View from the Carrot Room

Images, reviews and general ramblings about film and digital photography

World on Film post – Joshua Tree

Firstly apologies for not posting for a few weeks, I had to fly urgently to the UK as my daughter had a medical emergency and so blogging was low on my priorities.

Just getting back into things again and thought I would post a link to an article that Stephen Dowling has just published for me on his World on Film site about shooting in and around Joshua Tree and Palm Springs with my Voigtlander bessamatic;  HERE.

I wrote this last year after a visit to Joshua Tree which I also wrote  about separately here and here using digital shots I had taken.  Stephen’s site focuses on places shot using film cameras so the shots taken with my Bessamatic were exclusive for him and my article.



Haven’t been able to post much in the last week due to an emergency;  thought I would just post this image which I took in Germany with the Vitomatic

53120021 (Large)

February is Green

This is the second installment of my series featuring different colours for each month; see first edition here.

Surprisingly (to me) I struggled with green this month as I tried to avoid just taking picture of plants and I couldn’t find much of interest otherwise.

Here is my selection of green things;

Yey! A green plant
Okay so I was getting desperate, also the potential advertising revenue would be good
I have no idea what this is other than a peach vodka bottle mounted on a swivel with a piece of terracotta tile/gutter
at last a nice scene with green things
Double green
Green showing in an otherwise beige space
Ornamental cabbage
I was on the fence about this one…. no?  forget it!


Do you have any green images to share this month; comment below?

next month, March is Aqua

The Grimm walk

Grimm here is as in Grimm’s fairy tales.  The Grimm brother studied in the same city in Germany that my daughter is in Marburg and to celebrate this fact (about the brothers Grimm not my daughter) the city has a self guided walk around the city where you can ‘collect’ themes from their many collected stories.  Each site has some kind of recreation of some theme from one of the stories.
I had along with me my Voigtländer Vitomatic II and it was loaded with Ilford Delta 3200 which I have had kicking around for a long long time.  I had decided this cold dull winter’s day was as good a time to use it as any; a dull grey day it was indeed and the light (or lack of) was a struggle for my little camera.

Continue reading “The Grimm walk”

Koblenz, Germany

We recently visited Germany and spent a Day in Koblenz which is just South West of Frankfurt. It was freezing cold and a little damp being the beginning of February but there was enough to interest us for some exploring.

Looking down on the Rhiene

We started with the fort (Ehrenbreitstein Fortress) which overlooks the city from the top of the hill, just across the river. There is a handy cable-car that takes you straight there avoiding the steep climb (and a cold swim across the Rheine).

Cable-car spanning the river

Continue reading “Koblenz, Germany”

I just can’t help myself

I think I am beyond help.

Just as I am saying I have enough cameras and I need to prune the collection; suddenly I am buying another camera and not even a Voigtländer.

Why do we do it? (Using “we” here in the hope that you there reading this are of the same disposition, please don’t enlighten me if you are not and leave me to my blissful ignorance and happiness that I am not alone in this crazy pursuit.)


I just can’t help myself, I can’t resist an interesting camera at a reasonable price. And I just can’t help looking either. Sometimes I try to kid myself that I’m only looking for specific cameras and that I am sticking to the one brand or a defined thing that I need yet I suddenly get and urge and ‘DING’ PayPal takes a hit. Continue reading “I just can’t help myself”

Agfa Ambi Silette rescue

This is not a review; it’s a call for some help from anyone in southern UK.

I was visiting the UK last week and stayed with my best friend.  One afternoon he pulled out his grandfathers old camera which he had stashed in a box in his garage and asked me what I thought of it.

Out came an Agfa Ambi Silette in mint condition (aesthetically) in it’s case with a filter container and light meter attached.  Also there was the 90mm lens in it’s moisture maintained plastic bubble case; a really nice set.

The Ambi Silette is an interchangeable lens rangefinder and has features that rival a Leica but at a much lower budget level; to many it is known as the poor mans Leica.

This was the first one I had seen for myself in the flesh and it’s a really nice camera.

Anyway, as I said, it was aesthetically excellent but on testing the shutter didn’t want to work.  Using B I did manage to get it to open a few times but never on any of the other speeds and not reliably.

Hence my post as it would be really nice to get this working again.

Does anyone know of a camera repair man in the Oxfordshire Berkshire area?  My friend is not a camera enthusiast as such but I think he would enjoy having his grandfathers camera operation once more




What is it about Leicas?

I am both drawn and repulsed by the whole Leica thing. For the most part I dismiss them as overpriced tools that people get just because they are Leicas and then I see one and I think ooooooo… shiny… and have to stop myself.
I am not in that price range for any of my cameras (apart from the Olympus Pen-F perhaps) and so thinking about them is pointless anyway.

I can’t believe though that it is all hype, there must be something special about them. I know they are well built and reliable and quiet; is that what it’s about though or is there something else?

Continue reading “What is it about Leicas?”

Cameras: Agfa Isolette

I’ve been meaning to do this one for a long time. I’ve had this Agfa Isolette for ages and ages: so long in fact I can’t even remember whether I’ve ever shot film through it before. I bought it in younger days because it was cool looking.


I have come to understand over the years that these are fairly well regarded cameras and can fetch reasonable prices (depending on condition,lens etc).  Continue reading “Cameras: Agfa Isolette”

Decisions decisions….

I am about to leave on a trip to Europe including a week in Germany and another home with friends and family in the UK.

Of course I want to take photos whilst I am there and of course I want to take a film camera; but which one (or two, or three)?

I was thinking about this yesterday and here is my kit list;

  • My Olympus Pen-F digital  and two lenses
  • Voigtläner Vitomatic II
  • A medium format; either Mamiya C330 or Voigtländer Bessa RF
  • plus the little pocket Sony DSC-QX10

Really?  Four cameras?  Do I really need to take them all?  I can justify each and every one of them to myself and feel I really do. But then I think maybe I am deluding myself. Continue reading “Decisions decisions….”

12 colours of 2018 – Orange January

I uploaded some pictures to a competition a little while ago.  I didn’t win anything but it got me thinking.  The competition called for Yellow pictures; pictures that featured the colour Yellow.

So I thought it might be fun throughout 2018 to pick a colour for each month and throughout the month look out for that colour and try to shoot as many things as I can.  Then showcase what I have got at the end of each month.

Here we go then with January and deciding to go with the colour of carrots
(at least post Victorian carrots anyway)

I liked the way the shadows dropped across this orange wall
More shadows; this time palm leaves

Continue reading “12 colours of 2018 – Orange January”

Tujunga Wash – blackened from the fires

The Tajunga Wash is an area close to where I live.  It’s combined with Oro Vista Park and Ebey Canyon with housing bordering.

I shared a picture of this area recently here.

I took a longer walk around this area last week and explored a little too.  Of course I had a camera with me; this time my Olympus Pen-F Digital.  We’ve been living here for six months and this was the first time I had really explored the wash and the park other than a couple of shorter dog walks.

Continue reading “Tujunga Wash – blackened from the fires”

January photo walk in DTLA with Fomapan

The other Saturday I completed my chores in good time and as ‘S’ was away for a few days I decided I had earned a few hours to take myself to Downtown LA for a photo walk.

I do like shooting DTLA as there is plenty of interesting buildings and people about to keep me occupied.  Typically I would always take my Pen-F digital as well as a film camera (just in case) but for this day I decided to go 100% film.  I did still take two cameras the Voigtländer Vitomatic II and the Bessa RF, the latter as it only had a couple of frames remaining which I wanted to finish off.

The Vitomatic was loaded with Fomapan Classic 100; I have a few rolls of this and trying to see if I like it.

It was a lovely sunny say and I centered myself in the area around the Bradbury building; famous for many films including Bladerunner.

Interior of the Bradbury building

Continue reading “January photo walk in DTLA with Fomapan”

Photo on Friday

I just got a couple of films developed and thought I would share this one with you88800004 (Large)

I took this with my Voigtländer Bessa folding rangefinder on Kodak TMax.

This is the Tajunga Wash or rather the upper end of it just as it leaves the Angeles National Forest.  You might notice that on the hillside to the right is a darker patch; this was where the recent “Creek Fire” came through and was pretty much its far South-Eastern extremity – this is where it stopped about half a mile from my home.  The wash is a major feed into the Los Angeles river.

I am still impressed with the images this camera puts out, I have to get into a habit that I know when I have wound on/shot a frame if I am putting down for any length of time.

I need to use it some more and get a feel for where is excels and what film brings out it’s best.

Thoughts following recent visit to photo exhibition: Cuba Is

I had been meaning to visit a photo exhibition in LA which has been open for a few months at the Annenberg Space for Photography.  The exhibition showcases work done by photographers in Cuba.
At the beginning of this month I finally made it down there and I wasn’t disappointed.   It’s a very interesting exhibition and if you go, I recommend you take the time to catch the documentary which introduces the photographers and what they work on.  The space itself is not huge, just large enough for events such as this and it’s free too.
I use exhibitions like this and also books to take inspiration and help me think about my own photography; and hopefully grow.  This one struck a cord with me probably because of where I am now in my journey.

Continue reading “Thoughts following recent visit to photo exhibition: Cuba Is”

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