Returning to Medium Format Photography

It’s been way to long since I last picked up my Yashica 635 and shot a roll of film. So long in fact the last time I shot medium format was with the Diana F+  back in February. But after flicking through one of my favourite photo books (Vivian Maier) I was inspired to go out and shoot a roll of 120mm.

Scan 2

My Yashica 635, a beautiful camera with a temperamental focus. 

For the last few years I have been focusing on street and travel photography so I thought I’d try my hand at some portraits.

I was shooting on Portra 160 film which is always my film of choice for portraits. And as the sun set we headed inside..

The film performed incredibly well considering I was shooting at ISO 160 in such limited light.  If you’ve never shot medium format photography- I highly recommend it! Although it comes at a higher cost than 35mm and on average you only get 12 shots, the detail you can capture with a good camera and the experience is well worth the extra pennies!

Shooting portraits on film

After visiting the brilliant BP Portrait Prize at the national portrait gallery (go see it- it’s free!) I was inspired to shoot more street portraits. Here are the images I have shot of my friends and the people of London.



Not a portrait but a coffee shop in an old underground toilet called the Attendant!


London World Championships Marathon



Me and my oldest school friend Juna (right)



At the V&A museum


As always you can find me on Instagram @madisonbeachphotos and over on my website.


Suburban Sunday Snaps

Last weekend I headed out with my trusty Pentax K1000 and some Portra film. I set out to capture what its like to spend a weekend filling your time when you live in the suburbs.

I’m now getting used to my fully-manual Pentax and adapting to low light conditions.  The camera is currently holding black and white ISO 400 film, I’m really looking forward to the results.

I’ve got an incredibly exciting (and scarily busy) few weeks coming up including moving to London, traveling to Iceland for the first time and a zine feature. I’ll keep you updated on all my photography and travel adventures.




Shooting South Coast Landscapes//35mm

Still getting used to my new Pentax K1000 I put it to the test shooting English landscapes using Portra 160 film.  These newly developed shots are from my new years day walk in Arundel and exploring the south coast beaches as the tide went out














Pentax Snapshots//Testing Depth of Field

Since featuring my new Pentax K1000 on my post Automatic Vs Manual  I have received lots of messages asking about the cameras performance. So I decided to shoot a roll of Portra film, testing out the 50mm f/2.8 fixed lens depth of field capabilties.








I am still adapting to the nature of a fully manual Pentax  but i’m having fun taking my time with it and testing its versatility. I’m enjoying the fixed lens and by having an aperture of f/2.8 it provides an effective depth of field.


Automatic Vs Manual//35mm Pentax

I’m often asked what film camera I would recommend someone starting out in film photography.  So i’ve created a quick comparison piece focusing on the common conundrum of ‘shall I get a manual or automatic’.  Here I am comparing two cameras I own and know well, a Pentax K1000 (manual) and a Pentax Espio 160 (automatic).  Both can be found relatively cheap and easily.                                                    

                                     Pentax K1000                                         Pentax Espio 160

Winding Film


Due to its automatic winding mechanism the Espio takes the control out of your hands and makes it very easy to load your film and I am yet to have any trouble with it. The K1000 on the other hand, often has trouble with exposing the first couple of frames correctly (above) but this doesn’t affect the rest of the role.

A negative of the automatic winding system is the inability to create multiple exposures hassle free. Unlike manual which makes it (almost) enjoyable to take the leap of faith:



img_20161223_0020The manual 2.8/50mm lens allows great versatility with the focus, if your just starting out it’s great fun to play with the focus and see what results you can get. Although sometimes it can be more miss than hit:img_20170107_0012

Espio 160img_20161215_0019With the viewfinder not showing what the lens is capturing its hard to know what the automatic focus is going to literally focus on. Capturing something  up close is often helped by the use of flash. If your taking photos purely for fun then it can be great fun testing out a cameras capabilities by taking a few varied shots of the same subject. img_20161215_0018

I always take my Espio with me when I’m out at night (Below). It comes into its own as  you will really struggle focusing manually when you cant see anything. Instead use automatic, turn on the flash and wait for your surroundings to light up.




Although taking away the ability to snap a decent shot everywhere you look without thinking, manual settings allow you to take your time and really enjoy the process. Due to the low light conditions of the above shot I selected the aperture and shutter speed needed to capture the effects of the candle without bleaching everything out using flash.

Lacking shutter speed and aperture settings the Espio does allow long exposures:


Overall they are both great, reliable cameras. If you don’t want to worry about settings or fiddling with the focus than the Espio or something similar is a great choice. It is very light and a solid choice for that camera that you leave in your bag. It works really well as a snapshot camera and comes into its own at night.

If your looking to get more involved with the film process and want to learn what affects what then I couldn’t recommend the Pentax K1000 enough.

I regularly upload my film snaps to my Instagram @madisonbeachphotos

Winter Wander//35mm

As an early christmas present (to myself) I got a new camera! A Pentax K1000, I opted to begin with a 50mm lens but  will be trying out all the alternatives in the new year. This is the first time I have owned a fully manual 35mm camera and it’s already my new favourite. To test out its capabilities I went on a mini-trip over the south downs to see how it would deal with fog and the minimal winter light..