Early Morning in the Alley

With the threat of thunderstorms for the afternoon I thought it wise to try to get my weekend shooting done early this morning. I had initially planned on sticking close to home and shooting a roll of HP5 and Fomapan 100. I really had no detailed idea on what I wanted to shoot (do I really ever?) but I knew, in a nutshell, that I wanted it to be closeup and I wanted it “urban”. Not that I needed a break from nature, but sometimes it’s good to mix things up.

Nikon F4 | Ilford HP5+ | D23

With it being 7 a.m. I decided to go with the HP5 first. Set the F4 ASA setting for 400 (mainly out of habit) and also set the Sekonic L-358 to 400 as well. It was my full intention of using this session as also a hand metering practice session. Lately I’ve been relying on the meter in the F4 for most of my shots. Which isn’t really a bad thing. The meter in the F4 is great and I trust it implicitly, provided I use it properly. Nearly every roll I’ve shot with the F4 in the last month as utilized the built-in meter, and this is why I felt the need to use the L-358. Truth be told, I need more experience with the Pentax Spot meter. That will be happening very soon. Sadly, after carefully metering each scene and transferring the setting from the meter to the camera for nearly the entire roll, I discovered that I had neglected to place the camera in Manual mode. How does this happen? Easy if it’s early on a Saturday morning and you’ve only had 1/4 cup of coffee. Lesson learned though. Don’t become complacent about checking camera settings before shooting.

Nikon F4 | Ilford HP5+ | D23

I grabbed the F4 (loaded with HP5 now) and Tamron 35-80 f/2.8 Macro and my smaller camera bag containing the 55mm Micro and 50mm f/1.4 and the roll of Fomapan 100 and piled into the car and headed to McDonald’s for my customary cup of “shooting coffee”. Sitting in line gave me time to think about what I wanted to shoot. I knew I didn’t want to go out of town. I would leave that for Sunday mornings when there is less traffic and the World is quieter. The thing that popped into my head was to shoot closeup/macro shots in the alley in town that I shoot in the most.

Nikon F4 | Ilford HP5+ | D23

As you can see, I didn’t stick to just closeups. Which is fine, I’m not usually shooting with strict subject requirements. Normally I have a general idea of what I want but will also shoot whatever else presents itself to me

When it came time to decide how to develop the roll, my full intention was to use Pyrocat HD since there were buildings and closeups of brick detail. I thought that maybe Pyrocat would handle it superbly. However, when I got to roll loaded in the tank I couldn’t keep from grabbing the D23. I honestly believe that I am addicted to this developer. What it does in terms of sharpness, tonality and grain treatment completely satisfies the film nerd in me. And more-so with each roll as I replenish. Development was for 7:30 minutes at 68F (20C) with continuous agitation for the first minute and 5 seconds every minute (approx. 4 turns on the twizzle stick) for the remainder of the development time. Fixing was done in TF-2 by inspection, total time was roughly 3 minutes.

Nikon F4 | Ilford HP5+ | D23

Nikon F4 | Ilford HP5+ | D23

Nikon F4 | Ilford HP5+ | D23

As you can see, I couldn’t pass up using the last frame on the roll on my trusty tree. This was shot with the 55mm Micro instead of the Tamron. Over all I am happy with the roll. I’m not too happy with myself for overlooking placing the camera in Manual mode, but I have addressed this issue with myself and I have assured myself that that mistake won’t be made again.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this sampling of the images I captured on my trip down the alley this morning. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments below or even by email.

God Bless and Happy Shooting!

2 thoughts on “Early Morning in the Alley

Add yours

  1. Hi Tom.
    Me again. I have a Sekonic L508 zoom master. From time to time I forget to change the position of the incident or reflected light selector and have measured the reflected light with the selector in incident light. 🤪

    A very good lens for macro photography (and portraits too) is the Tamron Adaptall SP 90mm f2.8 1: 2 (52B or 52BB).

    Nice photos.
    Greetings Juan.

  2. Greetings!

    The Tamron 90mm is one that I have wanted for many years but never purchased. From my understanding, it is one sharp lens. But so is the Nikkor 55mm that I currently use.

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