While I had Ilford HP5 Plus loaded into my Nikon N90s, my wife bought me a gift of two vintage pocket watches. I’ve always loved watches and for decades have had to strongly resist collecting them. My wife tossed all that good resistance out the window. Not that I’m complaining.

I mounted my 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor to the N90s and went in close. I shot handheld at box speed, ISO 400.

Pocket watch
Pocket watch
Pocket watch

Analogue Wonderland provided me the roll of HP5 Plus in exchange for mentioning that they did. Get yours from them here.

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Film Photography

Pocket watches

Some vintage pocket watches through a macro lens.

Film Photography

Shooting Ilford HP5 Plus


This post is brought to you by Analogue Wonderland, who offer dozens of fun films for you to try. Click the logo to see!

Why did I wait so long to start shooting Ilford?

Market Street towards the Statehouse

I actually know why: so many fine childhood photographic memories that involve little yellow boxes. It leads me to reach for Kodak first. But I’ve been missing out.

The Lacy Building

Ilford HP5 Plus is a fast (ISO 400) black-and-white film with a traditional grain structure. As you can see, it delivers plenty of lovely grays evenly at every level between white and black. No “chalk and soot” here, no sir.

Lime scooters

The only thing I did with any of these photos in Photoshop was boost contrast and exposure a little to suit my tastes. But truly, I could have used these images without any post-processing. I almost never get that outcome with film. Oh Ilford, I’m sorry I waited so long!

The table is set

I shot this roll in my Nikon N90s with my 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor lens attached. I have to think this camera’s advanced (for its time) matrix metering helped get even exposures on this blindingly bright day.


These scenes are all from Downtown Indianapolis, where I work now. It’s lovely to take a camera on a lunchtime photowalk. The sun directly overhead typically provides the harshest light; conventional wisdom is to go earlier or later. But noon’s when I can get out, and Ilford HP5 Plus is just the film for it.

Bus terminal

There’s so much to photograph Downtown now! I last worked Downtown in 1996, and revitalization had only just begun. I wish I had made lunchtime photowalks then for then-and-now comparisons!

Nicky Blaine's

If you’d like to try Ilford HP5 Plus for yourself, you can order it from Analogue Wonderland here. They provided me this roll of film in exchange for this mention.

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A portrait of the doggo as a young pupper
Nikon N90s, 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor
Ilford HP5 Plus

This is our son Zach’s dog Obie, sitting regally on the rug by the door to the garage. We see a lot of Obie as we’re his default babysitters when Zach travels. He’s a chihuahua-rat terrier mix. This is as big as he’ll be. I’m much more a large-dog person, but Obie’s a charmer and we’re always happy to have him around.

It seems appropriate to photograph a black-and-white dog on black-and-white film. I’d never shot Ilford’s HP5 Plus before, but Analogue Wonderland sent me a roll to try (get yours from them here) in exchange for mentioning that they did.

I’ll have much more to say about HP5 Plus tomorrow, but for today: this ISO 400 film is just lovely, sensitively capturing the entire range of grays. This photograph required no frippery in Photoshop to correct anything. It is perfect just as it came off the processor’s scanner.

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Film Photography

single frame: A portrait of the doggo as a young pupper