Recently, I visited Warsaw in Poland for a quick city break. I had never been to Poland before, and fancied a change of scenery. Flight and hotel prices were good, so I thought; why not?!

I took my Contax S2 with me, as I didn’t fancy lugging my Fuji GW690III with me (both size, and sheer amount of film did not appeal). I only have a 50mm Zeiss Planar T* f/1.4 for my Contax S2, so it was a case of one camera, one lens for the trip.

I took a pile of ILFORD HP5 PLUS with me, and as I was travelling light, had no tripod. Fortunately, the Contax S2 has a built in spot-meter, so all good on that front.

Nonetheless, it was late October, and Warsaw was very dark, very damp, and very cold. I had planned on getting away with shooting HP5 at box speed, but the lack of tripod, and poor weather left me with no choice: I had to push to 1600. I self-developed the film in Rodinal (1+25, 12 mins, 18c) when I made it back to the UK.

I really like the contrast of the images, with the deep blacks helping to highlight the gloomy weather I experienced whilst there.

I had no plan on what I was shooting, I simply shot whatever caught my eye, and was very much shooting for fun (read: myself).

I hope you like the results as much as I do.

Thanks for reading!
~ Tom Rayfield

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  1. I really like how these images came out! I just recently finished a roll of HP5 at EI1600, but haven’t developed it yet… but since I just recently picked up a bottle of Rodinal, I will likely copy your development method!
    Also, I feel compelled to point out that in the title of this article, both the EI rating, and camera mentioned, are incorrect. But everything below the title was great! 🙂

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