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Not every photo expedition has to be carefully planned, with the objective thought out before hand and all the necessary kit packed into a bulging and heavy backpack. Getting out of a cosy bed before dawn once the clocks have gone forward is one of the most difficult parts of the photographer’s calling. Sometimes, though, after a leisurely breakfast it’s good just to take the minimum kit and go for a walk. Pick up that mirrorless Fuji with its lightweight 55-230 lens, pop a spare battery in your pocket and see what’s nearby.

In my case, I decided just to go for a walk in one of the nearby parks along with dozens of other locals just taking in a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. After the long winter here in Canada the coming of Spring and Summer is something that has to be taken advantage of; it won’t be long before we’re thinking about putting the winter tires back on our cars, so let’s make the most of it.

This wasn’t a quest for the perfect wildlife photograph. I don’t get paid for my work, I get the occasional picture published but photography has given me hours and hours of pleasure over the years. The simple act of taking a few decent pictures is enough to satisfy that urge to create that lives somewhere in all of us.

These pictures aren’t wildlife masterpieces, they weren’t taken with high-end equipment but but they were a lot of fun to shoot and I get a lot of pleasure just looking at them. Not to mention the physical health benefits of getting outside for a walk.

I don’t think you can underestimate the mental health benefits of a hobby that takes you out of the 9-5 and that allows you to indulge, to whatever extent, your creativity. I look at hobbies as my healthy obsessions. I hope to be obsessed and producing pictures that I like to look at for many years to come!

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This piece was originally written for the website 35mmc. If you haven’t visited Hamish’s site yet, do it.

This is a camera that I would guess everyone is familiar with. It’s not a complicated piece of machinery and millions were made in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Made famous in the UK by various tv commercials, it is simple to use with range focusing, an internal battery powered by the selenium cell around the fixed lens, and a cunning way of preventing you taking pictures when there’s insufficient light. It raises (literally) a red flag and locks the shutter release. It’s not foolproof, however, as I have managed to prove once or twice.

The 5 images were taken during a recent trip to Manhattan. We were visiting a cousin in NJ and I wanted to go to B&H in New York. I considered what camera I should take, I had a Fuji X-E2s, a Nikon F90x with colour film loaded, and my Trip with JCH Street Pan 400 black and white. New York? Black and white. No question. I hadn’t tried this film before but I have a preference for contrasty black and white and had seen other results on Flickr and various Facebook groups. It was a sunny day so it was an easy choice. I’ll be shooting some Ferrania P30 soon and that has a similar feel from what I’ve seen so far.

The roll was developed in Blazinal, which I believe is the trade name used in Canada for Rodinal. Blazinal is, again, a developer that brings out lots of contrast without having to make any adjustments to the standard developing time, so gave me the look I wanted with minimal effort. A win-win. So presented below are 5 of the results of that trip, images of 2017 Manhattan given a classic feel by a 1970’s camera.

Manhattan 2017
Inside the Oculus – JCH Street Pan 400

Manhattan 2017
The Naked Cowboy – JCH Street Pan 400

Manhattan 2017
NYPD – JCH Street Pan 400

Manhattan 2017
The Runner – JCH Street Pan 400

Manhattan 2017
The 9/11 Memorial – JCH Street Pan 400

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