5 Frames… With ILFORD HP5 PLUS (EI 400 / 120 / 6×6 / Mamiya 6) – by Robert Versteegen

Two weeks ago the first significant signs of autumn became visually present in the Netherlands. The water of the rivers still warm and the atmosphere being relatively cool made it seem to be a good day to take off to the river Waal at the border of the City of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. On our way to Nijmegen first the sky was clear but as we came closer to the river Maas, suddenly the fog appered and stayed in the riverland between the Maas and the Waal. Once in Nijmegen, we parked and took off towards the bridge in the fog, visibility was approximate 50 meters some times even denser.

These photographs were made with a Mamiya 6 with a 50 mm f/4 lens and yellow filter. The exposure was set to +1 stop for the yellow filter (no TTL) AND + 1 stop for exposure compensation in the white fog, total + 2 stops.

The Mamiya 6 is a fine medium format range finder, it’s easy to work with and the lenses are great.

The film I used for this subject was the ILFORD HP5 PLUS, my choice was made by the lighting conditions and on the other hand I like the classic look of this film. For this subject, I took the ILFORD HP5 PLUS and exposed it as at 4 box speed EI 400.

I had some experience with this film, it has a moderate grain and good midtones and contrast is easily controlled by adjusting the development process. It depends on development but in the past I was really impressed by the tonal scale of this film and it yields negatives of good sharpness and fine grain for a 400 ISO film under a lot of different lighting conditions.

This day the light was poor due to the foggy conditions, I had some doubt before developing if the contrast was enough when processed regularly, but I developed for the standard time and finally the contrast was ok in the prints,

The film was developed in ILFORD ID 11 at a dilution of 1+1 at 20 degrees for 13 minutes. I agitated continuously for the first minute and five times at the top each minute thereafter. Next time I would likely to over develop it by 20%. To get easier printable negatives, I had to print on level 4 on the Kaiser enlarger. I prefer 2.5 or 3 but still the results are pretty good. Fixing and flushing standard and the end before processing was 1 min in a wetting agent.

Thanks for reading,

~ Robert Versteegen

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This series is being 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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Robert Versteegen
Robert Versteegenhttp://rv-photo.nl/
I shoot film because it gives more than just digital clicking and looking on the back screen, it slows you down, you have to take photographs more carefully. I’am not a hot shot or a great photographer but I like it very much, to experiment to search for the unexpected in common subjects. in the early 2000 i went over to digital but lately, I got the viral infection of film and darkroom again.

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