As a film photographer, I am always drawn to some of the more timeworn parts of town, so to speak, and that propensity for the foregone cannot be more satisfied than in the old part of Main Street in Fort Worth, Texas. The old Main Street has tons of classic heritage but it’s not immune to new development; so photographically documenting it now isn’t just fun but feels historically imperative.
It’s a blast from the past and in some segments, it even so beautifully seems as if time itself has blissfully passed it by.
Armed with my trusty Nikon FA and the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, I could rest assured that I could grab the shots I wanted. I knew I wanted to shoot a black and white film as this medium couldn’t seem to do Main Street more justice and after some internal deliberation, I settled on ILFORD HP5 PLUS for its classic look. My girlfriend and I spent an afternoon on Main Street in Fort Worth and I felt great about the shots I came home with.
I developed the roll of HP5 in ILFORD DDX for 8 minutes at 68°F (20°C) to temper the highlights a bit as we had tons of sunlight on that day and my FA loves to overexpose a tad in contrasty scenes. Speaking of contrast; HP5 tends to render a little flat so it’s great for scenes with high contrast and even then I found myself wanting to add a little contrast in post, in Lightroom and after the usual little tinkering my shots came out exactly as I had visualized.
I had also decided beforehand to use an orange filter for all the shots as I knew that this would give the photos a fitting level of grit that this old western part of town deserved. In hindsight, I am happy I made that decision because it saved me time in post trying to achieve this look. The filter I used was a Cokin P 002 orange filter.
If you’re ever in the DFW area of Texas, I highly recommend you visit this old part of Main Street as you’ll find yourself in a beautiful photographic time warp with your finger firmly attached to your shutter button.
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