January 2016 saw me back in my native New Zealand, for the first time in over eight years.
It’s amazing what a little bit of winter sunshine – in my case some five weeks of it – can do for the soul. And having come from slushy, overcast London, it meant not being confined to black-and-white film for the Christmas period, and hoping against hope that the odd weekend might see a few hours of colour-friendly sunshine.
I’d packed a half-dozen different cameras and 50-odd rolls of film, and it meant I really hit the ground running photography wise. The winter months usually mean dealing with scanning, uploading and blog duties – this time I was able to shoot to my heart’s content.
I burned through a few dozen rolls of film on walks around the Wellington bays, the beaches of Kapiti, the quiet Sunday streets of Dunedin.
Two of my favourite pictures of the year were shot back home – were of my niece and a family friend’s cat, in the evening backyard sunshine.
Another was this cross-processed silhouette taken at Wellington Railway Station, both of them snapped on an old Zenit TTL SLR.
In June, I spent 10 days travelling from Nice to Genoa, via Monaco and Rapallo. The French and Italian rivieras are not places I’ve ever visited before; they were really rewarding places to explore, especially San Remo, with a hilltop old town full of winding lanes and compact piazzas.
My visit to Jacque Cousteau’s fantastic aquarium in Monaco was marred by forgetting to put batteries in my Lomo LC-A 120; I won’t forget that again in a hurry. And only scratching the surface of Genoa means I want to return here in a hurry – what a city..
I don’t shoot weddings for a living – it’s a tough job, and I’ve massive respect for anyone who does this week in and week out. But I did take my Nikons and a Lubitel along to the wedding of my good friend Stuart (a fellow film shooter). It was also an opportunity to shoot in a brand new film released this year, aswell – Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 400, developed by Bellamy Hunter who runs the excellent blog Japan Camera Hunter.
JCH 400 is an excellent film, with impressive contrast. I look forward to shooting more of it when the next batch is produced in April. I’ll be writing more about the film in an upcoming post.
In September, I took a quick trip to Corfu and a country I’ve wanted to visit for years – Albania. The former Communist state was isolated from the rest of the world for decades; it is still very much getting to grips with the 20th Century, let alone the 21st. But it’s an incredible place to travel, blessed with stunning landscapes and wonderfully friendly people.
And as 2016 – year many were glad to see the back of – I found myself back on a plane, this time to explore Bangalore and Sr Lanka for three weeks.
2016 saw a few new additions to the blog – Zorkipedia, which I’ll keep adding to over the coming months, a compendium of articles on cameras, films and suchlike.
And while 2016 saw me only able to write in fits and starts, I’m hoping to add a lot more in 2017. And there’s some other grand plans that will hopefully start to unfold in due course.
Looking back through 2016’s pics, a lot of my highlights appear to have been shot on cross-processed slide – I seem to be erring on the Lomography-style shooting that got me hooked 15 years ago. I’m glad to say the film freezer still has a couple of hundred of rolls of old Agfa and Kodak slide for cross-processing – and Kodak will be bringing back its wonderful Ektachrome 100 film again later this year.
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a camera on Zorki Photo, but I’ve been regularly shooting on a good half models in order to write up reviews. Expect to see reviews of the Olympus Trip 35, Nikon F100 and Lubitel 166U soon.
Check out more of my highlights in my Flickr set, and check out the pics below…