Sitting on a park bench

I suppose quoting Jethro Tull’s Aqualung is a bit unfair on the subjects of these images, but I couldn’t resist.

These come from the same walk that I talked about in my last post (too long ago…). I’m only able to post them now because, well, I’ve only just got round to having them processed. These pictures were all shot on film — a medium I still enjoy using — and processing costs are a wee bit high, so I like to get a few rolls together to make it worthwhile.

One of the things that these pictures demonstrate is why I love Kodak Portra film for colour work. (This is Portra 160, but the ISO400 version is just as good.) There’s a subtlety to the colours that I feel works very well in overcast conditions. Slide films can often be oversaturated, which may be fine on hot, sunny days but, to me, doesn’t work in duller conditions. Portra also renders (Caucasian) skin tones very well. You know how you find something that works for you, and you just stick with it? Yeah, that.

Anyway, the pictures. I said in my last post that I wasn’t feeling inspired until I stopped looking at things and started looking at people. Well, part of that looking involved noting that people sit on benches (well, duh!), so I started just taking shots of people sitting down. It soon became obvious just how many people were intent on their phones, whether or not they were with someone else. The smartphone revolution really seems to be the defining feature of the age. Shoot randomly in a moderately crowded street in any city, and there will probably be someone using a phone somewhere in the shot; possibly using it to take a picture of you taking a picture of them…


Well, OK, there’s that whole far-right, Trump/Farage/Brexit thing that’s marring the late 2010s, but, you know, defining features that aren’t depressing.