Shooting on a Leica IIIc

Dressed in woollen breeches and hobnailed boots, photographer Hanson Leatherby and writer Oliver Carter-Wakefield set out to climb Snowdon in the footsteps of mountaineer George Leigh Mallory, and to capture the expedition with the Kodak camera of the day – the Leica IIIc. We caught up with Hanson to find out more about this robust, yet elegant, piece of kit.

Images by Hanson Leatherby

Images by Hanson Leatherby

For those unfamiliar with vintage cameras, what is a Leica?

The first 35mm film Leica prototypes were built by Oskar Barnack at Ernst Leitz Optische Werke, Wetzlar, in 1913. Intended as a compact camera for landscape photography, particularly during mountain hikes, the Leica was the first practical 35 mm camera that used standard cinema 35 mm film. Barnack conceived the Leica as a small camera that produced a small negative, with high quality lenses that could create well-defined negatives.

Tell us about the model you’re using – the IIIc.

My Leica IIIc was made in 1940. It's very small and portable with tiny interchangeable lenses that are really sharp and render beautifully with B&W film. They call it the 'Leica glow' with lenses from this era. The nature of shooting with a rangefinder urges you to frame in certain ways that give the image a particular style no other camera can give. This, as well as its portability, is why I chose it.

What should a user bear in mind when it comes to handling and operating this camera?

You have to cut the film leader to fit the film into the camera, which is a bit of a challenge. The shutter speed dial has to be operated after the film is wound on, not before.

How did you find using the Leica on the Mallory shoot in Snowdonia? Were there any surprises or challenges?

I have shot a lot with this camera so no surprises, really. As mentioned before, loading film is the main challenge as you have to cut the film leader to slide it into the body of the camera so that is doesn't foul the cloth shutter curtain. The curtain runs horizontally directly in front of the film plain, so when you slide film into the body of the camera it can hit the shutter curtain and cause damage or a jam.

Any other exciting shoots coming up?

The next shoot I have coming up is a Brassaï style nighttime street shoot in Paris, shot on film with models wearing 1930s clothing.

Hanson Leatherby is a Bebop fanatic, aesthete and an escapist. He is also a lover of cubism, sharp suits and industrial design. He shoots film on manual cameras to keep him sane.

hansonleatherby.com

You can read about Hanson and Oliver's experience walking in the footsteps of Mallory in issue 6 of Ernest Journal, on sale now.

 

 

The history of the slipper

Fashion, customs, social science and industry – once you step inside the history of the slipper there’s much to sink into. But don’t get too comfortable, it’s not all about toasty toes 

What is a slipper? Until the late 19th century, the term could be used to describe any indoor shoe that slipped on to the foot, including ballroom slippers (think Cinderella’s glassy numbers), bathroom slippers, bedroom slippers and afternoon tea slippers. Nowadays, we use the word to mean footwear that is only to be worn in the home. Whatever the definition, its history is an absorbing proposition.

Slippers were worn in Chinese courts as early as 4700 BC. They would be made out of cotton or woven rush, had leather linings, and were adorned with symbols of power, such as dragons. Native American moccasins were also highly decorative. Hand painted to depict scenes from nature and embellished with beadwork and fringing, their soft sure-footedness made them suitable for indoors appropriation.

Inuit and Aleut people would make shoes from smoked hare hide to protect their feet against the frozen ground inside their homes. Conversely, the discerning Victorian gentleman was in need of a pair of ‘house shoes’ in order to keep the dust and gravel outside – much better than ruining his expensive rug and beautifully polished floor.

Embroidered slippers presented Victorian ladies (on both sides of the Atlantic) with an opportunity to show off their needlepoint skills. Magazines such as Godey’s Lady’s Book and Peterson’s Magazine contained patterns so that the latest fashions could be recreated in the home; a perfect gift for a loved one, and an ideal way to entice a man with an eye for embroidery.

The emergence of a slipper industry grew from the warehouse floor of the felt industry in northeast England. Workers would make themselves footwear from the scraps that were left over, and from this seed grew the businesses of John William Rothwell, Samuel McLerie and other commercial retailers in the late 1800s. Though the advent of heating and descent into everyday casualness may have led slipper sales to decline since the 1950s it doesn’t make them any less interesting, or snug! Read on for tales of notable styles, from those worn by Kanye West to the Pope. 

The Prince Albert slipper

The discerning gentleman’s house shoe, which gained popularity in the 1840s, is said to have been designed by Prince Albert himself. The Albert slipper has an extended vamp (the upper part), quilted lining and leather sole. Initially designed for Victorian men hosting dinner parties, and to be teamed with a matching smoking jacket, this design staple was later synonymous with Hollywood greats, such as Clarke Gable. From Robert Kennedy to the purveyor of questionable style Kanye West, it has continued to be a signature of the debonair.

To liberate or repress

Slippers have been used as both a symbol of freedom and oppression. For Rita de Acosta Lydig, receiver of one of the largest divorce settlements of her day in 1900, her Pietro Yanturni slippers, made of gold brocade and silver silk tissue (stored on shoe trees made from antique violins), were a sign of opulence. Slippers worn by members of a sultan’s harem represented something entirely different. Their frail nature made it impossible to escape over any rough terrain, but made them ideal footwear for the luxurious carpets of their masters.

Papal submission

The slippers historically worn by the Pope were an elaborate affair. Bright red, to represent the blood of martyrs and Christ’s own bloodied feet in his final moments, they were handmade from silk or satin and decorated with gold thread. A gold cross garnished with rubies completed the ornate spectacle. The Pope wore these slippers inside his residences, rather than the red leather shoes he would wear outside, and it was custom that any pilgrim having an audience with the Pope had to kneel and kiss one of his slippers. 

Words: Duncan Haskell, Illustrations: Jade They

This originally featured in issue six of Ernest Journal, on sale now.

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Uneek perspectives

Meticulously crafted to compliment the shape of your feet – while providing balance and flexible movement – UNEEK has been a firm favourite with Ernest since its launch in 2016, accompanying the team on many an adventure. We check in with KEEN to find out how their one-of-a-kind hybrid shoe has evolved.

Editor Jo explores the Galapagos Islands with her trusty UNEEK originals. Photo: Graeme Owsianski

Editor Jo explores the Galapagos Islands with her trusty UNEEK originals. Photo: Graeme Owsianski

UNEEK is the ultimate hybrid shoe: a versatile sandal, made from interlocking cords that adjust to provide custom fit for your foot, which is smart enough for urban rambles yet robust and ready for wilder adventures. Over the past year, this quirky piece of footwear has protected our feet from sea urchins in the Adriatic and accompanied us on rugged volcanic paths in the Galapagos and while springing for trains in the city. While the original design has found a firm footing with the team, and with its followers, there are now new styles, new colours and new materials to consider. Before we have a look, here’s a quick introduction…

Dynamic design: an introduction

It’s easy to recognise UNEEK for its disruptive aesthetics, but the form has always followed the function. Designed to create a custom fit on any foot, UNEEK provides unparalleled comfort and versatility for outdoor adventures. The interlocking cords adjust to provide custom fit for your foot, while the bungee entry system lets you adjust the tightness. Support, motion and flexibility are key design features in the shoe, with its lightly cushioned heel, flexible mid-sole and free-moving cord system – all and which work with the natural movement of your foot. On top of that, they’re lightweight and breathable – ready to ramble whether you’re roaming through the city or setting out into wilder terrain.

Your UNEEK. Your way.

This footwear is all about self-expression and this year there are even more styles so you can find the right sandal to suit your individual lifestyle and performance needs.

UNEEK Original

Back by popular demand – the classic design returns for another season in a fantastic new range of colours and a choice of flat or round cord. Featuring a free-moving cord construction, heel strap for stability and a durable but lightweight midsole for arch support, it’s a versatile shoe, which now boasts some special editions!

UNEEK Original: Leather (special edition)

This is the original style but upgraded with soft leather cords. A cushioned strap supports the ankle, while the midsole offers the support of a sneaker. Fancy.

UNEEK Original: Urban Trail Pack (special edition)

Premiering this summer, the special edition UNEEK Originals: Urban Trails Pack offers an eye-catching aesthetic with a distinctly athletic profile. A lightweight PU midsole in a bright sporty finish contrasts with tan gum rubber pods on the outsole for versatile traction and cushioning.

UNEEK Originals: 79.99

UNEEK Originals: 79.99

UNEEK O2

Twenty five per cent lighter than its predecessor, this robust style – part sandal and part sneaker – has a lightly-cushioned enclosed heel as well as grippy rubber outsoles. It’s a pioneering, athletic design and the cords adapt to your foot so you’re assured a cosy and customised fit.

UNEEK curation

It’s not just new styles either, each month KEEN curates a special collection to show off key threads and themes within the UNEEK range. This month sees a collaboration with Zebu – a dynamic illustration and artist duo from Berlin, who take inspiration from abandoned spaces in the city and produce bold, abstract artworks through screen printing, drawing and mural painting. The collection draws on bold blues and greens as well as urban shades of aluminium, slate grey and bright white. Or perhaps you prefer the Camp Life Pack? Natural tones, perfectly suited to slipping on by the campfire after a day of climbing, hiking, paddling, or just chilling. Watch this space for the latest pack.


This is a sponsored blog post, created in collaboration with KEEN. Read more stories from the Ernest x KEEN partnership in our directory

Choose your style on the KEEN website.

Follow and share your UNEEK adventures on Instagram using hashtag #UNEEKPERSPECTIVES

Gone for a Burton

When a Second World War airman failed to return from a mission, his RAF comrades would declare grimly that he had gone for a Burton. The 'Burton' in this case was Burton ale - once as common as IPA is today. With this adapted recipe by Joly Braime, you can create this vanished ale at home...

Illustration by Louise Logsdon

Illustration by Louise Logsdon

In The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer (2014), Ron Pattinson observes that: “Burton, as consumed in London, is a puzzle – for the way it so quickly disappeared physically from the bar and virtually from people’s memories. In 1950 it was on draft in every pub in London.Twenty years later, few could even remember what it was.”

Though occasionally confused with IPA – that other famous Burton-on-Trent brew – Burton ale was a different beast. Broadly, it was strong, sweetish and quite heavily hopped and was distinctive for the fact that it was meant to be stored and matured. 

There are still a few Burtons left, living quietly under assumed names. If you want to try a 20th-century Burton ale, one is still produced seasonally under the Young’s brand, only they changed the name to Winter Warmer in 1971. According to Protz, Fuller’s well known ESB developed from its former Burton, while Cornell reckons Theakston’s Old Peculier “has all the hallmarks of a Burton”. And the original, supercharged stuff is very occasionally available as Bass No 1 Barley Wine. 

Or, you can have a go at brewing your own. This simple recipe is adapted from an 1850 Whitbread and an 1877 Truman, and inspired by The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer. It comes out full of flavour and body, and makes for surprisingly easy drinking, although at 7.5% it hits pretty hard. 

1. Heat 26 litres of water to 76°C, then stir in 8.5kg of pale malt (Maris Otter).

2. Mash (steep) the grain for an hour and a half. Keep the temperature as close to 66°C as you can, either by insulating or very gentle warming.

3. Collect the wort (liquid). Sparge (rinse) the malt with another 10 litres of water, heated to 76°C. Do this slowly to extract the maximum amount of sugar.

4. Bring the wort to the boil, then add 150g of East Kent Goldings, 1 teaspoon of carragheen (to help it clear) and 2 teaspoons of Burton salts (to replicate the mineral-rich water of Burton-on-Trent). Boil for an hour and a half, adding 150g more Goldings after an hour. There will be a lot of steam.

5. Cool the wort as quickly as you can, bringing it down to about 22°C.

6. If you have a hydrometer, check the specific gravity (SG). It should be around 1081. You can adjust it up by adding sugar, or down with water.

7. Put the wort in a fermenter or large bucket then whisk vigorously for a few minutes to aerate it. Add a high-tolerance yeast (I used Mangrove Jack’s M15 Empire Ale). Whisk again, then fit a lid and an airlock (or drape a clean tea towel over the top).

8. Make a bonus batch of ‘small beer’ by repeating steps 3-7. Because the Burton ale uses so much grain, there will still be plenty of sugar left in the malt. Sparge slowly, keeping an eye on the SG of the wort to make sure it doesn’t drop below 1035. I got about 20 litres, which I brewed with 75g of Fuggles hops to make a gentle 3.5% pale ale.

9. Leave to ferment for about five days – or until the gravity is down to around 1024 – then rack (siphon the beer carefully off the sludge) into a clean vessel.

10. Bottle after a few more days, adding half a teaspoon of sugar to each 500ml bottle (you should get about 35 bottles). Set aside for at least six weeks if you can bear it, and no less than two if you can’t. 

3-Joly-Braime-profile-pic.jpg

Joly Braime is a writer and a home brewer. His workload is fairly eclectic, from outdoor magazines and a book on Sherlock Holmes to erotic fiction. He spends his leisure time tramping the moors or filling his coal shed with homemade alcohol.

jolybraime.co.uk

 

This recipe features in issue six of Ernest Journal, on sale now. 

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Pressing seaweed

Following in the bootsteps of intrepid Victorian seaweed hunters, Melanie Molesworth and Julia Bird collect and press specimens along the Cornwall and Dorset coast 

As natural history was coming into its own in the 1800s, the biggest clubs for the ‘gentlemen sciences’ still banned women. While hunting was seen as too dangerous a pursuit and digging up plants too sexually loaded, gathering seaweed was deemed relatively safe. A popular pastime for both Queen Victoria and George Eliot, it was not, however, without risks. Margaret Gatty advised wearing men’s boots and, due to the dangers involved (especially on low-water mark expeditions), the protection of a gentleman companion may be necessary. She warned he might require some enticing by proposing he “fossilize, or sketch, or even (if he will be savage and barbaric) shoot gulls”, while his lady collect her crop. 

With their crop, which they gather along the shores of Cornwall and Dorset, Melanie Molesworth and Julia Bird create beautiful pressings and artwork. They kindly share their secrets with us:

1. Start by gathering your seaweed in a bucket – low tide is the best time.

2. Rinse well before placing them in a large plastic or metal tray dish filled with a couple of inches of fresh cold water. 

3. Place a piece of watercolour paper in, then float your chosen piece of seaweed on top. 

4. Swirl and arrange your seaweed over the paper until you are happy with it – you may want to snip a few bits off to make a cleaner shape. 

5. Slowly lift the paper out and lay it on kitchen paper or cloth to help soak up some of the excess water. Blot with kitchen roll or blotting paper. 

6. Place a piece of greaseproof paper on top and then a layer of newspaper, followed by a sheet of cardboard, before adding the next specimen and repeat steps 4 and 5. 

7. They will then be ready to press – you could use an old-fashioned trouser press or pile books on top. 

8. Check seaweeds daily and replace the newspaper layers and paper until dry. 

9. Carefully peel the paper off (some pieces are more fragile than others) and fix them in place, to display, using thin strips of masking tape. 

10. Seaweed identification can be tricky as there are hundreds of species. Try Seaweeds of Britain and Ireland published by Seasearch, £16.95. 

You can see more of Melanie Molesworth and Julia Bird’s beautiful seaweed pressing and artwork at MolesworthandBird.com and on Instagram.  

This originally featured in issue six of Ernest Journal, on sale now. 

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