Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Last of the Kodachromes: Part 3


Winter in the Orchard

The very last Kodachrome film I had was shot on a winter's day at the end of December 2010. It went in the post to the USA on my birthday, the 20th, which meant it had just 10 days to reach the processing lab for the facility for processing this type of film was closed.


I'd held onto this last film during the whole of November and most of December. We had snow, which was picturesque, but we didn't have sunshine with blue skies to liven everything up until that last week-end.


I've taken photographs of these old Cherry Trees before. They stand almost broken and certainly twisted in a small field off the beaten track close to Hof ter Saksen. I suppose they were once part of a proper Orchard. They do still blossom but I'm not sure they fruit as I'm generally away in early summer.


From time to time when I visit the field is used for Heifers. This is problematic as they are very curious and will lumber over if I nip under the fence to take some shots. I don't like to be in the field with them as they seem like unruly adolescents.


Last year I was disappointed to discover that the farmer had felled a couple of the trees which were, in fact, dead. I still liked them though as they had interesting shapes,


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Last of the Kodachromes: Part 2


A New Pond

Whilst wandering about my usual haunt at Hof ter Saksen near my home I discovered a new pond. New for me I mean. It's just a small space: a lot smaller than the ponds I usually visit in the Nature Reserve close by. This pond looks less managed and is overgrown with reeds and bushes on its banks. I'm hoping that come the spring it will be a good place to spot Dragonflies and Damselflies. It will be interesting to discover whether this pond is frequented by different species than the larger pond.


I shall probably have to take my wellies as well as the ground around the pond is marshy. I'm already looking forward to it.


Although the pond is small it may also provide an opportunity to spy on some birds. I've already seen a Grey Heron here and it's possible that the local Kingfishers pay a visit.


Garden News

Spring has broken out all over the garden and some trees are already in blossom. The Almond is already well in flower and one of the Blackthorns has come out. Meanwhile the peach, one of the Plums and one of the Pears are just about to show.


The danger is when trees blossom early that they can get caught by a late frost and that their is not enough bees and other insects to do the pollinating.


I've finished my building projects for the time being: I've made two planters (for raspberries), two long thin Cold Frames, two square Cold Frames (these all use recycled plastic parts for the lids from an old Cold Frame),  two square raised beds, five long raised beds, one extra large raised bed (for Potatoes) and a box to surround the Rhubarb. some of these are already populated: with Garlic, Red Onions, White Onions, Broccoli and Cauliflowers. The Cold Frames are housing seed pots with Dwarf Beans, Runner Beans and Peas. Next month I shall build four more raised beds. By then it will be time to plant Carrots, Parsnips, Leeks and Chicory. All these are new ventures for me. As last year I shall also grow Tomatoes, Courgettes and Peppers in the raised beds I bought a couple of years ago.


In the garden the spring flowers continue to make a good show: plenty of Narcissus, Tulips, Hyacinth, Grape Hyacinth, Anemones and other bulbs. Almost everything is in bud and ready to leaf. Exciting times after the long winter.



Friday, 25 March 2011

Last of the Kodachromes: Part 1

Winter in the Park

Kodachrome film was discontinued  at the end of 2009. The film wasn't processed using the common E6 process for colour film but used a special process. This meant the film had to be sent away for processing in special labs. These were spread around the world but as the use of this film declined so the labs closed. Dwayne's Photo in Kansas, USA, was the last, and this closed it's Kodachrome processing facility in December 2010.


When I first heard the news about Kodachrome I didn't pay much attention as I usually shot digital and I believed I didn't have any Kodachrome film in my fridge. I was wrong. About 5 years ago as digital started to replace film many of the older style camera and photography shops started to close. I was still shooting a lot of film at the time and I went around many of these shops picking up old stocks of film as I went. Some of them were past there sell-by-date, but this just meant I got an even cheaper price.


I eventually stacked up quite a collection of film which I store in a fridge in the shed. I have both 120 and 35mm film to use up.


Eventually I paid attention to the Kodachrome story and decided I'd better look and see. I found 5 rolls of 36 exposure 35mm film. It was already October 2010. I'd better get on the case, shoot the film, and get it to the lab on time.