Monday, April 20, 2009


Originally uploaded by BobSingleton

This may not be that great an image but it has some significance. It is from my second roll processed using the stainless steel spiral. Like the first the film is clear. no nasty marks at the frame edges caused bu the plastic sticking to the emulsion and unlike the first roll no horse shoes. I am now certain why the negs were all getting damaged and can now press on with rather more confidence.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lakes part 2

Originally uploaded by BobSingleton

This is one frame from the suicide film for the stainless spiral. Only the first few frames were destroyed by the dreaded horseshoes so I am happy with this.

Stainless Spiral

Originally uploaded by BobSingleton

It has arrived at last. When I last posted I had expected it to be the start of a regular series but as always things do not go according to plan. My 6x6 work was dogged by development faults at the edge of the frame so I decided to try a new spiral. I ordered a Hewes spiral and waited .... for it to arrive. I didn't expect it to take a month but at last here it is.

Now I had read that these this are a pig to load. There is always a down side. It took me a lot of tries to get the film loaded and I used a real live film. As you might expect the result is covered in horseshoes but. When I finally got the idea the film went on fine so I expect I will have the nack in no time. In the mean time 12 1/2 mins in HD Pyrocat and the Tmax 400 came out great. No edge marks at all, so if I can load it without creasing the film....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Large Format meeting

Originally uploaded by BobSingleton

This is one of the images from the recent UKLF and Lancashire monochrome meet.

It is no work of art but it served its purpose. The image was made as part of an exercise to demonstrate moving the focal plane with lens tilt and that was successful. Since the image was of no special value to me the piece of film found its way into the stand development test, again with a degree of success. The tonal range is well controlled and there is no noticeable grain and nice edge sharpness.

The film is damaged because due to a miscalculation I did not use enough solution so one end received no development. In pulling the film out of the tank in disgust I scratched it which is regrettable.

None the less I have posted here to serve as a marker of the the process todate.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Preston Docks

Well its now Preston Marina all the ships and banana boats that used to come here when I was a child are long gone.

Anyway today I made my first trip to a Large format group meeting and it turns out that they are the nice people they seem to be from the forum.

It was mainly a social occasion and a chance to meet up and show some newcomers the "joys" of lugging unwieldy cameras around and taking all day to make a few snaps.

One person I had not expected to meet was Joe Kennedy who I met months ago at Preston Market and he has recently bought a LF camera like mine but in a bit better nick.

Photos follow if any come out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Originally uploaded by BobSingleton

I'm back in harness again after a week in Spain where the weather was rough.

I have 4 weeks or so before the next wedding I have to shoot then there should be a gap because none of my other nieces/nephews look ready to tie the knot soon.

Back on the film front there is a meeting this weekend of the Large Format and Lancashire Monochrome and I'm going along on Sunday. I've never met any of them before so I hope it all goes well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The old man

Originally uploaded by BobSingleton

This blog has been silent for too long. It had been my intention use the blog to encourage myself to continue taking photographs and pursuing documentary projects.

Unfortunately the need to earn a living got in the way and the time constraints of restarting full-time work meant that until now the camera has largely stayed in the bag. However this post is intended to mark a renaissance. I'm still busy at work but it is now becoming light in the evenings and therefore for the summer at least it should be possible to combine employment and photography.

So if there is to be a renaissance I need a plan and to try again to stick to it. From now on I will post at least once a week. And try to include new photos even if they have to be those nasty pixelly things

In a perverse way I find that the immediacy of digital photography and press button printing leaves me detached from the image. Perhaps my small brain needs to move slowly and therefore my photography for pleasure is more film orientated, and I like to use old manual cameras so that something of me ends up in the frame. I know it has been said that the art of photography is choosing where to stand and when to press the button but there has to be more to it than that, hasen't there?.

The photograph above was taken on Coniston Old Man and is part of my ongoing project to find a satisfying way of making monochrome prints.

For now the printing side is in abeyance due to time constraints but I still hope to produce the prints using handmade materials and as before am concentrating on albumen, gum bichromate and tempera.

I am beginning the search to find a subject for the project. During my degree course I spent a lot of time studying Walker Evans and since we are supposedly entering the greatest depression since the 30s the thought of documenting its effects on northern life is appealing.

However the project which has been bubbling around my brain ever since I returned to photography involves the local landscape in particular Pendle hill and the religious conflicts that seemed to have surrounded it for ever. The two things can run in tandem but it is the Pendle project that I would most like to succeed.

Technical details. Hassleblad 500cm 50mm lens Tmax 400 45mins semi stand in 1:1:250 pyrocat. Full frame neg scan