Giving film a go!

Back at the beginning of the year I was given a Chinon CS 35mm Film camera from my mother-in-law. This was the first film camera I had held, let along owned. So, as with anything new I took to Google to find out what I had to do!

It didn’t take much searching for a user manual until I came across one by Mike Butkus. There are a load of manual on this site for many different cameras. Check it out! With the basics learnt I loaded up a roll of film and fired off a few photos.

Ill write another post in future about the struggles I had with the camera even before I took my first photo, this one is just to go over the first roll of film that I had developed.

I didn’t take all these photos in one day. Instead I took the camera with me along with my D7000. I snapped a few on film just to help familiarise myself with it.

The first thing that threw me was the fact I had no clever technology tell me what settings will be best. The light meter is a small pin that appears when the camera believes you have the right exposure. Although I am thinking that this is out due to the modern battery I had to put in.

All of this is of course guess work. I am hoping that I am going to learn more about shooting film as and when I get through more and more rolls of films. Of course if anyone wants to leave any tips and advice then please leave a comment below.

After speaking with a very good photographer, Gemma Gaskins, she mentioned to use the D7000 as a light meter to get the right reading. Thinking back, this seems obvious now.

I took the film to be developed at Bristol Cameras, the same place I bought the rolls. The first thing I noticed when I got them back was that they all seemed really grainy. The film was Ilford HP5 Plus 400 B&W and after asking The Rising Tide group of Facebook, the friendly members gave me a few tips to help. Basically deepen the depth of field and too keep taking photos and learn how the camera works.

I feel like I could split all but one photo into two groups. Those that came out alright, like the ones already shared above, and those that were terrible. Except for this next one. For some reason half the image is exposed and the other is completely over exposed. Im not sure why this has happened? The end result is quite cool anyway.

So here comes the photos that didn’t come out well:

  1. Some were out of focus, I still need to get used to the manual zoom.
  2. Some were under exposed, I still need to learn what shutter speeds and aperture to set and trust the light meter more?
  3. Some looked like they had a weird cloudy film over the top of them. These I have no idea about?

From shooting with this camera I have learnt just how dependant I was on the modern cameras settings. Its hard to not get the right exposure on a modern camera! Its easy at the moment for me to get the wrong exposure with film.

I asked different photographers for advice when shooting film. They all had the same response, and that is to keep trying until you get it right. I now have some Kodak ColorPlus 200 loaded in the camera at the moment which Ill fire through when I go to Iceland at the end of the month.

Rome – Honeymoon Part 2

The second leg of our honeymoon saw us travel to Rome, Italy. Katherine had been before but it was my first time. I went only knowing of the beautiful architecture, rich history and what was included in a travel guide I bought! Nether-the-less I was excited to see everything and take some more photos.

Its worth noting that we went to Rome back at the beginning of August. Trying to remember all the places we visited on each day seems a lot more challenging than I thought. Ill make a note of it when I go to Iceland.

One of the first things I noticed when shooting in Rome was the difference in light. My camera was still set up for St Ives, were although lovely, it was overcast and grey. Rome was bright from the moment we woke up to late into the evening. Luckily when the sun was at the hottest in the middle of the day we were normally in a bar or restaurant. This didn’t mean that for the rest of the day I didn’t have that harsh light source from up above, because I did.

Three Favourites

The photo above was taken in Formula Uno Pizzeria. Its located near the student villages behind the Termini (the main train station), its cheap and doesn’t have the touristy vibe likes other places.

As I’ve mentioned, trying to remember what day we went where isn’t easy. What I do remember is that in the day we went to different attractions then in the evenings we would find a nice place to eat and have a few drinks.

One of the best tools to see the different attractions was a map that the concierge at the hotel provided. So with map in hand we headed out with no particular plan.

First stop was walking straight down Via Nazionale and to the Piazza Venezia, where we had our first taste of how many huge buildings there are in Rome.

Monumento Vittorio Emanuele
Monumento Vittorio Emanuele

I am not going to get into too much detail about the places about where we visited, obviously I’ll name them but I wanted this blog to be more about the pictures than the words. Besides, I am not a very good writer.

So here are a few images of the Colosseum. It is massive! If you go I would say to get a tour to go around, you don’t get as much time as if you were on your own but if you are like me and would prefer to be told then read then its well worth it.


This is one of my favourites photographs I took in Rome. It was made B&W in post. I like the way the road and building leads the eye up the road. It was taken on the streets near the Spanish Steps, possibly Via Condotti.

.. and speaking of the Spanish Steps.

The Spanish Steps

We couldn’t leave Rome without seeing the Vatican and St Peters. I would recommend to leave early in the morning to beat the queues. Head to St Peters first, once your in you can buy tickets for a slightly increased price but you do get to skip what can be a several hour wait in the sun for the Vatican Museum.

One thing I like is food! So I couldn’t finish without mentioning another place that Katherine and I went to. We had more euros left than we had expected so we decided to splash out on a nice meal. The friendly concierge recommended a pizzeria named Emma Pizzeria Con Cucina, which is a few roads walk from Campo de Fiori.

Just like St Ives I did take a few photos on the film camera. I aim to get them developed over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully that will be the next post.

St Ives – Honeymoon Part 1

So I got married and went on a honeymoon, well actually I went on two and I have another one at the end of October. I’ve been wanting to start a photography blog for a while, I thought I better just jump straight into it. The photos in this post are from St Ives and the surrounding areas. Katherine (my new wife) and I have been to St Ives a number of times and thought what better way to start married life than a relaxing trip in one of our favourite places.

St Ives Harbour:  f/10 - 1/400 sec - ISO200

Whenever we venture down to Cornwall we never set a plan as to where we want to go, we get the in car and just see where the road takes us. This time round we headed down to Lizard point, the most southern place in the UK. We walked to down to the cliff edge and then around the coast back to the local village. I shoot using a Nikon D7000 and whilst in Cornwall I shot on the standard kit lens 18-105mm Nikkor. I had recently inherited an old Chinon 35mm film camera so I had this with me at the time.

Lizard Point - f/8 - 1/250sec - ISO200
Lizard Point: f/9 - 1/320sec - ISO200

Whilst we were here it seems stupid not to try and see some of the places that Poldark was filmed. Katherine thought she might bump into Aidan Turner, which probably would have ended the marriage before it really started. When we got back to the village in Lizard we hunted down Ann’s famous pasties (, when we arrived I got talking to Ann who told us to head towards Bottalack to see the mines that are in the show. Off we went!

As with most places in Cornwall its on the coast again and you can walk up and down to the old tin mines. The sea mist was coming in and creating what looked like fog. I tried to get a few photos, not sure how I could have taken better (I didn’t have my tripod with me), any suggestion please comment below to let me know.

Sea Mist on Bottalack Coast: f/4.5 - 1/1000sec - ISO200
Sea Mist off Bottalack Coast: f/4 - 1/640sec - ISO100

What we found in Bottalack were hundreds of piles on stones all balanced on top of one another. I’m not sure who had done them as I could stack more than 5 without them toppling over.

Stone Balancing: f/4 - 1/1600sec - ISO200

After a couple of lovely days down in Cornwall we had to head back to reality. As per our previous trips on the last day we decided to check out of the B&B (Green Apple in Carbis Bay:; I highly recommend it!) and take the coastal roads home, stopping in places that took our fancy.

We stopped at the home of Doc Martin, Port Isaac for a quick look around and of course another pasty. Its only a small place but well worth a visit, just around the corner is Port Gaverne, another little picturesque Port.

Post Isaac: f6.3 - 1/160sec - ISO100
Post Isaac: f/7.1 - 1/200sec - ISO100

I loved my time down there, especially since it was with my new wife. I probably could have taken more pictures but at the time it wasn’t at the fore-front of my mind.

We went off to Rome two weeks later. The photos off which will be in the next post.