Film Test: Ilford HP5 Plus 400
In the past few weeks, I've been soooo into film photography. It's my breather after a long week of work in school. They say 'teaching is both science and art' (and then a whole lot more!). I find that film photography is the same, in that they are both art and science, except that in photography I am not a teacher but more of a self-learning student. There's always feeling of suspense to see how my work turned out and that 'Eureka!' moment when everything works at the end of the day. It's a different kind of challenge, a different kind of 'high' when I knew I learned something new. That's why I look forward to weekends. :)
So I am trying to find my 'Zing'. In romance, it's called 'the One' or your 'Soulmate', but since we're talking about film photography here- my 'Zing' means my 'Spirit Film' hahah...'the One' that would match the black and white tones of my vision...in short, my film of choice.
I've experimented on various known (and available) black and white films. I only have 2 vintage cameras that shoot 135 films. In my next few blogs, I'd be posting the film, the development 'recipe', and what I felt about them.
Because I am using Ilford products- developer and fixer (Rapid Fixer), I chose to start with the Ilford film which has received great reviews everywhere. I also follow the same developing routine:
1. Develop - Ilford's LC29 2. Stop Bath - tap water for 1 minute, continuous agitation 3. Fix - Ilford's Rapid Fixer - they said there's no 'harm' over fixing the film, I just make it my rule of thumb to fix my film and agitate it the same time/way I develop it. 4. Wash - tap, regulated, flowing water for 3-5 minutes. 5. Wetting Solution - I couldn't find Ilfosol Wetting Agent or Photo-flo, but I found an alternative/'hack' that works for me: 300 ml of distilled water (for 1 film using Paterson container) + 30 ml of isopropyl/ethyl alchohol + a very tiny drop of dishwashing soap.
6. Dry - I bought a chamois sponge that I cut into 2, I gently sandwich the wet film after hanging it on my clips and slowly slide it down. I just make sure my sponge is clean/no dirt that can scratch my film every time. Because of the alcohol present in the wetting solution, my film is dry in about 10-20 minutes.
All liquid that I used here are at 20 degrees Celsius.
I also have not purchased a top of the line flatbed film scanner. Besides I don't know where to buy them, I don't need unit at the moment. I am fine with EC717 5-10MB 35mm scanner, made in China, I found online. It does not make a really fine scan of the film, but it is convenient, saves space, and works well for digital sharing.
Film and Developer: Ilford HP5 Plus 400 in Ilfotec LC29 (1:19) Shot with: 1973 Yashica 35 GSN rangefinder Developing time: 6 minutes, 30 seconds Agitation: On the first and last minute. 30 seconds rest and agitation in between.
Sweepstakes. (Kamala, Phuket)
Disguise. Humans are so tired of it, but still wearing it. In a world where everyone is in disguise- it is a privilege to see a soul. Street artist. (Patong, Phuket)
"Humans all wear masks and the time comes we cannot remove them without removing our own skin."
-A. Berthiaume Masks for sale. Which one are you wearing today? (Patong, Phuket)
"She's strong, but she's exhausted." - r.h. Sin Self-portrait. (Patong, Phuket)
"Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"
In the morning. (Patong, Phuket)
My thoughts: I love the overall balance with the tones and the fine grain. It is also sharp and I've yet to test how this film would do if I push or pull its ISO. But at ISO 400, it did really well considering the shots were taken mostly on a dull/overcast day, even when I took it inside the mall for some indoor shots. Just saying, this could be my 'Zing!'.