Strike Day

so its been strike day today and across the country thousands of people have down tools and walked out of work in protest of one thing and another. Because i work in education i too have had the the luxury of having a day off, unpaid of course but instead of marching with my fellow brothers and sisters i have gone out and done something that i enjoy completely unrelated. Now whether they are right or not to strike you cant argue that its done some good in areas they didn't expect. As i walked through central station this afternoon it was packed out , the town was busy and the shops full but not with the commies, no. but with families out shopping in the run up to Christmas, everyone i saw had a shopping bag or bags and was ether with their spouses or children and instead of a hostile crowd there was a merry family atmosphere that was almost festive, not seen or felt for some time. If this is the result of the strike, that people pump money back into our economy and spend time with family and friends then bring it on.

Zenit E

Its official i have an addiction and not of the drug kind, alcahol i already have but this new addiction is much much worse. Its ebay, and in particular its film cameras. I have have started to mont up quite a collection of 35mm cameras some slr, some point and shoot and even an half frame. Im shure i have enough but the urge is still there and seeing as i very rare spend above a tenner for each one it wont see me out on the streets robbing from my mother just yet.
I have started to buy faulty cameras too, ones that are not working at there best so that i can break them down have ago at fixing them and increase my understanding of how different models work. It rather enjoyable and if i mess it up then its only a small price to pay.
My latest fixer upper is this mighty fine Zenit E SLR, made in the USSR its chunky and heavy but the best thing i like about it is the sound of the shutter, sounds like a Russian slamming the hammer down. This one had a problem with the shutter in that it needed tensioning and the light meter was faulty. so i stripped it down cleaned all the lens and mirrors tensioned the shutter and replaced the lightmeter from another Zenit E that i got for 2 quid. Gave the cosmetics a bit of a spruce and bobs your auntie. I replaced the lens with my Yaschica 50 mm which takes awesome pics. I tested this out on a recent visit to Rome which you can check out on my Flickr. Absolutely love this camera and will use it as much as i can. Its funny now that work has given me a new Cannon 400D you would think id be playing that but it just doesn't have the appeal like these old cameras do.

Lasers at the ready

Being a bit of a technology freak loving my toys and anything that is a little bit space age i jump at the chance to make things, although its seems I'm going backwards in the context of photography as yet again i bought another camera off ebay the other week. However I'm a practical person and love to make things whether its using technology or my own two hands. My recent little creative spell has been for my brother in law Thud, using a design he found in one of his many books on old building i designed two Gothic arches for two of his rooms. The process is quite simple and watching the laser cut them out is hypnotising. Just a few little finishing touches tomorrow will have these looking top notch. I wonder if Mrs Monkey will let me have one of these, along side the 3D printer, darkroom and workshop hmmmmm think I'm gonna need a bigger boat...or a shed.

Picking up the Leaves

Its very mild for this time of year and I'm desperate for the frost to really start as it always gives that winter feel and a sense that Christmas is approaching. Myself and Thud racked off the first of our cider this weekend with quite a few little surprises. the clarity and the difference in taste between the different batches. Anyone would have thought we knew what we were doing as we discussed the readings from our scientific specific gravity reading. Later i took a little wander around the garden taking the last of the apples from the trees and just taking in the immense rich colour of the garden. with some trees keeping a firm hold of their leaves the change from green to deep red then brown is striking and even though no frost or deep cold this some how makes me feel festive. After this mild sense of contemplation is was time for the long task of scooping them up and burning.

Lomo Film

I have recently been dabbling in out of date film both colour and black and white. Iv kind of got to grips with developing my own film but found printing to paper costly and time consuming so i recently got a negative scanner for ones birthday which cuts out both those factors and fits into what i want to do. I had My first attempt at processing colour film, something that most people seem to think complicated and yet its nearly the same at processing B+W with only a little more care time and temperature. I love using this out of date stuff has your never to sure as to what your going to get from it when you process it. the results have been great so far like taking your images back in time, saturating the colour and giving small imperfections which i really like. I love my digital camera but my film cameras have personality and their own style which some presets cant beat. These images were not touched or altered in any way and taken on my Rollie xf35, processed in my kitchen.