FM2 test

I put a new set of light seals on the FM2 and repaired the lever. I also repaired the Lunasix 3s in the image (very easy repair).

This is the first frame of the first film processed from it after the repair. Processed in HC110 as before and using T-Max 400

Incredibly satisfying! Even though I missed a sunny day doing this and processing. Once again – a very low resolution scan. I need a clean scanning area!


Trying to print the images is difficult! I hoped to create an almost “cut out” feel to these swan images but fell short. Never mind first couple of films – and a lot of fun.



I am having difficulty getting negatives to be the density and contrast range I want. Low light images, in particular, are difficult to get to a density for scanning. I may try other developers/concentrations. Also, I have been using 400 asa film – shall try some finer grain film now.


Binning Woods

Binning Woods is a 301 acre woodland on the Tyninghame Estate, East Lothian.

It also houses a Memorial Woodland. I did not take any snaps in this area, it felt wrong. However, it was a tranquil and very emotional area to visit.

So – some snaps of my walk with Badger this afternoon. A grey sky, occasional light rain but a nice walk.








Family time

I spent a lovely couple of days with Mum in the Scottish borders. She is having a short, well-earned break at a cottage we have visited a number of times over the past 35 years.

The weather was lovely and the lambs were jumping around full of energy. The real, baba lambs. Us “human” Lambs were all knackered!

I had a long and quite tiring walk on Sunday but it was a real pleasure. Especially when I came back to good food and wine. Thanks mum!! xx

The cottage is on the estate of the Polwarth family – I took a snap of their beautiful home as I went past one day.

Harden, Spring 2016
Harden, Ancestral and actual home of the Polwarth family who own the cottage. Spring 2016

Coming back from the walk I took this snap over the valley. The cottage is in the distance marked with a red dot above it on the horizon. A beautiful location.

Mabonlaw Cottage from Hardchesters
View toward Mabonlaw Cottage, Spring 2016

And a snap of the cottage from the foot of it’s hill, just as I arrived back.

Looking towards Mabonlaw cottage, Spring 2016
Looking towards Mabonlaw cottage, Spring 2016

First film processed…

I just processed my first Black and White film from my 120 camera. Actually, my second. The first film was completely blank and I still have no idea why. Which is a bit concerning.

Anyway – I took 10 snaps as soon as I realised it might be a camera issue and they were of nothing in particular. 5 were tests with numbers on them to check the camera was ok. So, really, these are the first real snaps taken using my new film camera. Ilford HP5+ processed in HC110 – dilution of 1:31 and process time is 5 minutes at 20C. Grainy images but pleasing to have started! I scanned them using an Epson V550 and only scanned at 2400 dpi to save disk space. Lots to re-learn and a lot to learn for the first time.

I would not do it the same next time but I have now tested the processing and made tentative steps to scanning the negs. Next – back into the darkroom with some images I actually want to print and keep :-)






Snippets. Best years of your life…

I was thinking what piece of reminiscing baggage I could offload after the nice post I wrote about my Nan. I could think of nothing. Then, speaking to friends recently, I remembered an incident from school. Not a fight in the playground or a failed exam. A very short and insignificant classroom lesson I had when I was well under 10 years old.

Actually, the only two, strong recollections I have from my time at Towerbank were being the only kid in my entire class unable to pay to go to school camp. I recall having to spend an entire week on my own with my primary school teacher. Alone. All day in class. I could feel her discomfort. Kids are inexperienced – not stupid.

The other was a project to talk about what your Dad did as a job. I never knew my father and I never missed him. I spent most of my childhood living with Nan and Pa. I liked them – they were good people and kind. I had no “issues” living with them. They were decent, honest people. Pa was always my Dad so there was a “father figure”. Whatever that means.

I told my teacher this. I said “I don’t have a dad”. Millions of kids don’t. Many through illness. Some through accidents but the majority simply because Mum never wanted – or got – the useless sack of shit that you knew, secretly, your real “Dad” was.

So when my time came to make my short speech the teacher intervened. She announced that ‘Christopher’ could not tell us anything about his father. She informed them this was because he did not have a father. He was “illegitimate’. She spelt it out. There was no murmur or comment from the kids. I find it incredible now to think I was the only one in this position but as recently as the early 70’s this was still a taboo.

So, instead, I spoke about my Grandad.

Nothing much was said except outside by one other boy. I cannot recall if it was Craig or Kevin – for some reason I know it was one of them. He said that the real word for illegitimate was “bastard” and that I should say “bastard”. It do not recollect any malice. It was not said in a nasty way. Whoever it was simply had an older head than mine and was repeating something they felt made them sound “grown up”.

I did not know this word. So I asked at home what it meant. My Nan smiled and said it was such an ugly word and I should not use it. She said I was a “love child”. I still feel better when I think of that.

My friends never again discussed it. I was never taunted. It never became an issue.

Except that over 40 years later when discussing school and listening to how my friends loved those years – I recall it. Which surely says something.