Obby OSS Festival Padstow Cornwall
Thousands of Padstownians come back home to Cornwall for the Obby Obby celebration in Padstow, which is held annually on the 1st May. The world famous custom has its roots all the way back to the 14th century. And is thought to be connected with the ancient fertility Celtic festival of Beltane.
Before WW1 there was only one hobby horse, but after 1919 a second blue ribboned ‘temperance’ Obby Oss was introduced to discourage drunkenness. Local born townsfolk dance and sing to accordions and drums as the Obby Oss gyrates wildly into the crowds.
Rather than using digital to document the day I used a Hasselblad Xpan II dual format panoramic film camera. The XPAN uses 35mm film but is classed as a medium format camera because it uses two frames. This technique produces a panorama negative almost three times larger than traditional masking.
The images would of been impossible to get that width on a digital camera and there’s no way that stitching would of been possible, because people move around so much.
I used Ilford XP5 400 iso film, which gave me plenty of speed to capture the event. All the film was then processed at home and scanned in. I think using this is quite a unique way to capture a crowded event.
This set of numbered images are for sale. Please get in contact if you are interested.