It’s said you learn the most from your mistakes and, having made a good many over the last half-year, I finally had a shoot where things went as expected.

For a change, things came together very well. The weather forecast for the coming Saturday looked very good so, I’d arranged to meet Doug to go to a couple of locations. We’d previously visited both of these areas and one of them, Grays, I’d been to only recently. More importantly, I’d finally got a new light meter, one I  felt I could trust (a Sekonic L308S), I was shooting on transparency film – a medium I’m pretty familiar with and I was going to shoot a favourite subject – industrial landscapes.

We started at Tilbury Fort – the light was strong – it stayed remarkably constant throughout the whole day and the sky was very clear. I shot three rolls of 120 on the day – although the last few images were just to finish the roll and, even though I’d lugged a fairly substantial tripod around, everything was shot hand-held. I was fairly optimistic when I dispatched the films for processing and it seems my optimism was justified.  The films are back and I have a series of images I feel merit closer attention.

This is good news on a couple of fronts; finally I feel I’m making headway with analogue photography again, after seemingly taking a good few hops backwards and I have a bunch of images I can work on, to improve printing skills – and to check out the capabilities of a local print shops.

What have I learned from this one success and the plethora of failures?

I’d say it can be summed up in one word  – preparation.

It means:

  • being ready to move when an opportunity presents itself
  • having done enough research to know what to expect when you get to the location
  • having the right gear and knowing how to use it
  • being in the right frame of mind when out on the shoot
  • having a plan and sticking to it

I’ll be reporting back on the results of printing practice, in the meantime, here are a few images from the day and Doug’s rather similar images, shot on his Mamiya M6 can be viewed here.

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