Since having a baby and giving up astronomy, I’ve not been out much at night. But last week, Ed invited me to go and photograph the industry at Severn Beach in the small hours. There’s a new SITA Severnside energy recovery centre (i.e. burning rubbish to generate electricity) and every night there’s a delivery of rubbish from London by rail that arrives at about 1:30. It has to come after the last passenger train on the Severn Beach line due to the single track. Ed wanted to photograph the Class 66 that was pulling it while I was happy taking more general photos of the scene.

The train arrived at 1:30 as scheduled and then spent another two hours shunting, collecting the empty rubbish wagons from the previous night and delivering the new ones. It was actually quite interesting watching it all happen. It spotted with rain a few times and unfortunately some of these photos were spoiled by water droplets on the lens, and exacerbated by the harsh floodlights.

These pictures were all taken with my Canon AE-1 Program on Ilford FP4+ film, using a Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 lens (portrait shot) and a Canon FD 135mm f/2.8 (landscape shots). The cyano tint was added digitally after scanning the negatives. This week I ordered a cyanotype kit so I plan to start experimenting with real cyanotypes soon. I also took some pictures at Severnside on colour slide film, but I haven’t yet finished the film.

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