PLACES – Victoria & Albert Museum

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Ilford HP5+ 400
I had 6 shots left on a roll of film so I headed to the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington to see if this particular camera and film combination could work inside the museum galleries. I’ve taken photos in here before, using the Leica M3, so thought it would be interesting to see how a less complicated camera could handle the lighting situation. I was pleasantly surprised.
As a place in London, the V&A is one I gravitate towards. Even after working there for 1.5 years, helping on learning activities in almost every single gallery and knowing the floorplan like the back of my hand, I still go there to find inspiration.
To finish a film, it’s the perfect place.
Because I’m so used to the permanent collection displays my eye wanders to the visitors, and how they interact with the museum. It’s interesting to see something so familiar but have your perceptions changed through a strangers actions.
Why did they stop to look at this? What drew their eye? I’ll take a photo of them looking, stopping, bored, interested, interacting, distancing…
It’s a really good place to look at things, look at people and sometimes, look at yourself (there’s lots of old mirrors).
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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – Ghent 2017

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35, Holga 120CFN
FILM: Fomapan 400, Kodak Portra 400
Ghent may not be high on everyone’s list of places to visit, but as someone who has studied art history I knew I wanted to visit it for a while. Like an art historian’s pilgrimage, I wanted to see the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. I learnt about it early on in my studies, and had always thought of Ghent as a place to tick off a list of places to visit just to see a single work. It is currently being restored, so the bottom panels in St Bavo’s Cathedral are (very good) facsimiles, but you can also visit the Museum of Fine Arts to see into the conservators studio and see the panels there. It was so interesting to see them working on the panels, and while I was there a woman was cleaning a section on the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, very close to where the lamb is. For me, that was a highlight of the year!
Other than the wonderful art in Ghent I fell in love with the charm of the city. The streets and canals are beautiful, the noses delicious, and the carmelite convent where I stayed was a serene and convenient place to base myself. Unlike in Brussels, the convent was quite close to the centre of the city, and just up the road from the picturesque castle, so I could retreat into the quiet of my room if I was tired during the day.
In Ghent I found:
a delicious chocolate shop where you can see them making the chocolates downstairs (and it smells heavenly
a small but heavily stocked shop selling old postcards, stamps and, well, I didn’t have time to rummage through everything!
visited a soup cafe that came highly recommended – it is truly amazing, you get fruit and rolls and a million things in your soup like croutons and meatballs and cheese…heaven!
walked around the Design Museum which was interesting in terms of how they display their collections and exhibitions (my work brain never leaves me)
and I walked around and around, down the canals and up the streets, taking as many photos as I could.

I really feel like Ghent could be a place I revisit, time and time again, and I will definitely be back in 2019 once the Ghent Altarpiece has been restored and returned to its home in the cathedral.

In terms of the photos I took, I feel like I’m really getting a better understanding of how my Olympus Trip 35 works, even though I’ve had it for years! I feel these photos, as well as the ones taken in Brussels, are better than what I’ve shot before, which motivates me to use it even more.
Unfortunately, the shutter on my Holga accidentally switched to bulb, which is why the last shots are a bit blurry. I wish I had noticed because I then shot two more rolls with it like that. Oops! I haven’t used it for a while, and then infrequently, so really need to make sure I check its few, but very important, settings.

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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.3

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
Some weekends I go out with friends and others are spent alone, but I always try and go out to see something new or to revisit an old favourite.
The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a wonderful part of London that I will work my way out to once or twice a year. I went with my good pal Jevgenija, said hello to the walrus, met a new bee friend and I tried out some double exposures. We also went on a picnic in Hyde Park on the first sunny & hot day of British Summer.
I also went to see the Cerith Wyn Evans installation at Tate Britain which is neon Instagram heaven, but I preferred to try out a double exposure on film.
The second last photo is of a doorway/courtyard in Inner Temple, a lovely hidden gem in the heart of the city that is only a stones throw from my office so I like to visit at lunchtime. The architecture in this small space is beautiful and you can play spot the pegasus & lamb depending on which side of Temple you explore.
Lastly, it’s the house plant greenhouse at Clifton Nurseries. I love going here even though it’s nowhere near where I live, they just have a great selection of house plants and have been around since 1851!
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©Jennifer Schussler