Tag Archives: photography

Kotor, Montenegro using a Fuji X100F

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor is a fortified town on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast, in a bay near the limestone cliffs of Mt. Lovćen.

This photograph was made using a Fuji X100F on the approach to Kotor harbour, looking back to the entrance to the Bay of Kotor where the fjords meet the Mediterranean.

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Still Waters using a Fuji X20

Still Waters copy

One from the archive… Windermere from Borrans Park close to the Waterhead Hotel. Taken with my old Fuji x20. The water was still and the breeze light. The lighting conditions were unusual and the distant hills blended to nothing. Only the sounds of the mooring ropes and rigging occasionally disturbed the quiet.

For my Flickr” https://www.flickr.com/photos/g-simons/41717440092/in/dateposted/

and my Photoblog: https://gerrysimonsphoto.blogspot.co.uk

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Photography with an 86 year old!

Photograph of St James Park, Liverpool

St James Park, Liverpool

Sorting out the loft (still not sorted by the way), I came across my dad’s old May Fair Camera. A simple box camera made in 1931.

After cleaning the May Fair inside and out, I ventured out armed with a new roll of 120mm Ilford HP4 – still available from Boots the Chemist – and made a few photographs at St James Park by Liverpool Cathedral. What you see above is scanned from the original print and has not been enhanced or altered. The weather was overcast but the light reasonable.

After using digital cameras for many years now it takes some getting used to the idea that you only have 8 negatives! It really focusses the mind on the job in hand.

The viewfinder is very small and despite my best efforts at cleaning remains a somewhat scratched. Composition was difficult and the photographer has to rely on sufficient light reaching the mirror that reflects the image up onto the tiny viewfinder.

My dad's vintage May Fair Camera

My dad’s vintage May Fair Camera

I think for an 86 year old camera this image is impressive and I will be going out again to see what else I can capture with this vintage gem.

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A New Direction

My first camera

My first camera

Back in May 2014 I posted this:

Over the past couple of years photography has increasingly become a more important part of my life. I use it as a part of my job as a graphic designer but I’m also using it more and more outside of the professional sphere to take images that give me pleasure or capture a moment in time. Drawing and painting are truly pleasurable activities too but there’s something about photographs & photography in general that is really beginning to dominate my free time.

I intend to post a some of my photographs to this blog, along with observations on photography, cameras equipment etc and I hope you enjoy the new direction this blog will now take. I will, as before, continue to make comment or write about other subjects or events that interest me or come to my attention.

To read my May 2104 post follow the link below:
https://taylorsimons.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/between-one-second-and-the-next/

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Between one second and the next

Image

Over the past couple of years photography has increasingly become a more important part of my life. I use it as a part of my job as a graphic designer but I’m also using it more and more outside of the professional sphere to take images that give me pleasure or capture a moment in time. Drawing and painting are truly pleasurable activities too but there’s something about photographs & photography in general that is really beginning to dominate my free time.

Only a camera can capture that instant in time, that vital moment between one second and the next and record it forever. There’s something thrilling about that and I find it increasingly addictive.

Maybe as I’m getting older I notice how time appears to slide by at an alarming rate of knots these days. Possibly this is my futile attempt to freeze time, slow it down to a moment and hold it there for good.

The more images I take, the more I realise I have so much more to learn. I’m currently looking at the work of Saul Leiter and Cartier-Bresson, two masters of the art. I recommend their work if you like me have an interest in photography.

If you want to take a look at a few of my images then they can found on my Flickr site. I would be delighted if you paid them a visit and added a comment here and there.

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Thank you one and all!

Just topped 17000 views. Thanks to all who have visited this blog. Please come back again soon…Image

This is a shot of me and Morris, my dad’s car way back then in the dim and distant past. It was shot with an old Kodak ‘Hawkeye’ camera (I think) that my dad used to use. If you want to see more cameras that have played a role in my life then go here. (Unashamed plug for my Photoblog).

I’ve also blogged about my ‘Box of old cameras’ here.

I’ll be blogging here too from time to time. So once again, thanks for visiting.

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1950s: New York by Saul Leiter

“Saul Leiter (born 1923) is an American photographer and painter whose early work in the 1940s and 1950s was an important contribution to what came to be recognized as The New York School”

A true master of observation and creation of something sublime out of the ordinary.

http://bit.ly/1gng1c1

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A new photo blog

I’ve started a photoblog at: http://gerrysimonsphoto.wordpress.com – so if you have a moment please take a look. Thanks.

Statue Barcelona Pavillion

I’ll continue blogging here too from time to time so keep dropping back.

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A box of old cameras No.4: Olympus Trip 35

Olympus Trip 35

Olympus Trip 35

The Trip 35 is a 35mm compact camera, manufactured by Olympus and was introduced in 1967 and discontinued, after a lengthy production run, in 1984. The Trip name was a reference to its intended market — people who wanted a compact, functional camera for holidays. During the 1970s it was the subject of an advertising campaign that featured popular British photographer David Bailey. Over ten million units were sold.

An elegant and simple design

An elegant and simple design

I can’t remember when I bought my Trip 35, most likely back in the 70s. This model has the black shutter release button and not the snazzy and somewhat less common chrome version that came with the earlier models.

I had recently landed my first design job with the graphics department of a local authority. With a regular income coming in (at last) felt that I could splash out on a new camera. I wanted a compact, but something better than an ‘instamatic‘ and the Olympus Trip fitted the bill.

Rear view

Rear view

Lighter and smaller than my Praktica the trip offered me the ideal mix of a quality 35mm with a decent lens and some manual control. My old Praktica was brilliant and I had taken it to Paris when I was a student, but this was a bulky and heavy camera to lug about all day. The trip turned out to be the perfect solution on a trip to Amsterdam, back in the days when that was a cheap destination.

I suppose from the on it became my favourite camera right up until the digital era.

For those who want to see what this little camera can do try this Flickr group.

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A box of old cameras No.3: Praktica Nova 1

Praktica Nova 1 camera

Praktica Nova 1 still looking good

Presented at the 1967 Leipzig Spring Fair, the Praktica nova 1 brought much needed updates to the nova series. Following the lead of the Prakticamat, the nova 1 replaced the two-range shutter speed dial with a modern non-rotating one, with regularly-spaced speeds. In addition, it introduced the PL system for secure and rapid loading.

This East German camera is different from the two earlier posts on this subject (the Kodak Deluxe and the Kodak Instamatic 50) in that this beauty was all mine and represents a turning point for me in so many ways. Back in the 70s I was offered a place on the pre-diploma design course at Warrington College of Art & Design but a 35mm SLR camera was a prerequisite of the course. As my grant back then (yes, we did receive state aid), only amounted to £16 (not a lot of state aid), I had to ask my parents for some help. Despite his serious reservations about the art and design course and the fact we were far from wealthy, my dad purchased the camera after seeing this model on offer in a local shop. You can imagine my delight in owning such a great piece of equipment and I did appreciate the trust placed in my career choice.

Nova One front view

Nova 1 front view showing the Domiplan lens

This was my first camera and photography (along with design) has been a part of my life ever since. I went on to master darkroom techniques including developing and printing in both black and white and colour. I moved on to shooting reversal film using mainly Kodak and Agfa products and now have a large number of old slides that I must digitize one of these days, once I find the best method, (any suggestions would be appreciated by the way).

Nova one back

Nova one back view showing part of the PL loading system

Now all the studio kit is digital, mainly Canon and Pentax, but I will always have a soft spot for my old Praktica Nova 1.

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A box of old cameras No.1: ‘Hawkeye’ Ace De Luxe

A box of old cameras

A box of old cameras

Recently looking through some old stuff (and I’ve got lots of old stuff and that’s another story), I came across a box of old cameras that I’d stashed away. A little while ago I wrote about my old Sony Mavica digital camera and that prompted me to jot  few thoughts down about these older image capturing devices.

The 'Hawkeye' box camera

The 'Hawkeye' box camera

This old box camera belonged to my dad and dates back to the 1930s. I remember him using it to take a photo of a friend and I back in the late 50s or early 60s when I was little. Funny but I still remember it clearly. People, at least those where I grew up back then, didn’t take pictures or even own cameras, so it was a rare and special thing to have your photo taken.

A little background information: the Ace De Luxe was made only in Kodak’s UK factory at Harrow on the northern outskirts of London. In his book, Kodak Cameras, The First Hundred Years, Brian Coe lists them as being made only in 1938. They were made to give away with children’s comics, one being Mickey Mouse Comic.

There aren’t any reflecting viewfinders, just a wire frame that pulls up at the front, and no backsight.

Wire frame viewfinder

Wire frame viewfinder

I don’t know how my dad ended up with the ‘Hawkeye’ but after his death I just hung on to it. It has a memory associated with it and I still have the old negatives of the 127 film it used. maybe I will get around to scanning the old negatives one day.

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Thought for Friday

snow on the acer tree

No two snowflakes are alike

“Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind… I became possessed with a great desire to show people something of this wonderful loveliness, an ambition to become, in some measure, its preserver.”

Wilson ‘Snowflake’ Bentley

 

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Man Ray

Man Ray 1934

Man Ray 1934

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Van Vechten Collection, reproduction number LC-USZ62-63265 DLC (b&w film copy neg.) Photo: Carl Van Vechten

Man Ray (August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976), born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography. He is noted for his photograms, which he renamed “rayographs” after himself.

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Nerdy stuff No.1: Sony Mavica MVC-FD71

sony mavica pic

My old Sony Mavica

In my blog entry on floppy disks 29 April, I mentioned my old Sony Mavica floppy disc camera. It’s been a while since I last made any use of it, but I just wondered if it was still working after all this time. After rummaging around at home I unearthed the Mavica in a desk drawer. I even located the original charger unit after a little more searching.

Sony launched the first Mavica model back in Thatcher era during August 1981. By the time I bought my own model in 1998, Tony Blair was in number ten. (That’s my nod to the current new coalition government situation that we are now about to live through).

At the time, being able to take a photograph, remove the disk from the camera and slip it into my computer’s disk drive and have an image open in photoshop in seconds was akin to sorcery. Sony adopted the floppy disk because their own market research showed that although many people were uncomfortable with advanced technology they felt more at home with the floppy disk.

After charging the battery I shot this picture of the Canon G5. It’s perfect for internet blog shots so my old Mavica could make a come-back yet!

pic of canon g5

My Canon G5. The Mavica's replacement for general photography

…and a couple of pictures taken in our studio with the Mavica…

Bookshelf

A few of our many books

Office picture

A quick shot of part of our studio

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A short break in the Lakes

Waterhead Borrans Park

Lake Windermere from Borran's Park

No posts recently… I’ve just returned from a short break in the Lake District and took this picture of Lake Windermere from Borran’s Park on a beautiful sunny day. The weather was very kind for this time of the year in the Lakes. I shot this image with my trusty old Canon G5 for those who may be interested.

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