G Ambivalence

My relationship with film photography is quite bipolar. Seriously.

If you asked me about what I like in a picture 10 years ago, I’d say “contrast and grain”. Digital changed everything, it made me discover things like “detail and microcontrast”.

Grain is a dream and a nightmare for me, great on B&W images, bad on color. I’ve come to appreciate the fine detail that comes out of my M8 with images like this:

Shadow Lines

On the contrary, B&W needs contrast and grain, so with the very same lenses on my M6 I need lots of it. I cannot stand dull grey images…

Leica M6 with Summicron 50mm type IV - Ilford HP5+ pushed to ISO1600

It comes like mood swings, a moment I’m shooting color fine detailed digital, another I’m pushing film to get more grain (above shot was pushed 2 stops to ISO1600). Mostly Tri-X to ISO800/1600 or Silvermax to ISO400/800., rarely (like above) HP5+ as it scratches too easily and it’s hell to scan (it curls like crazy!!).

Summer is fading, autumn would probably bring some amazing brown/orange/yellow colors, but soon everything will be B&W.

Winter is coming…


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