Leica M6 "Panda" and Kodak Tri-x

5 Frames of fog falling over Cramond Causeway, Scotland with a Leica M6 on Tri-x 400 – by Neil Milton

I’m new here, so a short history. My life in photography began in Glasgow in sepia-toned far-off memories that shape the year 2006. Zinedine Zidane had just head-butted France to a World Cup defeat, Mogwai had given the world the ferocious Glasgow Mega-Snake on their Mr Beast album, and I stepped away from my record label, Too Many Fireworks, and the Scottish indie music scene to try something different.

4 years of concert, news, film stills, and street photography passed in the trip of a shutter. Street photography became my photography, at the time shot on a digital Leica M8 rangefinder. Nevertheless emigrating to Warsaw, Poland in January 2010 inadvertently led me back to music and a decade disappeared in a haze of bands, gigs, recording, radio, TV, and vinyl.

To cut a long story mercifully short, I recently again opted to leave music behind. My enthusiasm had been waning and the Covid-19 pandemic put what was left of it to bed. It was time to come home to street photography, and a crucial choice was made. Act II would be shot on film. The camera? A Leica M6. Now the backup to my beloved 1957 M3, my black-dotted Leica M6 “panda”, and a truck-load of Tri-x, was my constant companion through my 2021 return to Street Photography, as recorded in this February’s exhibition, Le Retour.

Boys exploring off the Cramond Causeway, Scotland. August 2021

I travelled home to Scotland in August of 2021. One particularly unsuccessful afternoon at the Edinburgh Festival, a whimsical thought lit up my mind’s dull, wearisome recesses. A trip down memory lane – or more specifically Cramond beach. This promenade in North-west Edinburgh where the river Almond runs into the Firth of Forth, was an oft-visited day-trip destination when I was a wee boy.

A dog off the Cramond Causeway, Scotland. August 2021

I arrived mid-afternoon and wandered the length of the promenade. All seemed mundane, or at the very least, too far away down the sand for the frame to feel engaging. As I ambled back towards the causeway that stretches out to Cramond Island, a refreshing mist had become an apparition of fog enveloping everything around.

With the tide now creeping in, and the haar all around, it was apparent I would not be crossing over to the island. Still, as I arrived by the shore, I found a man fishing off the causeway as his boys explored by the waterside (above). Against expectation, and though somewhat more tranquil than much of my work, this trip would bear fruit after all.

Fishing off the Cramond Causeway, Scotland. August 2021
A bird flies over the Cramond Causeway, Scotland. August 2021

These frames are from a single roll of Tri-x 400 shot at box-speed and developed at home in Kodak D-76 1:1. Scanned with Plustek OpticFilm 8200i.

Walking away from the Cramond Causeway, Scotland. August 2021

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy the photos.
You can find me on my website, or on Twitter.

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