Shooting with Ilford HP5: A non-technical photographer’s perspective

By January 4, 2023No Comments

As a photographer, I’m not too keen on the technicals and the gear. If you ask me what settings do I need to place to produce a good image, I will have only a vague idea of how to answer that question. I have always been drawn to the simplicity and beauty of film. It immortalizes a memory that I captured, not the techs and the specs.

However, I wanted to take it a step further. I’m so used to shooting in color; so why not try something new?

Enter black and white film.

I decided to take out the color (for now) and focus on the basics of photography – which is composition and lighting. However, I’m not too familiar with black and white and I don’t know where to start.

Luckily, my friend, Anastasiya surprised me with some of her photos, shot on HP5 film, when she visited Portland last year.

I was inspired. It made me want to take a leap and start shooting black and white, specificially HP5 film.

After seeing Anastasiya’s photos, one thing that stood out to me is how versatile HP5 film is: from bright sunlight to dimly lit interiors, and it always produces great results.

Another thing that I really appreciate about Ilford HP5 is its tonality. It has a wide tonal range, which allows for great detail in both the highlights and shadows. This is useful when shooting in contrasty lighting situations, as it helps to preserve detail in both the highlights and shadows.

Lastly, I think with black and white film, it creates more of an emotion and feeling behind the photos. Seeing Anastasiya’s photos shows a nostalgic feeling – creating a beautiful, timeless black and white images that speak for themselves.

I’m definitely going to be shooting more black and white film, specifically HP5 film. I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s a great way to add a special touch to your photographs and to explore the timeless art of black and white photography.

Written by Vince Patrick.

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