At the beginning of 2020 I got my hands on the then newly released 35mm ILFORD Ortho PLUS. It was the first low speed black and white that I had shot, as I’d previously been shooting HP5 PLUS or Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed 2-stops to EI 1600. I found that pushing black and white gave me huge flexibility for whatever I was shooting.

Shooting a low ISO film like Ortho 80 was a bit of a learning curve for sure.

At first, I wasn’t even sure where to set my ISO meter at because there isn’t a notch on my camera for 80. In the end I ended up just kind of guessing between the 100 and 50 marks. A lot of the photos that I shot were in direct sunlight. One thing that I love about black and white photography versus color is how it helps me focus on the textures of an image.

These frames are all from the beginning of the year before the world was flipped upside down. I always find it interesting to see how much my photography has progressed. So much changed and so much stayed the same in that one very long and very short year. Many memories are packed into these simple photographs.

For me, these photos of my nephew remind me of how fast he has grown and learned and how quickly he is learning. These photos of Luna (my cat) remind me of how we almost lost her at the beginning of October. And how I don’t take nearly as many photos of her as I should since I got Jo.

At the time of writing this in November 2020, these photos remind me of the time before I found a job and spent December 2019 going from house to house dog sitting and dog walking. They remind me of the time I had to dedicate to my photography.

These photos remind me of how much my life was in transition a year ago and how stable it is now in an uncertain world.

These photos remind me of what I love most about photography. About how many memories and stories can be packed into a simple frame. As this odd year quickly flies by, I am thankful for photography to capture all the dull moments.

~ Tessa

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About the author

Avatar - Tessa Klingensmith

Tessa Klingensmith

Bill Murray is my spirit animal.

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  1. I believe many have found, as you have, that this year has refocused us on home. Photography helps us peak into each other’s “worlds” just a bit. I’ve shot just one roll of Ortho Plus and was pretty pleased with it as well. I need to shoot some more with it.