Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Posts tagged “black and white photography

Film Friday, Swanage Steam Railway – Traveling back to the 1940’s

Swanage Steam railway
Nikon FM2n
Nigel Borrington 2018

These images are all taken using a Nikon FM2n, loaded with Ilford XP2 Super black and white film. I used a black and white film on the day I visited the wonderful Swanage steam railway project as I felt it was perfect to capture the atmosphere of a 1940’s experience.

Sometimes when your out for the day with a camera, its the experience of finding subjects that’s the most enjoyable part of the day, on this day however it was the enjoyment of taking a trip into the past and enjoying the feeling that you had slipped back into the countryside of the 1940’s, taking these images was just a process of recording the moments.

Here is a small introduction to this great project.

Welcome to Swanage Railway

The Swanage Railway offers a more intensive heritage steam and diesel timetable train service than virtually any other preserved railway.

Steam and diesel galas, Family events plus regular Evening Dining and Sunday Lunch services complement themed events such as our highly popular Santa Special trains during the run up to Christmas.

Our award-winning standard gauge preserved steam railway is located in Dorset with easy access from neighbouring Hampshire and the South of England. Visitors can experience a unique journey through six miles of beautiful scenery passing the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle, travelling down to the blue flag beach at Swanage.

You can even drive and fire your own steam train thanks to our one-hour footplate taster experiences

Swanage Steam railway a Film Gallery


Film Photography: Ilford XP2 Super, samples and review .

Film Photography
Ilford xp2 super
ISO 400 35mm film
Nikon F90x
Nigel Borrington

In yesterdays post I talked a little about how film based photograph is now back a big way! with many of the film manufacturers having over the last few years seen a big jump in their sales figures. Many films that had disappeared from the photography market have now started to be produced again, Kodak are event about to re-introduce their world famous Ektachrome film, a high resolution positive film used at a commercial level of photography in the past.

It is now possible for the first time in many years to get online and purchase any type or speed of film, from Colour to Black and white, ISO 50 to ISO 3200
. This is a big opportunity for film loves to regain long lost skills, such as black and white film processing at home, setting up a dark room studio using chemical based film processing and printing. If this is not for you however, you can still opt for just purchasing the type of film you want to try out and once you have exposed your full roll, you can send it in the post to processors such as Lomography, who process any type of film for about the same price as it cost way back in the original film days.

One film I always love using was Ilfords XP2 Super, ISO 400, black and white film, Its a C41 processed film which is the same processing methods used with colour films. This film can be exposed at camera ISO setting between 50 to 800 as described in the instructions that come in the box, ISO 400 is the optimum setting but if the film is exposed at setting that overexpose the film, the film grain visible on the final prints will be much reduced. If you do play around with your ISO setting, you have to remember that with film you have to specify to your development lab that you did so and tell them what ISO Setting you exposed the roll of film at, also unlike digital for each of the 24 or 36 exposures on your roll of film you have to stay with the same ISO setting all the way through the roll.
ILFORD XP2 Super PDF

Like all rolls of film, XP2 Super has its own grain look and texture, you can see from the image below that the grain is very visible in the more well lighted areas on the frame. Its not unpleasant and adds lots of character to the image, this is an ISO 400 film after all and as such perfect for use indoors.


Ilford XP2 Super – Sample images, scanned using a Minolta Dimage Elite film scanner


Film Photography, Was it as good as we think ?

Thanks to Sharon Walters Knight a fellow WordPress blogger and Facebook friend , I have in the last three weeks started to take a look again at 35mm film photography.

Over the last three years or so Film is starting to make a big come back, mainly with the help of film suppliers and film fan supporters lomography, they sell and process films along with camera bodies and offer some great new ideas as to how to use film and get some creative results from it.

I have just finished shooting my first role of 35mm black and white film supplied from Lomography Europe, using my Nikon FM2 and when I get time this week I will post this roll of film off to them and wait for the negatives and online scans to appear!

For the moment I have been looking at some of my old negatives and scanning them, the results are good I feel for these old black and white frames, My impression of how film compares to current Digital cameras is one of surprise, I love the grainy and organic feel to black and white films!

I had not realized since I stopped looking at film as my main photography medium, just how much digital has moved forward year on year! I feel that even when scanning a film frame at 10 megapixels with a good scanner, even with ISO 100 film the detail is so much less that can be found in todays digital sensors. Film grain is loved by many, yet when you look closely a lot of the image details are lost in this grain. A simple fact however when using film is that while digital cameras have kept developing all the time, film scanner have not. Another fact often lost today is that film was not designed with scanners in mind but with wet/dark room printing on light sensitive photo-papers, often designed by the film suppliers to match the film being used. Thus it could still be true that the best results when printing from film can be achieved in the dark room and not using a scanner at all!

I still love the idea of using a film camera at times when you want to use a simple process and travel light, just packing a film camera, a few lenses and rolls of film, without the need to take battery chargers and laptops with you. Another fact is that Film cameras work better when your outside and need to keep changing lenses, you never have to worry about dust and dirt getting to your sensor!

Here are some film shots I have taken over the years, at some point this week I will post more on them, including some closer looks at just how much detail is in the full sized images and just how film grain looks at 100% print size.

Ilfords Black and white film Gallery


The flow of Water, from the source of the river, Black and White Landscapes.


Seven day black and white photo challenge : Oh my Lord !!!!

My Sweet Lord
Black and white Photo challenge Nigel Borrington

Day Six of the Black and white photo challenge and today , I went to the top of a local Hill, Carrigmaclea in county Tipperary. The light was amazing and perfect for black and white images. At the top of the hill as you can see there is a cross that was erected by people from a local church back in 1958 which was apparently a holly year.

“My Sweet Lord”

My sweet lord
Hm, my lord
Hm, my lord

I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you lord
But it takes so long, my lord

My sweet lord
Hm, my lord
Hm, my lord

George Harrison


Seven day Black and white photo challenge : Moon light over the river

Moon light over the river
River Suir
County Waterford
Nigel Borrington


Seven day Black and white photo challenge, Dunhill Castle, county Waterford

Dunhill Castle
County Waterford
Nigel Borrington
Black and white Landscapes

I own a big thank you to great friend and fellow photo blogger Sharon Walters Knight for tagging me last week on my facebook page, to take part in a Seven day Black and White photo challenge, I am really enjoying taking this on as its making me truly explore subject just for black and white images once again 🙂

This image of Dunhill castle, county Waterford, was taken during the last hour of bright sun light, this time of year the sun is very low in the sky so there is some great light to be captured, even more so later in the afternoon. Here I just loved the way the sun reflected on the old stone work of this great old building just moment before it set some distance away over the coast to the south.


County Kilkenny Landscape photography in Black and white, Kyle, coolagh, Kilkenny

Black and white Landscapes
Kyle, county Kilkenny June 2017
Nigel Borrington

They say that some animals see the world in black and white , I would love to be able to switch this ability on and off when out and about with my Nikon, you can see the results of taking a shot in black and white very quickly on the back of the camera but having the ability to view the world in-front of you in monochrome would be a perfect gift for many photographers, even more so if you love the light that can be captured using only the shades from white to black.

This image was taken a while back, one early spring morning while out for a walk, up a lane that passed through a local community of special needs people near Callan, county Kilkenny. It was a foggy morning but by the time of this shot a lot of the mist had lifted. the atmosphere was wonderful.


Black and white landscapes , June 2017

Black and white Landscapes County County Tipperary, fields June 2017 Nigel Borrington

These June time Mornings and evenings can offer some wonderful light for landscape images, this week I am going to use black and white only to try to pull the best images from our local area ……


The House on the Hill, By : Edwin Arlington Robinson

The Old house on the hill County Kilkenny  Ireland Nigel Borrington

The Old house on the hill
County Kilkenny
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

The House on the Hill

Edwin Arlington Robinson

They are all gone away,
The House is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.

Through broken walls and gray
The winds blow bleak and shrill:
They are all gone away.

Nor is there one to-day
To speak them good or ill:
There is nothing more to say.

the-old-house-on-the-hill-county-kilkenny-nigel-borrington-02

Why is it then we stray
Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away,

And our poor fancy-play
For them is wasted skill:
There is nothing more to say.

There is ruin and decay
In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say.