Lady Divine.

F2A TMax-3Roll 38 of the year is another of those shot, processed, scanned, processed and uploaded on the same day. Another Sunday arrived at the end of a week that I’d not held a camera, meaning that I had the familiar pressure of needing to get out and shoot to maintain my weekly output. F2A TMax-11As it happens, on several occasions, the same thing has happened and I’ve ended up with pictures that I’ve been happy with, and today was no exception. There’s no high art here, but a couple of everyday family snapshots that I like a lot. It proves that it doesn’t matter what the motivation might be, it pays to get out with a camera…F2A TMax-18So today was another roll of TMax 400, shot through my Nikon F2A Photomic, using only Mike’s Nikkor 28mm f/2 AI-s. He’s thinking of selling it (and the 85mm I also borrowed 4-5 years ago and still have) and I was trying to decide if I should buy it from him or not.

Emily and I walked along the river and had a picnic watching the narrow boats pass by…


Gubbins: 

Nikon F2A Photomic, Nikkor 28mm f/2 AI-S, Kodak TMax 400, Ilford Ilfotec HC for 6:30 in the sink in the garage, scanned at home too.

For my previous posts on 52 Rolls, click here.

Machine Gun and the Whip

Just a couple of photos for you tonight, both of Gosia, my wife. She’s back home after our 3 months apart. The good news for you (there is lots for me) is that I’ll be taking pictures of her again rather than concrete and self-portraits. 
These two pictures were taken using very different equipment and processes. The first was taken with a 50D and an expensive 24-70 lens. I’ve recently discovered processing in Aperture, having previously exported everything, tweaked in Photoshop Elements, before bringing it back. I should learn to use what is a powerful tool properly, but in the meantime, I’ll borrow other people’s presets… 
snap
This one was taken on Saturday using my 1966 Nikon F. It was shot on a roll of Neopan 400 that expired in 2007 and processed in our kitchen sink. I scanned it and gave only a slight sprinkling of split-toning, another effect I’m taking my first steps in. 
She's Back 
I know which picture I prefer, but what I enjoy most is the variety. 
The purists will tell you of course that the quality of the original image is the key thing and these filters and treatments are just distractions from a poorly composed or uninteresting picture. Or that they are a desperate dumbing-down or skill-compensator. 
Well, so be it. I’m still new enough at this to find it entertaining. I realise my limitations and will use whatever help I can get…

Dauðalogn

Walking around my adopted Wrocław with my Nikon F and a roll of T-Max…

Nikon F Kodak TMax
Nikon F Kodak TMax
One of my favourite pieces of public art anywhere. Someone else says:
At the junction of Piłsudskiego and Świdnicka Streets, we come across a group of fourteen life-sized fossilized forms. It is a monument of anonymous passers-by, whose author is Polish artist Jerzy Kalin. Among them, we find people similar to ourselves. There is a man in a hat, a mother pushing a stroller, a man carrying a bicycle inner tube, a woman with an umbrella, an old lady with a bag full of shopping. The cast bronze figures seem to descend below the surface of the sidewalk separating the busy streets and come up on the other side. Seven people stand on one side of the road descending into the sidewalk and seven people ascend from the other side. The people closest to the curb are submerged in the sidewalk to the waist with only their heads and torsos exposed. Other figures are immersed only to the knees, while still others wade only their feet in the concrete slabs. It is an invisible passage, a symbol of the changes that have occurred in Poland between the time of communism and the time of democracy. The bustle of the streets surround – the voices of passers-by, the roar of car engines, the smell of the city. Feelings so similar to those before 1989, and yet still quite different today.
Nikon F Kodak TMax
We come in peace
Nikon F Kodak TMax
Commute happy
Nikon F Kodak TMax 
The underpass near the gallery Dominikanska
    FTMax 339
These paintings are on the rear of a residential block on an island in the middle of the Odra. There are several of these huge paintings on the side of blocks in the city. I’m not sure of the story behind them, who painted them and what the significance of the images are. In this one, the figure on the left is swallowing a key while wearing a dress made of locks. On the right, the bound crow/monkey/man has the words ‘what better place than this’ and ‘what better time than now’ written (in English)… EDIT – I’ve discovered that these works are by an Italian artist called BLU
Nikon F Kodak TMax

Bin happy

Tables they turn sometimes.

I’m in Poland again for Christmas. For many reasons, this Christmas might have been a little subdued and difficult.
But it hasn’t. As always, the hospitality has been amazing. Since we arrived, I haven’t gone more that an hour without being offered food and/or drink. 
I miss the English Christmas traditions but have got used to the idea of Christmas being over on the 24th.as in Poland, the main meal of the period is eaten once the first star is visible on Christmas Eve. I have my suspicions that there is no basis for this other than impatience to get on with the presents…
My Polish isn’t yet good enough to watch TV here (a Christmas tradition the world over). Almost everything is British or American, but rather than subtitles, each film or program has the same, monotone voice speaking over it. No attempt at acting or any kindvariation in delivery, regardless of the sex or humour of the character. I’m told that natives get used to it, but how people can tell how well a film is acted or understand the subtleties of delivery I don’t know.
So instead, I use my mother-in-law’s old laptop and flaky wireless internet connection to catch up on the Google Reader backlog. It is the only time all year that it gets cleared. I actually started this blog on Christmas day, 3 years ago as little else was happening given that everyone had exchanged gifts and wishes and was too full to move.
I’ve taken a stack of photos while I’ve been here, but there’s no chance of this machine handling the RAW files from my digital camera. The other cameras all use film, so they’ll have to wait too.
That just leaves the iPhone pictures to post:
Christmas present to self.
This is my Christmas present to myself. I bought it on the Polish version of eBay (Allegro.pl) for about 35 quid and had it sent here to the In-Laws’. It is new (although made in 1987) and unused and came in the box with the Russian instructions and the original handwritten service card.
I’ve already fed it a roll of EliteChrome…
I can see an opportunity in buying these on this side of the Iron Curtain and flogging them back home. Lomography want 250 quid for Chinese copies of these!
Church
Waiting for Grandma outside her Christmas day church service. Yet another picture of Gosia that she hates.

Lucky chap

My present from Gosia and her family. A 1966 Nikon F with early Photomic finder. It is in great condition and has already consumed half a roll of TMax. By Christmas day, I’d already bought a 50mm of similar vintage on eBay. Anyone want to by a Praktica collection?
Ma-in-law

Despite all the cameras, films, photoshop, developing scanning etc, I’m not sure I’ll produce a picture on this trip that I like more than this one of my wonderful Mother in Law.
Happy holidays everyone.