Robinsglen Organic Farm

Yesterday I went to a Sunflower field in Kilkenny and took some Macro and close-up photos of the flowers. The first photo, below, is a macro photo, the second is a close-up photo. I used a 100mm lens for the Macro shot and a 50mm lens for the wider shot. I was unable to use a tripod due to the lack of space available to me, so both photos are handheld. I intentionally did not show the entire flower, as we all know what a sunflower looks like. I will post about macro photography in another post.

If you want to know more about the farm, please go to


Emulsive Santa 2017!

I have previously posted about Emulsive, however, I did not refer to their Annual Secret Santa, called Emulsive Santa. Today, Emulsive announced the Offical Launch of this year’s Secret Santa. This will be the third year of this fun event. This Secret Santa is for lovers of film and the analog process. I have included the post from Emulsive below so that you can get all the correct information about how to take part. I have been a player for all three events and I enjoy the excitement it creates on the Emulsive feeds.

To sign up, you just need to fill in the form attached in the post below, then sign up to Elfster and make sure you send a gift worth a minimum of €10/#10/¢10 as well as some local sweets to your recipient. Don’t be a bad Santa! I love that this event connects people from all over the world who enjoy Film Photography.


Holga Camera Guide

Originally Chinese in origin, the Holga is a cheap Lofi plastic film camera with a plastic lens with a focal length of 60mm that uses 120mm film, mostly, there are 35mm camera options too. They were originally used in giveaways until they became popular for photography students and fans. To focus, rotate the barrel of the lens to the icon displayed that best corresponds to the shooting situation. The icons are one person (3 feet/1m focusing distance), two people (6 feet/2m focusing distance), a group of people (3 feet/1m focusing distance), and a mountain. The One person is the closest focus distance (18 feet/6m focusing distance) leading up to the mountain(30 feet/10m to infinity focusing distance).

This camera is 100% manual, so you need to advance the film yourself. This, however, leads to creative options, as you can take multiple exposures, or panoramic photos or single shots, or you can overlap images. It is stupidly easy to forget to wind the film on, which can lead to happy accidents. You can buy Holga’s with a flash, or you can use an external flash as the cameras have a hotshoe fitting. The Shutter Speed is about 1/100 of a second, this can change depending on wear and tear on the spring inside the camera. You can use Bulb ‘B’ mode if you hold down the Shutter Release for an extended period of time. This opens up more creative options for you as well as night shooting. The Holga has two apertures, F11 by using the sunny day option or F8 if you use the cloudy day option. However, it is debatable if there is any real difference between the two apertures. You can shot colour or black and white film in Holga cameras. There are a large number of variations of the Holga camera, including pinhole, panorama, stereo, and TLR versions.

Due to the cheap nature of the Holga, it has features that give it a certain look. These include the light leaks from joints that are not light sealed, if you don’t like the light leaks you can use gaffer tape to cover the joints, in an effort to reduce light leaks. Holgas also frequently have a vignette on the images. Another feature is that the images are not sharp, this is due to imperfections in the plastic meniscus lens. The images will be low contrast and you may lose detail in the shadows. However, if you are using black and white film, you can expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights for an improved image. This is something I constantly forget to do. Bold me. Colour film can also find over exposure helpful.

When choosing a film to use in the camera, keep the shooting conditions in mind, with film you have to shoot an entire roll at one ISO, but, with 120mm that is only 12 or 16 images, depending on how you set up the camera, unlike with 35mm where you have to shoot either 24 or 36 images before you can change the ISO. For sunny days use 100, 160, 200 or 400 ISO films. In Ireland 400 ISO is a good place to start. On darker days 800 ISO is a good option, and sunset or indoors can mean 1600 or 3200 ISO. If you use C-41 film you can have it developed in your local Fuji Centre, or Harvey Normans.

You may wonder why in a digital world would anyone want to use a manual, cheap film camera, rather than a DSLR that helps you get as good an image as possible? For me, the reason is simple, the lack of options of the Holga and the challenges it presents are a great opportunity to learn and improve my photography skills. I think if you can get a decent photo out of a Holga, you have a grasp of photography basics. Using a Holga makes you see things differently and it slows you down, so you have to think more.

“Mechanically the Holga is simplicity itself. The nature of the Holga places emphasis on seeing, thinking, and interacting with the environment at hand.”
Joe Ostraff, Professor, BYU

Holga 120N & HP5
52 Rolls/366 – Week 1
52 Rolls Project


If you are a film photography shooter, I highly recommend the Emulsive.Org website, Facebook Page and Twitter feed, the addresses for which I have left below. This is an incredibly active community who love using film. They are helpful, friendly and deeply knowledgeable. One of the very many helpful resources that they have is a review section of every film stock they can find. They also review film cameras, personally though, one of my favourite sections is the Experiments section, as Emulsive and the community push film to its limits, in order to show you what it can do, regardless of what the box speed stated is, or anything else. They also experiment with all kinds of wet Darkroom techniques, which is wonderful inspiration for your own experiments.

If you like film photography this really is the place for you.


Puck the Guinness Drinking Goat

On a trip to Kerry last week, I meet this goat and his human. This male Irish Mountain goat is six years old and belongs to the chap behind him. One Christmas, Puck (the goat) was in a garden clearing all the overgrowth in it, when some local boys came and untied him. They proceeded to bring him to all the pubs in Sneem and fed him pints of Guinness, they then brought him to Midnight Mass. The owner (I don’t know his name) got a call to come and collect the goat, as the goat was unable to walk straight. When he got to the Church carpark the goat was lying in the corner not feeling too well. The man picked up the goat and placed him on a bed of straw in his van, he then brought the goat home and put him in the barn, where the poor goat lay for three days without moving. Now you can put a pint of Guinness under the goats nose and he will not drink it. Puck learnt a lesson. The man washes Puck everyday with L’Oreal shampoo. Both Puck and his human are displaying beards so serious, I think they could join the band ZZ Top.


B&W Development

Following on from my post on Stand Development, I thought I would add my normal Black and White Film Development process. All the chemicals will be used at 20 Degrees C. The photos below were taken on HP5 120 on a Holga 120N.

A 5 minute prewash to bring the film up to temperature.

11 minutes in Rodinal at a 1:50 dilution. 50mls/1000mls
Agitate for the first 30 seconds, with 5 inversions every minute.

1:19 190 mls/1000mls of Ilfostop for 10 seconds

1:4 250mls/1000mls of Ilford Rapid Fixer for 2-5 minutes

5-10 Minutes in Kodak FotoFlo

5mls/1000mls for 5-10 minutes



Stand Development