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

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

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

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