Sun shining through doors

Kew Gardens, part 1

I had complete camera indecision on the day Annie and I ventured to Kew Gardens. We decided to shoot the whole day on film, no digital cameras in sight this time. Discovering she had packed two cameras made me feel less extravagant about taking the three I’d shortlisted. Sometimes more is more.

Tall wooden doors

The Lubitel 166B was packed for one purpose — the Palm House. My favourite part of Kew. Luckily we both lose our heads over palms and leaves pressed against steamy windows, so we could take our time. The entance was photographed at the rare moment no-one was walking past or using the doors. Worth the wait I think!

Man in palm walkway

Light shining through palm leaf
Palm leaf
White metal rails
Upper level in the palm house

The upper level of the Palm House is incredibly hot and humid. Although the photo above didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped (the focus is a little off), the amount of sweat I shed waiting for an empty walkway means there is no way it’s not going in.

Flower in leaf silhouettes
Hibiscus flower
Leaves against steamy window
Outside looking in

All 35mm photos were shot on an Olympus OM-10. Quite a few from the roll I shot in London came back with blown out exposure. I decided to give it another try but I was just as unlucky second time around. Photos taken on other cameras where I’d calculated everything myself came out fine. I’m now sure the exposure metre isn’t working properly and I’ve since discovered other OM-10 users have run into the same (intermittent) issue.

Closeup of succulents

Closeup of variegated leaves

Sun shining through doors
Palm house entrance

Layers of palm leaves

Metal door
Palm house side entrance

These metal doors are so heavy. I ended being pulled along with the door knob in my hand every time. Watching other people have the same problem was quite comical though.

Metals doors through leaves

Side of glasshouse
Waterlily house

I also shot a colour roll on camera number three. But I have enough favourites to fill another post!

6 comments on “Kew Gardens, part 1

  1. Gorgeous images Gemma! I love the seeing Kew in black and white too – it really makes you focus on all the details in the image!

    • Gemma Evans

      Thank you Ellie 🙂 You’re right and I think shooting in black and white film requires looking at things a different way. A good challenge though, especially when you go somewhere and nearly everything is a shade of green!

  2. Absolutely stunning! I can’t believe I lived in London for a year and never made it here.

    • Gemma Evans

      Thanks so much! I don’t live too far from London but even so, I don’t visit that often. I think it’s easy to forget to visit what’s on your doorstep 🙂

  3. These are beautiful! What black and white film did you use?

    • Gemma Evans

      Thanks Ali! I used Ilford Delta 400 for these — I prefer this one over their HP5 because the black is darker/inkier.

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