Take a Walk on the South Side

3674_03 - South Bank
When I went to London last month, I wasn’t sure if I would take a film camera with me.  After all, the trip was more about museums and theater than photography, so I figured, “Why bother?”
Well, I did bother.  Two years ago, on a similar trip, I brought my Holga with and made some photos with it.  I think I brought it with me last year, too, but I made no photos with it.  Perhaps it was because of the illness that I came down with while staying in London last year, but at the last minute I decided to take the Holga with me, after all, to try to get some film photos this time.
I didn’t expect to do a lot of photographing, so I only brought half a dozen rolls of 120 film with me.  Given that, I set aside one day for making photos.  On the chosen day, I first took the underground south to Waterloo Station and walked over to the National Theatre, where I bought some tickets to see Terrence Rattigan’s play “The Deep Blue Sea,” starring the actress Helen McCrory (who was in the Doctor Who story “Vampires of Venice”) along with a friend who was arriving from Holland.

3674_01 - South Bank

From there I began my photographic journey, and as the National Theatre is on the south bank of the River Thames, I decided to walk east along the south bank.  Eventually I crossed a bridge over to the other side and made my way back west, but these photos – from the first half of the first roll – were made on the south side of the river.
As I’ve written before, I like the Holga (a cheap plastic film camera, for those who are unfamiliar with it) because it’s small and lightweight and affords the photographer a great deal of freedom.  Sure, none of the photos made with it will resemble anything that Ansel Adams made, but with its plastic lens and soft focus, it sure can resemble some of your favorite 19th century photographs.

3674_04 - South Bank

So, I just walked along, not feeling that I had to try to create a great piece of “art,” instead just looking through the viewfinder and pressing the button whenever I came across something that I thought was visually interesting.
It’s not possible to focus through the viewfinder with a Holga, but one can turn a ring on the front of the camera which supposedly focuses based on distance, with a single person icon on the ring meaning a close object and some mountains meaning far away, and a few other icons in between.  I routinely forgot to turn this dial, and quite honestly I don’t know how much of a difference it would have made had I remembered.
Being that the camera is a rangefinder, though, it is a good thing that I remembered to take the lens cap off.

3674_05 - South Bank


Finally, on a different note, I see that this is the 500th blog post that I have made from home – or at least, I think it is.  It’s not my 500th blog post, as I have made some from the road while I’ve been traveling, and to be honest, I’m not sure if the numbers have been entirely accurate as I’ve numbered my saved posting files over the year. Still, this one is listed as number 500 in my list of files, so I guess it is a milestone of sorts (whatever the actual number may be).

3674_06 - South Bank

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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