There are few things more rewarding than photographing personal work, especially on film. During the Easter break we headed out to Martinhal Beach Resort, near Sagres on the south western tip of Portugal. The five star hotel and resort overlooks Martinhal Beach and is set within a protected natural park. I can honestly think of no better destination for a family holiday. We’re already counting the weeks until we can return – it really is a very special place.
We went to the beach at the weekend. It wasn’t super-warm and we kept our jackets on for the duration but that’s Scotland for you! I’ve shot a ton of personal work so far this year – a mix of 35mm & 120 film, mostly shot on standard lenses. So, just for a wee change I photographed this set digitally with a slightly wider 35mm lens – all pretty much wide open to control the depth of focus and isolate the subject from the background. I love photographing at the beach. The light is a little bit cleaner which adds a bit of punch to photographs and the sand bounces light back up in to faces which is really quite flattering – not that kids require that to be honest. Continue reading
Good old Santa Claus came up trumps this year and left me a cracking Olympus OM1 film camera for being such a good boy in 2012! Well, OK then I bought it just before Christmas on Ebay along with a winder and a few lenses. There’s a lot to love about the OM1. It is about the same size as a Leica M camera, way smaller than Canon and Nikon’s offerings of the same period. The viewfinder is without doubt the largest on any 35mm slr – it’s huge and pretty bright. I got it with some decent glass; 50mm f1.4, 35mm f2.8 and a 200mm f4. I love the fact that I can carry the lenses in my pocket without being totally weighed down – they’re tiny, especially the 35. Feature-wise it’s pretty basic, which I love – I used the built in meter for all of these pics below and the shots are consistent throughout. I always shot slightly over what the meter showed which I found matched with what my Sekonic meter read.
I felt a real connection shooting with the OM1 – I guess it reminded me of my first camera, a Nikormat FT2, which was a good bit bulkier to be fair but similar in many ways; for example the shutter speed selector sits just behind the lens instead of on the top plate like many other cameras of the period. Another nice feature (and just like Leica glass) is the aperture dial is at the front of the lens making it a doddle to turn, especially with gloves on. The film rewind release is on the front plate just like a Leica M. The pics were shot on well expired Fuji Superia 400 rated at 800 asa and pushed two stops by RPL. The scans are a bit on the grainy side but I think they suit the subject matter and the environment OK.
Here’s a small selection of family photography from a day on Elie beach in Fife, Scotland. The set was photographed using my favourite go-to lens at the moment; a Canon 50L. They were mostly shot between f1.2 & f2 and were processed in Lightroom using a VSCO emulation to sweeten them up a bit. Along side the digital files I shot my Hasselblad H1 medium format camera with Fuji 400H film. The films will be heading their way to my fantastic lab, RPL in the US shortly and I’ll share them as soon as they’re back. I absolutely love photographing on the beach. The light has a very special quality to it, even on an overcast day. The colour palette is so soft and sand also works well reflecting light back in to faces creating a lovely soft glow. Perfect for photographing kids .