120 Film is 120 Years Old!

Popularised by George Eastman, flexible film revolutionised and democratised photography in 1888 from the the cumbersome and technically complex plate processes. In 1900 the first version of the Brownie camera sold 100,000 and this portable and economical camera and spool film meant photography was available to the masses. The snapshot age was here.

120 Film today!

Designed by Frank Brownell, he named the camera after the household spirit in Scottish folklore – brownies or broonies (Scots) – these mischievous spirits are said to come out at night while the owners of the house are asleep and perform various chores. Making images was no longer the photographers chore.

This patent for the Brownie camera shows how the new spool film would be used.

In October 1901 the Brownie No.2 camera was released using a new size of film – 120. (The first version of the Brownie had used a similar but different spool – 117.)

Box Cameras from the 1920s and 30s – Rex Portrait, Kodak Brownie No.2, Ensign 2 1/4B

Still widely used today 120 is the only medium format film to survive in the digital age – hopefully it will still be here in another 120 years time!

Share your favourite 120 photo with us in the comments.

September 2021 and October Meetings

What we’ve been chatting about this month:

August Sander Mini Conferance

Pinstacamera

NGS The Worlds Edge – on until January 2022

Old Photographic Lenses

Gardener or Brady?

Celebrating 5 years of LoFi participating in Worldwide Cyanotype day! See the instagram gallery for images made by the group.

Brittonie Fletcher and S2 JGHS students Scotland Pandemic Wall Cyanotype
Brittonie Fletcher and S2 JGHS students Scotland Pandemic Wall – Cyanotype on recycled Amazon packaging

Cyanotype Toning book – Out on the 30th including work by Brittonie Fletcher .

solarised bridges
Solarised Forth Bridges – Silver Gelatin Print

Summer Sunday at South Queensferry – beautiful weather for our last summer photowalk of the year. Vintage cameras and ice cream!

Our upcoming October meetings :

  • 1st – 120 film is 120 years old – online.
  • 11th – Winter Exhibition – submission delivery deadline.
  • 12th – 2nd Tuesday – online from 6:30pm (BST)
  • 27th – Last Wednesday – Printmakers Cafe from 10:30am(BST)

June 2021 and July Meetings

This month we have been discussing :

Book – The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn

Favorite films featuring photography/photographers (leave yours in the comments?) and on the BBC Development of photography by Daguerre and Fox Talbot.

Exhibition – SSA Instant including work from LoFi members – Olive Dean, Judith Rowan, and Nettie Edwards.

Exhibition – Valerié Belin at the V&A (website -> Valerié Belin)

Exhibition – The Botanical Photography of Levon Biss ( website -> Levon Biss)

Exhibition – The Glasgow Girls and Boys at the Kirkcudbright Galleries

Custom cases and boxes for equipment and props.

Resources for alternative processes on Mike Ware’s Website.

And of course meeting people and seeing people’s actual physical photographic prints at the Botanics made for a great end to the month!

Our July meetings are as follows:

  • 11th – Collodion Club
  • 13th – 2nd Tuesday of the Month – Evening Meet from 6:30pm (BST)- Virtual, please email or DM for details.
  • 25th – Last Sunday of the Month – Summer Photowalk from 11am (Meet at Cramond Brig) – Cammo Estate and Almond River. Please email to indicate if you would like a lunch reservation or for car pool (regulations on date permitting). LRT bus 43 stops nearby.
  • 28th – Last Wednesday of the Month – Coffee Morning from 10:30am – Outside Cafe at Saughton Gardens. LRT buses – 1, 2, 22, 30, 38 – stop nearby. Bring along an exposed film – lets swap!

Hope to see you in July.

Summer Meetings

As the restrictions are loosened and the weather has improved we have some in person meetings planned.

IRIS GERMANICA cyanolumen by Olive Dean
IRIS GERMANICA cyanolumen by Olive Dean

Last Wednesdays of the Month

The next 4 Last Wednesday morning meeting will now take place outside –

  • June 30th

Botanics. We will meet at the coffee cart by Inverleith House (Terrace Cafe) from 10:30am. To visit the gardens you need to book a free time slot ticket for the day/time via Eventbrite -> HERE

  • July 28th

Saughton Park. We will meet by the cafe from 10:30am

  • August 25th

Saughton Park. We will meet by the cafe from 10:30am

  • September 29th

Botanics. We will meet at the coffee cart by Inverleith House (Terrace Cafe) from 10:30am. To visit the gardens you need to book a free time slot ticket for the day/time via Eventbrite -> HERE

For October and November we will meet at the Cafe at the Printmakers (Fountainbridge/Lemington) from 10:30am – they have both indoor and outdoor space.

Summer Sunday Photowalks

Photowalks are planned for the following dates, meeting at 11:00am (last Sunday of each month.)

  • July 25th – Cammo Estate and Crammond Brig
  • August 29th – Loch Leven
  • September 26th – South Queensferry

In the unlikely event our numbers are greater than government guidelines we will split into 2 or more separate groups. Social distancing should be maintained at all times. Please bring masks, hand sanitiser and follow any other rules in force at the date of the meeting.

If you are running late please text or DM for the groups location. Limited carpooling in accordance with guidelines is available – email if you need a lift.

The 2nd Tuesday monthly evening meetings will remain ONLINE.

May 2021

This month we have been discussing:

The elegance of cabinet cards.

High ISO, high silver content? Delta 3200

The joy of escaping Edinburgh! aka the beauty of Scotland and some outdoor inspiration. Plus some helpful camping tips 😉

Getting a Gum Dichromate printing process set up.

Blackest black, whitest white – new pigment developments and some confusion over NFTs and what they are doing to fine art economics. Plus Restoring Faith in Photojournalism?

New content in the members area (feel free to email any other additions for site or blog) and discussion of adding a shop to the website and what the mechanics of that should be.

June’s meetings will be online from 6:30pm (BST) Tuesday the 8th and in person outdoors at the Botanical Gardens Edinburgh (restrictions permitting) on Wednesday the 30th from 10:30am (BST). Send us an email or DM on Social Media to get added to our virtual calls, more information on summer in person meetings and photowalks will be finalised soon.

Van Dyke Brown poppy photogram by E Robson
Poppy by E Robson

April 2021

This month we have been discussing :

Pinhole Snowdrops by Ali Millar

Pinhole Day 2021 (Snowdrops by Ali Millar)

UV lamps for Cyanotypes and other alternative processes.

Possible dates for the next Collodion Club at Darkbox Images when restrictions permit.

Tilt Shift attachments for 35mm (just in case your View Camera isn’t handy!) and other lens adaptors.

Adapting modern film to 127 cameras.

Historical processes – Lithophane and Woodbury type – and modern practitioners.

Radioactive lenses.

How to get the most out of Hahnemuehle Platinum Rag.

Lunchtime talk Tokens of Affection online via the John Rylands Research Institute and Library.

And HOW MUCH?!?

Our next online meetings are Tuesday May 11th from 6:30pm and Wedneday May 26th from 10:30am. Send us an email or DM on Social Media to get added to our virtual world.

Pinhole Challenge 2021

Thanks to everyone who entered! The judges have picked the winner…

Congratulations to Graeme Lyall who will have a photo materials voucher winging it’s way to him very soon.

“Third Time Lucky”, Circular paper in DIY cylindrical biscuit box camera, D23 developer, by Graeme Lyall

“The street scene most captures the pinhole aesthetic and Scottish lockdown atmosphere.”

The Pentland Judging Committee

Honourable mention to Elaine Robson.

“Flower Fragments”, 35mm DIY pin sieve by Elaine Robson

” An insect eye view of spring.”

The Pentland Judging Committee

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2021

Our second pinhole day with Covid restrictions!

Members Competition 2021.
Entries by midnight 24th April. Anonymous independent judging, prize £50 photo materials voucher. Any pinhole process (sieve, zone plate, solargraph, camera obscura photo etc.) made between January 2021 and 24th April. Submit one entry per person by email. (Digital file 1800px max side preferred ). Winner announced on pinhole day. In the event that any of the organisers photos are selected – the prize will go to runner up.

On Sunday the 25th we will celebrate the simplicity of camera vision with a hybrid day of virtual chats and a socially distant photowalks. Join in online, outdoors or go your own way!

10am Coffee Chat – online.

11am Socially Safe Sakura Search – outdoor photowalk in the Meadows, Bruntsfield.

6pm Wrap Up – online. Competition winners will be announced.

Submit any pinhole photos taken on the 25th to the Edinburgh Lofi gallery group by June 30th 2021.

March 2021

This month we have been discussing :

The Hexham Photography Group have Doug Chinnery giving an online talk this month.

Stereo camera conversations continue – the Sputnik and two hacked Lubitels on trial. Reminiscing over old Stereo Realist cameras and Viewmaster reels.

Sputnik Stereo Camera

110 cameras with some lovely examples on Chris Osborne’s site https://cjo.info/classic-cameras/pentax-auto-110/

Some surreal moments on flash bulbs!

1890’s spy camera and early street photography article.

Cyanotyping on maps and speed formulas for in camera cyanotype processes.

How minature can collodion plates go?

Chromatography.

chemical hand photogram - Ali Miller
LoFi Members Resource Directory now set up

Our next online meetings are April 13th from 6:30pm, April 25th for pinhole day activities (10am virtual coffee, 11am socially distanced sakura photowalk and 6pm virtual wrap up and competition results) and April 28th from 10:30am. Send us an email or DM on Social Media to get added to our virtual world.

The Edinburgh Fuji Photo Trails

History

In the 1990s, Fuji and the Edinburgh tourist board set up phototrails of all the picturesque shots in Edinburgh. They produced a leaflet in 1993 guiding tourists round the most photogenic points in the city.

Nowadays, the trail is forgotten, but still exists as brass plaques embedded in the pavement.

In March 2010 a visit to Central Library led us to find the leaflet and to the creation of an online map to show the routes. This allowed us to make them available to all. Two days of photowalks were organised later that year. The Blue Trail walk round the old town in May was on a beautiful bright day but the Red Trail in July has to have been the most rainy photowalk of that year. (Remember Flickr…)

Fuji Photo Trail Back Page
Back page of the leaflet with some helpful film hints for your city visit!

Here are the routes revived for a lockdown walking project.


Map

Click a map point for more information.

These trails are from the 1993 booklet “The Fuji Phototrail of Edinburgh”:

The New Town Trail (Red)

  1. The North Bridge from outside the Edinburgh and Scotland Information Centre
  2. The view from Calton Hill
  3. George Street, Frederick Street intersection looking North.
  4. The East End of Princes Street and the New Town from the Mound steps.
  5. Edinburgh Castle from St Cuthberts Churchyard.
  6. Charlotte Square.
  7. Moray Place.
  8. Dean Village and the Water of Leith.
  9. Dean Village from the waterside.
  10. St Mary’s Cathedral from Grosvenor Crescent
Black and white contact sheet
From walking the Red Trail July 2010

The Old Town Trail (Blue)

  1. The view of the Castle from outside the Edinburgh and Scotland Information Centre.
  2. Views from the North Bridge.
  3. Lady Stair’s Close.
  4. Ramsey Garden from Ramsey Lane.
  5. Views from the Castle Esplanade.
  6. Edinburgh Castle from the Grassmarket.
  7. Victoria Street.
  8. View looking down the Royal Mile from St Giles.
  9. Advocates Close.
  10. White Horse Close.
  11. The Palace of Holyroodhouse with Arthur’s Seat
robot 3 camera photo of advocates close
From the Blue Trail in May 2010 – Advocates Close taken with a Lomography Robot 3 Camera

Out of Town (Green)

  • South Queensferry
  • Swanston Village
  • Blackford Hill
  • Cramond Village