Old Work – QPSR & First B&W Film

Stacey and I recently changed the software we’re using (both OS and specific photo software) so we’re taking this opportunity to go through all of our old digital images and sort them out, and rescan all of our older film images and sort them as well. I decided it’d be a good idea to start with the old B&W stuff, and, whilst going through the old stuff I realised that quite a bit of it hadn’t been posted to the site since I started/changed layouts. As such, there’s going to be a few posts in the next few weeks that will feature older work.

A lot of this stuff I’ve already uploaded elsewhere, either to other sites, or to a previous version of this site, or whatever, but there’s also going to be some stuff that has never been posted. After having done photography stuff for a good few years now, I’m finding that, with what I know now, some of my older images that I wrote off or didn’t particularly like back in my early days are actually quite good, or, at the very least, interesting, so I might as well upload them and see what everyone else thinks.

So, here’s the first post, a collection of images from my very first roll of B&W film, way back in 2010. These shots were all taken on my trusty EOS-3, and mostly through the 24-105mm 1:4 L IS USM lens.

And so, what better subject for trying out B&W film than a steam train? And, as it happened, Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway happened to be having a running day that weekend, so we headed out to Swanbank Station and arrived quite a bit earlier than we intended to…

This is my 3rd B&W film photo after shooting a couple of test shots. Stacey and I were at Swanbank Station and we got a little bored waiting for the train to arrive.

This is my 3rd B&W film photo after shooting a couple of test shots. Stacey and I got a little bored waiting for the train to arrive.

And after the couple of practice shots, it was straight into the deep end (so to speak)... After waiting for the train to load it's passengers and turn on the loop, it was time to shoot it moving a high speed back through the station. I still regard this and the next as two of my best photographs ever.

And after the couple of practice shots, it was straight into the deep end (so to speak)… After waiting for the train to load it’s passengers and turn on the loop, it was time to shoot it moving at speed back through the station. I still regard this and the next shot as two of my best photographs ever.

And this was a fraction of a second later as the train continued on at speed. Changed orientation of the camera, zoomed out, refocused and still nailed the composition.

And this was a fraction of a second later as the train continued on at speed. Changed orientation of the camera, zoomed out, refocused and still nailed the composition.

After shooting the last two images we ran back the car and made a mad dash to one of the level crossings, arriving with plenty of time to setup before the train arrived. I shot a burst of images as it crossed the road.

After shooting the last two images we ran back the car and made a mad dash to one of the level crossings, arriving with plenty of time to setup before the train arrived. I shot a burst of images as it crossed the road.

And to make things a little more spectacular, after seeing Stacey and I waiting near the crossing, the engineer was kind enough to blow off some steam as it crossed.

And to make things a little more spectacular, after seeing Stacey and I waiting near the crossing, the engineer was kind enough to blow off some steam as it crossed.

I could’ve easily used up the whole roll shooting this train, but I wanted to leave some shots for other things, so we headed back home, and decided to go to the Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens to use up the rest…

Found this little Nephila sp. right near the carpark, we hadn't even made it into the gardens proper.

Found this little Nephila sp. right near the carpark, we hadn’t even made it into the gardens proper.

One of the first things I learnt when shooting B&W is that texture is king.

One of the first things I learnt when shooting B&W is that texture is king. Like the way that it pretty much wouldn’t mind what colour this hibiscus was, it would still come out looking the same, highlighting the texture that is so easy to miss.

 

Eastern water dragons always make good subjects.

Eastern water dragons always make good subjects.

And then I turned the camera on Stacey again for the last couple of shots...

And then I turned the camera on Stacey again for the last couple of shots…

It's pretty crazy to think that Stacey was still using a point and shoot back then.

It’s pretty crazy to think that Stacey was still using a point and shoot back then. Note all the chainmaille jewellery. I made most all of that.

Obligatory stalker type shoot that she didn't notice me shooting.

Obligatory stalker type shot that she didn’t notice me shooting.

Since this first roll I’ve used up quite a bit of B&W film of different types, and it wasn’t long after this that I actually started developing it myself, which is something I recommend everyone should try at some point. I’d also recommend trying out printing your own B&W prints as well, because it is an awesome learning experience (by that I mean proper darkroom printing with an enlarger).

There’ll probably be quite a bit more of my older B&W stuff uploaded as I continue this rescanning project, and I’m planning to start putting a lot more B&W through my 645N too.

Shannon Walters

An amateur photographer who also spends time making chainmaille and doing too many other things to mention.

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