Technical Photographic Information

I am not a great fan of photographic equipment per se because I prefer photographs to be seen as a finished item: the journey to that end should be of no importance to the viewer. Nevertheless for those of us who undertake that journey there is much to be learnt from the experience of our peers and since I am indebted to those who have passed on their knowledge to me it is only fair that I give some account of how I tackle photography and printing in particular. There may be those who will find what I have to say is complete twaddle, but it is my twaddle and it works for me.

Shiny things in shop windows
Cameras: they glisten and gleam behind plate glass and beguile us with names that conjure fame and fortune. Leica, Nikon, Mamiya, Hassleblad – all names to send a thrill down the spine of any photographer. Then there the most exotic names like Schneidner Kreunach, Voigtlander, Linhof Technika Karden, Gandolfi, – all sounding more like priceless violins than light-tight boxes with a hole at one end. Because, when all is said and done, that is all a camera is and I applaud the resurgence of interest in pinhole cameras that put two fingers up to pixel makers everywhere; even though it is now possible to buy mahogany pinhole cameras with brass fittings and variable holes – for heavens sake!
 
So that’s my ‘Old Gits’ whinge done and here are the tools of my trade
 
Nikon FM2 + FE2
24mm; 50-135mm; 300mm
 
Mamiya 6
50mm; 75mm and 150mm
 
Mamiya RB67
I never use outside the studio but has 55mm; 90mm and 180mm lenses
 
All completely out of date dinosaurs, largely manual but icons of photography.
 
…and recently a Canon 710IS (even cordon bleu chefs use microwaves)
 
In the darkroom
Devere 405 with Mutligrade 400 system
Durst 805m condenser
 
Materials of choice
Film
Ilford Delta 100, 400 and FP4
Kodak Tmax 100 and 400
Ilford SFX
Rollei IR
and I must try some of the new ‘retro’ films soon
 
Paper
Ilford MG FB Matt and Gloss
Kentmere Fineprint
Forte Polywarm
Bergger Prestige Fine Art
Fotospeed FB Lith
Kentmere VC Select
 
Chemistry
Ilford Multigrade
Ilford Hypam
Ilford Rapid Fix
Agfa Neutol
Kodak Max Stop

hand print on ilford photgraphic paper