I came about photography as a teenager. I bought an old Canon TX from a pawn shop and used the most inexpensive black and white film I could get. When I got back into photography about eight to nine years ago, I wanted to relearn everything about film and developing that I had forgotten. I am still trying to grow as an amateur photographer.
My experience in photography is in predominately sunny areas: California, Utah, and Colorado. This was an opportunity for me to use what I have learned in a dark, rainy, overcast conditions. Fortunately, Washington is full of shapes, colors, and textures that come across well in black and white and the HP5 has the range to capture most of the conditions on the same roll.
I have been using the same camera/lens/film combination for the past year. I also started developing and scanning film myself, with a variety of results. Fortunately, I have more positives then negatives.
I chose the Nikon F100, with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D, and ILFORD HP5 PLUS as my go-to travel choice. The F100 is a good mix of analog and digital, it uses the same dials and digital screen as more modern Nikon DSLRs but is more compact, which makes it a good choice for street photography. The F100 does have it’s downsides, the TTL light meter is not super accurate, I have been looking at handheld meters. It is also fairly heavy, noticeably heavier than older compact SLRs I have used in the past.
I used ILFORD’s Ilfosol 3 Film Developer for six and a half minutes, agitating for 20 seconds every minute; Ilfostop for thirty seconds, agitating for the full time, ILFORD rapid fixer for five minutes, agitating for twenty seconds, every minute; and Infotol Wetting Agent during the last rinse.
We tried to pack in as much as possible into two days, so from Bellevue, to Queen Ann, to West Seattle, downtown, to Bainbridge Island, and back. Most of the frames are usable but I did have some landscapes that are too grainy, I tried to get too much out of a single roll of film. There will be other trips to the PNW, with more film in my bag.
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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