I highly recommend the Moscow Subway Metro. As someone who loves spending time exploring underground, this was perhaps an unexpected highlight of my 2019 trip to Russia. If you are going for a photo trip (after the obvious COVID restrictions are lifted), I highly suggest Sunday mornings between 8-10am. Weekdays will be hell as you’re battling for space amongst locals and tourists.
Focus on the Koltsevaya Line (Brown Ring Line) and proceed clockwise going on a loop. And guess what, it costs a mere 38 Rubles to spend 2 hours hopping on and off (as long as you don’t tap out). Some smart tips include: not bringing your wallet with you (just bring enough for the ride and a drink) and do note that according to the site, tripods are not allowed. However, I did bring mine (fairly skinny and light) and wasn’t apprehended by any of the police I happened to cross. I think this was because I was there at 9am and things were pretty loose.
In my 2 hours underground, I shot a mere 4 rolls of film. Knowing that the Mamiya 7ii would not fail me, I actually hadn’t thought too much about the ILFORD HP5 PLUS and Kodak Tri-X 400 on me I had with me and just chalked it up to, “I’ll just shoot it at 1600”. I had.
All rolls were processed by Sunny16Lab Philippines with strict (hahahha) instructions to use HC-110.
My first set with the HP5 PLUS. For as long as I have been shooting this film, this was perhaps the first time I had pushed it to EI 1600. And I am thoroughly pleased. I just prefer the rendering of detail versus say, a ILFORD Delta 3200 shot at 1600.
The second set is below was on Kodak Tri-X rated at 1600. I have never shot Tri-X past EI 800, and this was really a whole new visual output for me (both films, actually).
You might be interested in these
My personal dumb-down conclusion, without being too technical, is that I love the way HP5 PLUS responded to the push processing and long exposure. Tri-X just didn’t give me the depth that HP5 did. While I really love the blacks from Tri-X and more importantly, the “evenness” of the grain, I just found it too “dense” where I wish there were more details.
This is extremely apparent, as both rolls were shot in the same settings. I showed the set to a friend and he on the other hand, enjoyed the Tri-X set better because of the “mood” and yes when looked closely, there is an evenness to the grain.
But hhheeeyyy… to each his/her own ya? In the end, I ENJOYED both outputs very much. What about you?
Share your knowledge, story or project
The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support 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 passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing 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.