Once a year Yeovil Showground is host to Abbey Hill Steam Rally, a four day long event where steam enginers, classic cars, tractors, and trucks are displayed and paraded around the ring in front of thousands of visitors. There are over one hundred stalls selling a variety of craft items, as well as a falconry display, motorbike stunt team, a dog show and many other local clubs and teams showing their hobbies and passions.
I've been to this rally for the last couple years and it seems that every year is bigger than the last. I love history, and the huge amount of interesting machines on display make for some very interesting photo opportunities to be had.
I visited the show on two days, but only for a few hours each time. On the Sunday I shot a roll of Portra 160, and on the Monday I used Delta 100 to try and capture some of the more intricate details of the machines in black and white. Unfortunately, the roll of Porta is still at the lab being developed (I really need to get back into developing my own colour!) so this entry will just be on the Delta. The camera I took was the Bronica ETRS with 75mm f/2.8 EII lens. It was a toss up between the ETRS and RB67, but I chose the ETRS as it's the camera I plan to take to New York in a couple of weeks and I thought it would be a good opportunity to make sure it's in top working condition before I go.
This image of an old tractor tyre caught my attention because the severely cracked rubber reminded me of the dry and cracked skin of an elephant. After looking a bit closer I began to really like the way that the cracks curved around the shapes of the tyre. I decided that these shapes and textures would look great in black and white with lots of detail and contrast. I think this is probably one of my favourite images that I took over the course of the rally.
Below are a few more images that I took of some of the tractors and cars at the show. I wanted to try and capture the details instead taking photos of the entire machines, as I find the scratched and worn iron surfaces, big clunky switches and dials, and fatigued overall look to be much more interesting and characterful than the perfectly shaped and shiny surfaces of things made nowadays. For some reason I love taking photos of the interiors of classic cars, specifically the steering wheel and gauges.
We met a very interesting man who was dressed as Tom Horn, an American old west scout from the late 19th century. He spent about half an hour telling us about Tom's life, accomplishments and death, which was incredibly interesting. I asked for a photo which he happily gave, showing off his 19th century bible with cutout for a pistol.
Abbey Hill is one of the first steam rallies of the year in the area, and so it marks the beginning of an exciting few months. I'm looking forward to visiting more rallies and taking a lot more photos. I will create another journal entry for the colour images when the film has been developed, which should be within the next 2 weeks.