Week 42: Victorialand

On Friday night I went along to the opening of the Inside the Outside group’s exhibition at the Photo Parlour in Nottingham. One of their founder members is Al Brydon, a photographer that I’d met a few years ago, who produces tremendous landscape work from the Peak District.

As part of the ITO exhibition, he was showing the results of a really fascinating project. A while back, he discovered a drawer full of films that he’d shot around 10-15 years ago and rather than processing them, he chose to expose (most of) them again. This ‘collaboration with [his] former self’ became his ‘Based on a False Story‘ collection.

Some are simple, but beautiful landscapes with windows of light overlaid. Others, strange, voyeuristic glimpses of that ‘vastly different life’ he hints of in his accompanying blurb. The negatives look to have had a tough time in storage, with scratches and blemishes adding to the sense of mystery.

The collection was shown as 50-odd, monochrome 6″x4″ prints, with two exceptions. At either end of the grid was a double-exposure, shown in portrait orientation, featuring an unidentified silhouette. I wondered if this was perhaps the same person, 15 years apart. Or maybe, by positioning these two figures at either end of the work, it symbolised the passing of time and the effect of the intervening years that had been captured in the paired exposures.

It’s terrific, and the highlight of what is a show of exceptional work. If you get a chance, you should go and see it (it’s right next to Nottingham railway station if that helps).

hunstanton-11As usual, I was heading into the weekend without having shot anything for my 52 Rolls Project. Seeing Al’s work helped me settle on trying some double-exposures of my own, although rather than 15 years, mine were about an hour apart.

I took Emily out for a walk and shot a roll of silhouettes, under-exposing each by 1-stop. I got home, collected Gosia and went out for another walk (to the pub) and shot the second set of ‘textures’.hunstanton-14I was using a Canon EOS5 – the Plastic Fantastic. The reason I chose it is because one of the custom functions allows you to rewind the film but leave the leader sticking out of the canister. I’m not sure in what other situation this feature would be useful, but for doubles, it saves messing about fishing around inside the canister to retrieve the leader. The camera has a motor-drive too, meaning easier alignment of frame lines.

I’m pretty pleased with the results, although I can’t quite understand how, when using a camera with a vertical grip, I’ve managed to shoot each of the two exposures at 180° to each other. But they’re strange, and in a couple of cases beautiful, to my eye at least…

I knew that the final 4-5 shots taken the first time around were ones for ‘the family album’, and so didn’t re-expose these.hunstanton-17


Canon EOS5, Sigma 50mm f/1.4, Kodak TMax 400 under-exposed by 1-stop, Ilfotec HC for 6:30 and fixed twice after the negatives came out cloudy and strangely blue. Scanned at home using EpsonScan.

My previous entries on 52 Rolls —> here

8 thoughts on “Week 42: Victorialand

    • Yes, exactly that. I slightly under exposed them so that they wouldn’t see too much light when exposed twice. I also shot sillhouettes as that’s where the detail shows up when the next layer is added. It’s fun and worth a try…


  1. These are great! I experimented last week with some color double exposures – can’t wait to see how they turned out. I like your idea of shooting silhouettes on the first round so you have something semi consistent to work with in round 2.

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