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Photo-scanning old negatives

Photographing old negatives

I found these old negatives in a neat album, some of them labelled so I know what they are. They’re larger than 35mm, so my slide scanner can’t take them. I’m experimenting with photographing them, backlit by my light box, to see what I can find. My Canon G11, in macro mode, was used, then they had minimal editing in Photoshop. You can see the parallax, but, less obviously, there is also some reflection from the windows and me leaning over them.

I’ll try boxing the negatives off for future shots, to cut the errant light down, and maybe build a simple frame to keep the camera a set distance from, and parallel to, them.


Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year 2016

Against the trend of the month, yesterday morning was sunny, if windy. Which was good for the Chinese New Year parade. Here are a few pictures of dragons and other paraders.

After the parade, I needed a couple of coffees to warm up again. By the time I’d finished them, the weather had changed again, and there was hail coming down.


Just your average Saturday in the city

Another Saturday in the city
The National Front were in town on Saturday, all ten of them. I went along to get some pictures. Mostly, I needed shots of Police doing crowd control, as reference for a planned book cover, but getting some images of the white shame parade was also a plan.

I ended up wandering around for a while, before the yobs finally came out of the pub. I saw a, completely unrelated, gathering of- I think- Palestinians; a wedding party on a vintage bus; some graffiti; and (though I didn’t get any pictures) a junior athletics event.

Finally, the knuckle draggers made their way toward Piccadilly. Here, they met a much, much larger group of anti-fascists, and had their speeches drowned out by a sound system. After an hour or so of posturing, they were ushered onto a double decker (they didn’t fill it) and taken away.

These ‘White Pride’ marches seem to be happening more often, but the turnout is dropping incredibly each time. Those of us who go along to take photos or chant are really giving them more attention than they deserve. But, hey, I had an interesting afternoon out around town.


Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a rat rod style scooter bike 1

Ratty Scooter

Ratty Scooter

I spotted this across the road whilst wandering around town, and just had to have a picture. How cool is this rat rod style scooter?

When I stop living in the sky and find somewhere with a garage (which won’t be for a while), I’d love to have something like this for the occasional cool buzz around town. Of course, I’ve heard that older scooter engines can be very polluting for their size, so it would have to have a newer motor fitted instead or, for the ultimate mod (but not Mod), it could go electric.

Cool lowrider

I also spotted this cool chopper. The riding position looks close to that of a recumbent, so it mightn’t be as hard to pedal as you’d first think. Steering could be tricky, though.

That back tyre is actually three mountain bike tyres fitted to some sort of custom rim, which is an interesting way of doing things.


Taking to the streets

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

I’m not one of life’s chanters. I get all self conscious about it and it never feels comfortable*. Nonetheless, this feels like a year where I need to be in the demos, part of the numbers swelling the crowd, if not part of the noise it makes.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

So, yesterday, I was part of the anti austerity demo which assembled in Piccadilly Gardens. Police say there were 500 of us, the organisers claim 2000. I always presume the truth is halfway between the two claims.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

I was there with some of Salford Greens.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

There were speakers and singers, and, in smaller groups, we headed to the homeless camp on St Ann’s Square. This is one of the reasons it’s hard to get a solid turnout figure, because the demo was fluid, with break aways heading down Market Street or off to Albert Square, and returning, all the time.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

Just to make things more interesting, the Green mini-march bumped into a Hare Krishna procession at the bottom of Market Street.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

And, just as we were entering St Ann’s Square, these guys were coming out. I don’t know if they were associated with the demo in Piccadilly, or doing their own thing.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

This is, mostly, the Manchester Green Party contingent of the demo.

Anti Austerity demo Manchester, May 23rd 2015

Ding Dong. I promised this guy I’d crop his face out if I posted the picture online.

There are a few more photos in the album at Flickr.

*I have weird boundaries. I’ll happily cycle through the city centre without clothes on as part of the World Naked Bike Ride, but I have a hard time talking to new people- no matter the state of our attire- or shouting out rhyming couplets about what I’m doing.