I’m not intending this blog to be too driven by politics but no longer venting my spleen on Twitter or Facebook means I occasionally have to write an opinion piece. During the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaigns people on the unionist side of the debate would occasionally let slip that independence would be a bad…Read More Why do so many liberals not like foreigners?
The trouble with open data is that you can find yourself wasting a weekend answering a question that is bugging you. I spent Saturday night and Sunday morning producing this.Read More There is nothing so dangerous as unmediated facts
Over the weekend I thought of starting a podcast in the style of Alistair Cooke’s Letter from America – A Letter from Edinburgh. To explore the possibility I wrote a pilot episode. And the conclusion of that pilot? I won’t do it. Producing a five minute recording each week would wipe me out and I’m…Read More Devolution: The invisible disaster
The combined image above shows three photographs I made over the course of an afternoon and evening. I had my wet-plate collodion set up running and wanted to refine how I made glass plate negatives specifically for scanning. Once I had what I felt was a successful wet-plate negative it occured to me that I…Read More Is analogue photography worth it?
My three month old iodising collodion finally got to me. Today I mounted an expedition to the bottom of the garden to make some collodion negatives. I’ve often wondered whether it would be feasible to do backpack collodion – to head for the hills with all that I need to make a few plates and…Read More Backpack Collodion: Expedition to the end of the … garden
The Argyrotype print process is a “modern” nineteeth century way of making silver prints on paper. It was created by Mike Ware in the early 1990’s [British Journal of Photography, 139, (6824), 17-19 (13 June 1991)]. Back in 1842, right at the start of photography, Sir John Herschel created a process based on iron and silver…Read More Argyrotype: First tests
Stills Gallery and photography centre in Edinburgh was planning to run a project called Elementary Blueprint where they sent out cyanotype papers for people to expose to the elements around Edinburgh and sent them back to make a single exhibit – like a blueprint of the city I guess. Then Covid-19 happened which put a…Read More Elementary Blueprint
During the Covid-19 lock down I’m messing with cyanotypes and want to have a go at Argyrotypes. These processes use contact negatives the same size as the finished print. The negatives need to have a long tonal range – be very contrasty. Many people produce such negatives using an inkjet printer and transparency film. This…Read More Negatives for alternative processes
I turned 55 on 28th February and we used that as an excuse to invite friends around on Sunday 1st March for an open house. This is something we only do once every five years or so. This time I set up what is basically a Victorian photo booth. I really wanted to practice making…Read More Wet Plate Party 2020
I attempted to make it to Braemar today to photograph the pinewoods – possibly in the snow. It was forecast to rain later but the rain came sooner and as snow. After two attempts I had to turn back. Ho hum. Try again another time.Read More Snow Stops Play
This is a really quick post about the new Stearman SP-810 developing tank because someone asked me my opinion. I must be one of the first to own it. I’m not going to talk through the tank as you can see what it is and what it does in this video. I’ve been using the…Read More Stearman SP-810: First Impressions
I went to a lecture on The Walking Dead (a TV series about zombie apocalypse living) and photography at Stills by David Grinly last week. It was heavy post modern, French philosopher type stuff but also entertaining. David expounded in a semi random fashion. When I left after two hours the discussion was still going…Read More From Zombies to Tattoos
Three little questions everyone can answer How many flights have you taken in the last year? How many days in the last week have you travelled by car? How many days in the last week have you eaten meat? Add the three numbers together. What was your total score? What will it be tomorrow? The…Read More How to be more radical and effective than XR.
Not much to say this month. Very crowded with the festival. Such a relief when the posters come down.Read More Marathon Monk: August 2019 – 358 days & 2,148 mindful miles
When you’re shopping for a large format lens one of the first things you want to know is what the coverage is. Will it cover the format I’m working with and by how much? Having salvaged the Schneider Kreuznach Vintage Lens Data I found myself with a piece of A4 paper and a compass trying…Read More Vintage Lens Coverage Graphic
If, like me, you spend too much time and money on old large format lenses you may be frustrated that the data that used to be hosted on the Schneider Optics site has disappeared. The URL now redirects to https://schneiderkreuznach.com/ I’ve looked around but can only find the data on the Internet Archives Wayback Machine…Read More Schneider Kreuznach Vintage Lens Data
Breaking the 2,000 mile barrier. Lots of energy this month. First week on holiday in the Lake district.Read More Marathon Monk: July 2019 – 340 days & 2,040 mindful miles
There is no doubt that making wet plate collodion photographs is a faff. I can make an image with my phone in just a few seconds. Setting up the darkroom, making a wet plate photo then packing everything away again is measured in hours. When we principally consume images on small screens the whole wet…Read More Wet plate collodion: Why bother?
It was nice to have my photos used in the Food Forever exhibition that has just opened at the botanics.Read More Food Forever
We don’t have a TV licence. We have Amazon Prime and Netflix and YouTube and hundreds of DVDs so just don’t watch BBC TV programming enough to justify £150 a year. To be clear you need a TV licence to watch live broadcast programmes in the UK from any channel and you need it to…Read More Scots rejecting BBC up 49% since 2014
I continuously wrestle with why the hell I want to make images. Sure a hell of a lot of it is a fascination with the process. I like the technology. Not the modern pixel peaking type so much as the physical side of traditional photography. But then I’m sitting at the breakfast table wondering what…Read More Why did I make this?
What has happened this month? I’ve started to Bullet Journal. Bought new camera bag and Hasselblads. Spending too much on camera gear but enjoying the sensations of owning in my 50s what I wanted in my 20s. I’m calling my Sunday Anxieties FOMO now. That’s what it comes down to. A list of things I…Read More Marathon Monk: November 2018 – 248 days & 1,488 mindful miles
This is an image of Scotland that I created as part of my job. The green is Normalised Difference Vegetation Index which is basically the difference between red and near infra-red light as seen by a satellite. This image is a composite of around one hundred and fifty satellite passes over three summers. The sensor on…Read More Real Photography with a CAMRA
Scotland is a country. Countries choose their own governments. No countries are truly independent but choose to pool some sovereignty for mutual benefit. or Scotland is a region. Regions choose local representatives to a central government. Regions are delegated powers by a central government which may choose to revoke them. Pick one option. To coin a…Read More On Scottish Independence
A quiet month again. Lost a few days to my sinuses playing up. Had to get the bus back or work at home. There is a general feeling of embeddedness. I feel the period of being really low has past. Perhaps 2018 will just be a year I remember for dipping my toe in more…Read More Marathon Monk: September 2018 – 217 days & 1,302 mindful miles
Twelve years ago we moved into our flat in Edinburgh with our two daughters who were six and a four years old. We aren’t fussy about decor but the fibreglass bath looked like it was about to crack and would have to be changed really soon. This week, just after one of those daughters has…Read More Bath Climate Mews
Not sure what to say this month. Not quite to 200 days – although I am on the 200th as I type. Here are two photos.Read More Marathon Monk: August 2018 – 199 days & 1,194 mindful miles
I don’t feel I really understand something until I have had a go at it so, having watched some YouTube videos on Afghan Box Cameras, I had the urge to “waste” a couple of weekends building one. Now it is more or less working and I’ve learnt my lessons I can move on to something…Read More Afghan Box Camera a.k.a. Cuban Polaroid a.k.a Camera Minutera
Five years ago I made a commitment to do a 20 minute mindfulness walk ever day during my lunch hour at the Botanics. I put a blog post on the Wild Geese website inviting people to join me and occasionally they have. I’ve managed to stick with it through all weathers although I don’t always…Read More Marathon Monk: April 2018 – 137 days & 822 mindful miles