TRIP – Sheffield: City Centre

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Ilford HP5+ 400

After a couple of laps around Park Hill I spent some time wandering around Sheffield City Centre, wasting time until my scheduled train back to London. It was an unexpectedly warm day and I had dressed for the cold, so I was a bit over it and ended up sitting in the Winter Garden sipping some iced tea and writing notes about my experience of Park Hill.

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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – Sheffield: Park Hill

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Ilford HP5+ 400

I decided to write my MA dissertation on photography of brutalist buildings, including Park Hill in Sheffield. I was lucky enough to receive funding to cover my train ticket to Sheffield in order to visit the local archive and to see the estate for myself. The part of the building that has not been gutted and re-done is in terrible disrepair. The photographs I’m looking at as part of a few case studies are from when it was newly opened and occupied in 1961, so it was sad to see it in such poor condition. I’ve become particularly partial to the buildings that I’ve been studying, and it’s a shame that this building, even though it was listed, has been turned into luxury flats with gaudy coloured walls (thankfully the black and white saves you from that experience), and for some reason the double windows have been replaced with un-openable glass panes, all in the name of “modernisation”.

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©Jennifer Schussler

PLACES – Temperate House, Kew Gardens

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Kodak Ultramax 400

I’ve been going to Kew Gardens frequently over the past four years, and I was always intrigued by the big greenhouse that was boarded off, undergoing restoration works. The Palm House is one of my favourite botanical places to visit, and now Temperate House has reopened there is even more gorgeous Victorian architecture and plants to admire.

I went on the opening weekend, it was so busy and the plants were newly planted. It will be interesting to see it grow into itself over the years, I’ll come back to you in ten years to let you know the difference!

(Of course the last two are from the Palm House, I can’t stay away from that humid box of tropical plants)

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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – Rome 2015

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Agfa Vista 200

In 2015 I made the mistake of visiting Rome in the heat of summer. It was convenient because a friend from Australia was passing through, but the amount of time we spent running back to the apartment to sit under the air-conditioning kind of took away from my usual routine of exploring a new city. The highlight of the trip was the Azzedine Alaïa exhibition at the Galleria Borghese, getting to see his wonderful constructions next to exquisite sculptures by Bernini was quasi-surreal. I’m looking forward to seeing the new exhibition of his clothing at the Design Museum here in London, but you can’t beat the setting of the Galleria Borghese!

I would like to return to Rome again when it is less hot, so I can visit Giolitti and not have my ice-cream melt everywhere immediately. It would be nice to be able to take my time to get around the city and not run from the heat every five minutes.

I didn’t make the best choice for film speed, so most of the photos have too much camera shake to even consider sharing. Another reason to return!

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©Jennifer Schussler

PLACES – Barbican Conservatory

CAMERA: Yashica 35-ME
FILM: Kodak Ultramax 400

If I ever find myself with a lack of purpose on a Sunday I’ll get my shoes on and head to the Barbican Conservatory. It’s one of those ‘hidden secrets’ of London that is no longer hidden, so even though it is now a very popular spot I still enjoy going for a wander amongst the plants. There are some incredibly huge monstera plants climbing the fly tower, a diverse range of cacti and some pretty cool turtles hanging out in a pool you can only see from the bridge to the cacti room.

If, unfortunately, the conservatory is closed for a wedding you can always admire the bountiful botanical balconies throughout the estate.

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©Jennifer Schussler

CAMERA – Zenit E

CAMERA: Zenit E
FILM: Lomography 400 colour
TAKEN: April 2011

I bought the hunk of metal otherwise known as the Zenit-E at a photography market in Perth. It was relatively cheap, although purchased so long ago I have forgotten exactly how much I paid for it. It came with a lens, I don’t know much about it or care to find out, and there are certain elements of the camera functions that do not work, such as the light meter. It is so heavy I have actually only used it once, to save my neck/back from breaking under the strain it was on a day that I had a friend give me a lift in her car.

There is something funky going on with the lens, but I like the patina it gives to the images.

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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – Margate 2016

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Kodak 400 Ultramax

I took a day trip to Margate to visit Turner Contemporary, a gallery I had heard so much about. They had an exhibition on which I wanted to see, but now cannot recall what it was. But I do know that I enjoyed it. It was a cold sunny day, and I enjoyed a delicious soup in their cafe (I remember the soup but not the art…).

It is a nice little seaside town, probably best enjoyed with company but on this day I went on my own so the arcades were left unvisited.

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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – Hastings 2017 pt.1

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Ilford HP5+ 400

After visiting Bexhill I hopped on a quick train to Hastings, where I spent the rest of my day out. I enjoyed the recently awarded pier, which is now unfortunately in some trouble financially. It was such a contract to the cluttered piers with amusements that you can find in places like Brighton; I don’t usually take one step on those kinds of piers. The great expanse of the pier plus the wide sea view is calming, and the little building in the middle which acts as visitor centre, gift shop and stepped amphitheatre is a delightful architectural addition. Remnants of the old pier remain, in the old supports and the re-used wood for the deck, but it felt fresh and inviting. I hope that it continues to stay a place for the public to enjoy.

This particular home development was not my finest moment, as you can tell by some of the photos featured here. The film just would not load into the reel, and so my frustration resulted in some creases in the film. Future films are safe from my frustration as I have replaced the reels with brand new ones, I should have realised long ago that the old ones were worn out and it shouldn’t be that hard to load film!

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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – Bexhill 2017

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Ilford HP5+ 400

For a long time I had wanted to visit Bexhill to see the De La Warr Pavilion, a great example of modern architecture. I was lucky enough to have a bright and sunny November day for my trip, something rare when visiting the British seaside, especially in the winter.

The pavilion is beautiful in its design, however it is unfortunate that the ambition of the architect has left an inheritance of difficult curved windows to replace, to the tune of £10,000 each. So it is well worth popping a few pennies in their collection box so they can replace the couple of windows that have large cracks.

I would highly recommend taking the stairs to the rooftop on a fine day, the lines of the building can be best appreciated from up there, as well as the glittering sea.

There’s not too much for one to do in Bexhill on a cold day, no sunbathing or swimming took place, so I travelled on to Hastings.

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©Jennifer Schussler

PLACES – Richmond Park

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Lomography 400

Richmond Park in the winter is a joy. The barren trees and brown landscape, hidden deer and vast vistas all pull you in and the brisk air keeps you from stopping for too long.

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©Jennifer Schussler

Leica M3 & Kodak Ultramax 400

CAMERA: Leica M3
FILM: Kodak Ultramax 400
When I was lent the Leica M3 I was so excited by the results I had in black and white that I wasn’t sure that it would do colour as wonderfully. Oh, how I proved myself wrong! I went to one of the usual places I go when testing out a camera or film, Kew Gardens. It was time for the Orchid Festival and having shot in the glasshouses before with my Holga, and having the images come out a bit dark, I was interested to see how the shots would come out with a bit more control over shutter speed and aperture.
I haven’t shot too much with this film and I was delighted at the colours that came back, helped by the sharpness and accuracy the Leica provides. I have also been trying to gain more confidence in taking photos of people as my comfort lies in plants and architecture, so the Leica helped in the quietness of the shutter to get closer to my subjects. One even waved, from afar though so isn’t immediately obvious in the photo.
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©Jennifer Schussler

PLACES – Highgate Cemetery

CAMERA: Leica M3
LENS: Voigtländer Shapshot-Skopar 25mm f4
FILM: Fomapan 400 24exp
DEVELOP: Ilford chemicals, at home
SCAN: Epson V700
Ever since I moved to London over three years ago I’ve wanted to visit Hightgate Cemetery. The photos below are from the East cemetery, easily accessed for a small entrance fee. The more scenic, dilapidated West cemetery is by tour only, so I will try and go in the summer, although the mist was moody the overcast day was not the best for photos.

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©Jennifer Schussler

CAMERA – Leica M3

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CAMERA: Leica M3
LENS: Voigtländer Shapshot-Skopar 25mm f4
FILM: Fomapan 400 24exp
DEVELOP: Ilford chemicals, at home
SCAN: Epson V700
My colleague lent me her Leica M3 after we got chatting about shooting film. She studied photography for her Masters degree and bought the Leica soon after she finished, but had never used it. I can understand how that high level of criticism of your work can suck all the fun out of doing something you love. I’ve given her a toy camera from my collection to get her back into film, with something simple and fun, unlike the beast that is the Leica M3.
I’ve never used a rangefinder camera before and I guess I am still yet to do so as the lens currently attached is not a rangefinder lens. So essentially I used it like my trusted Olympus Trip 35 with the added manual feature of shutter speed. I still have to get used to checking all the settings and it is a bit more time consuming for me. But I’m hooked, it was so much fun to lug this ridiculous brass camera around so hopefully I’ll get into good habits soon.
Below are all 26 shots from my first roll, on a 24 frame film, and I can say I’m happy with how each shot turned out. They are in focus and framed closely to what I had tried to achieve. It was the first time I had used Fomapan 400, and the first time in eight years that I had developed my own film. I shot and developed this film in a single day, which felt so damn good.
I have one major issue with this camera that is also one of it’s greatest features: the frame. The frames are so tight to each other and the sprocket holes that you get the maximum use out of the film, and more frames then you are meant to. However, it was a pain to cut my negatives because the gap between them is so narrow, and when scanning I could see where significant parts of the frame were cut off because the film holder I used is made for “normal” frames which don’t cut it so fine to the sprocket holes.

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©Jennifer Schussler