So I recently managed to get out and about for a bit of Father & Son photography along the River Trent near the village of Ingleby and the historic “Anchor Church” which is an old set of caves right next to the river, accessible only by a not very well known public foothpath.

Anchor Church Caves are beside the Old River Trent; there is a public footpath at the bottom of the crag (or at the top when the river floods in winter). The crag is over 100m long and up to 12m high and in a very attractive setting. The main feature is not the crag at all, but the Hermit’s Cave (an anchorite is a hermit). This cave has been cut from the rock (Triassic conglomerate) and is complete with door openings and window holes; it is very unusual. The cave is very old, being mentioned first in 1648.

Anchor Church

My son came armed with my Olympus OM10 and 50mm 1.8 standard lens, and I came along with both my Nikon F5 with my new (to me) 105mm f2.5 AI (converted) lens, and my Hasselblad 501CM with 150mm Carl Zeiss. His film was Fuji Superia 200, and mine was Kodak Ektachrome in the Nikon and Kodak Tmax100 in the Hasselblad.

The weather was good for photography – cloudy and raining intermittently with the occasional burst of sun which painted an amazing rainbow! Annoyingly for me neither of my lens choices really enabled me to capture the full rainbow with my Nikon loaded with Ektachrome. And also frustratingly, whenever the sun came out we were typically not in the best positions. My son is only young so not yet adapt tio standing still for two hours waiting for the light, which as any landscape photographer will tell you, is key success with landscapes….patience.

With the Hasselblad, I got one or two “moody” scenes of the water and some swans, and a couple of intriguing shots of the caves (Anchor Church). I shot it at EI1600 with the intention of push developing it to get some more ‘contrasty’ images. I am still trying to decide if TMAX100 will be my Fuji Acros 100 replacement film of choice. I’m not sure about it yet. I seem to get better results with Rollei RPX 100 but that is not currently as available here in the UK as Kodak Tmax 100 is.

When I got home, I developed the Tmax in Ilford Ilfotec DD-X as I do usually, but I struggled with loading it onto the reel (as I do usually as well!!). The outcome was a moderate disaster! As you can see, some of the frames were not loaded into the reel grooves properly and as a result I got the effect as seen below which is very annoying. I get this a lot because I am still trying to find the best way of loading 120 film onto the steel reel. I think once I have it mastered it will be great. Steel reels are generally regarded as the best way of developing 120 but there must be a knack that the masters had that I am yet to discover. I have lost quite a few frames over recent months as a result of this but I will get there. In the meantime I just won’t put any important rolls through it and use my usual lab instead.  You can see even on the shots that survived the mis-load, there are a few blemishes that have not ruined the shots as such but detract from them.

The second film loaded better, and I got a few reasonable shots. None are works of art, and I would have liked some bolder contrast. But all in all, a reasonable set.