The lockdown has been a big lesson for me, in that I have come to appreciate the little things in life. Photography is my hobby (some would say obsession) and it takes me to another world, away from the normal every day. I enjoy the gear, the chemicals, and more recently, darkroom printing. I am not clueless but I get there in the end out of pure stubbornness, I am happy with good enough and I am no perfectionist.
Trips away, even to the countryside have been a thing of the past for quite a while now and apart from home and the general locality, there hasn’t been much action in terms of photography although I have shot a lot of film in the last year. I was lucky because just before lockdown I started building a new house for my family, (hence the new darkroom) and I have really enjoyed being able to concentrate fully on the house build, we moved into our new home in October.
Until recently we were only allowed travel 5km from our homes which was a right pain even though we were luckier than some as we have a lovely park practically on our doorstep. The restrictions were eased and at the time of writing in late April 2021, we are allowed to travel 20km from home which filled me with glee.
I loaded up my favourite camera — my Mamiya 6 — and headed to the coast (23km away, but who’s counting!), Kodak T-MAX 100 was my film of choice and I fitted an orange filter, just because I had one. Dollymount Strand on Bull Island was the destination and the weather forecast was perfect. My good friend Terry picked me up on Saturday morning and the adventure began.
Bull Island attracts a lot of sea swimmers and kite surfers and it really is a beautiful location. All images were taken with my Mamiya 6 and developed in T-MAX developer 1-4 . Pre-soaked for 3mins and develop 7.5 minutes of constant agitation for the first minute and five agitations every minute thereafter. A water stop bath was used and they were fixed with ILFORD Rapid Fixer, ILFORD Wash and scanned with my Epson Perfection Pro v550 scanner. I have made no adjustments to the scans, I just spot clean and frame in Photoshop.
I love the Mamiya 6, it is so light and easy to use with its bright rangefinder, exposure lock, and quality lens. I enjoyed every minute of my newfound freedom, even it was just 23km from home, I hope you enjoy the shots I took. You can check out more of my photos on Flickr.
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I know Bull Island well, my in-laws live just opposite in Clontarf. Its a really stunning spot to photograph, but I’ve never tried mono though. Great captures.
When talk about Ireland, there are many good things.
Firstly : U2.
Your images are simply perfect.
I am not sure that the best top digital pro cameras can get this level of quality!
Thanks Eric for your kind words..
Loved the article and the images, Brendan! The detail on your friend’s cap’s bill is astonishing! I’m a Mamiya 6 nut myself, would love to return to my teenage stomoing grounds of Glenageary and Dalkey and shoot everything I loved again…
Thanks Lorraine , the Mamiya is a wonderful camera with a great lens , your old stomping ground has some beautiful locations and you should definitely return and shoot them .. Thanks again ..