Just a walk down the prom with my camera

Just a walk down the prom with my film camera, in the sun taking in the crisp cool air. Here are some of David’s favourite black and white, medium format photos from that day.

A lovely little trip and break. Come back nice weather and we can do this again.

One Saturday I decided to take a trip to Fleetwood Market to buy some things from the art supply store that’s opened up there. A good day in itself. I returned with a new sketchbook, which I admit I’m yet to try out, sweeties, a new kitchen knife, a cook’s apron, fingerless gloves and my stomach full of cheese and onion pie with chips. All for little money.

I’d purchased a 24 hour bus and tram phone ticket using Blackpool Transport Services‘ app and as I’d activated it late in the day, there was a morning’s life left in it on Sunday morning. The weather was lovely and there was my medium format camera and a 12 exposure roll of film sat temptingly on the shelf. Well those pictures weren’t going to take themselves.

So I beetled down to the Penrose Avenue bus stop to catch the  service 3 to Topping Street, then the tram down to South Pier. Plenty of time left on the ticket. A pleasant ride in itself. The choppy sea around the pier’s legs made for a decent first shot of the day.

The slight issue of starting from that end was walking into the sun and the photos therefore being behind me. However, this also presented a lovely silhouette, which a cyclist coming through complemented. Easy enough to look back over one’s shoulder when the prospect of a photograph hove into view. The advantage of a manual camera is that shooting into the light can’t deceive your light meter; in fact that camera doesn’t have a meter.

It was good to grab some shots of the soon to be dismantled tidal organ. The tide was in and despite knowing it for eighteen years, I’d never heard it playing; as you’d expect, an eerie sound reminiscent of whale song. This piece will be sorely missed and I hope that something equally worthy will replace it. All good things must come to an end, I suppose.

Say what you like about Blackpool, the artwork and architectural shelters down there are really quite inspiring and give a modern image to belie that the national press prefers, always ready to stick the boot into Blackpool. I’ve always liked the rotating fish tail shelters. Against a lovely blue sky, even better.

At the newly refurbished ‘they shoot horses don’t they’ giant mirror ball artwork (see header photo), I expended my last frame of the twelve. A happy chap with his happy little boy came past saying ‘that’s an old camera isn’t it, it’s an antique’: not quite, but the owner’s getting that way. Unfortunately that frame was damaged in processing, but I’ve managed to crop it to a decent picture.

With my film expended, it was time for a decaf coffee in the Solaris Centre cafe. There was just time to gulp that down and munch a piece of cake before a quick dash to the bus stop to catch the service 18 back to Cherry Tree Road, the last bus for which my ticket would be valid. That ticket was some value for money.

For those interested, the antique camera is a Yashica 635 twin lens reflex, shooting through a yellow filter onto Ilford HP5 film, a favourite combination. For those not interested, don’t bother reading this paragraph.

from YASHICA 635 FILM CAMERA REVIEW BY TOM BOX - click on image to read review


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    I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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