Whenever the diary permits, I always enjoy a visit to the Saddleworth Rushcart festival. Having recently got back from an assignment in China, it was a welcome break from processing over three thousand images of Chinese culture to immerse myself in some closer to home culture. I followed my usual routine, parked up at my studio in Tanners Mill, Greenfield and enjoyed a pleasant thirty minute walk in the late summer sunshine to where the festival starts in Uppermill. As per usual, there was a great turnout of people to see the start of the Rushcart, lots of families, their dogs and everyone it seems taking pictures and shooting videos on their mobile phones. Really interesting to see how photography and videography has boomed in terms of the numbers of people participating in the visual arts since the advent of digital cameras and smartphone technology.
As with the majority of personal work, I favoured my trusty Leica MP240 camera and a choice of three lenses, the Leica 21mm SE, the Leica 35mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH, and the Leica 50mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH. Everything set to manual and naturally with the Leica M, that also means manual focusing. A big challenge in bright sunshine, harsh shadows and moving subjects, but very rewarding when it all clicks into place.
In what is becoming increasingly a common occurrence, most of my work was shot with the 35mm Summilux, one of the most amazing lenses I've ever worked with and owned. The micro contrast, the size, the weight, the image quality, the bokeh, can all be rated at 5 star plus and in all honesty, I can't fault it in any aspect. I also turned to the 21mm SE for a few shots where I needed the wider perspective and didn't end up using the 50mm Summilux at all.
I walked alongside the Rushcart on it's journey from Uppermill to Greenfield where it was nice to see the villagers and their children lining the streets to see the walk and showing their appreciation to the numerous Morris Men who participated in pulling the Rushcart and the musicians accompanying it. Here's a few pictures from my time in Uppermill and Greenfield, great to also catch up with old friends Martin Stimson, and David Trinder. Thanks for looking.
Ps My China Diary Blog pictures should hopefully be posted here in the next few weeks so watch this space.