Yashicamat and HP5 on the Isle of Mull

A few weeks ago (October 2021) I had a week’s holiday on the Isle of Mull, which is one of Scotlands’ Inner Hebrides islands. Photography would be a major part of the holiday, but I wanted to do some walking and cycling, so rather than packing several different cameras and several different film types, and several tripods, I just packed:

  • A Yashicamat 124G twin-lens reflex
  • Some Ilford HP5+ film
  • My smallest tripod

My thought process was:

  • to minimise weight
  • avoid the distractions of lens selection (the Yashicamat has a fixed 80mm lens, which has a “standard” field of view)
  • use a film that was fast enough to allow handheld use, unless I was deep in the woods
  • get more practice composing square images

In this post I’m sharing a few images of the waterfalls in Aros Park which lies just outside Tobermory, the only town on the island. The existence of the waterfalls are mentioned in passing in tourism guides, but they seem to be infrequently photographed because, for example, a search on Flickr produces only a few results. If they were in England this would be a real “honeypot location”.

My explanation above has simplified the true situation a little. I took 8 rolls of 120-format HP5+ with me and used 7 of them. I also threw in whatever other rolls of 120 film I had, in case I ran out; so there were a few rolls of FP4+ and one roll of Pan F, none of which I used. There were also two rolls of Kodak Portra 160, and even though there was some autumn colour on show, I didn’t use them.

I also packed my tiny Rollei B35, just in case there was a mechanical failure of the Yashicamat. Half-way through the week, I discovered there was a “stowaway” Olympus 35RC in my rucksack from a previous outing.

In subsequent posts I’ll show some more images in a roughly geographic arrangement, before rounding off with some thoughts of the success or otherwise of the “single-camera plus a spare (or two)” arrangement.

2 comments

  1. I think reducing the amount of gear taken on a trip is usually a good idea. It frees you up a lot to just enjoy making photographs instead of constantly getting things out of bags and switching lenses all the time. Most of the time when I take a selection of gear I get stressed, overburdened, or end up not using most of it anyway! It’s not a practice I always stick to (usually to my detriment πŸ™‚ ) but it’s a good thing to do I think.

  2. When I’m out carrying my B&J 5×7 box camera with its fixed focus wide-angle lens (24mm equivalent), I tend to notice only potential shots that will fit its field of view. Occasionally I would miss not having another lens for a particular shot, but usually wide angle opportunities just seem to present themselves when I’m in that mode. Same thing with a square format TLR. And I find the TLR has the added bonus of putting portrait subjects at ease.

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