Chez l'abeille

Culture. Travel. Writing. My world in words and pictures

Seeing in black and white #1

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36 years ago as a rather penniless student, I made one of the most expensive purchases I had ever made til then – my much loved Pentax ME SLR camera (special edition, brown body, not black). This little camera travelled the world with me and took thousands of photos over the years, until more modern digital cameras pushed it off pole position.

“Black and white are the colors of photography.” Robert Frank

Recently, on a whim I had it re-conditioned and have been testing it out. I have realised how used to instant pictures I have become. The art of slow photography; not wasting a shot, filling up a full roll of film and then patiently waiting for the results, good or bad, has become rather passé. These days we carry cameras on us permanently, taking pictures on our devices in a moment and instantly deciding to delete or keep. With a 35mm camera you set out to look for pictures. So camera in hand I have been taking odd shots over the past few weeks to see how it still works.

First up: Nunhead Cemetery again. My favourite gothic gloom and headless angels. The light was very low as it was damp and dusky when I went there, so they are a bit grainy, but I think this suits the subject matter.

CNV00024

Cornishman Charles Simmons’ grave Nunhead

Angel, Nunhead cemetery

Angel, Nunhead cemetery

Nunhead cemetery

Nunhead cemetery

The second foray was to Broadgate Circus in London for lunch. Here I was looking at the tones, structures and shapes of the buildings.

Broadgate Circus, London

Broadgate Circus, London

Broadgate Circus

Broadgate Circus

Finally a bit of Peckham street art by ROA, Phlegm and Run. Different surfaces and light availability.

Bird by Roa Bussey Building Peckham SE15

Bird by Roa Bussey Building Peckham SE15

Phlegm detail at the Bussey Building Peckham

Phlegm detail at the Bussey Building Peckham

Run detail Mission Place, Peckham SE15

Run detail Mission Place, Peckham SE15

Overall I’m not too disappointed – using a manual focus again has been tricky so several pictures came out slightly fuzzy and there is a bit of a glitch where some frames do not appear exposed on the negatives, losing about 10 frames. The wind on mechanism seems to work fine so if anyone has any ideas about the mechanics of that I’d be very happy to listen!

Let me know what you think!

©Chez l’abeille  2016

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8 thoughts on “Seeing in black and white #1

  1. Pingback: The Art of Observation | Chez l'abeille

  2. Pingback: Seeing in black and white #2 | Chez l'abeille

  3. Cathy these are fabulous and I LOVE that these are shot “old school” 🙂

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  4. Where are you using to get them developed? I particularly like the reflections in the city and the cross up the top.

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    • I used the Ilford labs service, so had paper prints and a cd of the images too. The cross at the top is a particular favourite and used to be in a much more overgrown part but the friends of Nunhead Cemetery have been clearing spaces!

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  5. Lovely photos. Did you develop them yourself?

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