Posts tagged ‘HP5 plus’

January 18, 2012

For those in Peril on the sea.

There have been two sad and tragic maritime incidents over the past days.  Firstly the ‘Costa Concordia‘, a Cruise Liner which ran aground off the west coast of Italy.  At the time of writing there are 11 people confirmed dead and 23 still unaccounted for.  Secondly, and closer to here, the search continues today in Glandore Harbour for the five missing crewmen that went down with the vessel ‘Tit Bonhomme.


Glandore Harbour

(Photo: Glandore Harbour in happier times)

Last night, in the home group that meets in our house we discussed the passage in Matthew 14 where Jesus walks on the water towards his stricken disciples.  It was only natural then that we found ourselves praying for those affected by these two tragedies and for all those whose livelihood depends on the sea.  It is perhaps impossible to imagine what it must be like for the relatives, as they wait for the bodies of their loved ones to be recovered.  May God help them in ways beyond words and understanding and may He give all help to those involved in the search.

Of course, the words of that great hymn, “Eternal Father Strong to Save” comes to our minds at times such as this:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

O Saviour,whose almighty word
the wind and waves submissive heard,
who walkedst on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage did sleep;
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

O Holy Spirit, who didst sweep
across the dark and formless deep
to bid its angry tumult cease,
and give, for wild confusion, peace:
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

O Trinity of love and power,
sustain us all in danger’s hour;
through wreck and tempest, grief and loss,
renew the triumph of the cross:
and ever let  there rise to thee
glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

William Whiting (1825-78)

June 4, 2010

Letting Go … letting God

Church of the Ascension, Timoleague  

Have you ever been at your wits end?  Have you ever been in a situation that was completely desperate and you simply could not see any way out?  I suspect most of us have felt a bit like that at one time or another.  Maybe it was a health problem, or something to do with finances or to do with a relationship or some kind of depression.  We are at a total loss and so we do not know what to do.  And so what is often our very last resort?  That’s right, we call out to God to help us.  And what are our prayers like in these moments; are they gentle platitudes?  No they are from the very depths of our being, from (as the saying goes) ‘the bottom of our hearts’.  And so with our fists clenched and our stomach in knots and our teeth grinding we cry out to God…  And do you know what?  In these moments prayer seems to have a potency and a power way and above the norm, it is like when we are on our knees in our own personal Garden of Gethsemene that the heavens are torn open and we have direct access to the Throne of Grace.  We have at last made room for God and He is there before the first word has even been uttered from our trembling lips.  

April 25, 2010

Leaving a mark

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 35mm, Ilford HP5 plus @ 400 ISO

Two small boys and a muddy flower bed = hand prints on the side of the house!

We all leave a mark of some kind.  Perhaps in the context of history, the mark that we leave is about as permanent as these muddy hand prints, soon washed away and forgotten about.  Perhaps our names will be looked up and placed in a family tree by our distant descendants.  In the corridors of eternity our presence must be no more than a transitory echo, the whole sum of our existence and efforts no more permanent than the blinking of an eye.

And yet

We do matter and we do have a permanent and real and significant place not only here and now, but always.  These are some words of Jesus (speaking about His followers) from this mornings Gospel:

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

(John 10:28)

Death is more of a beginning than it is an ending and as our Psalm reminds us this morning (Psalm 23), He is there with us not only in life, but in death too:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  

(Psalm 23:4)

April 22, 2010

It was THIS big!

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm, Ilford HP5 plus, 400 ISO

Of course I have no idea what the conversation was between this faraway couple, but it may have been something along the lines of the above title post.  In the picture they are dwarfed by the expanse of sky above them, the vastness of the sea on one side and the dark rocks on the other.  Without getting too existential about it all, it makes me think of the smallness of us people.  We have all been given a humble reminder these past few days by a certain volcano with an unpronouceable name of just how powerless and small we all are in the grand scheme of things.  But then I listen to our two-year-old singing “My God is so Big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing that he cannot do!”  Yes we may be small, but we do matter to Someone, very much indeed…

March 10, 2010

Keeping a curse at bay


Nikon F100, Nikkor 28-105 f3.5-4.5 D, Ilford HP5 plus (ISO 400), (Bigger)


There’s a pub nearby with an interesting history. Noel Phair’s was owned by a well-off family in the late 1800’s. They brought the bailiffs in to evict a widow from one of their tenant cottages. Justifiably upset she pronounced a curse on the premises, saying a time would come when grass would be seen growing in the door. To stop the grass, the owners had a metal plate set in the threshold. As you can see from the photo the metal plate is still there. (From Damien Enright’s book “Walks of Clonakilty Town & Country” ISBN 1 902631 021)


“…but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”
James 3:8-10
February 26, 2010

Focus

10 02 HP5010
Nikon F100, Nikkor 28-105 f3.5-4.5 D, Ilford HP5 plus (ISO 400), (click to enlarge)
I came across these words by Max Lucado recently in his book “The Great House of God“:

Some years ago a sociologist accompanied a group of mountain climbers on an expedition. Among other things, he noticed a distinct correlation betwen clound cover and contentment. When there was no cloud cover and the peak was in view, the climbers were energetic and cooperative. When the grey clouds eclipsed the view of the mountaintop, though, the climbers were sullen and selfish.

The same thing happens to us. As long as our eyes are on his [that is God’s] majesty there is a bounce in our step. But let our eyes focus on the dirt beneath us and we will grumble about every rock and crevice we have to cross.
These very helpful words brings to mind one of great verses of encouragement, Hebrews 12:2

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Fixing (or focusing) our eyes on Jesus, that’s what it’s all about – if only I didn’t get in the way so much…

February 21, 2010

Let me see thy footmarks, and in them plant my own.

Nikon F100, Nikkor 28-105 D, Ilford HP5 plus (ISO 400) (click to enlarge)


The title of this post is from the first lines of the last verse of that great hymn of commitment “O Jesus I have promised.” The verse goes:

Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then to rest receive me,
My Saviour and my Friend.

We sung it in church yesterday and it went very well as an accompanyment to the reading (Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness from Luke 4). I love the powerful imagery of looking for the Lord’s footprints and putting my own inside them. I remember as a child trying to put my feet into my father’s footprints in the sand at the seashore. The strides were just too big and so each one was an enourmous leap. Eventually though as one grows up it becomes easier to follow.

Same with following Jesus I suppose, sometimes the strides needed seem impossibly large, but then with time (and of course His help) it becomes less difficult.

February 12, 2010

Staring at the Sun

Nikon F100, Nikkor 28-105 D, Ilford HP5 plus (ISO 400) (click to enlarge)

No I wasn’t really staring at the sun, but this picture reminded me of the U2 song of that name. Apart from having the very interesting line “stuck together with God’s glue”, the chorus is fascinating too:

I’m not the only one starin’ at the sun
afraid of what you’d find if you took a look inside
not just deaf and dumb I’m staring at the sun
not the only one who’s happy to go blind.

Perhaps not one of Bono’s jolliest lyrics! In an attempt to get some insight into these words I found lots of discussion on the internet, specifically here. Some think that it’s a comment on society, how people are happy to be blind to the reality of the mess that this world is in, others think that it’s a reference to a group of hippies who whilst stoned on LSD stared at the sun until they went blind. Another theory relates to Plato’s famous cave, you know how humans are trapped in a cave staring at the light only from a fire which they think is the real light but then one of them (the philosopher) is set free, his enlightenment happens and he turns around and sees the real sun outside. Of course the light is blinding at first but then he realizes that what he is seeing is real and what he saw before were only shadows.

Perhaps even Bono doesn’t fully know what he was saying. But it does lead my thoughts further … to the gospel reading for this Sunday:

“…he climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along. While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white. At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah—and what a glorious appearance they made!” (from Luke 9 The Message)

And a prayer:

Jesus Christ is the light of the world,
the light no darkness can overcome.
Stay with us, Lord, for it is evening,
and the day is almost over.
Let your light scatter the darkness
and illumine your people.

Amen.

February 3, 2010

Some thoughts on HP5 plus

(Waffle warning: Only read if you have a nerdy interest in photography :-)

Woods near Castlefreke, Co. Cork
Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm f1.4, Ilford HP5 plus (ISO 400) (click to enlarge)

One of the joys of using film cameras is that you get to experiment with lots of different films. I think it takes at least a few rolls of a film to get a feel for it and see what its strengths and weaknesses are. For my first foray into developing black and white film at home I bought a packet of ten x 36 exposures of Ilford’s HP5 plus. Rated at ISO 400, it’s quite a ‘fast’ film, which means that it is quite grainy and not as smooth as others. The advantage of the high ISO does enable faster shutter speeds and/or smaller apertures. This makes it great for taking pictures of fast moving children, indoor shots, or where you need maximum depth of field at hand-held shutter speeds.

Fallen Tree, Castlefreke Woods
Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm f1.4, Ilford HP5 plus (ISO 400) (click to enlarge)

The Big But though is that it does tend to result in pictures that lack the detail of something a bit slower, such as Ilford’s FP4 plus, (or of course a picture from a digital SLR).

View towards Long Strand, Co. Cork
Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm f1.4, Ilford HP5 plus (ISO 400) (click to enlarge)

So while I have been very pleased with portrait pictures using this film, the landscapes have been lacking in detail. So although I have four rolls left (which I will use at some point), I have ordered something a bit different to experiment with. Unfortunately they were sold out of FP4 plus so I found a compromise, Delta 400. I’m sure it is not going to be perfect but it is supposed to have much finer grain than HP5 (though it will almost certainly be harder to expose and develop). We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I am really enjoying photography with film at the moment – I am not turning my back on digital it’s just nice to have a bit more of a challenge…

Approaching Storm, Co. Cork
Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm f1.4, Ilford HP5 plus (ISO 400) (click to enlarge)
February 1, 2010

Return to Galley Head

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm f1.4, Ilford HP5 plus (ISO 400) (click to enlarge)


Ah yes, we’ve been here before. What a beautiful spot it is. When we first visited last April, we had no idea that we would be living nearby less than a year later. God does indeed move in mysterious ways (and even more so if the Church of Ireland has anything to do with it ; – )

I’m constantly amazed by my old Olympus OM-1. For a camera and lens that are nearly 40 years old (and still running on the original mercury battery), it remains working remarkably well. There is something very satisfying in developing the negatives too, seeing them hanging up to dry in the bathroom is much more fun than fiddling with them on the computer.

For more info. on Galley Head here is a Wikipedia article.