srijeda, 26.10.2011.



Stevenage Camera Shop

stevenage camera shop

  • Stevenage is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

  • television camera: television equipment consisting of a lens system that focuses an image on a photosensitive mosaic that is scanned by an electron beam

  • A camera is a device that records/stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura (Latin for "dark chamber"), an early mechanism for projecting images. The modern camera evolved from the camera obscura.

  • A chamber or round building

  • equipment for taking photographs (usually consisting of a lightproof box with a lens at one end and light-sensitive film at the other)

  • A place where things are manufactured or repaired; a workshop

  • do one's shopping; "She goes shopping every Friday"

  • A building or part of a building where goods or services are sold; a store

  • An act of going shopping

  • a mercantile establishment for the retail sale of goods or services; "he bought it at a shop on Cape Cod"

  • patronize: do one's shopping at; do business with; be a customer or client of

The martyrdom of the film user

The martyrdom of the film user

Sorry about the faded, colour-casty appearance here, although the instant "old" look is not inappropriate. What happened was this. I thought I'd had a black & white 35mm film but, when I went to put it in the camera, found that, no, I'd already used it. I walked down to the high street. Have you lately tried buying film outside a large town? Unless it's middle-of-the-road, mass-market colour print film, you might as well forget it cock. Our high street photo shop had only a tiny rack of something with a discouraging name ...Kodak ColorPlus or something of the sort.
So, back to the house. All I could find was a 120 roll of Kodak Vericolor VPL colour print film which expired in 1997. It had been donated by Mrs B from her horde of pre-digital leftovers and must have spent the best part of 20 years on two continents in storage conditions that stopped some way short of optimal. Oh well. If I wanted to take photos, 20 year-old 120 Kodak Vericolor it had to be.
In the event I didn't go out that day. The next day I drove, most reluctantly, to Bury St Edmunds, purely to buy a 35mm black & white film.
"Do you sell film?" I enquired of the girl behind the counter in Jessops.
She looked at me as though I'd made an improper sestion.
"Um. Ah. Yes ...I think so".
At the antipodes of the sales area she leaned under a counter and, moving aside a number of obstructions, produced a debauched-looking cardboard box containing a sort of lucky dip of assorted black & white films, Ilford predominating.
The next day I went out, taking two cameras ...the Zeiss Nettar, loaded with the Vericolor, and the Zorki 4 charged with the Ilford HP5 from Jessops. The Vericolor ...only 12 exposures of course... was soon used. I popped it in a Jiffy bag, walked it down to the Post Office and sent it to a processor I'd previously used for slide film. Three days later their familiar white envelope thumped onto the doormat. They had returned the film unprocessed. The film had not been processed, explained an accompanying letter, because it was unexposed. Wha...? What the **** were the silly ****s talking about? How could they know it wasn't exposed if they'd made no attempt to process it? I knew it was exposed because I'd put the bloody thing through the camera myself and, being more or less sane, I wouldn't have sent off a film that hadn't been exposed now, would I? Furthermore, like most 120 films, it had "EXPOSED" printed across the trailing end of the film's backing paper. I noticed too, that they hadn't refunded the four quid I'd paid, or given credit against my next order. ****s
I returned to our high street photo shop and asked if they offered a conventional film processing service. Yes, said the very civil young man behind the counter, if I had a 35mm film...
"Ah, but no ...this is a 120 film", I explained.
"Well, we can process it, but we can't do prints".
"That's fine", I said, "all I need is the negatives. I can scan them at home".
The letter I'd had from the first processor averred that Vericolor VPL had been discontinued in the 1990s (well thanks for telling me what I already knew) and that, if the film had not been stored in the correct conditions, I might be disappointed with the results. Well, if there was one thing I knew for sure, it was that the film had not been stored in the "correct" conditions. The letter further explained that VPL was intended for exposure under tungsten light and would produce a blue cast if used in daylight. Well, fair play to 'em. They seemed to know what they were talking about there, although the cast was blue on some frames, but more like magenta on others. Back in the 1970s and 80s, after Kodacolor X had been discontinued, I'd spent a long time trying to find my ideal colour print film. Vericolor came closest. I'd used many Vericolor films in daylight with generally good results ...or at least better than you got from other films. Possibly I'd used some other version than the VPL.
Subsequently I tried to order some more film online. My usual supplier's website was "down" (it has since reappeared) so I went to another. Its attitude to "customer service" may best be described as Laodicean. I ordered two colour print films (Kodak Ektar 100 and Fuji Pro 160) and a black & white (Agfa APX). After about a fortnight the colour films arrived. There was a scrawled note on the invoice declaring that the Agfa APX was being sent separately. Another week has gone by and I'm still waiting.
Oh! The house. Well, I stumbled upon it during a visit to Stevenage. Apart from the intrinsic interest of this, the first of the postwar New Towns, I was hoping to track down some of the locations used in Clive Donner's 1967 "coming of age" film, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. This was not far from one of them. I can discover no

Morbid psychology

Morbid psychology

Stevenage, first of the New Towns, was proclaimed in November 1946. The scheme was not popular with the town's aboriginal inhabitants, who, understandably enough, and long before the acronym "Nimby" was coined, were reluctant to see their attractive country town changed into something utterly different and alien. Lewis Silkin, Minister of Town and Country Planning in Clement Attlee's government addressed a meeting at the Town Hall, attended by 3,000 of the townspeople ...half the population. "It's no good your jeering", he told the crowd, "it's going to be done". Although there had been an undertaking that the old town would be left untouched, the Town Hall was the first building to be demolished. Let that stick in their middle-class, Home Counties gizzards.
Hate, I think, was a powerful component in postwar planning and architecture, as it has become in the whole of British national life. It was the Age of the Common Man. The working man ...or at least his elected representatives... had the whip-hand now. Let us punish bourgeois complacency. Let us bring a whiff of Bermondsey and East Ham to their smug duck ponds and thatched cottages. Today there is not a village in East Anglia without its allocation of council houses and bungalows, or where metropolitan dipthongs are not more in evidence than the native accent.
But what of the vicariously empowered working man, transplanted from the lively pavements of the East End to leafy estates and sculpture-infested shopping precincts in Hertfordshire? It has been said that Modernism in the arts, including architecture, was the intellectual's response to mass-education. Certainly the two developments were contemporary. It was a way of keeping culture exclusive to eggheads. If the man in the street wanted to go filling his head with things that were none of his business, let's make sure that he wouldn't understand them or enjoy them. Let's give him Abstract Expressionism and Cubism, atonal music, egg-box architecture and gibberish poetry. Let him sit on his hard bench, next to a litter bin and look at rectangles, straight lines, litter, puddles, pigeons and naked concrete ...until he goes mad. That'll punish him for getting ideas above his station.
Hmmm. This was taken with my Zeiss Ikon Nettar, which has a Novar Anastigmat lens. By common consent this was inferior to the Zeiss Tessar lens available on "upper end" models of the Nettar. The Novar is beautifully sharp at the centre but less so at the edges. I never knew what was meant by the term "anastigmat" and, to make good this deficiency, was just reading an online article on the subject. It sested that loss of sharpness at the edges might be reduced by using smaller apertures. Being a bit dim when it comes to the geeky technical aspects of photography, this hadn't occurred to me. The film here was Ilford Pan F, which is rated at 50 ASA. This meant wide-open aperture (f6.3) on the Nettar. The obvious thing would be to use the camera only with fast film, permitting smaller apertures. I shall conduct comparative trials.

stevenage camera shop

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