We went back to the NMS for the Game Masters Museum Late last month.
Things weren’t quite as photogenic as last year, with the whole affair being darker (both inside lighting & lack of sunlight due to being in February rather than May)
I bought some nice film cases from Japan Camera Hunter (aka Bellamy Hunt) around this time last year & whilst I loved the idea I’ve found that 10x rolls is simply too much to carry in my bag. Even if I’m going on a trip for several days, I would only use the 10x cases as far as the hotel room & would then decant a smaller number into something else to actually carry around each day.
Then last week I discovered that Bellamy has released a ‘half’ sized version that holds 5x rolls! Once again, shipping was the same price for up to 3x cases & there were 3x colours so…
They happen to be the perfect size to fit into one of the front pockets of my new Billingham Hadley Small (this one is sage fibrenyte with chocolate leather).
Yes, Billinghams are almost laughably expensive, but so far this is the only camera bag I’ve owned that I didn’t immediately find at least one annoying flaw/niggle with (& I’ve owned Tenba, Timbuk2, Crumpler & Think Tank) so if it lasts for as long as people claim they do then I reckon it was a justifiable expense. Or at least that’s how I’m fooling myself.
I also got a frame made for one of the shots I took at Covent Garden a few months back. I get frames from Picture Frames Express, you can order them to whatever frame/mount dimensions you want (down to the mm) which is great if you’ve cropped an image to some ‘non standard’ aspect ratio.
Back in December 2011 I was in London with a Yashica-Mat 124G that I had just bought on eBay. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the Mat was actually broken & of the full 12 shots I took on that first roll only half actually came out. As far as I can tell, the rest were actually shot onto the backing paper. That roll was also the first time I ever developed a film myself, so looking back at it I was incredibly lucky to get such a nice photo of the Christmas decorations at Covent Garden, which looked even better when I rescanned it when I got my Epson V600.
I told myself that if Covent Garden had the same decorations up again, I would go down better prepared with a tripod & camera I knew worked properly. Well Christmas 2014 came around & the same decorations went up, so I hopped on the train with my RB67 Pro SD, a 5-pack of Tri-X & a nice Manfrotto tripod borrowed from work. Well, not so much hopped, as it was rather a heavy setup!
Of course ‘the best laid plans’ etc. & the shoot didn’t go quite as perfectly as I had hoped. It was quite late on a Sunday night by the time I made it out & got set up, so there were far fewer people than I had expected & the same bustling Christmassy atmosphere wasn’t really there. But conversely, because there were fewer people & the parasols were down, you could actually see from the vantage point all the way to the back of the building & the pillars across the entry. The flare from the lamps is unfortunate as well, but I’m honestly not sure how I could’ve avoided that – something to learn for the future!
I took a bunch of shots, both from the same off-centre position as 2011 & from the exact centre. None of the shots jumped out like that original 2011 shot, but there were a couple that I was relatively pleased with (click for bigger).