For the last 25 years I have kept an office in St Ives – not the one by the sea where aggressive gulls rip ice creams indiscriminately from the hands of hyperactive children and defenseless pensioners – but the quiet market town a few miles to the north west of Cambridge.
The lock down has meant that I have not been visiting as often as usual and I’ve really missed the place. I hadn’t realised quite how much the Victorian riverside port with its gentle rhythm of bustling market days and sleepy early closing has worked its way into my affection.
So the day after the summer solstice I found myself getting up at 6.00 in the morning and wandering around with only a few bleary-eyed fishermen at the end of their night, and a similar complement of sprightly dog walkers beginning their day, for company.
I wanted to try to capture the timelessness of some of my favourite haunts in the extraordinary light of one of the earliest of early mornings.
I took with me my Zeiss Ikon Nettar, my Weston Master III light meter and two rolls of Ilford FP4.
There is something about this combination that invites you to take your time and savour each shot. The camera is so simple and well-built that it’s a real pleasure to hold in your hands. I love the feel of the bellows opening out and the pre-shot cocking of the shutter. These pictures were all shot at 1/75 second at between f16 and f22.
I was especially chuffed with the accidental double exposure which combines two images of the high street!
I’m now working on a larger set of photos with notes on the history of the locations which I hope to publish as a book to give to colleagues and friends.
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