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My garden in autumn

Six months ago, spring – my favourite time of year – was underway in my garden, coming alive with yellow-greens and soft, warming light. Try as I might, I can never quite stop feeling that Autumn is an ending. As September gave way into October I was happy one day to receive a visit from a common carder bee who had come to our back garden hanging basket regularly throughout the summer. I thought I’d seen the last of him, and his unexpected appearance – along with the ongoing flowering of our beautiful, vibrant fuchsia – gave me hope of an Indian summer. Of course, time always marches on, and it seems that this was the last visit of my little buzzing friend. Throughout the past few months though, I’ve still found a great deal of inspiration in my garden. From dripping misty mornings and dew-dropped spiders’ webs, to the rich explosion of colour from our acer, to the scattering of brilliant leaves on the autumn wind and the final giddy throes of flowering from the fuchsia, there has been beauty all around. And I always try to remind myself that the seasons are a cycle, and the Autumn is not an ending.

All images captured on Contax 645 and dev/scan UK Film Lab. The final nine images are Kodak Portra 800; all others Fuji 400H.

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Kay Thompson - November 22, 2015 - 4:50 pm

Beautiful photos, loving all the autumn colours right now it’s a very special time

Erica - November 23, 2015 - 6:12 pm

Thank you Kay :-)

Forever Ektar | Autumn in the city

I don’t think I’ll ever get over the joy that is shooting Kodak Ektar on a glorious, blue sky day. One Saturday morning in September we had coffee near the university in Sheffield, and then took a brief wander round the nearby streets and alleyways. With the sun smacking down on bold red brick, shiny tile and hulking concrete, it’s easy to rush things from the thrill of having the perfect, mouth-watering light in front of me and the perfect tools in my hands – potentially – to capture it in all its glory.  But I have learnt from shooting film to take the time to calm the excitement just a little; to move this way and that to assess my composition; to focus, re-focus…pin sharpness suits bold light and primary colours so well.

Ektar is so incredibly versatile, and another reason I love shooting it so much is that I know – just as long as I get my end of things right – that it will never disappoint me. It captures an unbelievable range of detail from dark, delicious shadows to bright highlights, and it renders light and colour so accurately, so naturally, yet with an extra special something. There was a couple of months between me shooting this film and scanning it, but the images are so real and evocative, that I’m back there instantly.

It is this versatility and subtlety – the way it captures the delightful nuances of light and shade – that keep me always in love with film. From the hard autumnal light of a Sheffield street to the soft, dreamlike glow of an early summer’s day in Greece, I can’t imagine a better way to capture it than with film.

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Kay Thompson - January 8, 2016 - 6:54 pm

Always enjoy looking at your beautiful and artistic photos. Thank you.
You obviously get your talent from your Dad! xx

Erica - January 9, 2016 - 5:31 pm

Thank you Kay that’s so nice to hear and I’m really pleased you enjoy them :-) xx

A fleeting visit is all is takes – beautiful Afitos on film

In May this year Christian and I enjoyed an oh-so-fleeting but very wonderful trip to the little village of Afitos in Northern Greece. We were there to photograph a lovely wedding and only stayed a couple of days, but we made the most of its beautiful tranquility. The village is nestled on the Aegean coastline and has traditional, narrow stone streets that wind up and down hills, in and out of the warm, soft Greek sunshine. It was the first day of the tourist season when we arrived so we had the combined benefit of open amenities with minimal tourists. We enjoyed delicious food, a relaxing Pina Colada in an empty bar overlooking the deep blue-green sea, beautiful colour & light to inspire us, and the warmest of welcomes everywhere we went. A tiny, perfect piece of heaven.

I shot all photographs on the Contax 645 and processed the film (a combination of Fuji Reala, 400H and Kodak Ektar) back at UK Film Lab on our return home.

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My Garden in Spring

Over the past 9 months or so my husband Chris and I have managed to make a few changes to the way we manage our busy working lives. So during the spring this year we had a bit of free time to carry out a few jobs around our small garden, find a few new plants for the patio, and generally enjoy a bit of the outdoors without leaving our home. I was inspired on a few beautiful sunny days whilst out there working, to grab my Canon AE1, load a roll of Ektar, and capture a few splashes of colour and light. In stressful times since, this gentle place has been a real haven for us. We have listened to the leaves rustling as the branches rise and fall and been surrounded by the calls of the blackbirds and looked up in amazement as the swifts screech by right above our heads. We have sat quietly and with breath held as some of the braver birds have ventured in to feed at our bird table just a few feet away. We have felt safe, happy, and very fortunate to have this beautiful little tranquil space to call our own.

Canon AE1/Kodak Ektar/ UK Film Lab

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A Small Dream Fulfilled

For a little while now I’ve harboured a small dream. When spring arrives here at home, we are suddenly surrounded by cherry blossom. All too soon the wind stirs itself up and blows them all away, with disappointing suddenness. I have longed to try to capture some of the mind-boggling beauty of the blossoms on film, and never managed to create the time to do so, before those strong May breezes arrive. This year I made a special effort to fulfil this small dream and I was rewarded a hundred-fold.

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And there were plenty of other pretty things to see, as well as the blossom…

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Thank you to the beautiful British springtime for your abundant inspiration. All photographs shot on Contax 645/Fuji Reala, developed & scanned at UK Film Lab.