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

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

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