Fisheye in the Park, West Sussex

Tree in the Park, August 2020

It has been a bleak spring day today, with driving wind and rain. So I thought I would post something from last summer instead.

I go through phases with photography, sometimes for months I will just use digital cameras – and then I will change over and just use film cameras for a while. In August, I was mostly using film. On this occasion, I was running a roll of film through a Lomo Fisheye2 camera. People talk about cameras being light-tight boxes – and this really is one, with a fixed 1/100 th speed shutter and a fisheye lens on the front. Unfortunately, I managed some how to use the roll of film twice, so lots of my images were double exposures! But this one isn’t. And I quite like it. If you look at the film, you can see the rectangle of film and then the circle of the image in the middle of it. I can’t decide if the strange colours at the side of the frame are because of exposure or because of the plastic fantastic lens.

To look at the camera, you might wonder if it was intended for underwater work, with its translucent lens cap and strange styling – but it isn’t!

I think I will try again with another roll of film – I think it would be fun to go to the beach and take pictures in the waves (obviously keeping the camera dry). Beacause of the fixed exposure 1/100th of a second, I would suggest sticking with 400ISO film – I really like Kodak Ultramax.

Cows in Field, West Sussex

Cows, Horsham, West Sussex August 2020

This is from last summer. I know I have titled this cows – but I have a feeling these are really bullocks. On the farmland near where I live there is always a fairly continuous turnover of livestock.

Sheep, Horsham, West Sussex January 2021

And as you can see here, the field now contains sheep. As subjects, they are quite different when I approach the hedge: the cows (or bullocks) tend to walk over to stare at me, while the sheep usually to run away. Sometimes, if I use my patented stalking method (stand very still), the sheep drift back. But they are aways watching me very closely.

Evening Sky, Horsham

Evening Sky, Horsham, West Sussex August 2020

Time passes. This photo is from a test roll I did on a (new to me) camera. I think it was mid-evening when I took it and as you can see, the Sun is setting. As I’m writing this, it is a similar time of day – but it is completely dark outside (and has been for a couple of hours). I am almost 50 years old, I know the science, but the seasons still amaze me.

I love the delicate range of colours and the whispy white clouds. So it is a “shapes” photo rather than a “things” photo.

I remember as I was walking around the park, I was thinking, that if we could get everything back to normal by the end of the year – then all the inconvienience would have been worth it. But – things aren’t back to normal!

Morning Sun, West Sussex

Morning Sun, West Sussex August 2020

How has your life changed in the last few months?

One of the things I like about life now, are my early morning walks on the parkland near where I live. When I was working, my morning was dominated by my need to get to work – which was always some way away from where I lived. And I’m sure lots of people who lived miles away would have rushing to get to work near where I lived.

Anyway, a pleasure of the last 6 months has been the change from spring into summer. It has got light earlier and earlier and, obviously, warmer too.

A challenge of this photo is the change from the original to this form – for some reason, the shadows looked “richer” if that makes sense. I still like the effect of the light on the grass and the gravel.

Inka, Somerset

Inka, nr. Bath, Somerset August 2020

They say, “Don’t work with animals or children”. But as you can see, some animals make good subjects. I like that he has given me good eye contact – I think I did something to get his attention (shameless preformer that I am). People make all sorts of claims for their portraits, but I think I have shown what Inka is like at least some of the time. I think I will use this as an illustration for a lens review I am working on for my YouTube channel: It is sharp and can help achieve a narrow depth of focus by his face.

Feather, West Sussex

Feather, West Sussex August 2020

After what has felt like age, it has finally rained. In the UK we have had several weeks of hot weather, so this has felt very welcome.

I found this feather on some park land I like to walk on every morning – I’m trying to decide what sort of bird it came from – probably a seagull. It is amazing to see how oils on the feather repel the water, so that it forms little spheres (which act like mini-magnifiers). One of the beauties of the natural world, is how the closer you look, the more you can see.