Film, Film Everywhere


One of the easiest things I've had to do thus far in my Masters is choose which type of film to use. It had to meet a few important criteria in that it had to be forgiving, durable and affordable so I went straight to my tutor, who has so much more experience in this matter than I have, and sought his advice. After a quick chat he recommended Ilford HP5 400.

So what's that then?

It's a large format film (five inches by four inches) which gives good results in a variety of lighting conditions as it has a wide exposure latitude. In layman terms this means it can cope with overcast weather, shaded woods, general lighting conditions inside as well as bright conditions (inside or out) without loosing too many details. It's also compatible with most developing chemicals meaning I wouldn't have to spend my limited resources on developing, bonus!

Getting a little more technical it can be pushed and pulled, which is where the photographer manipulates the speed of the film in order to alter the look of the image or compensate for lighting conditions.

For my last large project I needed a film that had a high speed as I was working in dark conditions. Unfortunately the only film I could afford was incredibly thin and more than once fell out of the film side into the back of the camera, ruining the film (which wasn't cheep). Other issues I encountered was the emulsion sliding off the negative during development, This means that the image literally dripped off the sheet of film leaving me with big, spotty gaps. It also scratched like a beginner DJ as a school disco!

Thankfully the HP5 handled beautifully and produced some great results even though I was shooting in the woods on a sunny but breezy day so the lighting conditions were constantly changing.

The first experimentation went well and I'm excited to see what I can produce with the negs.

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