Category Archives: Black & White

Cluan Place, Belfast – 15 years on.

In 2002, I visited Cluan Place in East Belfast for the first time.  I was visiting a couple of homes in the street, – people who were parishioners of a church that I belonged to at the time.  The reason for my visit was to see if their homes had been damaged in the rioting that was taking place at that time.   Cluan Place lies right on one of the Belfast interface lines, ‘peace-walls’ seperating two communities.  In the case of Cluan Place, it interfaced with the largely republican Short Strand area.  In 2002 friction between the two communities was at a height, and there was a constant police presence to keep the warring factions apart.  One of my friends in the street was an ederly man who had found a pipe bomb in his garden; it had been lobbed over the wall from the other side.

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In August this year I had occasion to visit the street again.  It’s fifteen years from my first visit, and I havent been there since, and I wondered how the community and the atmosphere had changed.  was there still that fearfullness, that alertness of suuden attack?  was there a constant police landrover sitting at the single entrance to the cul de sac?

Needless to say, I had a film camera with me.  I never go anywhere without one, so after my visit with one of the residents I did some photographs.  I hope they paint a small picture of life in Cluan Place 15 years on.

The other side of the wall is Short Strand, equally smitten in 2002, – here’s some pictures of the wall from the Short Strand side, and a lovely new building, on the site where the old ‘Picturedrome’ cinema once stood.

If I had to choose my ‘image of the day’ – it would probably be this one, for after all, like life the summer barbecues go on!

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Kawasaki Motorcycle

Last week I noticed this lovely 80’s made Kawasaki parked at the unit next to our studio at Dundonald. The Nikon FG20 was sitting on the front seat of my car, – so as usual I reached for it and began snapping.

The camera was loaded with Ilford FP4 (ISO125) Black and White film. I developed it for 5.25 minutes in Ilfosol, to bring up the highlights, and increase the contrast. For an experiment, I pre-washed the film in water for 60 seconds, agitating throughout, then washed again for a similar time after the fix. Beautiful negatives, with acceptable grain.

PreWash Test_BikeIncidentally, I can’t begin to think what the bike rider thought when he came out of the shop next door, and found this old bloke with an ancient camera, down on his knees, taking a suspicious interest in his bike! Perhaps I’ll offer him a print!

Portballintrae

Last week we visited Portballintrae, a village right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and close to the world-famous Giant’s Causeway, and the eve more famous Bushmills Distillery.

Portballintrae is very much a ‘dormitory’ village, now built up with modern apartments used a holiday home by people from elsewhere, which gives the visitor the impression that it is a soulless, sad place.  There is a small harbour, and a boat-club with a small clubhouse, and a decent beach, topped by an archeological treasure, the Lissnahall Prehistoric Earthworks.  A short drive leads to Bushmills, and I was intrigued by the bunting in the town square.

For the visit I took my Nikon F100 and my vintage FG20, both loaded with bulk Ilford FP4, ISO 125.  The film was later developed in Ilfosol 3 and scanned, then adjusted in Lightroom.

Here’s some of the images:-

Here’s my ‘Image of the day’  Nikon FG20, Ilford FP4, f/11 @ 1/125th Sec on ISO125

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