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

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

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.4

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
The Barbican Estate has slowly become one of my favourite places in London during the past 3 years I have lived here. At first I found it rather offensive to the eye and thought that because it was called an ‘estate’ meant it wasn’t a very nice place. But when I discovered the conservatory after a visit to the Art Gallery I began to be seduced. Then I went on one of the architecture tours and was totally enamoured. Every detail about the entire estate was so well thought through by the architects, it’s now my life’s goal to live there. In the meantime, I just visit frequently. I’ve taken many photos there, but went back again with my Instax for a few more.
THere’s also two shots where I tried to make shaped frames to make double exposures with, very much still a work in progress.
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.3

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
Some weekends I go out with friends and others are spent alone, but I always try and go out to see something new or to revisit an old favourite.
The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a wonderful part of London that I will work my way out to once or twice a year. I went with my good pal Jevgenija, said hello to the walrus, met a new bee friend and I tried out some double exposures. We also went on a picnic in Hyde Park on the first sunny & hot day of British Summer.
I also went to see the Cerith Wyn Evans installation at Tate Britain which is neon Instagram heaven, but I preferred to try out a double exposure on film.
The second last photo is of a doorway/courtyard in Inner Temple, a lovely hidden gem in the heart of the city that is only a stones throw from my office so I like to visit at lunchtime. The architecture in this small space is beautiful and you can play spot the pegasus & lamb depending on which side of Temple you explore.
Lastly, it’s the house plant greenhouse at Clifton Nurseries. I love going here even though it’s nowhere near where I live, they just have a great selection of house plants and have been around since 1851!
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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

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

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

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