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Arundel Gate | Out and About in Sheffield

This is an area of Sheffield I’ve not really frequented since school days when I used to head to the Leadmill to see the likes of Kula Shaker and Spacehog. It’s changed a lot since then and there’s been quite a bit of regeneration. I shot a quick roll there before heading over to the Chimney House at Kelham Island where we were checking out locations for a workshop we’re teaching on next month. These are shot with my Pentax 67ii and Fuji 400H. Film processing by UK Film Lab.

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Wild Comfort

“Do not be surprised that the return of the light lifts your spirits. Do not be surprised that warmth on your back calms you and makes you glad…this is part of who you have been for a million years. Find the warm places; do not expect them to come to you. When you find them, stay there and be still.” (A passage from ‘Wild Comfort – The Solace of Nature,’ by Kathleen Dean Moore).

Recently I started re-reading a book that I previously stopped reading after a few chapters. I didn’t stop reading it for any other reason than not finding the time to continue, but re-reading the initial chapters now, however, reminded me of why I bought the book the above passage is taken from. So much of the book and the author’s experiences and thoughts chime with something in me – a something that I find has been growing year upon year for the last few years and even more so now that I have learned to ‘hear’ the feelings within me. It’s as if I have somehow found the frequency that my inner mind broadcasts on from the depths that tend to stay buried and hidden under the detritus from the activities of modern daily life.

Last December we returned to Canada. As always with my personal work, I used only film. I have come to realise just how much shooting film fits in with the ethos of the passage above; aesthetics of the finished image aside, the process allows me to feel much more from the moment than I ever can when I have a digital camera in my hand, LCD screen glowing away to show you what you can see better in your own mind if you allow it. I’ve not done anything ‘formal’ with the photographs from this recent trip, partly out of busy-ness but partly out of wanting to give them the attention they deserve and not rushing into anything. Aside from having shared single images here and there, this is the first ‘mini collection’ that I’ve put together. I put them together based on the feelings they evoked within me both at the time I took them as well as when I look at them now. For me, implicit in this collection is a sense of wonder, wilderness, nature and peace.

For the technical among you they are all shot on either my Pentax 67ii or Leica M6, using either Fuji 400H or Portra 800, and of course they’re all developed and scanned at UK Film Lab. I think that takes care of all the information people tend to ask, but what I would really love to know is what sense you get from these photos. How do they make you feel?

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May 25, 2015 - 5:49 pm

Karen morgan - your images make me feel so full of emotion, lost and found, tearful, calm, detached yet connected.

May 25, 2015 - 6:12 pm

christian - Thank you, Karen, that really means a lot that you commented, and also what you’ve said. Made my day!

May 25, 2015 - 7:27 pm

Joakim Hertze - Wonderful images. They make me feel like everything will be be alright.

May 25, 2015 - 11:58 pm

Panos - Love them. They make me feel like I can take a deep breath and smell the salty air. Feel the wind and moisture on my skin, that cold feeling that refreshes you when all you hear is the waves and the wind, a million miles from the noise and dirtiness of modern life.

Couldn’t agree more about the LCD stuff.

May 26, 2015 - 9:16 am

christian - Thanks Joakim and Panos. It’s quite interesting to hear how the pictures have a different effect on different people, so thanks for sharing your thoughts.

July 25, 2015 - 7:40 am

izdi - Beautiful shots.

Moody Fuji 400H | Editorial Photographer

Originally I was intending on going into detail on creating the look of these photos, because let’s face it, the general consensus on Fuji 400H is that it’s all about those pastel hues; those light and airy tones…that shooting Fuji 400H guarantees those things because of the belief that that’s the look of 400H. It’s a myth. But I don’t want to go into that here; I just want to say a little about the location and the mood and let the photos speak for themselves.

If you’re anything like me, there are some places you’ve always had in mind to explore. The places you stare at as you pass by at speed in the car and you wonder, “is there a way to get there, or is it private/fenced off/inaccessible on foot?” For some time now there has been just such a place, and it’s literally only 15 minutes by car from home. It’s by a fairly fast road through the Peak District and I don’t think I have ever seen anyone on this land…generally I think everyone passing by is headed to the popular parts of the Peak District and doesn’t really see this area that I have had my eye on as anything worth closer inspection. After all, it’s a fairy featureless area; a large expanse of fairly flat heath-land, but the more I’ve driven by at particular times the more I’ve thought about driving there one day with the specific intention of finding out if there is a space to park and a way over a fence. I’d also been noticing that due to the geography of the surrounding land, in particular light there was some quite special atmosphere to be captured.

So this weekend we did what I’ve been thinking about doing for some time, and we drove up there, found a place to pull over in the car, and then we walked until we came to an opening in the fence that allowed us to get through to where I’ve been wanting to go. The light was already fading very fast when I loaded my first roll, and the light was pretty much perfect for what I was wanting to achieve – a moodier, more muted look than the look most commonly associated with Fuji 400H. By the time I had shot a couple of rolls it was too dark for 400H so I switched to Delta 3200 rated at 1600, and I subsequently decided to push this one stop in the lab. So here is the collection of photos I took. The colour is all Fuji 400H and the b&w is Ilford Delta 3200 rated at 1600 and pushed one stop. Everything was shot through my Pentax 67ii. Thank you to Erica for being my beautiful model despite the cold. Dev/Scan UK Film Lab.

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November 3, 2014 - 8:55 pm

Holly - Gorgeous! (Piccies and siggy!)

November 4, 2014 - 2:02 pm

Sonia Jansson - Oh, well. This just takes the whole Fuji hysteria out of my mind for good.
Thank you, Christian.
Gorgeous work, by the way!

November 4, 2014 - 7:05 pm

kirstin - These are just beautiful. Lovely Erica in such epic surroundings, wonderful light and of course Fuji!

November 10, 2014 - 6:11 pm

Ricardo Aguiar - They are stunning Christian. Killer shots.

March 2, 2015 - 5:43 pm

Tom - Stunning I love them all,but that first one is just beautiful, the big sky feeling, the colour of the grass against the blue just perfect. I really like the one where she has her arms crossed as well. Superb work indeed.

Ferrania Solaris FG Plus | Film test

I managed to get hold of some Ferrania Solaris FG Plus ISO 400 and I’ve been itching to give it a try to see what it looks like. The first thing that struck me when I started scanning my film was just how atmospheric it was appearing; throughout the course of the time I was shooting it the light was constantly changing; from a very overcast, dark and almost stormy light to full, contrasty sun…and everything in between, and I was really aware of the changes in colour temperature. The film appears to have really captured the changing light and changing colour temperature and for me it really reflects the mood of the day and the ever-changing light. It was a pretty good day to put it through its paces and one thing I would say is that this film stock does not have the latitude of film stocks such as Portra and 400H. Not that that’s always a bad thing – I have no problem with something that makes me concentrate that little bit more on my exposures – but I did notice that anything above 2 stops of over-exposure did not produce results that I would want to use. It did handle well the variety of different light, from flat and dull to really contrasty scenes. In terms of grain it’s not as fine as pro film stocks of an equivalent speed, but again I’m not really averse to grain anyway so it doesn’t bother me! With regards to the colour palette, this is really fairly subjective and I have not tried to assert any particular look to the scans, but I would consider the colours to be a cross between 400H and Portra, which I find quite appealing…the cool Fuji greens but still with some of the true to life colouring of Portra. There are even a few scenes that appear quite similar to the old Portra 400VC. All in all I’m really happy with how it’s come out and if this old film stock is anything like the new film stock that Ferrania are going to be manufacturing then I can definitely foresee a place in the market for it! Ferrania are a hot topic at the moment what with their Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for setting up to produce a new C41 film stock. They’ve done amazingly well and have already reached their target, which is pretty exciting, but it’s not too late to back the campaign if you want to support a very worthy venture and also bag yourself some of the film from the first production batch….find it here!

But anyway, here are the photos from today. All film is Ferrania Solaris FG Plus 400ISO, shot though my Leica M6 with a Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 lens and, of course, developed and scanned by UK Film Lab.

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