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

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 – London Docklands

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Fomapan 400
Having lived mostly in the west of London since I moved here 4 years ago, the east of London is somewhere I only travel to if I have a lot of time. For a city that hosts an extensive transport system it always seems to be a massive effort to make my way from west to east.
Recently I did just that with an aim to take photos in the Docklands. I got out at Canary Wharf and wandered down to Millwall dock, taking in the sights, sounds and curious assortment of people who live there. It seems to be a real mix of well lived in flats and empty, ugly, towering blocks which appear inhabitable just by the sheer amount of glass they are cased in. As a place once bustling with trade it seems strange that it’s now a gentrified and slightly cold place where one can walk their fashionable dog on the weekend.
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©Jennifer Schussler

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

CAMERA – Lomokino

CAMERA: Lomography Lomokino
FILM: Kentmere 400
When the Lomokino was first announced I was excited, and I backed it on Kickstarter. When it arrived I tried it a few times, after which it sat on my shelf collecting dust for years. I found it to be difficult to handle, mostly because they then added a removable handle later, and an absolute pain to edit the frames into short films. It felt like the input far outweighed the output, and so I shelved it to same myself the time and frustration it caused.
I moved recently, and so did the Lomokino (for its 4th time, I always kept it!) and I looked at it on my shelf, put there for no reason other than it had nowhere else to go, and I thought about how I could use it without the hassle. I decided to put a black and white film in it, as now I am developing it myself it’s a less cost-prohibitive process. I decided to use it as one uses a multi-lens cameras, think Octomat or Supersampler (I’ver never used either but would like to try someday). Below are the results, a little mangled from a fight with the ancient developing reels I used to use (now replaced with new ones that work!). I don’t mind that I ruined the film a little bit, after all this was a test.
I don’t know if I’ll try using the Lomokino again. It was still difficult to use and control, it just feels like the camera is moving so much in my hands as I turn the crank, and it was too hard for my brain to remember which way the film was moving to build the shots in the right way.
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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – Brussels 2017

CAMERA: Olympus TRip 35, Holga 120CFN
FILM: Fomapan 400, Kodak Portra 400
I have wanted to travel to Brussels for a long time. I bought a Wallpaper guide to Brussels at least a year or two ago, so I devised a plan to visit it this summer on my own. I decided to go alone because I’m yet to find someone who travels at the same pace as me, or slows me down in a way that isn’t frustrating. I like to see as much as possible which usually includes museums and galleries, and beautiful architecture.
My trip was for 5 days, with two in Brussels, two in Ghent and then some time on the way back to decide where to waste time before my Eurostar back to London. I enjoyed Brussels but really wore myself out walking from my accomodation into town, which was about a 30 minute walk. I didn’t get the trams because I wanted to see the city, but after a full day of wandering around museums, and not accounting for the walk back, I was exhausted.
I liked Brussels but after going in and out of the touristy areas I felt I had seen enough and was ready to go on to Ghent.
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©Jennifer Schussler

HOLGA 120CFN & Ilford HP5+400

CAMERA: Holga 120CFN
FILM: Ilford HP5+ 400
DEVELOP: Ilford chemicals, at home
SCAN: Epson V700
I haven’t shot a roll of black & white film with my Holga for a while, so I took it out a couple of times to try and get a roll done. I also haven’t used HP5 before, I have mixed feelings about the results, a bit too dark and a bit too light with this camera. It was the first time I have tried to develop my own 120 film at home, the last time I did this was about 9 years ago in high school, and it was so different trying to load the film with a changing bag rather than a darkroom. So you may notice some dents, I really had to fight to get the film spooled! Don’t think I will put myself under that kind of stress again any time soon, back to 35mm.

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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