Best of 2018?

31 Dec

There’s quite a fashion these days of choosing your best 9 images (sometimes less) at the end of the year. It’s a way of summing up, I suppose. I thought I’d give that a try; these images are not family images (for which I use my little digital camera), but more general images, taken with my film cameras (about which more, later). I think I can lay claim to at least some level of artistic intent, if not of any great artistic ability. It’s noticeable to me that there is no particular theme, or genre, or style to these. That’s something I perhaps need to reflect on in 2019.

1) The Beast from the East

We were in Edinburgh in March when the Beast from the East struck. The weather was pretty dire, but on one day there was a break in the weather and I did manage to get out into Holyrood Park and take a few images. I really like this one for its simplicity…

Grass in snow-drift

Pentax LX, Vivitar 35-70 2.8-3.5 (definitely my most-used lens this year), Fuji Superia 400.

2) St Anthony’s Chapel

Taken only a few days earlier (same camera, lens and film), this image of St Anthony’s Chapel (part way up the hill in Holyrood Park) in the afternoon sun also appeals greatly. This is the first time I’ve managed to make an image of this chapel that seemed to work.

St Anthony's Chapel, Holyrood Park

3) Switzerland

We had a week’s walking holiday at Abelboden in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland in the first week of July. I took several films, but I think this one is a favourite. It’s difficult to concentrate on an image when in a group out walking. I managed to keep out in front on this walk towards the Enstligen Falls (just visible in the gap between the trees), and saw and took this image in a matter of seconds.

Day 6 - walk to Enstligen Pentax

Pentax LX and Vivitar 35-70 again, this time the film was Kodak Portra 400.

4) Wool on wire

A very different image here, spotted while out walking, generally looking for a “close up or macro” shot. This was taken with the Pentax LX, Vivitar 35-70, and this time Kodak Portra 160 film.


5) Morning sun rays over Glen Coe

Some members of the Film Photography group I’m part of spent a week at Onich just beyond the mouth of Glen Coe. Sadly, the weather was dire, and it rained heavily for 5 and a half of the days we were there. On the morning of the good day, I went down to the beach nearby, and got this image of crepuscular rays from the morning sun shining out of Glen Coe. I just wish I’d managed to a bit better foreground! Pentax LX and Vivitar again, but this time with Agfa Vista 400 film (said to be re-badged Fuji Superia 400, and my favourite day to day film).

Soon after sunrise, Onich, looking into the Glencoe valley

6) Loch Etive in the rain

Moving on to black and white images now, this one was also taken on that Glen Coe trip. We made the drive to Loch Etive on a rainy day, and this time I took a Pentax MX loaded with Kodak Tri-X (which has to be my favourite black and white film). The Vivitar zoom had swapped onto the MX for this journey. Some other folk made the trip the very next day, which was the good day, and that vestigial water cascade has gone, together with the atmospheric cloud.

Reflected waterfall, Loch Etive on a rainy day. Pentax MX, Vivitar 35-70, FP4

7) Tigh-na-Bruaich

This old setted street in Abbeyhill Edinburgh starts under this railway bridge, and emerges onto Holyrood Park. Taken with the Pentax MX (not sure which lens, but the Vivitar would be likely) and this time Fuji Acros 100 film. I rarely use this film as its expensive, and now those bastards at Fujifilm have stopped selling it. Not used here, but it has the most amazing reciprocity characteristics of any current film, in low light!


8 and 9) Coventry Transport Museum

These two images were taken on different days in the Coventry Transport Museum. You can’t take a tripod in there, but I did manage to get a tripod foot for my monopod, which seems to have worked. Both Pentax MX. The first is on Tri-X, I think taken with a Pentax-M 35/2 lens, it can otherwise speak for itself.

Wheel, Coventry Transport Museum

And finally this is Thrust SSC, the fastest land vehicle ever to drive over the face of the earth, breaking the sound barrier as it did so. This time the Pentax-M 24/2.8 lens, on Ilford Delta 100 film.

Thrust SSC, the fastest land vehicle ever, Coventry Transport Museum. Chris R

So, there you have it. An eclectic collection, for sure, but it should give some idea of my photographic interests.

PS I don’t like the pink line round the images, and don’t know how to get rid of it. I’d be happy if it were black. Please leave a comment if you know how to achieve that!


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