Ilford HP5+, 16 November 2009


Since I’ve been working all day, I’m not really in the mood to write too much tonight. So, here’s another scan of my shoot with Ilford’s HP5+ at ISO 400.


Photo Information:

Camera: Canon AE-1 Program
Lens: Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD
Film: Ilford HP5+ ISO 400 (35mm)
Metering: TTL

The subject of this photo is part of the courtyard in my apartment complex in Chicago. I live in the Uptown / Lakeview [1] neighborhood on the north side, but I won’t get any more specific than that. [2]

Considering that I was shooting into the sun at for this shot, I’m a bit surprised that you can still make out details in the shadows, such as on the umbrella. [3] Of course, part of this is undoubtedly due to my mad photography skills, [4] but I suspect that the film itself has a bit to do with that, as well. Great stuff, that HP5+.



[1]: Officially, I think it’s the Uptown neighborhood, but most people are a bit fluid with their definitions of where one neighborhood starts and another ends. Of course, it doesn’t help that the neighborhood boundaries exist almost exclusively on city planning maps and such, and don’t really show up in any physical form within the city itself.

[2]: Privacy and such. Someone intimately familiar with the two listed neighborhoods might be able to infer the location of my apartment complex, but even then, it may not be immediately obvious, since this view cannot be seen from the streets surrounding this block.

[3]: Oh yes, that’s my favorite beer on the umbrella. Okay, one of them. Sadly, Old Style (officially, Heilman’s Old Style Beer) isn’t distributed outside of the Midwest, so when I’m visiting family and friends on the East Coast, I can’t get it. *Sigh* OTOH, PBR is quite similar, and is much more widely distributed, so it can be a passable substitute. And yes, for those of you familiar with Old Style, I like shitty beer; whiskey, OTOH, is an entirely different matter…

[4]: Or the fact that Canon’s TTL meter is pretty well idiot-proof. Mostly.


3 Responses to “Ilford HP5+, 16 November 2009”

  1. donqvijote Says:

    I like this a lot–there’s a fine line between clutter and incredible texture in bw photos; it’s hard to get close to that line, but I think this one does well.

    Big props!


    • seeker312 Says:

      Thanks, man. I’ve never been a huge fan of film grain, but I have recently acquired an appreciation for it, particularly when compared to its digital counterpart (noise). I also had some assistance in the form of digital post-processing, but whatever gets the job done, right?

      • donqvijote Says:

        Yeah, same here. I can recall reading about the latest digital noise-reduction processing and thinking to myself “hah, how could film ever match that?”

        Then I started noticing that the most powerful pictures…somehow…all had this beautiful noise-like texture, except it was this “grain” thing, haha.

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