Rydal Grotto

Descend from the main stately home of Rydal Mount in the Lake District, pass through a tunnel beneath a bridge next to the flowing stream of Rydal Beck, and you will find a curious little building before a waterfall. The building was originally built in the 1668, and its main purpose becomes immediately apparent once you enter. A solitary window frames the waterfall, making it seem like you are looking upon a living painting. The building served as a retreat for artists, who could sit in the little building and paint the waterfall.

I can’t paint unfortunately, but it made a nice subject for my Semflex TLR. My wife has more talent than me so I took a picture of her as she followed in footsteps of those before her and sketched the waterfall. The light was beautiful through the window.

I almost destroyed these negatives in development, putting in only 300ml of solution rather than 500ml, thinking I was developing 35mm rather than 120. I’m glad I managed to save them.

 

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Overgrown bench on Semflex TLR

I recently acquired a beautiful early 1950s Semflex – a French TLR camera. I had wanted a Lubitel but the guy in the shop convinced me that the Semflex is much better.

I took it out for its debut on a walk around Grasmere in the Lake District. I left my wife on a small beach to do some sketching while I attempted to reach the top of Loughrigg. The Semflex is a pretty big and heavy camera and I was soon regretting the decision to take it with me, but I then came across a broken and overgrown bench, and then it seemed worth lugging the thing up the fell after all..

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I wish it was the 60s, I wish I could be happy..

My wife and I have just returned from a week in the Lake District. The last time we went I had no real interest in photography. This time I took a box with about 6 cameras in it!

While there, we visited the Abbot Hall gallery in Kendal, where they had an exhibition entitled ‘Painting Pop’, which featured the art of the early 60s. It was very interesting – I particularly enjoyed David Hockney’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’.

I had my 1959 Voightlander round my neck while we were walking round the gallery, but I put it away as I wasn’t intending to take any photographs. At this point, a lovely gallery attendant approached me, said how much she liked my camera, and said that I should go to the end of the exhibition where there was a mock up of a 1962 living room.

Needless to say, we made full use of the opportunity, and it was nice to be able to use an era-specific camera! I think my wife particularly enjoyed wearing the Jackie O sunglasses. I’m also being annoying by taking a picture of myself in every mirror I see at the moment, but seeing a drinks cabinet filled with Babycham glasses with a mirror at the back seemed too good an opportunity to miss…

 

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