Roll of film 001 – Ilford FP4

Introduction

I have for some time wanted to share more of my photography on my website instead of just having it on the fleeting media of Instagram. A return to good old photography blogging. I can remember probably 10 years or more ago where I followed Jon Olsson’s blog and always enjoyed the photography posts.

So this will just be some selected shots from a good old roll of film – and perhaps a few digital shots mixed in. It will be a way for me to share what I enjoy from others as well as documenting what I shot, what I worked on and my general thoughts on photography at that point in time.

This first installment of the series is shots from a roll of Ilford FP4 on my Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. It is a camera I bought for 350 DKK in almost mint condition to replace my Olympus-35 LC, which unfortunately no longer can open the aperture blades to more than f11.

I have been quite impressed with the Hi-Matic 7s, especially its focusing patch that is incredibly bright and easy to see. There is however some issues with its internal light meter as it overexposes images. I recently took the battery from the Olympus and used that instead as well as setting the light meter to 1/3 stop over the FP4’s box speed of 125. This change was done somewhere along half way through this roll, so I was quite eager to see the results.

My initial impression is positive as the images are less overexposed than before, but I feel that for the look to be exactly to my taste I have to shoot the FP4 at a full stop underexposed, which I will try with the next roll.

Images

First shot here is pulled back a full stop in post-processing, but looking at the sky it is still overexposed in my opinion. But apart from that I am really pleased with both camera and film stock.

Next shot here is more of a lucky and curious shot. I am by no means an animal photographer, but when an animal poses for a portrait, who am I to deny it. And yes of course I got its email address and emailed the photo afterwards. If you are into photography you will understand how close it really is with the 45mm lens on a “full frame” camera.

Next is two shots of a Citroen 2CV. The first one I would have loved to take from a higher position to keep only the 2CV in frame and not the cars in the background. Like I was able to do with the landscape one. I like the framing on that one better, as there is nothing to distract from the car itself. But I like the car better from the perspective of the first.

This image again shows the issue with overexposure. It has been pulled down a full stop in post processing but still the rose itself is overexposed. Pulling it back further in post-processing “greys” the entire image. So it would have been better to shoot it a full stop lover in the camera itself.

The next two images are from a good ride on my motorcycle photographing harvest season. I actually quite like both of them. They are as all other images pulled back a full stop in post-processing, but that is also close to right. The picture of the combine harvester is still overexposed in the sky. But it also somewhat fails to show that the wheel is missing. Perhaps I ran into the dynamic range restrictions of the film or I should have taken the picture from another angle.

This picture of my friend working on his motorcycle also shows some of the dynamic restraints. The exposure lets his face be visible but the white of the fender, tank and headlight is overexposed. But that is only seen from a technical perspective. As a picture of a moment it absolutely works.

Finally a few images of me and my father working on my parents VW LT35 autocamper. We recently installed a Porsche cylinder head to gain some more power in the old brick. Which actually was very successful! But I may write a full post on that at some point.

Seen from a photography perspective I really like these shots. The first one again is overexposed as pulled both back 1 stop already. Despite this the first one is still overexposed. It would have been perfect if it was shot in camera stepped down that one stop. Then post-processing could take care of the rest.

The second one of my father is my absolute favorite of the roll. Even though the wall in the background is overexposed, the subject is perfectly exposed. And I really enjoy the grain, the tonality and just about everything about it. I am really pleased and it confirms that I should keep shooting Ilfords FP4 and perfect my technique with it.

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