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Sunday, May 13

The Carse

How exciting - we're back in the Carse again! Well, I like it anyway. You might start getting fed up of seeing these project pics but it's my blog. Haha. The pics here, as you can probably tell from the snow in some of them, were taken a couple of months ago when much of the UK was under a white blanket. I thought it would be a good idea to show them now before it's full-on summertime and they start looking a trifle incongruous.

I'd bravely ventured forth into this white hell emboldened by the surefootedness of a fairly ancient four wheel drive Volvo that we bought in December. There are lots of great pics to be had up the hills in the snow but getting to them can be problematic. Cath was surprisingly receptive to the idea of a 4WD as long as she didn't have to drive it so a 10-year-old XC70 now sits in our crowded drive alongside my old Saab and the wee Hyundai runabout that Freya will get as soon as she passes her test.

We managed a couple of trips up Glen Shee to Braemar in the snow but the car was mostly used for keeping out of ditches in the Carse. I hope to be able to get further afield in the Volvo next winter, particularly Glencoe which I've only visited in spring and summer.

Anyway, back to the subject of this post. These are all OM1 pics, as have been most of my 35mm Carse shots thus far. An OM1 was my first ever big purchase and the first camera I bought. I'd saved up a couple of weeks wages from working for the local parks department after leaving achool and before going to university and spent it on a secondhand black OM1 with 50mm f1.4 Zuiko.

Over the years, I've had a go with just about every 35mm SLR out there. Apart from a spell using a Nikon FE2, I've always had an Olympus to hand. Aside from the OMs, the other marque that I always hankered after was the Contax but they were fiendishly expensive at the time. Over the past few years, though, I've been able to build up a great Contax outfit as post-digital prices became very reasonable.

These two outfits are what I've used for most of my 35mm SLR photography.
However, I find it hard to see past an OM1 or OM2 and always tend to gravitate back to them and that's the way it's been with the Carse.

The OM1 I'm using is a black one just like my first ever camera purchase so I've come full circle. As I mentioned in a recent post, the normal outfit comprises of a 24mm Zuiko, the 50mm f2 macro and a 75-150 zoom. The first two lenses are great and I don't think I could do much better, but the zoom is a weak spot. Ergonomically and functionally it's brilliant but it's not the sharpest lens and suffers from a bit of barrel distortion at the long end which is annoying when photographing horizons which I tend to do a fair bit when using a telephoto.

My preference for a theee-lens, portable and lightweight outfit is the tried and tested wide angle, standard and telephoto so I think I'll have to see about picking up something like a 100mm f2.8 Zuiko or maybe a 135mm as a replacement for the zoom. I know it's not thought very arty or creative to talk about gear but who cares. It's my blog anyway. Oops, that's the second time I've written that.

So, the pics. One and two are shots of the Paragon Skydiving Club based at Errol Aerodrome an old wartime airfield. The club doesn't look much but it's a professional operation that does a lot of good through charity jumps. I've signed up to jump on my 98th birthday*.

At the end of the runway is this old Fairey Gannet (Pic 3), left to rot away, which I photographed over the wing of an almost equally old Hillman Imp heading for a similar fate.

Number 4 is something you'll not have seen from me before - a bleak road. Actually, if I have a "style" then this is it - the photographic equivalent of Morrisey's greatest hits. I took this with the Tamron 28-135mm SP zoom which is a damned handy lens. I had the camera on a tripod and was standing on some uneven ground right by the roadside. Every passing car was throwing up slush and muck so I had to keep jumping backwards to stay clean(ish) and dry(ish).

I went to some lengths to separate the wooden hut on the left from the fence post beneath it. Doesn't sound like much but with the cars and wet, bumpy ground it was quite a feat. I saw the hut as a sort of full stop to the track and losing it amongst other dark things would have been careless. 

Pic No. 5 is a straightforward shot of Port Allen from a slightly different viewpoint to previous efforts to show the small inlet connecting to the River Tay beyond. No. 6 is a country noticeboard and post box that I'm going to photograph again. I picked up a tip from a James Ravilious book to note the collection times for the post box so you can snap the postman emptying it. I might scare the living daylights out of him by snapping him Weegee-style, jumping out from behind a parked car with the Speed Graphic and the biggest flashgun I can bolt to it.

The pic above is a wide angle shot of a graveyard in Errol on a suitably moody day. And finally, a shot of Little Ballo farm in the Carse Braes. I pass this farm road quite regularly and almost always stop to photograph it if the weather is in any way inclement. See what I mean about bleak roads?

* Like hell I have!


Anonymous said...

Last night I dreamt about buying a car so that I could get out and about for photography. At the moment I just have an electric bicycle. Somehow, my cat followed me to the car dealer so I brought it home, only to find that my cat was sleeping on the chesterfield! Who was this doppelganger I brought home?!
Anyway, my favourite photos are the graveyard and the table with broken chairs around it. I think they are the best composed and have the most interesting material. I'd like to see more photos of those old aeroplanes. Can people make requests at this site?
I love Contax cameras. I had a Contax 645 that I sold because I was tired of lugging around a medium format kit. I also had the Contax N1, which I really enjoyed using until the spot meter stopped working. Also, Contax never got a chance to make many lenses for it before digital killed the company. The 24-84 zoom it came with was beautiful, but slow. Provia 100F looked great through that lens. Camera and lens are now on permanent loan to a friend who likes film cameras.
- Marcus Peddle

John Carter said...

It is funny how we settle on a camera. I really like my P3n(s) and my ZX-5 (AF) and neither are expensive. They just fit me and don't have too much craziness. I also use an Olympus 35RC but have never had a SLR from that maker. I seems to me that Olympus was the camera maker that over the years made the best range of cameras (Olympus Trip to OM-1) and loads of point and shoots (I've had a few of those). The seemed to stay in 35mm but really offered something for anyone.

I like your Winter shots. We are in full spring here in California so my rainy day shooting is over.

Bruce Robbins said...

It’s getting the same way here, John. We’ve had some lovely days here recently. Being Scotland, though, our rainy days are always just round the corner...

Herman Sheephouse said...

I like the roads and Give Way - you are tempting me with Oly 35mm stuff though - those lenses do render things nicely - maybe have to get my OM10 up and running.
My friend got a 'not working' OM1 from a camera bargain bin for a tenner - it was set to B!