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
Then whisper, blossom, in thy sleep
How I may upward climb
The Alpine path, so hard, so steep,
That leads to heights sublime
I took these images back in 1986, with my then first SLR camera a Nikon fm2n, we were holidaying on a long boat that you can see in the second photo, for a week.
From what I can remember I don’t think we had one day without it raining and spent most of the time in the boat in front of a fire or in a pub drying out, its funny, at the same time you remember moments like this with great fondness!
This set of images has also reminded me to get back on track for my DIY film development project, I made a few phone calls and just need to go collect everything that I finally need to get on.
Film Development kit…
Its Arrived my new film development tank, ordered from ebay about a week ago.
All I need now is the chemicals and someone has told me that a photography shop in Waterford sells everything I need, so when I get time I will drive down to them. After that I am ready to go, I am very excited about this its years since I developed a film and I cannot wait to see how it turns out!
– Louis MacNeice
Our half-thought thoughts divide in sifted wisps
Against the basic facts repatterned without pause,
I can no more gather my mind up in my fist
Than the shadow of the smoke of this train upon the grass –
This is the way that animals’ lives pass.
The train’s rhythm never relents, the telephone posts
Go striding backwards like the legs of time to where
In a Georgian house you turn at the carpet’s edge
Turning a sentence while, outside my window here,
The smoke makes broken queries in the air.
The train keeps moving and the rain holds off,
I count the buttons on the seat, I hear a shell
Held hollow to the ear, the mere
Reiteration of integers, the bell
That tolls and tolls, the monotony of fear.
At times we are doctrinaire, at times we are frivolous,
Plastering over the cracks, a gesture making good,
But the strength of us does not come out of us.
It is we, I think, are the idols and it is God
Has set us up as men who are painted wood,
And the trains carry us about. But not consistently so,
For during a tiny portion of our lives we are not in trains,
The idol living for a moment, not muscle-bound
But walking freely through the slanting rain,
Its ankles wet, its grimace relaxed again.
Poem by : Louis MacNeice
Full version of the Poem
The window at North mimms church
Ilford XP2, 35mm film
50mm f1.8 lens
The wonderful darks and contrasts in this shot is one of the biggest reasons I want to have a small go at using film again.
I will never use film again as my main medium but I am going to include it in a planned way for the most appropriate subjects and with black and white film only.
It has been some time since I loaded a film into this old camera and shot all of 36 exposures and then sent it off to be processed or had a go myself.
For many years I have been using Nikon/fujifilm digital equipment and photoshop to process all resulting images but in the last few week I had a request to scan some old slides and film, I had a Minolta film scanner in the loft so down it came and I set it up again.
After I finished doing this work for them I left the scanner sitting there and kept looking at it for a little time then I found lots of my old film stock. I could not resist the need to see them again so I scanned many of them back in to my pc.
The only remaining film camera I had was a fully manual Nikon Fm2n that I also had in the loft. So I realised that a return to using film is well within my grasp. This along with my father’s old Agfa camera (Post…) will be great fun to use.
I have created a new film photography category on my blog menu in order to share this journey with you as I hopefully begin to enjoy this form of photography again. I hope also that you find this area useful if you want to do the same.
A day with Black and white film.
Nikon FM2n, Ilford’s HP5
Some years ago myself and my brother and a friend Neil, headed to Hampton court to do some photography. It was the first time I had loaded Black and white film into my Nikon FM2 camera in a location like this so full of colour from the June flowers on display.
However Neil owned his own black and white dark room so Ilford’s HP5 it was. We spent about four hours at Hampton Court and then some hours processing the film making some prints and drinking a lot from what I can remember.
The images here are some of the results, I cannot find anything else. The prints are long gone so I have scanned any negatives I can find.
I am more than happy with these images and it’s very interesting to look back and think about what I felt made a good image way back then.
Nikon FM2n, Ilford’s HP5
A weekend in Liverpool, Sometime back….
Ablert docks – Saturday Morning
Liverpool Cathedral – getting ready for Christmas
The Cavern – Home of the Beatles
Images from a weekend I spent in Liverpool sometime back….
Also… Along with many others (Thank you!) I received a very kind comment from Paul Scribbles about my McCarthys hotel post and Ilfords film so these are more for yourselve Paul, Ilfords XP2 using a Nikon Fm2n..