Beautiful Dee has just left after a week long holiday with us, bringing her lovely daughter Libbie, printing inks, teabags and marmite, camera film and many other thoughtful gifts, treats and goodies with her.
In return I promised them a week of sun, sun, sun; camping trips, beaches, lake swimming, slow strolling around Toulouse, much film photography, endless picnics and cold rosé sipped in the garden.
What we had was 8 days of rain and/or grey skies; lots of fleamarkets and secondhand shopping in the rain, speedily dodging rain in Toulouse on the way to a museum or café, rainy walks round cities and towns where taking film photographs was tricky, endless boardgames when it was too rainy to leave the house and cold rosé sipped indoors. A kind of bargain basement Center Parcs ~ but in a tumbledown french house ~ experience.But we are game old birds and a bit of rain didn't spoil our fun. With the men either out working or sensibly keeping out of the way us gaggle of girls came, saw and conquered. Dee was toting her little point and shoot camera, which made me dig and dust off my old one. What a great thing I've been missing; no titty-arsing around needed folks, just whip it out of your pocket, fire, capture the moment.
***When these negatives came back I was super-peeved; filthy dirty and covered in dust, creased and with a horrible colour cast. Not what you would expect from Portra and I don't shoot film in order to spend ages editing, thank you very much. This is happening a little too often with my lab lately and I've had enough. I've tried pretty much most of the local ones out, can anyone recommend me a great lab (in Europe) that do mail order?
Kodak Portra 160 NC/Olympus OM10
Ouverture Photo Festival I am taking part in. I have being trying my analog Pentacon 50mm lens on my digital camera; you'll never convince me to shoot digitally regularly but I'll grudgingly agree that there are times when it's easier to do so, and if I must, then I prefer the images taken this way.
Major problem is the focussing. With no focussing screen it's really difficult to see what I'm doing and so three quarters of the photos I took were really blurred. I guess it's all down to a) getting a focussing screen - does anyone know how, where, cost? or b) clocking up 800 hours of practise; an option I'm not keen on.
While there last night we met up with one of the Breezies Graham, and some of his family who are on holiday from the UK and staying near Carcassonne. One of the greatest things about the interweb is how you can connect with people you would never get the chance to meet in your everyday life. We mooched around whilst giving our undeniably expert opinions, had a beer, listened to the live music and nattered; Graham being a rebel stuck one of his own photos on one of the displays, and very kindly gave me some prints of his and a roll of strange looking Japanese film. He was also toting a rather wonderful looking pinhole camera with him, love to see those results.
Scarlet buttons, and pale green disks,Silver spirals and asterisks,Peppered with mauve and ametheystShoot and tremble in a mist
Along with around 700,000 others we sat last night on the banks of the Aude in Carcassonne. 14 July is Bastille Day and for that one day our relatively small and uncomplicated city is utterly mad as folk swarm here for one thing only. The firework display. Late at night the city gets plunged into darkness for the most magical spectacle in the most perfect setting; it felt momentous to be there.
- Pentax MZ50 with dodgy winding on, set on autofocus
- 10 years out-of-date colour film
- under-exposed by two stops
- film developed in b&w chemicals
Now that's what I meant about not having a goal, but just freewheeling with nothing specific in mind.
And it was damn good.
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