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 – 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

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

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

TRIP – Stonhenge & Salisbury 2016

I had been to Stonehenge in 2010 with family but I jumped at the chance (and onto the coach) when the opportunity arose in 2016 to visit again with friends, and to go to Salisbury as well. I found a very expired film in my drawer and decided to take my Holga along, as it has been rather unloved for quite some time.

Taken with my Holga 120 CFN on Kodak 400 TX 120 (expired 10/2005)

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©Jennifer Schussler