5 Frames… Of insect macros with ILFORD HP5 PLUS (EI 1600 / 35mm format / Canon EOS-5) – by Juan Antonio Guerrero

Written by and published on .

I have been photographing with film for many years, and also doing macro photography with digital cameras. Decades ago, when I was a teenager, I tried to take macro shots with my humble Praktica MTL5 and close-up lenses with slightly disappointing results. Later I did it again with digital cameras and the learning curve was very fast.

Now, when all my photos of personal projects are made on film, or at least it is my will to do it, I have returned to make macro photos on film, with the advantage of having learned a lot and having a percentage of correct photos in less shots, something that at first was basically impossible.

These are photos taken during the day with the Canon EOS-5, the incredible Canon MP-E65mm and ILFORD HP5 PLUS, which provides a macro ratio of 1:1 to 5:1 without any accessories, and forcing the film to EI 1600 to avoid having to use tripods or flashes, only natural light, looking for a more spontaneous and simple result.

I love the grain mixed with the textures of the invertebrates. The result is tremendously different from digital, the light is distributed in another way, it is aesthetically very nice for me. Maybe the macro photos that I like most in recent years. Next spring I hope to spend many film rolls on this topic.

The film was developed in R09 at a dilution of 1+50 for 24 minutes. In general, I am quite satisfied with that processing. I thought that the grain would increase much more, something that did not worry me too much, but that’s fine, I like it.

~ Juan

Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?

Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

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.

Share your knowledge, story or project

At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

More related reading


I go to a top-tier research university, and I’m getting my degree in photography. Here’s why.

The Hypersensitive Podcast Episode 01: Disposable income


4 thoughts on “5 Frames… Of insect macros with ILFORD HP5 PLUS (EI 1600 / 35mm format / Canon EOS-5) – by Juan Antonio Guerrero”

Join the discussion