Heatproofing - Alys Fowler's ideas

So that I can find this again: ideas on gardening for climate change, from the Guardian.

Not yet down the drain

I started learning French with Duolingo in February 2021, and that doesn't really lend itself to blogging. I'm nearly half-way through the course now which means I'll be done around 18 months from now.  I completely lost interest in film photography in 2020.  I'm beginning to plan a garden for the house we're going to get, wherever it is, when we retire. Several years away. There will be a path winding through it, and I got the notion of using old drain covers as stepping stones laid amongst thyme. So far, eBay has only come up with one that I really like. Not going to buy it, simply processing ideas. It's £40, which might be a bit steep as I'll need a couple of dozen of them... Might be better off touring scrapyards. By golly, Blogger feels a bit clunky, adding photos!

Every day's a school day with a Nikon F4 #2

At last! After maybe 6 or 7 rolls I'm getting the hang of the F4. All those buttons were intimidating until I began to get an inkling of what the Focus and Exposure Lock buttons could do. It's the realisation that this camera was designed and used to capture, for example, action in football games or riots. It's slightly insulting to use it for static portraits, like inviting your drug-using disreputable pal to your granny's birthday party. Action! This is the last of a few rolls of Kodacolor 200 I was using. It's been ok as part of the learning process, but is rather grainy. I've got a roll of Portra 400 in now, and then it's an old roll of HP5+, and nine of Kentmere 400; just yesterday we found a roll of Lomography Color Print 800 when tidying out the old sideboard - no idea when I got that, but heigh ho. By the time I get through that dozen or so rolls, I might be more or less competent.

Back to the Nikon F4 and C41; Every Day's a School Day #1...

Thanks to the Photo Express people for developing this roll of Kodacolor 200 and getting it back to me almost by return, (posted late on a Friday afternoon, returned on the Wednesday). Much less hassle than doing 35mm colour myself at home or at Streetlevel . Bit of a chore, C41 developing and scanning, leave it to the professionals. Besides, I don't have a neg scanner these days, and Streetlevel is still under lockdown, I think. That's me back on the F4, which I have quite literally picked up and dusted off again. Frankly I have been somewhat intimidated by it, so I'm working through that, a roll of my stash of odds and ends of 35mm at a time... This photo, I've misframed it slightly but obviously, slicing off the top of the sitter's head, and leaving her unintentionally off-centre. This was Aperture Priority, f1.4, by the light of a table lamp. The shutter speed selected by the meter must have been quite slow, maybe 1/15, because there's  a slight but noticea

D-23 (stock, 15 minutes), citric acid, plain hypo).

What I learned from this negative, digitally "printed" by means of a light box and iPhone: Photos taken indoor with flash using an inverted-lens box camera will necessarily lack subtlety, so this approach should only be used with loud images. 6x9 contact prints with a degree of subtlety require a different camera. I've spent weeks, months, researching this, and I've plumped for the Moskva-5 over the Fuji GW-690, largely because the latter is four times more expensive, but also because of my previous positive experience with Soviet cameras: the FED2 have given me the best 35mm photos, better than any Nikon professional SLR.  However, the negative is encouraging. Look at the way the image of the fairy lights have stretched in the top right corner: this suggests we'll get good image-distortion vignetting, (works very well with trees in Winter). Despite all my precautions, (running the shower hot for a few minutes before hanging the film to dry in the cubicle) dust ha

How not to take a photo of a man holding 12 dice

This was with the F4, well over a year ago. Kentmere film. I developed the roll last night, using Anchell’s two bath suggestion for D-23, 3+3mins, (with a citric acid stop and plain hypo fix). Underexposed, I got this image with a light box, iPhone and Paint. I won’t do a proper print, wet or digital. That big WILLS distracts too much, (what was I thinking? Why not get him to change the hoodie?); and besides, the real subject are the dice in his hands, but the shadows are cruel, and I should’ve gotten him to hold his hands out at arms’ length  for goodness sake! One lives and learns. I still like the idea, though, properly executed next time on 6x9.