Film Photography: 8x10 Ilford HP5+

Last week I really wanted to shoot some 8x10, but the weather wasn't cooperating. My Eastman 8x10 View Camera had been folded up and resting in the corner of my office for over two months. Four film holders were loaded with various films and I was starting to worry about how well the film was holding up after all the time at room temperature (and one trip in a hot car). 

I woke up to more rain on Tuesday and decided to just bit the bullet and shoot something indoors. Kate and I had went to Eataly the night before and picked up a bunch of veggies, including a yellow pepper that looked very Weston-esque to my eye. After Kate left for work, I raided our fridge for a few photogenic veggies and came out with a delicata squash, carrots, radishes, and the Weston pepper. The squash was really only to prop up the radishes, carrots, and pepper. You can see a sliver of it in the final image.  

8x10 Setup for Still Life 

8x10 Setup for Still Life 

What I always learn when doing an image like this using large format, is that it's really a lot of work and attention to detail. I used one simple light (to the right and from above), but the placement, focusing on the ground glass (bellows extension), and positioning of the camera is time consuming. At f45, this was a two second exposure. I added a bit of time for the reciprocity failure of the Ilford film and the bellows extension. 

As I mentioned earlier, I was really worried that the film had spent too much time in my warm office. I expected it to not look as smooth and creamy as Ilford normally does. I shouldn't have worried. The film was flawless and the exposure spot on.

I developed the negatives (I shot two, one at f45 and one at f32) in Kodak HC 110 Solution H (1:63) and tray developed them by agitating the surface of the film with a soft brush. You can see a larger version of the photograph on my Flickr.

Veggie Still Life, 8x10 Ilford HP5+

Veggie Still Life, 8x10 Ilford HP5+