About/Contact

Castle Rock - after Watch Tower

Image courtesy of Zac Poulton

Lake District (U.K) based photographer shooting (mostly) 35mm film. I make hand crafted silver gelatin prints in the darkroom from my black and white negatives and I scan my colour negatives and slides and have those images printed professionally.

If you would like to buy a print please contact me.

Feel free to use any of the images for non commercial purposes but please drop me a line to let me know, credit the image to the owner and provide a link back to this site. Please don’t steal my work – remember I have all of the originals on 35mm film. You’d have a very hard time proving an image was yours.

Thank you

email: johnpickles@live.co.uk

40 thoughts on “About/Contact

  1. Love your wastwater post from today. Great composition and you just cannot beat film, a great camera and good lenses!!. Couldn’t find anywhere to comment on that post itself so hope you don’t mind my leaving this comment here.

    Joey

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      • Any time John. Great work as always. Sometimes I get despondent when I see so many out of focus images, or those famous (infamous) foot images in the reader. Then your work appears and sets the bar amazingly high. Good photography of beautiful scenes always manages to evoke emotion. Have a great evening.

        Joey

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      • Thanks Joey. That’s very kind. I’ve spent most of today in the darkroom trying to perfect my split grade printing process. I think it’s coming along alright but I’m at the stage where I could use some real life feedback on my work from someone with a bit of experience. Unfortunately, there aren’t many people around still shooting film let alone making there own prints. Thanks again. Have a great evening.

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      • Well anytime we can be of any help. Hubby is a master in the darkroom but we only know about black and white. However, that being said, we still print all our images on silver gelatin and you know you just cannot beat that. I don’t care how good they make digital, it will never beat film.

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  2. A varied, thoughtful collection. Lovely. Made all the better by reminding me of the places I used to climb and walk before real life and the constraints of living and working in London somehow got in the way.

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  3. Love your post today John. Absolutely gorgeous in both composition and clarity. Marks would like to know what developer you used for both the film and paper. Also what paper you used. I looked for somewhere to comment on the post itself but the “comment” section is missing.

    Have a great rest of the day/evening.

    Joey

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    • I keep forgetting to check the ‘Allow Comments’ button – sorry. Paper is Ilford Multigrade IV developed on PQ Universal. I used a split grade process (x) amount of time at 00 and (y) amount of time at grade 5.
      The negative is FP4+ and I think it was developed in D76 1:1 or Ilfotec DDX. As it was last summer I can’t quite remember but those were the only developers I used last year. All pretty standard stuff really. The print has the faintest detail in the shadows on the right but the scanner didn’t pick it up. Thanks for taking an interest! Have a good evening. John

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  4. Great photos John, I love your candid street shots and some of the landscapes (mountain range & footsteps in the sand dunes especially). Great to see 35mm film being used to great effect! 🙂 Matt ..I was trying to guess the film type! ..but seems a mixture perhaps? Tri-x or FP4+?

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    • Hi Matt. Thanks for taking the time to comment and thanks for the kind words. I usually put the film type in the tags so you don’t have to guess! The candid street shots are almost all Tri-X (last year I was using D76 1:1 this year I’m using Rodinal 1+25 for developing). the black and white landscapes are a mix of Pan f+, TMax100 and FP4+ – I still haven’t decided what I like for landscapes!

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  5. Ah thanks John. I’m pleased with my guesses then! 🙂 I shoot mostly TMax 100/400 and love the sharpness of Rodinal but mix it with Xtol. I’m mainly a model photographer and enjoy medium format film (6×6, 6×7, 6×9, 645) aswell as 35mm) + digital. I’m pretty new too film but now prefer it to the latest digital (D800). Here is one of my favourite film shots so far – http://matthewosbornephotography.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/fashion-on-film/
    Keep up the good work! 🙂

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  6. Superb images of a place close to our hearts, having had a house in South Lakeland for ten years and still have lots of friends there. Miss the Lakes every day, but your images are some consolation!

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  7. Thanks for liking my pier shot. Thought I would check you out. Glad I did. Your photos and darkroom work are beautiful. Have you always used Rodinal? I’ve started developing B&W to see what it is all about and D76 seems OK but not nearly the look you get.

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    • Hi John. I was just about to comment on your pier shot – lovely tones and a wonderful sense of simplicity and quiet. Very nicely done.
      I’ve been practising photography for about 18 months now – always with film and mostly with old (temperamental) camera’s. I started developing black and white with D76 mixed 1:1 and do still quite like this combination. I started using Rodinal for a couple of reasons – It lasts a long time and it works out very cheap! I want to celebrate and highlight the qualities and characteristics of film and I think Rodinal brings these out really well. I figured there was no point trying to make 35mm film look like digital (all smooth and grainless) using fine grain developers and I was inspired by the photography on this website – http://www.ivanconstantin.fr/ (sorry, I don’t know how to make that a link). I wish you well with your film developing. I find it very addictive and I love the uniqueness and individuality of the whole process. I’ve seen many fine digital images and prints but a fine print made in the darkroom has that quality only hand made work can have. Thanks for commenting and if you’re interested in my techniques for developing film with Rodinal (time, temp etc) let me know and I’ll pass them on. Cheers.

      John

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  8. We’re pretty close in experience. I stated to take photography seriously 2 years ago after a lifetime of point and shooting at family and vacations. Being new I like digital because I can make mistakes and experiment more easily with various settings. But I must admit it’s really exciting waiting to see how film comes out.

    I’m still in the trying out mode with film having used most of the Ilford and Kodak products. Kodak seems to be more forgiving. I’ve had a hard time with FP4+ and Delta 100. Lots of blown highlights.

    I would most welcome your developing workflow. I too use D76 1-1 but nearly out of it so will order some Rodinal and give it a try.

    Looking forward to learning some things and following your blog.

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    • Thanks John. I’m surprised that you’ve managed to blow the highlights with FP4+ – that stuff is incredibly tolerant of overexposure so I would suspect it’s been overdeveloped?

      My Rodinal workflow is pretty simple really.

      I mostly shoot Tri-X @ E.I 200 (actually, as my camera’s don’t have meters I usually ‘guess’ the exposure based on the info Kodak used to print on their film boxes – Sunny Day = f11@1/500, Hazy = f8@1/500 etc.) and develop it at 20celsius for 7 mins with the Rodinal (Adonal) mixed 1+25.

      I agitate gently for the first 30 seconds (about 10 or 12 inversions) and then do 3 inversions in 10 seconds at the start of every minute. Stop bath for 10 seconds and Ilford rapid fixer for 5 minutes with the same agitation as development.

      Wash by filling the tank with water at 20c, inverting 5 times, empty, refill, invert 10 times, empty, refill, invert 20 times then use ilfotol wetting agent for a final 30 second wash and rinse.

      Excessive agitation and higher temps apparently cause more grain. I’ve not tried so can’t comment.

      When I started using Rodinal I was only agitating once a minute and had to increase it because I wasn’t getting enough grain!

      I’ve tried Stand development @ 1+100 (which has many devotees) but didn’t like the uneven results it created.

      So, there you go, nothing out of the ordinary but I like the results and because I print in the dark room I know that my scans look similar to my prints in terms of grain and tonality.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers.

      John

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    • Hi John, My results with Tmax 100 (@100) and Rodinal 1+25 @20c for 6mins have lead to negatives which look ‘flat’ when scanned. haven’t had the chance to wet print so don’t knbow how they would do in the darkroom. They tweak up fine in photoshop with ‘auto levels’ but the next roll I shoot I’m going to rate it at E.I.64 and process for 6 1/2 or 7 minutes to try and boost contrast. Good luck. John

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      • I should also say I really love the look of this combination – very sharp but with a lovely smoothness to it. However I recently shot a roll of PanF+ and it processed without any of the ‘flatness’ I’ve had with TMax100 and it looked just as sharp, grain free and smooth but with better contrast. Again, good luck. John

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  9. I love your photos of the old mine workings in Coniston, I own a restaurant there and would love to purchase some for the walls, is this possible? Many Thanks

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    • Hello Sarah, thanks for getting in touch. I’d be happy to make my Copper Mines images available for you to purchase as prints. It’s probably best if you either email me (johnpickles@live.co.uk) or give me a ring on 07795655044 to discuss which images you’re interested in and what size you might like them printing. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you. John

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