At the weekend I visited Liverpool with a few friends. It’s the first time I’d been and for the mostpart we hung around the two cathedrals – Liverpool Cathedral (Anglican) and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (Catholic).

The weather was ideal. Contrary to popular belief, clear blue skies are not great for (most) photography because the sky ends up as a featureless sheet – especially in black & white. We were treated to a spectacular blue sky with fluffy white clouds, which renders excellently in monochrome. We also got to go up the tower of Liverpool Cathedral which afforded excellent views across the city.

The rest of this info is geeky stuff about cameras and film, so if you’re just here for the pictures, then skip ahead!

I took two cameras and a rucksack of lenses – the Canon AE-1 Program was loaded with Kentmere 100 and Ilford FP4 for outdoor use, and the Canon T90 was loaded with Fuji Neopan 1600, which I pushed to 3200 for low-light use inside the cathedrals. Most of the shots were taken with a Cosina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lens which is super-wide on these full-frame cameras. On the occasions I needed a bit more speed indoors I switched to a 28mm f/2.8 or even a 50mm f/1.4 on a couple of occasions. All films were developed in Ilford Microphen, which particularly lends itself to pushing the Neopan to ISO 3200. Unfortunately the push-processing didn’t work out perfectly and most of my interior shots are under-developed.

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