Bronica ETRS and Delta 400

In my quest to find a reasonably sized, metered medium format camera, I discovered the Bronica ETRS and Mamiya 645, both modular 645 cameras which can be shot with a waist-level finder or metered prism.

I eventually settled on the Bronica, which has a good selection of glass, as well as scope for interchangable film backs and even a mythical 35mm one which shoots in a similar dimension to the Hasselblad Xpan. 

Based on the first roll I ran through it, Delta 400 shot at box speed, I'm already enjoying the pleasing bokeh and sharpness the 75mm Zenzanon can deliver.

The shutter speed maxing out at 1/500th of a second can be a bit of a pain, especially in bright sunlight, but nothing that can't be solved with an ND filter or stopping down a bit. Even at f/5.6 the depth of field is pretty dreamy.

A proper review will come soon, but in the meantime, here's a few shots developed in D76 1+1.

What if Harry Potter was a 90s sitcom?

This is something that I'd been wanting to do for a while: a wobbly-VHS early-nineties take on the Harry Potter franchise and thanks to my ridiculous job at Comedy Central UK, it FINALLY CAME TO PASS.

Produced by me, and edited by the insanely talented Jack Hextall, it's had 1.7m views on Facebook, and already been picked up by The AV Club, Nerdist, Refinery 29 and Yahoo.

Seriously, in 54 seconds this clip manages to tick all the boxes. The footage is edited to include the nostalgic TV static and lines that are a staple of childhoods spent in front of the screen after school, and is made only better by the chirpy font that introduces all the characters
— Refinery 29

Wedding Photoshoot With the Fuji X70

I love the Fuji X70. 

After a few weeks with the little camera, having picked one up to replace the original X100, I'm smitten with the fast-focus, pin-sharp lens and pocketable size.

It's not without its downsides - it's missing the built-in ND filter that the X100 had, and using the LCD in bright sunlight can be a bit of a pain (it doesn't have a viewfinder either) but the JPEGs it spits out have blown me away, and more than made up for any shortcomings.

It recently came with me on a trip to France for a wedding, and we shot a mini photoshoot with the (thankfully incredibly photogenic couple) a few days after the ceremony.

Photos by me, and most colours by the very talented @lepetitfika.

l'Horizon Deck, Monte-Carlo

*CLANG!* - The sound of someone talking about their trip to Monaco.

*CLANGS FOREVER* - The sound of someone reviewing a Monte Carlo roof-top restaurant.

Having been for the second year in a row in July 2016, I can safely say that l'Horizon Deck is the best roof-top restaurant in Monte Carlo for anyone who earns under a million pounds a year. We went on a Sunday night which was quiet, the views spectacular, and the service pretty good. The food's nice but expensive, but you're in Monte Carlo. Good luck finding a sandwich for under €10.

Otherwise, it's very nice and I'd happily eat there again. (Maybe when the exchange rate's picked up a bit? Please?)

I should never review restaurants, should I? Maybe I'll just stick to pictures.

 

Short Stories, 2016

Right. 2016. Here we go.

I know it's April, but following January's false start (I'm now not so sure that winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony is realistically achievable in a year) I've decided to write more.

Here are a list of short stories I plan to write in 2016 - fortunately since I know nobody reads this blog, they're safe from plagiarism. And if they are stolen, chances are you'll do a better job than me. Good luck to you.


SHORT STORIES:

STAGE FRIGHT - Tense drama about a stand-up comedian who will literally die on stage if nobody laughs at one of his jokes.

THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF YOUNG MISS MARPLE - Miss Marple origin story, detailing her early life and motivation to solve crimes. In a sexy way.

TELEGRAM FOR YOU MA'AM - A '30s hotel Bell Boy becomes obsessed with a long-distance couple who have taken to sexting by Telegram.

“I’M A MONSTER” - A Monster's journey of self-discovery and acceptance

THE INVIGILATOR - A violent action thriller set in the exam hall of an adult eduction college.

DADDY LONG LEGS MAN - An unlikely story about a superhero with no discernible powers. Does something stronger lurk within?

A WHALE THAT WANTS TO LEARN FOREIGN LANGUAGES - The rest of the pod think she's pretentious following an exchange trip to the North Atlantic, but can Sandrine's new-found knowledge save the species?

I'D KILL FOR A GOOD STORY - A literary agent decides to make up for his own mediocrity by murdering talented writers and stealing their work. But tables turn when he goes after a flashy crime-writer...

HIGH FIDELITY 2016 - A girl who works for Buzzfeed can’t stop making top 10 lists about her relationships - can she give up GIFs for the man of her dreams?

IT'S ALL MEMEME - A photogenic raccoon finds himself the subject of an internet meme - how will he cope with his new-found fame? 

A NOVEL KIDNAPPING - (Revenge thriller) A famous author has her dreams of retiring shattered when her publishers take her daughter hostage, demanding more books. 

GOVE AND HUNT - Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt go on a holiday together - it's The Trip To Italy, except the characters are less likeable.

FEMALE SPIES - (A serious historical novel) A band of female spies fight the Nazis. Sometimes with their bare hands.

Disneyland Paris

I'm not ashamed to admit that our three days in Disneyland Paris in November 2014 were among the happiest I've ever had in my life ever. It really is the happiest place on earth, and also (at this time of year, anyway) the Christmassiest. 

The only down-side was staying outside of the park at a slightly gross corporate hotel. Next time we'll know better, and go the whole Mickey & Friends hog.

Venice

Venice is a strange place. Like Disneyland but without the rides and helpful "I've Lost My Small Child" meeting places, a trip there is also a bit like being trapped inside Hampton Court Maze for several days.

It's unlike anywhere I'd ever been though, and with its dead-ends, Hogwarts-style shifting alleyways and turquoise (sometimes) canals, we had a brilliant time exploring the connected islands.