E06 shutter error.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I'm a bit short on images at the moment so I'll post this golden oldie from 1929, by that genius Harold Cazneaux. It really sums up the Sydney summer, I think - and that's something I'm still looking forward to.
And while I'm on the subject of golden oldies, I love looking at old portraits and wondering what the people were like in person. I had a revelation once when i went to the V&A on a rainy day and saw their old miniatures from the middle ages and Tudor times - they were just like Blackadder come to lilfe. I had the same feeling on my last trip to the National Portrait gallery about 18 months ago - I just loved the portraits and felt I got a real impression of the people. And I really wanted to take home some copies, but there was no book that included a roundup of of my favourite portraits. Fortunately I was able to pick up an old out of print compendium of NPG portraits from a second hand bookshop in Glebe for a mere $40 and love to browse through it at the breakfast table.
One of my faves is this one from the 16th century: a portrayal of Sir Thomas More's family:
And in particular I like the image of the woman who is second from the right - she looks so lifelike and contemporary, even though she lived more than 400 years ago. She is Marie, wife of Sir Thomas More's grandson.
Some other old favourites include this one from Harold Cazneaux, of two orphan sisters from 1906:
Monday, October 27, 2008
Phew, it ain't half hot mum here in Sydney. I'm really missing our old flat which was nice and cool and airy - and had wooden floors instead of this carpet rubbish.
So here I am sat in the heat listening to It's Immaterial playing Driving Away from Home - a song I'd forgotten about until reminded by the excellent "Crying All the Way to the Chip Shop" blog that I mentioned earlier in the week. I used to listen to that song when I lived on Lark Lane, Liverpool 17, and dream about getting away from Liverpool. Now I'm away I wouldn't mind going back! (At least for some cool drizzly weather)
But I might as well be back in England for the number of cockneys and southerners in our office. They're really getting on my tits some of them, too, with their cock-er-nee blagging etc about football.
So to appease the gods of Larndan, here are some pics of the other Kings Cross, taken with my old Contax IIa on my last trip back to blighty 18 months ago.
This week's bit of totty is Maureen Dunlop of Argentina - as pictured in 1944 when she was a ferry pilot for the ATA. Scanned from a very dull book on this subject ...
And I will leave you with a drawing by Paul of me telling his older brother off tonight (for teasing Paul). Quite good I thought - he's got Linda's hair off to a tee, and you can definitely see the Beano/Calamity James influence:
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I got my bag of film out last week and counted how many rolls I have left. The answer is about twenty of print film - mostly Kodak 400 and a few 100s that I got for $2 when collecting my happy snaps - and about thirty or so rolls of slide film that I'm saving up for my Christmas holidays. But I'm now tempted to switch totally to slide film for two reasons: firstly because I am running out of storage space for my photos - I have six or seven cardboard boxes full of stuff from the last the last decade (how many digital photographers will have that much stuff in archive?). Slides/trannies will save a lot of space.
Second reason is that it's just getting too hard to get film developed in a timely and cheap way these days. There is one chemist who is still taking my snaps to send to QFL in Melbourne: it's supposed to come back in 2-3 days but they don't come back for about a week now - and how long will that service be running? It's self defeating - the service is getting so bad that nobody will use it. There are some professional labs that still do film print processing - like Vision Graphics - but they are two to three times the cost of the chemist service - not something I can afford with my rate of going through three to six rolls a week.
It's a pity because although I prefer slide film in many ways, there is still something so good about a print that comes out well - much less contrast and more muted colours than the stark colours of Ektachrome.
Here are a few prints from my recent trip to North Head - compare them to the much bluer and bolder slide snaps from the same place, posted a week or two ago... I still like the prints a lot (even though these needed some Photoshop colour correction to get rid of a horrible sepia/brown cast that made Sydney look like smoggy LA.
I guess this is the end of print film - so I am literally using up my film like's it's going out of fashion
Most of the pics were taken with my Leica R7 and Vario-Elmar 28-70mm lens with Kodak Gold 100 film. A few are from the Leica IIIa and the Elmars: 35mm and 50mm.
Not quite 'ships in the night' but sailing away and forever our pleasure is blue ... (thanks Bill Neslon and Be Bop Deluxe) Testing the Leica R7 and Vario-Elmar 28-70mm lens with Kodak Gold 100 film.