TMP Blog

Landscape photography with a difference!


Polemic spleen venting blood boiling verbose banal diatribe from an Aspergic point-of-view! Or not, as the case may be!

Leica Hiatus!


How I hate Winter!

Short days, bad light and bad weather.

It can, however, result in an albeit few crisp and bright days. The glimmer in the darkness.

When I shoot with film I like the conditions to be just-so. The light just right. In my enthusiasm since picking up the Leica in August, I totally forgot about the Winter.  In those dark depressing months (when I should be in the Algarve) the film photography is packed away and on those few days where I actually feel like venturing forth I use the DSLR. Why? Mainly because the lack of Sunlight reduces my motivation substantially and I just don't have the mental energy required to shoot and process film. In the unrelenting and unremitting grey of a Welsh Winter, I find the burst of digital colour lifts the mood and breaks the stranglehold of bland monotony.

Over the years, I have used so many digital cameras that it is rather embarrassing. I still, however, keep coming back to my third DSLR, the Olympus E-1. Mine is 12 years old and still in stunning condition. The five megapixel RAW files are more than adequate for A3 printing, and considering I rarely print to this size anything more than five megapixels is a waste. I really like the colour rendition and feel of the Kodak sensor in the E-1 and the sheer quality of those Digital Zuiko lenses. I recently purchased a second body, also in immaculate condition, for £70. Even better, this particular body still had firmware 1.1 and a shutter count of 282. Once in a while, I use an E-3 and also have a retired E-300.

I don't set out to produce competition winners or masterpieces even if I was good enough. I do all of this for the sheer pleasure and enjoyment, to see fantastic views, to walk some big hills and to appreciate the wonderful gift that is colour and light. I rarely spend more than ten minutes on a picture, contrast, levels, saturation and a little burn here and there. You won't see me with an ND grad or a tripod or using Fauxtoshop!

Not to worry, it will be spring soon, Summer is on the way and the Leica is already fully loaded with Ilford Pan F+ and ready to go!

So, if you don't like digital and colour now is the time to turn away and use the sick bucket













Ysgyryd Fawr Summit

I went for a Trip…

Sometimes when I feel stir crazy and I just need to get out of the house I pick up my camera and take an hour’s walk by the Severn Bridge. I find that brief respite, the indulgence of solitude rather salubrious and cathartic. I credit it to the sea breeze. There is something quite refreshing about it. On my short sojourn, I took with me my custom Olympus Trip 35 which my wife and best friend bought for me for our anniversary last year. I wanted to finish the roll of Ilford HP5 Plus, give the camera a work-out and, if circumstances permitted, shoot some Ilford Pan F+.

I quickly finished the roll of HP5 Plus. I only had seven or so frames to shoot anyway, so that was an easy job. In went the Pan F Plus. Now I have only ever used Pan F Plus once before and that was in 6x6 medium format. Shameful I know! I wanted to shoot a test film before using it in anger in the Leica. I had no idea what to expect. I had read several accounts on how difficult exposing and developing Pan F Plus was in comparison to FP4 Plus and HP5 Plus, including such comments on websites that sell the stuff. I need not have worried as the results were amazing. I don’t mean the photographs per se, I mean the quality of the film, the fine grain, the dynamic range and that wonderful Ilford tone. I developed both films the same way, dilute Kodak HC-110 for 21 mins and agitating for the first 30 seconds and then two inversions every seven minutes.

Now to the Trip!

I really enjoyed using it and will again. Obviously the build quality is nowhere near that of the Leica. The Trip feels flimsy and light, the frame spacing and the back door are a little “off”. The zone focussing is easy to use, but you are not quite sure whether you have focussed on your subject. The metering is superb as also is the quality of the lens. It’s a camera you can really enjoy using in carefree shooting. An ideal street shooter for sure. It is also light and discreet, with a shutter more quiet than my M2. My wife procured the camera from… 

My Trip was fully refurbished and came with a lovely green leatherette. I would absolutely  recommend Trip Man.

The below photographs are test shots, mainly from the Pan F Plus roll. Pan F Plus is an amazing film and I love it. I don’t know why I haven’t used it before, I guess it was the slow speed that put me off. As a result I ordered ten more rolls. I have also included two screen shots with side-by-side comparisons of HP5 Plus and Pan F Plus shown at 50% (1:2) zoom in Lightroom. I exposed the HP5 Plus at EI200 which lowered it’s grain and put it in the realm of FP4 Plus. The Pan F Plus was exposed at EI50. When you overexpose and contract development or use a weak compensating developer you gain more shadow detail and lower grain at the expense of film speed. So the comparison is not absolute but an indicator. If I had exposed the HP5 Plus at EI400 then the grain would have been noticeably more. HP5 Plus at EI200 is just a little bit more grainy, and I do mean it has only slightly discernibly more grain than FP4 Plus at EI125.




HP5+ under rather contrasty bright conditions. An f/16 exposure if using Sunny 16.

Quiet Waters. Flotsam. Close to the edge. Into the Sun.

No idea what the purpose of this is/was!

Fast flowing. The Mini-Bridge.

Screen Shot 1

It should be obvious which one is Pan F Plus!