This series was shot on a walk around the new developments on the Greenwich Peninsula in late April 2021. I had been having an absolute mare of a week, felt like rubbish and wanted to get out of the house but I had been procrastinating, saying to myself that I should take my camera and try to make some photographs of the new architecture that’s starting to go up around the peninsula, but then saying to myself that it would all be awful, and not worth it.
In the end, I kicked myself into gear, grabbed a couple of rolls of Fujifilm NEOPAN ACROS 100 II from the freezer and my Fujica GL690 and went out. I metered once in reasonable conditions so I didn’t have to faff around re-metering all the time (since the camera has no inbuilt meter). Bare minimum kit, bare minimum film. Just ACROS II, just the 100mm lens. Back to the bare necessities, to take away the tyranny of choice, and the urge to shoot more than necessary (the GL690 giving a meager 8 shots per roll…).
I knew from past experience that ACROS II performs ridiculously well pushed so I decided to meter for EI 400 and get some oomphy contrast, while not introducing too much grain. And it did not disappoint. The contrast of the buildings against the sky, the clouds against the clear, the individual window frames within the buildings is simply gorgeous. Every time I shoot something with the GL690, regardless of however inept I feel at the time, I get at least half a roll — usually more — of beautiful images to take away.
For instance, the Plymouth car, parked outside the industrial unit. Massively, hugely underexposed, and yet when I brought the exposure in post-production (yes, I’m not going to lie, there was a little work done on that image), it still retains that smooth, rich ACROS II tone, without introducing too much graininess. That shot was taken very quickly and without being able to check the exposure, since the guy had just parked, left to go in the unit and looked at me rather suspiciously (rightly so, given the area) as I eyed his car with my camera. Just enough time to focus, compose and shoot. So to have been able to get a usable image (one that I have printed, framed and hung on my walls!) from that was stupendous.
The architecture shots from around North Greenwich are some of my favourite images, and reveal the beauty in the modern aspect that is taking over the peninsula (long may it continue!) — while on the other hand, I love the industrial parts of Greenwich and Charlton (and have, on other cameras, and other films, made plenty of photographs of those parts), the real joy will be when the developments have been fully realised and the Greenwich Peninsula masterplan is complete. It’s a wonderful piece of land that is just begging to be developed from the car parks, motorway, aggregates works, and other desolate parts into a thriving, bustling, and friendly neighbourhood.
I hope you enjoy the photos and thanks for reading!
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