One night my friend Jay contacted me (you may remember him from podcast episode 81) saying he would like to come on one of my architecture walks. So alas I had another opportunity to carry on my series of “a walk with”, that had previously included Luke Flisher, Leon Broomhead, John Hughes and Tobias.
This time, for a walk with Jay Good, we chose Sheffield as it’s within an hour’s journey for both of us. Of course, we are still in this pandemic so early on I made sure we were both reading of the same page with regards safety – so no car sharing, no handshakes etc. It does feel crap having to do this, as we’ve known each other and something we just normally do as mates. You should always take a mask with you in case too (as I did) and a pair of glasses if you have crap eyesight like me.
Of course, my trusty gear for the day would be primarily the Bronica and 75mm this time (had used 150mm in the past) and ND filter with hood. You can never be sure about lighting so I took Tmax 100/Portra 160 + 400 film to cover me. I also like to shoot 35mm too so took my Olympus om2n with black & white.
We were very lucky with the weather, such lovely blue skies and occasional beautiful white clouds!
Jay had always said he wanted to try something different to his portraiture work for a change. I must say Jay is one of the few photographers I consider as very gifted in his field (see link section for more). On arrival, I highlighted to Jay a few essentials we needed to photograph, but this required miles of walking. With the midday heat, it was hot but nice and we were dressed sensibly.
My idea was to walk, shoot, have a quick bite to eat and drink. Then hopefully if time permitted and it was safe, buy a book (can’t stop recently). This needed to planned carefully as I had no room for a book or drink in my bag (it’s tiny).
I took Jay through some of the back streets Leon had shown me before, but along a lot more too. The contrast between new and old never ceases to amaze and Jay found this really intriguing too. There are numbers of buildings on the same street that are abandoned, but new housing just metres away. There are a few painted mural’s around the city too, graffiti to some people but great for us photographers.
Of course we went for the architecture and Jay did find this very interesting too. Having the bright light was perfect allowing you to choose different angles or a side of the building to suit your composition.
As many of you know from watching my feed I have started taking images from my mobile down the viewfinder of my camera. I have started doing this for a few reasons. Firstly, it allows me to record a date and location but also use it for comparison. The date and location have become really handy for labelling my negatives and gives me a useful timeline of my year.
As I said providing a comparison may be useful. I can use the images as drafts and they may help me improve in the future.
It was really nice to have Jay on board. After he left I continued the journey around the city as I wanted to go back to the likes of the Cheesegrater.
In this area, I came across a fellow photographer and whilst socially distancing we discussed the architecture. Tom introduced himself and we started chatting and exchanged Instagram feeds (see links below). True to our word, we contacted each other and have remained in contact since. Shooting film always seems to open up doors and conversations with people, which is great for me. I’m only too happy to motivate people about film and show them photography is not about the gear.
One of the proud moments is showing the results from the day. People find it intriguing that I don’t take meter readings and just use my judgement- some people thing its lazy. Personally, I don’t care, my style of shooting is my own and down to my experiences. I have shot hundreds of rolls and know what to expect. But I’m also happy to point out I am not master or achieve perfection every time.
Tom asked me to keep tagging him with my shots. To give him a preview thought I showed him my version of a digital contact sheet. This allowed him to see my results from at least 1 roll of film.
I thought it would be only correct to showcase more of the images here rather than my social media feed.
I thought it would be nice for you to see some of Jay’s shots too. So thanks to Jay for providing these (love the arts tower shot).
A walk with Jay good – I have to say I really enjoyed all elements of the day. It was great to have a mate to walk around with. It was nice to have great light for my film shots and capture something different (see below). I had seen Valentin Rizvan (a great architecture photographer) take some abstract photos from the street. Strangely enough, I spotted one such subject. It was one of those times I walked past it, turned around and went back – it was something about the colour saturation in the barrier. The shot was very popular in a FB group too. In fact, I received a daily commendation for it and this group has some amazing artists.
The social side is great and meeting another nice person is always a bonus. Tom was really kind and helped me with the names of many buildings too.
This was one of the first times I had not shared all my photographs from the day. The ideas were to provide content for people like you who support and read my blog. What you don’t know was how nervous I was after sending these films off to the lab for developing & scanning. Mainly because I had never used the company. before (my regular guy was busy). However, once I had received the 50meg tiff’s I was overjoyed with the quality. I will talk about this film dev company in a future article I’m writing.
So there we go I hope you enjoyed the work, you might notice there is a lack of technical information. The point of the article is not to delve too deep in these matters. One day in the not too distance future I will write about the buildings and architects.
But as far as shooting information goes, I honestly don’t take too much notice – that’s just not important. I choose a film I have, I use a camera and go off, take a shot and carry on walking (walked approx 4.5 miles this time). It’s not often you will see me stand in the same place long (see Jay’s video near the Arts Tower as an example!)
If you ever fancy a walk with me or as part of a group, get in touch. Until the next shoot, keep your distance, wear a mask and stay safe everyone.
Jay Good Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sonyshooter2019/
Tom Crookes Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tomcrookes/
Phlogger (photography) Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/phlogger_photos/