When in doubt, reach for ILFORD HP5 PLUS. This has been my film photography rule the last little while. With exception of a few particular uses, or looks, HP5 PLUS delivers and often surprises with its versatility.
Recently, I decided to wait out the rush hour traffic in downtown Toronto, and use this gift of time to explore one of city’s many interesting corners – the Roundhouse Park. It is one of the few remaining landmarks to Toronto’s industrial heritage. An old Canadian National Railways roundhouse has been converted into a multipurpose facility hosting a railroad museum and a microbrewery. To think this place narrowly escaped demolition…
With this idea, grabbing a roll of HP5 PLUS was a logical choice. For this occasion, the camera of choice was a Nikon F50 with all-around Tamron 28-200mm lens.
For this outing, I focused on experimenting with “digital exposure”, setting exposure toward the highlights and seeing if I can take advantage of HP5 steep density curve and really get a contrast between deep shadows and tones and low light of a late afternoon. Here are the 5 frames:
The workflow I used was a 11 minute development in 1+1 dilution of Ilford ID-11 and 16-bit grayscale scan with Epson V600 at 3200dpi resolution. For this roll, the balance of contrast and tonal range is what makes me like these five images the most.
This roll and five frames selected reaffirm my general rule – whenever in doubt or operating without too much prep, reach for a roll of HP5 PLUS, a 100ft one.
~ Toni Skokovic
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