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 – Cambridge 2015

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Agfa Vista 200

On a cold winters day in 2015 I travelled to Cambridge for the first time, taking a shaky hand and a low film speed with me. I think the allure of £1 film was misguided, and many of my rolls of Agfa Vista 200 came out with camera shake. Also at this time I was shooting my Olympus Trip 35 on Auto, not realising that the light meter was broken and that it actually works better to adjust the aperture rather than leave it be. Regardless, there were some shots from this roll that I liked, and the one of the sculpture is a particular favourite of mine all these years later.

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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 – Oxford 2014

CAMERA: Olympus Trip 35
FILM: Agfa Vista 200

While not many of the photos from this roll of film came out, some of them are still among my most favourite all these years later.

I remember feeling that something was wrong with the winding of the film, and the final frame consists of many, many multiple exposures, resulting in a very strange image.

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©Jennifer Schussler

FILM – Polaroid SX-70 Time Zero

CAMERA: Polaroid SX-70 Sonar Autofocus
FILM: Polaroid Time Zero Instant Film
I bought my Polaroid camera on eBay in December 2007, just months before Polaroid announced they were shutting down their instant film production, so I was disappointed to say the least. However, my old SX-70 came with 6 shots in camera and 1 box of expired Time Zero film (12/05), so I was ready to shoot straight out of the box. It was a whirlwind of learning for me as I had never shot this kind of instant film before AND the film leaked chemicals all over the rollers so I got some awesome, but unexpected, results. Once I had finished these films I waited for the new Impossible films to materialise, which I will cover in another post. Over the years I have reached for my beautiful SX-70 less and less, mostly due to high price per frame of the film which I just can’t justify in comparison to a roll of 36 shots on a 35mm film, or even buying Instax film cheap or in bulk. So for now I will just look back fondly on a time when Polaroid meant Polaroid, and leaky film was a joyous thing.
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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

PROJECT – Seeing Red

CAMERA: Robot Disderi 3
FILM: Kodak Ultramax 400
I suffer from creative blocks all the time. Often I can go months without developing or finishing a film that only has a few shots left, and motivation to conceptualise project based work can also be difficult.
One way I try to push through this is by simply dividing the world into two columns, one thing and everything else. Here, for example, I had already loaded my Robot Disderi 3 camera with some film and taken a few shots but then not picked up the camera again for a while. So, I took it out on a nice day and a long walk around London, where I ended up in St James’s and saw something simple, something red. From there I took photos of any red thing I could find. Even with something as simple as colour this focus immediately creates a new body of work and start my brain ticking over again. I found that by focusing on a specific colour it forced my brain to only look for it, so by sorting through my environment with colour I also started to notice other colours. I think – ‘that isn’t red, but it’s interesting’ – so I allow myself to take a photo of it too. By the end of the day I have a finished roll of film and a cohesive bunch of photographs that I really like, how very productive!
(And yes, I know there are quite a few post boxes but I was ruthless about stopping every time I saw red and tried to compose an interesting shot regardless. It’s London, they are everywhere!)
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And some other colours
(I particularly liked the pink trash bags with the pink flowers, so chic in a posh neighbourhood!)
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.8

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
Well, I really ran out of steam on the Instax after using it non-stop for a while! The shots below I took in late July and early September, and I haven’t really picked it up since. I think as my stockpile of film started to get smaller I took the camera out less, and the sublime gratification of developing my own black and white film at home made the instant film, and its picture quality, less attractive.
I’ll get back into it, maybe trying some black and white instant film will help me but until then, this is it.
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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

INSTAX 2017 no.5

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
On sunny weekends when I have nothing planned I force myself to go out and take photos, even if I don’t really feel inspired. Below are some that resulted from a very, very, VERY long walk through London. I got off the train at Waterloo, wandered down the river, up through Pimlico and around Victoria, all the way along to Gloucester Road.
The checkerboard blocks of flats are one of my favourite things to see in the Pimlico area, they are just so strange and mixed in with only Victorian mansion flats.
Finally, my little Monstera Obliqua is going great guns and just keeps growing, I;m so proud of it (and happy that I haven’t killed it yet).
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©Jennifer Schussler

PLACES – Kew Gardens

CAMERA: Holga 120 CFN, Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Kodak Portra 400, Instax Mini colour film
Working for a museum in London has many perks, the best being reciprocal free entry to museums, galleries, and some other fantastic (and fantastically expensive to get into) places. If I ever find myself at a loss for what to do on the weekend I will go to Kew Gardens, at any time of year. I always make a beeline for the Palm House and Princess of Wales Conservatory, they are the same all year round, beautiful!
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.2

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
Sun glorious sun! Oh how the sun makes London so beautiful. I took myself and my camera to Greenwich because it had been a few years since I had last been, and I had a wonderful time playing with the double exposure function. It is one of the two main reasons I paid the higher price for this camera, the other being the rechargeable battery.
I think the double exposures below are some of my favourites, especially the dome/tree and the corner of the building floating in the blue expanse of sky.
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no. 1

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
I bought my Instax Mini camera as a birthday present for myself in 2013 but haven’t really explored it’s capabilities properly. Having found a fairly stable source of affordable film I decided to stock up on 100 shots and take it out just to test what I can do with it. Here are the photos from that first outing.
Main thing that I learnt: set mode to double exposure BEFORE you put tape over half of the lens!
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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – Bristol 2016

One of my best friends from Australia came to the UK last year but wasn’t visting London, so I took myself and my camera to spend a day with her in Bristol. The weather was awful (we literally had to jump a flood to get into a taxi at one point) but I’m glad I went to see an old friend and a new place.

Photos taken with my Olympus Trip 35 on Lomography 400 film.

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©Jennifer Schussler

TRIP – s’Hertogenbosch & Amsterdam 2016

In 2016 I took my first trip to the Netherlands to visit ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Amsterdam. My dad’s family is from Holland, so I had always wanted to visit the country, but an exhibition on the work of Heironymous Bosch was the main thing that made me book my tickets. I fell instantly in love with ‘s-Hertogenbosch, partly due to our lovely Airbnb host, but mostly because the city is full of history, interesting architecture and the lifestyle of the residents. We went in late winter, and there was a whole street full of restaurants and cafes with people sitting outside. It felt quiet but also had a lovely buzz about it.

We did very touristy things on this trip so I’m happy to have gotten them out of the way as I’d like to go back to the Netherlands, especially ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and just enjoy the Dutch culture for a little bit longer.

Photos taken with my Olympus Trip 35 on Lomography 400 & Kodak 400 films

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©Jennifer Schussler

PROJECT – Portraits of Culture

This project was shot on a single roll of film, which was where the idea really grew from. I love the physicality of film, and this film travelled with me around London to capture the facades of 36 cultural institutions and galleries. Some are more familiar than others, and I ended the project with a commercial gallery as a juxtaposition to the many charitable organisations that define London’s cultural landscape.

Taken with my Olympus Trip 35 on Agfa Vista 400 film

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I had a lurking anxiety during the process of shooting this single roll of film that I had not wound on enough at the beginning, and that the first shot would not come out. After my “last” shot I went to the National Gallery again and tried the shutter button. Here is the final 37th shot.

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National Gallery • National Portrait Gallery
London Transport Museum • British Museum
Victoria & Albert Museum • Natural History Museum
Science Museum • Tate Britain
Imperial War Museum Lambeth • Design Museum Shad Thames
The Photographers’ Gallery • Richmond Museum
The Courtauld Gallery • Tate Modern
Museum of London • Guildhall Art Gallery
Bank of England Museum • Sir John Soane’s Museum
Hungarian Museum • Wellcome Collection
The Wallace Collection • Whitechapel Gallery
The Geffrye Museum • V&A Museum of Childhood
Serpentine Gallery • Serpentine Sackler Gallery
Royal Academy of Arts • Institute of Contemporary Art
Household Cavalry Museum • IWM Churchill War Rooms
The Queen’s Gallery • The Foundling Museum
The Jewish Museum • Barbican Centre (Art Gallery)
Fashion and Textile Museum • White Cube Bermondsey
National Gallery

©Jennifer Schussler