North toward the Monument

North toward the circle
Nikon N90s, 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor
Ilford FP4 Plus
2019

On Tuesday I showed you a photo I made from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, at the heart of Downtown Indianapolis. Today I’m showing you a view of that monument that I made from a block to the south, along Washington Street, which is also the historic National and Michigan Roads.

Tuesday’s photo showed you the Emmis building, completed in 1998; it’s out of the photograph right around the corner from the building on the left, the Guaranty Building, where you’ll find a swank martini-and-cigar bar in the basement.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, at 284 feet 6 inches tall, was completed in 1901. It is built of oolitic limestone quarried in Owen County, Indiana. It is a tribute to fallen soldiers in the American Civil War, the American Revolutionary War, and conflicts related to the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Spanish-American War.

Believe it or not, before it was built the governor’s residence stood here! Also, believe it or not for many years U.S. Highway 31 went around this circle. I’ve seen photographs on the circle that show US 31 shields. My mother has a memory as a girl in the 1950s driving around the circle as US 31 on he family’s way to dropping off her older brother to study at Indiana University, an hour to the south in Bloomington.

The good people at Analogue Wonderland sent me this roll of Ilford FP4 Plus in exchange for this mention. Get your FP4 Plus from them here.

Last updated on 18 March 2020 by Jim Grey

Film Photography

single frame: North toward the circle

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3 thoughts on “single frame: North toward the circle

  1. P says:

    This is probably my second favorite photo from the roll of FP4 PLUS you put though your N90s, following the “Parking” photo I mentioned I liked so much the other day. I like the strong contrast that exists here, due to the foreground being entirely blanketed in shadow but the background being bathed in sunlight. Yet, pretty good detail still exists throughout. This kind of scene is difficult to deal with, and it really shows the capabilities of FP4 PLUS. A lot of medium speed stocks would probably require heavily over-exposing the shot and then pulling development to still retain detail throughout. Nicely done. I’m assuming you shot this at box speed and used the N90s’s built in meter?

    • Thank you! I did some work in Photoshop to bring out shadow detail. In the original scan, the shadows were darker.

      I wonder what a straight darkroom print of this negative would look like. Scanning has so many vagaries.

      What I am discovering is that scans from budget films give less ability to correct exposure issues. I’m not sure that if I would be able to correct this same trouble in a scan from, say, Fomapan 100.

      • P says:

        Obviously in a darkroom you’d have a lot more control over the image than you do digitally manipulating a scan, which has already been “messed with” once by the scanner software itself and/or the lab tech (and my experience is it probably wasn’t for the better), not to mention highly compressed (I still don’t understand these labs that supply scans as JPEGs — it’s a real slap in the face to film as a medium, and the labs know it). In a darkroom, you can easily adjust contrast by selecting the appropriate filter grade and/or paper type, you’re free to dodge and burn to your heart’s content, perform a split-grade print if you want, etc. As long as the information you want is actually in the negative, your options would be near endless. This is why I envy those who either still have their own darkroom or have access to one where they live. I’ve sadly never had the chance to do any traditional darkroom work. I hope someday that’ll change, but right now the closest public darkroom to me is hours away.

        Fomapan 100 is a tricky film when it comes to high contrast scenes because it’s already a high contrast film (in my experience, at least, with most developers) and as you’ve noted in the past the highlights tend to blow out pretty easily. But in my view that’s really more an issue with how the film is exposed and developed than it is with the film itself. If you’re developing it yourself, you can rather easily control the contrast and highlight density. Using a compensating developer with a reduced agitation scheme will do the trick. If the scene is insanely contrasty, shooting it at EI 50 and pulling it a stop in developing will help further. Fomapan 100 has the potential to produce beautiful photos. It just isn’t quite as forgiving as something like FP4 PLUS. Unfortunately, if you send your film to a lab, it’s just going to be thrown in the mix with a bunch of other film stocks that require developing times that are somewhat kind-of-sort-of within the same ballpark (at best), using a standard developer and a short developing time. For how much the labs charge it shouldn’t be this way, but it is. They should develop it however you request. At the very least they should use less active developers and longer developing times so that the overall error is reduced. And yes, some will allow you to make requests, but then you get ripped off even worse. It’s just not worth it. For B&W, developing your own film is definitely the way to go. I’m glad you’ve started. I can’t wait to see how your first roll of FP4 PLUS in Rodinal compares to your lab processed rolls. I bet it’ll blow them out of the water.

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