Cambridge, United Kingdom
24 November 2020
Canon EOS 300 with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens
Illford HP5+ film
License CC BY-NC - Download
Based on my limited experience shooting it, I’m not a fan of Ilford HP5+, but this photo of the low winter sun reflecting off a damp Cambridge pavement really goes against that.
In general I find most of my photos with HP5 are very flat as scanned, so I’ve been trying to add in a bit more contrast. With this one I just had to bring down the blacks a little and it really popped: I love the inky shadow of the lamppost constrasting with the dynamic highlighs of the sun reflected in the damp footprints. According to my notes this was also overexposed - so perhaps I should do that more often?
I also find I don’t like the grain on HP5 (at least on 35mm, where the grain is more pronounced), which I think couples with the lack of contrast to give images a swampy feel. But there’s none of that here, it looks really sharp. Perhaps the secret is to shoot HP5 on noisy scenes rather than flat blocks?