Advanced apologies for missing Monday Monthly Mentions from a couple weeks ago. I came back from my holiday a few days prior, I was still in ‘holiday mode’ and I didn’t have time to draft up an entry. Also there were a few technical difficulties, which now have been resolved.
Before I start today’s post, I wanted to share some sad news of Sharon Harris’ passing. Although she died in October, I only found out about this last month through my Facebook feed. I managed to get in contact with her family member, which did confirm the news. I hadn’t been on social media much, pretty much dipping in and out every once in a while.
I originally met Sharon in Zurich 2020. Weirdly enough we were on the same flight, only seats apart and stayed at the same hostel – even in the same room, opposite bunk beds.
Sharon was a journalist for the Glamorgan Star and lived in Cardiff. Like me, she was an avid traveller, except she travelled around the world many times, visiting many countries and continents. We spoke about places we had visited and experiences, even Eastenders at one point. We did keep in touch afterwards, although we would never see each other again in person.
As mentioned, I hadn’t been on social media much and finding out about Sharon’s death was an absolute shock.
May Sharon Harris Rest In Peace. My thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues
April Algarve: A few weeks after my trip to Malta, I went away to the Algarve in the south of Portugal. I began my journey from Faro and ending in Lagos (in Portugal), then flying out from Faro. I went away for over a week, exploring different towns and places each day. The weather was mostly nice, hot and warm despite it raining heavily probably twice.
As usual, I took my film cameras with me. However a huge faux pas, I didn’t even realise until I went back to my hostel that there was no film loaded in the Olympus XA2. I spent the whole day in Sagres shooting without any film, but not all was lost. I took some photos on both my Olympus Mju 1 and phone. A sigh of relief, although I was initially devastated.
Analogue in Algarve: On the subject of film, I went to a small photography museum in Tavira, Casa Fotografia Andrade. A photographic studio run by the Andrade family for generations to the present day. Worth a visit, learning the early stages and history of photography in Portugal. Only a five Euro fee to enter and stay as long as you like. I did buy a photobook from the museum shop as a souvenir, with photographs that were seen on display.
Wonderful Winehouse: I went to the ‘Amy: Beyond the Stage’ exhibition at the Design Museum at last!! It was closing the same week, and thankfully I did manage to buy a ticket right in time. A lovely and moving tribute to Amy Winehouse, who was gone too soon. The exhibition was an eye opener; from a young talented girl from North London to a global superstar, who battled her demons in the public eye. It was great to see Amy’s legacy still living on through the exhibition, as well as a foundation set up in her name, supporting and helping young people from addictions and providing programmes.
Showcasing, Emerging and Growing: Doyle Wham is an art gallery in Shoreditch that displays and celebrates works by African photographers. Founded by a Royal College of Art graduate and a museums/heritage scholar, their aim was to showcase the African artistic scene and narrative. There’s an upcoming exhibition at the gallery from South African photographer Trevor Shuurman, ‘Life Through The Lens’, opens from 13th May to 2nd July
Food Photography for Thought: Karen Thomas is a London based food photographer, who has worked with a variety of well known brands such as McDonald’s, Costa and Marks & Spencers. She began learning photography from her father, also a photographer. Then experimented in the darkroom while at secondary school. After graduating from university, Thomas would be freelancing and photographing cars. Let’s say food was her passion and the rest is history…
Dude, where’s my film scanner? Or at least the good ones? An interesting question that is asked in Amateur Photographer. I want to know the answer too. I have an Epson V550, originally bought from Argos in 2017. I am yet to set it up on my new laptop, which will be a mission to do as I am uncertain it’ll be compatible with Windows 11 (originally installed on my Macbook Pro). The scanner is very good and reliable, still working and looks near enough in mint condition
Camera Can Travel: Lastly, going digital? Check. Travelling? Check. Digital Camera World has listed cameras perfect to pack for holidays, brands ranging from Olympus to Nikon
It was my mum’s birthday last week Monday, on the 31st January. I bought her a bouquet of tulips, also a nice birthday card. She did eventually get more flowers, cards plus some cake and a bottle of Prosecco. Sadly we didn’t go out to celebrate as I was working. Maybe soon, as I could make it up for my mum.
I got my third (and hopefully last) vaccine last month. I had the Booster, like the first one it was Pfizer. I would soon learn that my second dose was AstraZeneca, hence why I had a reaction to it shortly afterwards.
Melissa, my friend on WordPress – also Twitter and Instagram, mailed me some expired film from a few weeks back: Fuji C200 and Lomography Purple Monochrome in 120. It has been a loooong time since shooting with those films and it would be nice to experiment with them. Possibly they could be on the next Tried and Tested Thursday post?
I finally bought a new laptop for the first time in a decade. It is a HP Pavilion, pre-installed with Windows 11, Microsoft Office, Cloud and security. It’s lightweight to carry, in comparison to the other previous laptops I’ve had. My Macbook Pro had been playing up recently, as it was slowing down and an upgrade was necessary. At the moment, I am using both laptops. To cut a long story short: my Macbook has the scanner installed, printer and Photoshop CS5, so I am not letting it go just yet.
Select 21 was a wrap!! It ended last month on a high. A couple weeks ago, there was an artists’ talk through Zoom with the participating artists, minus one who had Covid. This gave us the chance to showcase our exhibiting work and talk in depth about it. I said my piece on the Petrol Station Series, which I am proud of til this day. Of course, I was all over the place with nerves. After going through delays and setbacks for over a year, Select 21 was a success met with many positive feedback and praise.
I went on a hiking trip on Saturday with a Meetup group called Outdooraholics. It was my second outing with them. We went to Lullingstone Castle and Country Park, although initially started from the town of Otford in Kent, soon making our way there – it was a ten mile walk (or 16 kilometres). We went across fields, hills and woods, even horses. I will be hiking with the group again this Saturday in Guildford, going through the North Downs and River Wey.
Legendary actress and comedian Betty White has sadly passed away at 99, on New Year’s Eve. She was a few weeks short turning 100. She had a very long career in acting, well known for her role in Golden Girls, as well as being a supporter and activist of LGBT+ rights and animal welfare. May she rest in peace.
2022 has started, already a Bank Holiday after a long weekend of celebrations into the new year. Many people, including myself, kept the ‘celebrating’ low key. In fact, I was in bed before midnight, then got up shortly afterwards. I had been working all week, and I was yearning for was a decent rest and some sleep.
Kodak Jumpin’ Up In Price Again: Old news-ish, as it was initially reported late last year; Kodak had announced another price rise in their film starting from January, so this month. Not to mention, it was very hard to buy certain Kodak films, such as Portra 400 in 35mm – which sold out on eBay, Analogue Wonderland and Parallax, perhaps a few other retailers. It’s no surprise that the panic buy started before the upcoming big price hike.
The Exhibitions Must Go On: There are a few shows and exhibitions I would like to see soon, including ‘Amy: Beyond the Stage’ at the Design Museum, an exhibition dedicated to the late singer Amy Winehouse. Also the Helen Levitt show at the Photographers’ Gallery, which I heard about via Twitter. I didn’t go to many art exhibitions or shows in 2021, hopefully this year I might be able to go to as many as possible.
My Plans for 2022 (Kinda, still in progress): Well most likely to be better than 2021. There are quite a lot of things I would like to accomplish by this year, both career and creativity wise. With Select/21 under my belt, I want to have my fingers in several pies by focusing on my photography again; finally developing my own film, creating zines and photo books, and also doing more projects/series. Plus I would like to do more writing, revisit a few storyline outlines and plans; maybe complete that short story from five years ago!! Maybe be super fluent in Spanish!!
It’s early days yet, but I am hoping 2022 will be the best year yet to come, once and for all…
Before I start this post, I would like to send my condolences to the families and friends of both John Whitmore and Boris Pfaffenzeller, who sadly passed away last month. They were both photographers, very active in the film photography community, talented at their craft and Twitter friends of mine. May they rest in eternal peace.
I would also like to pay my respects to American fashion designer, Virgil Abloh, who sadly passed away last month after a battle with cancer. Abloh was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear, as well as founding his own label Off-White back in 2012. May he rest in eternal peace, my thoughts are with his family and friends.
I haven’t been blogging as much since September, quite unusual although I wanted to do a few posts the following month but never got around to. I have been so busy with work, plus most of my rare down time was mainly recovering from work during my days off. Don’t worry, I will try to attempt to blog as much as I can before the end of 2021.
Turning 30 and Swiss Birthday Trip: I officially turned 30 back in September, so to celebrate my milestone birthday I went on a solo trip to Switzerland; travelling through to Lugano, then Lucerne and ending in Zurich. On my actual birthday I went to Burgenstock, however it was raining heavily throughout the day. Also I didn’t get to go on the famous Hammetschwand Elevator, due to my on/off fear of heights, however I did manage to see a beautiful view of Lake Lucerne. The next day the weather was slightly better, I went to Mount Pilatus via cable car to the top, although I didn’t reach the highest peak. I must say it was definitely a memorable experience, something I would do again in the future. And of course, I did capture all this on film!!
For the last couple of months, I haven’t done much film photography. There were times when I wanted inspiration and motivation to pick up my camera(s), but many ideas and plans were thrown out the window. I do have quite a lot of film that needs to be developed at some point, maybe in the new year…
Not all motivation isn’t lost, I went to the darkroom for the first time in over a year, over a month ago. First session was in October, when I used the colour enlarger. It did take some time to get used to it, thankfully with some help I managed to make a few prints. The next session I was printing in Black and White, which was a breeze as I was confident in what I was doing. Many of my prints came out good, although I need to improve in some areas.
Good news to end this year: Select 21 is finally here!! After a year of delays, the show is on the road – with yours truly exhibiting the famous Petrol Station Series, alongside with other photographers and their work. I am so proud of this achievement, after all the drama and stress throughout the last year. If you are interested in seeing Select 21, booking is essential via Eventbrite and it’s free. Show ends on Friday 21st January 2022.
I had my second dose a couple weeks ago. I am all set and finally protected!! The good news is that I have overcome my long term fear of needles. At least that’s over and done with for now…
I faced another challenge: having my tooth extracted. This particular tooth had cavities and was cracked, so I made the decision to have it taken out after going back and forth to the dentist. The alternative was to have it filled in, but it would be very pricey.
Also I will be 30 next week. Yes, I will be hitting an important milestone in my life. To think that I was 19 over a decade ago, about to start university. For my birthday, I will be going away to celebrate in style. Posts are going to be in a queue this week and the next while away.
Looks like the famous Hackney graffiti pub (aka the former Lord Napier Star) is ‘back’, but for how long?
Oh to be at the seaside… Feeling nostalgic? There’s a slideshow with historical snaps of various beaches across the world, from the US, to the UK, France and Italy. Most very well known, including Coney Island in New York and Blackpool in England.
A Romantic Language Comparison: French vs. Italian and their similarities. While they are part of the Romance language family, I often consider Italian being closer to Spanish than it is to French. The pronunciation is somewhat similar to each other, I do agree with the article published. I wanted to learn Italian initially, however as suggested by a native speaker it was better to do Spanish first and then eventually learn Italian afterwards as it would become easier for me to understand. I can confirm that has been the case after all these years!!
It has been a while since my last post, my apologies. I was meant to post a Film Friday a couple weeks back, however after writing longhand in my journal, I decided not to go ahead with it. I took a step back from my blog, as I wanted to take a break from writing for a bit.
I was on holiday from work last week, after working non-stop for the last few weeks. I had some me-time by relaxing and going to the gym, as well as joining a badminton group. I wanted to keep fit during my time off by focusing on my health and wellbeing.
I went to see James Barnor: Accra/London – a Retrospective exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery over a week ago. It was worth the visit, since it’s free with a pre-booking time slot – and yes, I will definitely visit again and again until the show ends. So many beautifully printed and framed photographs throughout Barnor’s career during his time in both Ghana and England during the 1960s; many of them stand out, especially the portrait sessions at his studio in Ghana. I have to repeat myself here by saying it’s certainly worth the visit. Also, someone who works at the Serpentine recognised me instantly, as we once collaborated on an art group project years ago. What a small world!!
The Only Way is the Essex Coast: I visited Harwich, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze all in one week. I went to Harwich last Thursday, which was a lovely day. It’s a small port town in the Tendring district, around twenty miles away from Colchester. There was a very quiet beach nearby in Dovercourt, nice for long strolls and away from the hustle and bustle. A little over forty-eight hours later, I went to Frinton-on-Sea, then eventually walked my way to Walton-on-the-Naze, a mile and a bit away. So many beach huts, most of them very colourful and vibrant. It did rain a bit later in the afternoon, thankfully it wasn’t too heavy.
Fuji Velvia 100 has been forced to discontinue in the US by the EPA, better known as the Environmental Protection Agency, due to the film containing a banned chemical – phenol, isopropylated phosphate. That particular chemical substance is used mainly for flame-retardant, as well as producing rubber, foam and cotton, the EPA added. So it’s most likely the film photographic businesses in the US will have to withdraw Velvia from its sales, if they haven’t already.
I had my first Covid vaccination last month!! I wanted to share that bit of news first. I did finally overcome my long time fear of needles, but at least I got it out of the way. I should have my second one in a month’s time, which I might need to book soon. Anyway, I had the Pfizer and thankfully I didn’t have many side effects, apart from a sore arm and a headache.
June was a good month for visiting the Kent coast; I went to Whitstable for the first time on a warm Saturday, exploring the beach, town and trying out the local oysters!! Then two weeks later I headed back to Kent, this time to Folkestone. Just like Whitstable, it is a shingle beach, plus it’s a direct train ride from Stratford International. I spent most of my day walking along the beach, also seeing the lighthouse and harbour. Of course, when at the seaside one must have fish and chips, and I highly recommend Harbour Inn where I had the famous cuisine. It was so delicious that I left a Google review rating it five stars!!
Hidden Hills: My friend and I went to The Hill Garden and Pergola at the start of this month. After a few delays, we made our trip there. The small pergola is located near Hampstead Heath, North London. I had never known about this place until my friend sent me a link via Whatsapp. It’s free of charge and it’s worth a wander on a nice afternoon.
A Fair Result: after cancellation after cancellation with dates being moved, the Other Art Fair finally had the show on the road this year. I went this past Saturday with my friend Mark. It has been over a year since I last saw him and it was good to catch up. The art fair took place at West Handyside Canopy near King’s Cross station, which was a bigger venue space with more artists, as well many who have exhibited many times before.
Note that down!: I have been into journaling again recently. For the last decade, I have been buying so many journals and notebooks but hardly put them into use, only a few for random lists and notes. I have a couple that I started using as a ‘wellbeing’ journal and another for as a diary of my thoughts and feelings. I mainly get inspiration from a Reddit group called Journaling, and also I get a few ideas onmaking travel journals. Despite it being fun to do having a physical notebook, at times it can be difficult to finish them – something that has been a problem for me.
Fuji Finished: Fujifilm is set to close four photo equipment factories in the US, axing 400 jobs. All four factories are located in the state of South Carolina, that manufactures printing plates, inks, papers and disposable cameras. Petapixel added, this is mainly contributed to the ‘declining demand’ of products. This is sad, I feel sorry for the workers as this job might be their only main source of income. The upcoming axing will not come into effect until next year in 2022.
A possible end to an era: the decline of petrol stations has been a slow ride for a long time, with the increase and popularity of electric cars in recent years. I did a photographic series of petrol stations almost a couple years ago, and it was hard looking for a station to shoot. It was a mission to find any nearby, since some had shut around my local area – including one I had taken back in the first series (Texaco/Co Op). No surprise, it might most likely be turned into high rise flats soon.
Prom Princess of The Ukraine: Michal Chelbin’s ‘Best Photograph’ in the Guardian is of a young girl in the Ukraine in her prom dress. Chelbin had created a series of photographs of teenagers in their last year at school in the country. Interesting read on the concept of transitioning into young adulthood.
At home? Want some photography inspiration?: Amateur Photographer has listed ten photography projects and ideas to do at home, with some being easy and accessible to do.
There’s something about Bjork: all thanks to Spotify and Youtube!! I have been listening to the famous Icelandic singer Bjork recently, mainly to her older stuff such as Debut and Homogenic. I knew about her before, only from her cover song ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’. Then I listened to her song ‘Isobel’ on Youtube, from the 1995 album Post. Last week, I listened to Homogenic for the first time while I was at the gym. My favourite song from the album is ‘Bachlorette’, and I cannot stop listening to it!!
This is the first time I had to post a very belated Monday Monthly Mentions two weeks later than scheduled. I have been so busy with work, and although I had written my draft already, it was finding time to type everything down…
First thing’s first: hello, how’s everyone doing? I haven’t been posting as much recently, mostly due to work, however I will be posting a few entries before the month closes and prepare some in advance for next month.
I went to Butlins last month for the first time. I went with my friend and her youngest son only for a few days. The resort is located in Bognor Regis, right next to the beach. We spent most of our time on the beach, as well as her son doing a lot of fun activities at Butlins which he did enjoy. Sadly, we didn’t get to see any shows or live entertainment while there, but it was nice to get out of London and go somewhere different.
The day after our arrival to Butlins, we went to Arundel Castle, quite nearby Bognor Regis by train. A few days prior to our visit, there was a robbery at the castle where thieves had stolen Mary Queen of Scots’ Rosary beads – a devastating loss of very important historical artifacts. The castle itself was amazing, both inside and out. Even bigger than we actually thought, when we saw it enroute via train the previous day.
To be by the seaside, as foreign travel is uncertain for the time being. It seems the good ole British seaside trip is making a ‘comeback’ since the increasing popularity of staycations this coming summer. Photographer Sophie Green captured the best of British beaches via Vice Magazine.
Last month I had some much needed ‘me-time’ on my days off, going to Holland Park and Greenwich Park for the first time in years. I went to the parks on different days, bringing along both my Olympus Trip 35 and Kodak Brownie cameras. Testing them out, now I am waiting for the film to be processed.
On the subject of box cameras, Amateur Photographer has an article discussing its uses and also demonstrates on how to load one with the same exact camera I got!!
In an Instant: Polaroid launches the ‘world’s smallest analogue instant camera’, the Polaroid Go. Costing £109.99 from the official website, you can buy it from other retailers such as Urban Outfitters or Currys. Fujifilm has recently released another instant camera, the Instax Mini 40 and seems it takes the same Instax film.
Since lockdown has eased a bit in the UK, there are a handful of exhibitionsand showsworth seeing from this month towards summer (although some are ending quite soon). There are a few that I’m interested in seeing at some point.
Malta Streets on Camera: Daria Troitskaia spoke to Times of Malta on her photographic series ‘Maltese Exposures’, which she was fascinated by the mix of ‘modern and retro motifs’ while based on the small Mediterranean island. She uses both digital and analogue cameras whenever shooting, which mostly consists of documentary and portrait photography.
Italian Photography Job: American photographer Scott Kelby stated his favourite place to photograph is in Italy; listing his preferred cities and regions, reasons why plus a food recommendation at the end.
‘Taste’ by Chinese photographer Li Huaifeng won the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year, which is a photograph of a family preparing a meal in China. There are some other submissions towards the competition from photographers across the world.
Monday Monthly Mentions is a new feature on my blog of posts that I will be posting every first Monday of every month, discussing topics in list form; such as photography, art, travel, creativity, plus throwing a few personal tidbits too, or anything I find interesting or would like to share…
It was my Mum’s birthday yesterday. Normally, we would go out for a nice meal but due to Covid and lockdown, we stayed at home and had fish and chips instead (my Dad’s idea). We washed it down with a bottle of sparkly Cava wine that I bought from work. It was lowkey, but Mum didn’t mind!!
Last month, Fujifilm announced that they will be discontinuing Fuji Pro 400h in both 35mm and 120. After the announcement, film customers were panic buying the film; a few photographic retailers had sold out of the film. However, on eBay there were sellers (including one photographic retailer, who shall remain anonymous) selling Pro 400h for a ridiculous amount!! Some for £45 for a SINGLE roll!! A pack of five 120 rolls for over a HUNDRED POUNDS!! That doesn’t surprise me to be honest… Thankfully I bought two packs of 120 for a reasonable price, alongside with a few rolls in 35mm that will last me for a while.
There’s a JMW Turner exhibition at Tate Britain until next month. I would like to visit, depending on whether the lockdown restrictions will be lifted, who knows? Some museums and galleries are having virtual exhibitions, although it doesn’t feel the same being there in person. The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is exhibiting online as the National Portrait Gallery is currently closed until 2023.
The Only Way is Sussex: there is a UK staycation booking boom, since the chances of holidaying abroad is slim due to restrictions and possible quarantine upon return (fingers crossed for Malta is still going to be on the cards). Sussex Live has a list of places worth visiting this summer, including Brighton, Chichester and Camber Sands. I would like to go to a few of the places mentioned and possibly go to Brighton again – I haven’t for a few years. Having been to Eastbourne and Seafordlast year, I would like to explore Sussex a bit more this year.
Speaking of staycations, the Guardian published an article of ‘tranquil places’ to go to in the UK. I have an eye for a few, being near to London. I was surprised to see Flatford Mill coming up, a place where my friend told me about and was interested in visiting at some point.
In late December I took a break from social media, now I am ‘back’ but only in small steps. I decided to take a hiatus to clear my mind and get away from the endless scrolling, also I was working quite a lot since last month. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram, where I am known as ‘janninesphotos’
Lastly, I was due to post ‘Films of 2020’ entry over the weekend (initially for December), however the entry was longer than I thought after writing it in my journal by hand. I might post it at some point either this month or probably towards the end of the year…