52 week photo challenge (1/52)

Myself and fellow photographer Mark Curnow are embarking on a 52 week photo challenge. Each week a different theme is set and we have to post our results by the following Sunday.
This week’s theme is: Using the Rule of Thirds tell a story with a photograph.

Well my story is I went Helston to get my car MOT’d, I turned up to a grumpy looking mechanic asking me why I was so bloody late!  Turns out they had me on the calender for 11am when I had booked for 1pm. Anyway, they could still do my MOT but not till later on in the afternoon, so with a few hours to kill I thought I’d take my camera around Helston, a town full of history and heritage, for some inspiration for this week’s challenge. First of all Wetherspoons for a fuel stop……………… and that’s as far as I got, two hours just sitting on my ass drinking coffee ☕



Part of me feels hellish guilty for opening a box of Polaroid Viva film knowing full well that they don’t make this stuff anymore, but another part of me feels like film is for shooting!

It feels like owning a bottle of fine aged wine and never drinking it or buying a rare sports car and never driving the damn thing. 

wine is for drinking

cars are for driving

film is for shooting

end of.


Whilst driving through Hayle the other day I stopped off at the Harbour to see the most beautifully still waters, so rather than focusing on the land I thought I’d focus on the water.

With the water so still you can hardly tell which photo was taken upside down.col400

Like Night and Day….

Like a mirror…col399

All photos were taken with an Olympus Pen EE Half Frame Camera using FijiFilm X-Tra 400 35mm Filmcol398col

Cyanotypes in the winter

Seeing that the UV light given off by the sun is a fundamental ingredient to making a cyanotype, making them in the winter months can be difficult, but not impossible.

I’ve read up a lot about using artificial UV light to create them but the lamps powerful enough are expensive, ebay (as always!) seem to be a good source of face tanning lamps which can be used for creating cyanotypes but these can be anywhere from £40 up, I wanted a cheaper option so I looked down the Energy Saving UV fluorescent route.

Energy Saving UV fluorescent lamps cost about a fiver but being such a low wattage means that the don’t give off a huge amount of UV light so I thought I’d start small any try contact printing a few 120 negatives.

Here’s my test rig:


Using a 15w lamp and an old fizzy pop bottle covered in foil as a reflector to direct as much precious UV light onto my print as possible.

Here we have it fired up:


15 Minutes of exposure later and we have a (sort of) presentable print:


By no means are you going to produce spectacular results, given the nature of cyanotype they aren’t that detailed so contact printing isn’t going to yield brilliant results but it is definitely worth a try.  So if you fancy some winter cyanotype action and have given up due to the cost, it can be done, so long as you stay small 🙂