Pinhole image of a bridge in Bath – Somerset: I think.

A bridge in Bath – Somerset, I think.
Image scanned then adjusted for noise & contrast in P.S/CS6.

The problem with going through old files and negatives is finding forgotten and unidentifiable images. That is exactly what this is, all the negative page said was ‘Pinhole experiments’ with 35mm camera and body cap, it had several badly exposed and/or very blurred images but this one was the best.

I remember reading about the possibility of using a body cap drilled for a pinhole lens, but cannot find the modified cap since moving.

I do remember using the Nikon F4/Nikon F2Sb after making the lens from a drilled body cap which I then fitted with a disc made from very thin aluminium with a precisely centred hole. The ‘f’ stop was around f:200, calculated by using the following.

f-stop = focal length / aperture diameter

Figures estimated by using a ruler and dividers, was about 0.25 mm and the distance of the pinhole to film plane about 50 mm.

f-stop = 50 mm / 0.25 mm = 200.

For those who wondered what the symbol of a circle bisected by a line was on their SLR, it denotes the point of focus for images at infinity; the film plane.

The disc was sanded, cleaned in Isopropyl alcohol then glued onto the lens cap and all painted with matt black paint.

Why I have never carried on with these experiments I have no idea and the memory jog only came after looking at pinhole images posted on Kevin Allan’s excellent blog  filmphotography.blog/2019/09/25/ondu-pinholes-hexham-abbey/  Well worth visiting for his images and articles about cameras, materials & techniques.

Llanthony Priory in the Vale of Ewyas – Wales.

Llanthony Priory in the Vale of Ewyas, within the Black Mountains area of the Brecon Beacons National Park south east Wales.

An Augustinian Priory until the dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII.

As can be seen from the J.M.W Turner picture below, between 1794 & 2019 the site has reduced in size considerably.

(From Tate Images & Google)
The artist J.M.W Turner’s 1794 painting of Llanthony Priory

In the early 1100s a Norman nobleman, Walter de Lacy, took shelter from a rainstorm in a ruined chapel. Inspired by its remoteness and serenity, he decided to build a church. Others were soon drawn there, finding it a place for solitary prayer, and by 1118 a group of monks from England converted it to Llanthony Priory.

Llanthony’s isolation placed the Priory in a vulnerable position, not helped by the local inhabitants resenting the English monks occupying Welsh land. They repeatedly attacked the building; it was also targeted by thieves, so by 1135 the monks were forced to retreat over the border to Gloucester where they founded Llanthony Secunda. Between 1186 and 1217, again probably around 1325 building work took place allowing the Priory to become fully functional again and on Palm Sunday, April 4, 1327, Edward II visited. Its regained status was not to last, in the early 15th century it was attacked yet again, this time by the Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr as part of his campaign to recapture Welsh land from the English. This started a period of decline and the Priory finally closed in 1538 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII.

St Michaels Church Clapton in Gordano Somerset.

The above image shows an example of Witch markings or hexfoils found on the entrance to St Michaels Church Clapton in Gordano Somerset.

People would scratch specific symbols as an act of devotion or to evoke good luck – these symbols would often take the form of a daisy wheel, or hexfoil, a pattern with endless lines. hopefully to confuse and entrap evil spirits.

Similar patterns can be found on doors in a lot of the abandoned villages I visited in Oman and used for exactly the same reason: they would invoke good luck and well-being for the family or ward off evil or malevolent spirits (Jinn).

Those found in Britain come from a time when a belief in witches and superstition was part of everyday life. People constantly sought protection from evil spirits that might entrap them or cause harm to family or livestock.
They are found in churches, Chapels, cottages along with agricultural buildings and were used from medieval times right upto the 18th century. The oldest so far found in UK (as far as I know) are mid 13th century examples on door frames at Donington le Heath Manor House in Leicestershire.

The Church of St Michael Clapton in Gordano, Somerset, England, dates from the 13th century, although the 12th-century tympanum (semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, door or window)  is the oldest visible part of the church, the majority of the building is from the 13th century.

Unfortunately I was unable to visit the inside, I needed to request a key from the custodians as it is no longer a fully active church; a return visit is a must.

The Grwyne Fawr river – Wales.

The Grwyne Fawr: a river in the Brecon Beacons National Park South Wales.

A very enjoyable day trip on a nice sunny day (rare this last few months) while visiting my Daughter in Somerset.
We visited deepest darkest Wales and decided some exploring near Abergavenny was in order. There was an ulterior motive; a search for a house I lived in for a short time when knee high to a Grasshopper.
I had a memory of a river, Dam and heading away from Abergavenny, but no names other than it was near a place called Forest Coal Pit. The river was in a valley on the right hand side going towards the dam. Out came the O.S map of the area and after following a few very ! narrow roads, found it and now know the name of the river again – Grwyne Fawr.

Whitby – Mid 1970’s No8.

Zenit B with Helios 44 58mm f/2, M42 screw mount lens: Ilford FP4.

All the images so far, came from negatives that I have not looked at for over 40 years. Made with a non-metered Russian made Zenit B using the ‘sunny 16 rule, on Ilford’s FP4 which they introduced in 1968 as a replacement for their FP3; produced from 1942 – 1968. As I did not process my own films in those days, they were taken to local camera shops for development & printing on postcard size paper.

As a matter of interest: The statue of Captain James Cook (1728-1779)  can just be seen on the upper right of the first image, his ships ‘Resolution’ and ‘Endeavour’ were built in Whitby.

The Huqf – Oman.

Here in UK over the last couple of days it has been quite warm. It is probably what was called summer when I last lived here, but you wouldn’t think so listening to the dire prognostications coming from the various news outlets.

This is what hot looks like:

The Huqf – Oman. from my files.

See this link from the Geological Society of Oman:  The Huqf.

The Huqf Uplift

Contribution by Alan Heward for the Geological Society of Oman: 

The Huqf area is a special one for geologists because there are rocks to look at from almost all of Oman’s geological history. This is possible because of the Huqf’s location near the eastern edge of the Arabian Plate which has kept it up-lifted through long periods of geological time.
 
The oldest rocks in the area are dated using mineral isotopes at about 730 million years. These are basement rocks, a type of granite, which formed deep within the earth’s crust from molten rock. Granite is a type of igneous rock. As the years went by, the basement rocks became covered in layers and layers of rocks, each layer being younger than the one before. These rocks that are made up of lots of fragments of weathered rock or shell fragments, are sedimentary rocks. Often they have fossils or features which give clues about how they formed.
 
The Huqf area has not always been a desert. At one time, about 300 million years ago, the rocks show evidence that ice sheets covered the area. At other times, it was under a shallow tropical sea. The layers left behind by these seas often contain fossils, but the fossils vary a great deal over time. The oldest fossils are mound structures made by mats of algae, which are called stromatolites. Younger fossils include wonderful tropical shells, such as the rudists bivalve. At yet another time, the area was fairly arid, but with big rivers flowing through. Fossil soils and trees occur in these layers. Each type of climate left behind its own particular pattern of layers of rocks which geologists interpret by looking at what goes on today in places with a similar environment.
 
In the 1950s, geologists began to study and map the region. They used their understanding of the fossils and rock layers present in the Huqf to help them drill for oil at Fahud, Ghaba and Haima. They found that the rock layers which produce oil from deep below the ground, are the same as those that can be seen at the surface in the Huqf area. So when oil company geologists want to understand the characteristics of the layers of rocks that make up an oil or gas reservoir, they often visit the rocks in the Huqf. Other geologists and students from Sultan Qaboos University and other universities around the world also visit this area with its fascinating geology.

“Tommy” by Rudyard Kipling.

“Tommy” 1890 poem by Rudyard Kipling.

I went into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ” We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, go away ” ;
But it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, wait outside “;
But it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap.
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul? “
But it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes ” when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes, ” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be’ind,”
But it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! “
But it’s ” Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!