Having been out hiking a little less than usual in recent weeks, one alternative has been to head out early’ish and take to the streets of Sheffield.
I often head down towards Kelham Island, the ex-industrial area of Sheffield that seems to always be in a state of permanent gentrification. The place is steeped in history, though is now predominantly devoid of big industry, thus can often give off a somewhat melancholy air. On the other hand, some skilled, cottage industry still exists, some of the new development is helpful and the locale is populated with a number of pubs, of which many would have served the original workforce, and now are known as some of the best that Sheffield has to offer.
The resulting shots showcased here represent two rolls from separate trips; one such Kelham Island walk, and another that also continued closer to the city centre, also taking in the ever maligned Park Hill Flats. The flats, (originally envisaged as a government-led, post-war re-housing scheme), have been a visual icon of the city for decades, and once hosted a thriving community. Now the flats are torn by development, dereliction and the last remaining, legal residents.
Both rolls were shot on Fuji Pro 400H, using my Pentacon Six TL, with a Zeiss Biometar 80mm f2.8, (zebra version); though one roll was shot at ISO 400 and the other at ISO 200. All metering was done using a Gossen Profisix in conjunction with an 18% grey card. Some cropping, contrast and saturation modification has been perpetrated in PS, but rolls were developed, printed and scanned by Ag-Photographic.
Well, I finally managed to get back in the darkroom and try out our new-old Hewes steel developing tank & reels. After the auto-loading Paterson reel we had decided to start giving up the ghost, I figured it might be a good idea to try something that might end up being a bit more reliable, though there are caveats, as always!
Loading the steel reels is straightforward, but requires practice; there are videos on youtube that are very helpful, I found this one and this one to be helpful. One of the two rolls I developed this time was misaligned and therefore ‘bunched up’, somewhere in the inner spirals, causing the chemicals to pool there during the process. This resulted in lines and blobs on the negatives at around this point on the roll. Like I said, practice will hopefully alleviate this.
I also recently managed to get hold of a Gossen Profispot for around half the price they normally go for – this is the spot meter attachment for my Profisix light meter. For the purpose of testing, instead of using a grey card, I used this to meter on the Edale to Hope walk, and after looking at the ‘scanned’ negatives, it became apparent that a steep learning process is going to transpire, when at last the time arises of course!
Anyhow, I shot a couple of rolls of Tri-X on two separate trips out to the Peak District from the past month or so; one a walk out through Endcliffe Park towards the Norfolk Arms shot using the MIR 45mm f3.5, the other a very wet and windy hike out from Edale towards Hope, via the Roman Road – shot on the Zeiss Flektogon 50mm f4.
The rolls were shot at ISO 320 and developed accordingly in 1:3 Perceptol, for times derived from the Massive Dev Chart. I also performed some cropping, contrast boosting and white balancing in PS, and the negatives were scanned using a Canon 500D, fitted with a Sigma 18-250mm f3.5.