updates and thoughts

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Welcome to the first of a (hopefully) regular (ish) series of blog posts where I concentrate on what I am up to, where I am going, what I am thinking etc.

In my very first post on here I said that this blog would not just be about photography, although it would be photography-centric. One of the things I was very keen to do was to have somewhere to capture my thoughts that will hang around and I will be able to come back to in the years to come and see how/if I have changed what or how I think about things. There’s a lot going on at the moment so a lot to think about, here are some of them.

Camera and Film

I started shooting my ‘Yorkshire Coast’ series in the last month or so. So far just one trip, to Robin Hood’s Bay near Whitby (Famous for its fish n’ chips and for being where Dracula landed in the novel). The day was great for it, atmospheric clouds but no rain. I took just one camera, my Olympus OM10 and three lenses – Zuiko 50mm 1.8. Zuiko 28mm 2.8 and Tamron 70-210. The OM10 body was an ebay purchase to use in order to preserve my dad’s that he has owned since the early 80’s. Also, his needs resealing and I haven’t got the free cash at the moment.

Anyway, unfortunately the film (Kentmere 100) got scratched as it was pulled through the camera. Most of the shots have at least one, sometimes two lines running through them to a greater or lesser degree and it’s just above the centre. Some shots (like the one below) also have what looks like a bit of a light leak on the right hand edge. I initially thought that they would all, or mostly be completely wasted.

‘The wave’ unedited

Thankfully, crops of some of the shots which exclude the scratched areas look amazing. Take this one (Original above, cropped final below) of the sea and clouds for example, the grain really sings and brings something painterly to the image that isn’t quite the same in the full frame image. I was hoping for a photograph that had the clouds as a frame around the right and top, but I am really happy with what I actually got post-crop and edit.

The wave

Editing Software

For the last few months I have been seriously considering dropping my Adobe subscription (If you don’t know, you essentially rent the ability to use Lightroom and Photoshop these days. If you stop your monthly payments, you lose the ability to use the software) in favour of something that I can buy one off and forget about.

Affinity Photo Logo

The software that I settled on was Affinity Photo by Serif. It’s sold on an old fashioned ‘buy it and it’s yours’ license and it is in my relatively short experience every bit as good as, if not better than Lightroom for the use cases I throw at it.

Affinity did a great job at helping remove the scratches from some of the photographs taken at Robin Hoods Bay. The ones with scratches across a cloudy sky were a lost cause other than cropping but there were some where the scratch went across bricks and other building materials where it completely disappeared after using the frankly amazing “Inpainting Brush Tool”.


There are a load of really great podcasts out there these days, just a few examples are Negative Positives by Mike Gutterman, Viewfinder Vikings by Sven (Sorry I don’t know your surname!) and the Film Photography Podcast from the Film Photography Project.

I was listening to the first ever episode of Viewfinder Vikings (before it had a name) on the way to work this morning and listening to Sven go through what he wanted to do and why really struck a chord with me.

So, I am thinking about trying this for myself!

Here’s the idea. My personal take on photography, especially film photograhy is that it’s an art (with a heavy craft element) and it’s in many ways my therapy. Those who have read my articles on emulsive.org will know that I live with depression and am (very slowly) putting together a collection called ‘nowhere to go’ exploring this and it’s affect on my life.

dry stone wall

I want to start a podcast that focusses (harr de harr) on these elements (more harr de harr). I want to talk about photographers that inspire me and their art. I want to talk about how photography calms my mind and makes me feel like I am creating something and adding to the world rather than being a drain and a waste of breath.

Long story short, expect an initial toe-dipping sometime soon, probably over Xmas when I have time to think about it and get some sort of script sorted.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day and enjoy taking some great photographs!

4 Replies to “updates and thoughts”

  1. Great blog Rob. Good to see ‘flood’ as the first image, it was a great day for some great images. It is always fascinating to compare your film results with my digital ones.
    Glad to see that you are getting good results with Affinity Photo – I am too and I think it represents great value for money.
    Look forward to your next blog and Podcast!

    1. Thanks Matt – yes I too get a lot out of seeing how your eye and digital gear see the same things that I do. Hopefully more photo days to come later this year.

  2. Hello Richard, well it looks like you are off to a great start. I am interested in seeing where this journey leads you. You’ve struck some solid chords with me. I have been a b&w shooter all of my photographic life, and I too, have switched fully to Affinity software since Adobe started raising their prices. I did this as my small insignificant way of protesting the shoddy way that my fellow creatives are being treated, as my wife works for a University, and I can get any, and all of the Adobe products free. I choose not to use them out of respect to others who do not have that boon. I like what you have been doing on Emulsive, and I will be following you here on your blog to see how things progress. Kind regards.

    1. Thanks Monty, those are some really kind words. I am glad to hear that you found something you recognise in what I have shared so far. My plans for 2020 include much more herealong wth a lot more photography, so hopefully you will continue to find that resonance. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and happy new year!

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