I’d like to say that I’ve been all over Hönö, the island I live on, but the other day I was shown a place that I’ve actually never been to(for what I can remember). So amazing and now my new favourite place. We have a large nature reserve with fantastic nature and I visit frequently on my guided walks, on my own, for a run or for photography.
It’s so easy to get stuck in habit and take the usual paths. This “new” area is apparently very popular with people doing bouldering and I can see why. There are huge boulders and small caves. The rocks are covered in moss and so are the trees growing in shelter of the wind.
I tried out my new camera given to me by a friend at xmas and developed my first pictures of the new year. Some real keepers! It would be perfect for wet plate photography but just carrying all the equipment up the mountain would be a days work.
phone picture of drying contact print made from glass negative
I have a person doing work practise with me until March. It’s proven the best way to get productive! Monday we packed the bike trolley and ventured down the beach to do wet plates. It was very wet indeed. The air was so cold and clammy that the glass plates kept steaming up but we managed some good plates in the end. Back home we warmed up in the darkroom and made contact prints from the wet plate glass negatives that I made in the studio over the weekend. One is a definite keeper, I think I’m becoming addicted to tulips.
Phone picture of the drying contact print made from a glass negative
Today the plan was doing more prints in the darkroom but the weather was just irresistible. Sunshine and everything covered in frost. So we went down the beach and the nature reserve with some old cameras and my favourite pinhole camera. Just stunning! I got my mind set on a picture I wanted and ended up getting my feet wet. Haven’t developed the pinhole negatives yet but I’m sure it was worth the pain. Happy, sunny and hungry we returned to develop some rolls of film in Caffenol. This is my favourite way of developing using only coffee, washing soda and vitamin-C, no bad chemicals. Even though I enjoy working on my own it felt great to share the day and also having an assistent on hand. I have a feeling February will be a very productive month!
another note: do not wear clogs carrying a large format camera on rocks…
looks very much like my first wet plate, very fogged…
Once my wet plate box was done I realised that I needed to mix more chemicals thus I didn’t get to go out the day after and with a busy schedule it wasn’t until yesterday I finally made it. Last time, after trying out my first box, I promised myself that I would try the next one out in the garden but hey memory’s short! I only had two hours but got everything packed on my bike and went down the seafront. For the last box I used red ruby with plastic, which failed after a light test so this time I had doubled it. Next time I’ll quadruple it. The box worked fine but it felt like daylight in there and the plates came out foggy. BUT there were some pictures, not great but I’m happy with having done the trial. Things to remember for next time: Don’t splash silver everywhere, use smaller bottles(I planned on this and even built a shelf for them but was too much in a hurry) and last but not least do not pour developer up my sleeve. Apart from the window the box worked just fine it’s just working inside it that needs some fine-tuning. I didn’t think about it at the time but before next excursion I will pour a plate and develop without exposing just to make sure that it’s not my plate holders acting up. Maybe third time’s the charm?
very high water level
Contact sheet of the first roll we took with my under water camera, now I have 3 more to develop
A fantastic hot summers week(one of the very few) ended in torrential rain and wind. Although as they say out here “it’s always good for the garden”. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more summer but on the other hand I love autumn on the island. One of the perks is that there will be no one around going swimming. My daughter has really gotten into swimming this year and she’s even inspired me to do a swim test. Strange as it may sound for someone who goes swimming all year around I am actually quite scared of the sea. I’ve never liked swimming over seaweed and since the movie Jaws I’ve fantasised about sharks, I know it is so silly being adult now and a completely irrational thought living in Sweden but… Adding to that fact I grew up hearing stories of my grandfather drowning while fishing and kids dying after falling in the sea down the harbour. Anywho I conquered my fear and swam 100meters and got a pretty little sparkly blue pin that I’m still wearing on my jacket. We went swimming the other day between the rain showers, big waves and the beach completely deserted. We ended up staying in for half an hour and taking loads more pictures with the underwater camera. Now I’m actually looking forward to autumn and some hours in the darkroom developing pictures!
Been a while working on the barn and now it’s packed with bbq’s, bikes and garden furniture. In the wait of funding the floor and spring to arrive I’ve started making some pictures of it instead, in the darkroom.
A few rainy days and the have-to’s done in with the garden, I got some darkroom work done. A few hours of Lith-printing tested my patience but in the end it’s always worth it!