2019: Roll 3

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Already finished with my third roll of the year. That, if you haven’t been following me, is quick fast for me. Normally I shoot two rolls or so a month if I’ve nothing special to shoot.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Why? Well, not super easy to answer that. I think the main reason is my excitement to be committed to shooting film again. This “commitment” came from a realization I had during my regular yearly photo purge.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I should start by explaining the idea of the yearly purge. Every year, during the last week of December I sit down and delete all the photos I took during that year aside from 40. I use the number 40 because to me it is basically like a roll of film. I throw out the other negatives (aside from those on either side of one of the forty) and get rid of the backups of digital files.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I should say this doesn’t really include stuff like iPhone photos or selfies with my wife. That being said, in the forty I choose I have generally become more nostalgic. I am more likely to choose one like the above of my wife playing a board game because of the way the photo makes ME feel.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Getting back to my commitment to film. When I went through last years photos I felt something different about the film photos. They felt more real. It is hipster dumbness, maybe, but I really loved the idea that the actual film negative was there with me at the moment I took the photo.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I also think that for me personally I have a great sense of discipline when I shoot film. I have a terrible habit of looking at my photos the first cafe I get to or break I have on the subway.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I am well aware that this is a mental problem. Something I could easily fix with some discipline. I think I shoot differently when I shoot film. I look for different things and ignore others. I don’t take photos for the sake of taking them.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Same old shit you’ve read on countless blogs or seen in countless YouTube videos I know. I apologize for that. It is just the truth though. It does really make me feel different.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

That isn’t even to mention to fact that I have grown to love the developing part. I once hated it. I was too impatient. Now, I really enjoy it. It is the only time I let me cats into my darkroom. They come and play while I drink a glass of wine and listen to an audiobook or podcast.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

What about the scanning? Well, scanning also has kind of become a bit of a routine for me. I have grown to enjoy it. I am in fact scanning these while I write this and inserting them while I do. By the time 6 finish I am ready to add the next group. It works for me.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

You may be asking why they are bouncing between Seoul and Iksan so much. Basically I bounce between Seoul and Iksan a lot. I don’t take so many photos so you might see a couple days gap in between some of these where the camera was around my neck but I didn’t actually shoot anything.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Ah, to answer some questions:

What film do you use? I thought you used Tmax?

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I also loved Tmax. It was like my first girlfriend in film. I never liked TriX at all. The grain was too much. The contrast was too much. The tones between black and white were too abrupt. Tmax was a lot better for me. The feeling was more nostalgic. More akin to my mind’s eye.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Now I shoot HP5. There are some simple reasons for this.. but the most important one is price. HP5 costs about 15% less a roll here than Tmax. The second reason I shoot HP5 is somehow I feel like Ilford cares more about us (film photographers). I could be wrong, but I do feel that. HP5 at 3200 still has a nice look for me. It is somewhere between Tmax and Trix. Sometimes the tones can be a bit abrupt, but not so much as Trix. Ugh, I hate Trix.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

What developer do you use? 

This I am more strict about than with film, strangely. Tmax developer is the only developer in my book. I don’t know about others and care not to know, ha.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Forgot the scan the above first time around. Not sure how that happened.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

It’s a big holiday here in Korea. I think we are exhausted. Good to have a day to do nothing but develop some film and write a blog post. I’m counting down the minutes until 2:00PM when I think it seems late enough to have a beer.

Vlog camera test.

What about this YouTube? 

Coming soon ๐Ÿ˜‰ I already made my first couple of videos and have them on my Instagram. Tomorrow I’m going to the nearby historic city of Jeonju with a videographer and her assistant. Also have my vlogging setup nearly complete. I received the 11-22mm lens from Canon for my M50 right before the holiday and it seems to make things a whole lot easier when filming myself. Smallish tripod also on the way.

Seoul, South Korea.

Anyway, that is about it for this roll. Catch you all on the flip side ๐Ÿ˜‰

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

2019: Roll Two

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul. January 2019.

It isn’t often I get through two rolls of film in a couple of weeks. Normally I shoot about two rolls a month.

Why am I shooting so much?

It’s complicated.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

I guess the first reason is travel. I shoot a lot when I am going somewhere. I shoot photos in the same time that people read books or listen to music. I take photos to not be bored.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

I end up with lots of boring photos like this. That said, I think the main reason I shot a lot in the last two weeks was the excitement for being back shooting film. I’d used the M10P for a while and hadn’t shot any film.

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul, January 2019.

Lots of these photos too. They don’t always turn out well. Rarely do they in fact. That said, some of my favourite photos were taken through the window of a train or bus.

A long time ago in Canada I had my favourite lens stolen. Honestly, I change lenses a lot. People will say I have never stuck to anything. I used the 40mm Summicron exclusively for 4 years. I couldn’t afford anything else but I loves that lens. I recently got the chance to get another. I love this lens. Feels like coming home.

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul, January 2019.

All the photos here are Ilford HP5 at 3200.

This is a boring roll, I apologize. They aren’t always interesting.

I do really love the next photo though:

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul, January 2019. Ilford HP5 @ 3200.

This was early in the morning. The air quality has been terrible lately, so much so that it looks like fog. The field had just been plowed. One of my favourite photos in a long time. It was very much how I’d imagined it would be.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

I’ve been doing this a lot lately too. Cat photos are boring as well I guess. I love my cats though. I think I would be perfectly happy for a roll to consist only of photos of them. In this photo, Spoko is sitting in her favourite spot in our living room under a Nicholas Dominic Talvola print. He named her, so it is fitting that she loves this spot.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

Maybe the next roll will be more exciting. I have several trips planned in the next little while. Including one to Kyoto / Osaka. Looking forward to that.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

That trip will be with team Leica Korea, haha. More on that in the weeks to come ๐Ÿ˜‰

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.
Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

Other than that, I’m happy to say if you’re in Korea soon I’ll be opening an analogue photography class at the Leica Akadamie here. During the class I’ll cover all sorts of film related topics from the basics of loading film to developing and even perhaps some printing.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

I just realized half of this roll is photos of trees.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

No trees here. Sucks this photo. They were all looking at me a split second before. I was super bummed when I saw it.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

This was second last photo of the roll. It is boring but I quite like it. Iksan feels like this to me. It feels like Iksan.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

The last photo. It is usually of my wife or one of the cats. Wife wasn’t in the mood so Spoko stepped up.

That’s all for today.

Catch you next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

-Josh.