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.

Film Photography

single frame: North toward the circle

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On the circle

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

When I last worked Downtown in Indianapolis — and yes, we write it with a capital D here — the building in the middle of this photograph didn’t exist. It was a vacant lot. Whatever had stood there before had been razed. For all I know the building(s) there were razed for what was to come: the headquarters of Emmis Communications, which owns radio and TV stations in many major markets including New York and Los Angeles, as well as here in Indianapolis. That was in 1996; the building was complete in 1998.

But I’d moved on from that job by then and was working in a suburban office park on the Northwestside. Again, yes, that’s how we write “northwest side” here. Anyway, I worked various jobs in the north suburbs for more than 20 years before landing Downtown again this year. In the 90s, Downtown was just beginning to resurge after a long period of decline and neglect. Today it’s hard for me to believe how vibrant and vital and interesting it is. I love working Downtown and I hope I never have another job in the suburbs.

But Monument Circle is much the same as it always was, with the exception of the completed Emmis building.

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.

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Film Photography

single frame: On the circle

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Film Photography

Ilford FP4 Plus in the Nikon N90s

Tavern at the Point

After I got outstanding results from Ilford’s classic FP4 Plus black-and-white film (photos here), earlier this year in my Olympus XA, I wanted to try it again.

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The kind people at Analogue Wonderland sent me another roll to try, in exchange for this mention. They sell more than 200 films from around the world! That includes all of the classic films from Ilford and Kodak plus all the fun new films from small and boutique brands. And they ship just about everywhere. Get your Ilford FP4 Plus from them here.

Up Illinois St.

I hadn’t used my Nikon N90s in a while so I got it out and mounted the basic but fun 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor lens. Nikon included this lens with most of its consumer SLRs in the early 2000s. I got mine when it came with a used Nikon N65 I bought. Except for some barrel distortion on the wide end, easily corrected in Photoshop, it’s a good performer.

Monument in the sky

That lens weighs just seven ounces, which is great, because the N90s is a large, heavy semi-pro body. Read my review of it here. This “gelded” lens lacks an aperture ring, limiting the camera to Program mode for exposure.

Wheeler Mission

I left this kit in a drawer at work over several weeks and took it out for a photo walk whenever I could get away at lunch. As you can see in the photos above, FP4 Plus does a great job rendering clouds in the sky. But as I shot this roll, summer faded into autumn. In Indiana, that often means more cloudy than sunny days. The FP4 Plus delivered a great range of tones in all weather.

Brutal

One of my pet peeves with some slower-speed black-and-white films is a tendency to blow highlights. FP4 Plus has never done that to me. It returns good detail for me even in strongly reflected sunlight.

The Artsgarden

Old School Photo Lab developed and scanned this roll and did their usual excellent work. But as I’ve been teaching myself to develop my own black-and-white film, I’m wondering how this film will look in Rodinal, my developer of choice. I’m eager to try it.

Chairs

Ilford FP4 Plus is a fantastic medium-speed (ISO 125) black-and-white film. If you’ve never tried it, do, right away. You can get yours from Analogue Wonderland, in 35mm and 120, here.

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Down the alley 1

Boone County Courthouse down an alleyway
Olympus XA
Ilford HP4 Plus
2019

I’ve been out of the photographic mood much more than I’ve been in it lately. Life’s been busy, stress has been high. Yet I know that a good photowalk can cure what ails me.

When Analogue Wonderland (who is sponsoring this post) sent me some films to try it was the boost I needed. They included some Ilford HP4 Plus, a film I’ve long wanted to try. So I spooled it into my little Olympus XA and carried it around with me for a couple weeks.

I had to run an errand up in Lebanon, the seat of Boone County, Indiana, one day after work. Errand done, I parked on the square and walked around hoping interesting compositions would jump out in front of me.

When I walk with a camera, I go places I wouldn’t otherwise, such as down this alleyway on the square. The contrast between the dark alley and the lit courthouse caught my attention. It looks even better on FP4 Plus than it did in real life. I enjoy the tonal range and detail, but I love how the alley’s pavement, damp after a rainshower, looks like silk.

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Film Photography

single frame: Boone County Courthouse down an alleyway

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Film Photography

Shooting Ilford FP4 Plus

This post is sponsored by Analogue Wonderland, who make film photography fun and accessible for everyone.

Tulips

You’d think I would have shot Ilford’s FP4 Plus by now. It’s a traditional-grained ISO 125 film, much like Kodak’s lamented, discontinued Plus-X, which I loved. Also, Ilford films are easy to buy in central Indiana given that their US distributor, Roberts, is located here. I can walk into their store and buy any film Ilford makes.

But it wasn’t until the nice people at Analogue Wonderland asked if I’d like to write some sponsored posts for them in exchange for some film from their extensive selection that I thought, “Here’s my chance to finally shoot some Ilford!” FP4 Plus was at the top of my wish list.

On the pond in the office park

As much as I miss Plus-X, I’m not going to compare the two films. It’s been overdone. Search “Plus-X vs. FP4” and prepare for the link avalanche. No, I’m going to evaluate FP4 Plus on its own merits, through the lens of my Olympus XA.

On the pond in the office park

FP4 Plus is a very good medium-speed black-and-white film. Its blacks are inky rich and it authoritatively captures a full range of middle tones. Best of all, it does not tend toward blown highlights like so many other ISO 100-125 black-and-white films I’ve tried. I’m looking at you, Kentmere and Fomapan.

Central Park

Even in mixed lighting, FP4 Plus delivers the details. Its grain is almost undetectable, it’s so fine. It leads to delicious sharpness.

Little Tree

The only time I wasn’t thrilled with FP4 Plus was on a particularly gloomy day. An ISO 400 film would have been a better choice, but FP4 Plus is what I had in the camera and so I shot it. This photo conveys the feel of the day all right, but lacks detail in the deepest shadows.

Wet parking lot

I plowed ahead shooting on this dim day. I had to run an errand in Lebanon after work, so I photographed around the town’s square. You can drive only one way down this alley.

One way

The original Boone County Jail is now a bar and restaurant. You can have dinner in one of the cells.

Cell Block 104

This seriously old house is about a block off the square.

Old house

Down another side street off the square is the First Baptist Church. Just look at the great tones and all that detail!

First Baptist

FP4 Plus is a lovely, lovely film. I regret not trying it sooner. I need to always have some cooling in the film fridge.

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On the pond in the office park

Office building across the water
Olympus XA
Ilford FP4 Plus
2019

I shared a photo from about the same place a couple weeks ago, one I made with my iPhone. I recently got the chance to try some Ilford FP4 Plus, an ISO 125 black-and-white film, and I decided to try the shot again to see what I got.

I’ll do a more comprehensive review of this film tomorrow, but in short, me likey. The tones are just so, so good.

This is the office building I worked in until last Friday, by the way. My new job’s office is in Downtown Indianapolis. There are no man-made ponds there.

This post is sponsored by Analogue Wonderland, who make film photography fun and accessible for everyone.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.

Film Photography

single frame: Office building across the water

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