Ilford Pan F+ in ID11

Having done a few posts about Adox and Rollei film, it’s about time I did one about an old friend – Ilford’s Pan F black and white film. This was my standard film when I first started B/W photography – so it has a history longer than I’d care to admit! It’s current version is a 50 ASA fine-grained film, with a reputation which suggests it’s difficult to use.

panf_id11_12s

This was taken on an Olympus OM2N with the lovely 24mm f2.8 lens reviewed earlier for use on digital. It’s rather nice on 35mm too!

It’s got a tendency to be too contrasty – so reducing recommended development times and tank agitation is a good idea if you’re going to scan the negs. My recipe is ID11 stock for 6 minutes at 20 C, inverting the tank a few times at the start, then every 1 minute. This produces very useable images with some good dynamic range, but still retains some of the film’s ‘dark’ look.

panf_id11_13s

There’s a good dynamic range here from the detail in the clouds through to the shadows.

I’d describe it as a half way house between a film like Agfaphoto’s APX100 where contrast is very well controlled, and Rollei Blackbird which produces contrasty, dark images.

panf_id11_11s

Again a nice result – just enough contrast without losing the shadow and highlight detail.

The grain is very fine – just what you’d expect from a 50 ASA film.

panf_id11_small

From the trees in the top left. Although the 24mm lens at max aperture is stating to lose resolution, the grain is almost unnoticeable.

Physically the film is easy to handle, and goes on the film spiral very easily. It also doesn’t attracting dust when drying – unlike some films.

panf_id11_10s

Excellent again

Overall then, a very fine-grained film with a distinctive look which may be worth a try if you think the look of Rollei Blackbird is a too dark. At 50 ASA – or even 25 ASA – it will allow the use of those fast primes almost wide open on bright days and as long as it’s developed properly won’t disappoint.

It was good to shoot this film again after few years – I’ll be getting some more on my next film order.

Hope you find this useful – thanks for looking!

Advertisements

Infrared Easter

(Three images). Not that Easter is traditionally infrared…. Hopefully we’ll be getting more green foliage soon – though it’s late coming this year in the UK – which means its infrared season again at last. Here’s a few from the Fuji F810 converted to IR.

This one is gently layered and vignetted for the classic IR look. The faded trees in the distance contrast nicely with the dark sharp railings in the foreground.

00178430

Next is a lane nearby and a narrow lane curving away – the tree on the left is huge. This turned out better than anticipated as it wasn’t that bright.

00284756

Last an open gate and some leaves – the colour channel and desaturation controls creating the final effect leaving just a bit of colour.

00284752

All shots taken for the book cover market, hope you like them!

Abandoned/Found Things

(3 Images). Wandering around the countryside, you often come across bits and pieces which have been lost, then found by some passer-by and draped over a branch or fence – or just left there. There’s something very touching about them as they just sit there till they rot away, and as a photographic subject a bit of a favourite.

So – first one – a small Wellington boot which must have sat on the heath for years but somehow always looks untarnished (this bit of heath used to be a tip). The contrast between the natural autumn colours and the bright red was lovely.00151253

Next – the clouds cooperated here, and a small mitten wrapped around a metal fence.

00039826

Finally a toy placed over a branch – before the leaves had grown.

00029424

All shots taken for the book market, hope you like them. Have a good break over Easter!

Shooting Militaria Part Three

Post three about an epic weekend shoot of a car boot full of military objects. The opportunity to shoot so many graphic subjects took two days and was a real test as they all had to be back within 48 hours.

First, a communist era Red Star cap badge between two converging shadows.

00029463

Next a Royal Air Force cap badge – strange how the stitching in the wings looks more ‘feather like’ in close up.

00029177

Finally a real challenge – how do you take a photo of a (deactivated!) WW2 hand grenade? This was my best effort but I wasn’t really happy with the result. A layer might have helped.

00029038

All shots taken for the book market, hope you like them.

Shooting Doors Part Seven

Apologies for the delay – a few for the Legion.

First one shot on the site of a derelict lab – the main focus was the broken glass but there is a door in there somewhere in my defence….

00172518

Next another mysterious open infra red door with light foliage surrounding it – can’t resist them!

00178828

Finally a de-focussed shot of light emerging from around a church door (always the best ones) – and the bit of green chromatic aberration caused by the light through the keyhole make this one.

00164530

All shots for the book cover market – as always – hope you like them!

Texture Layers

It’s about time something was posted about using texture layers – I’ve already posted loads of shots with this type of post processing, sometimes so subtle that it’s hardly visible.

Starting with a few where it’s very visible:-

There are two main layer images added to this Lensbaby shot – one to enhance the stonework (which was a shot of rust), and one to give the brighter tones some texture. The images are blended together and then the layers ‘flattened’ to give the final effect. The interaction of the out of focus areas and the layers is very attractive.00182163

To achieve this effect you’ll need to ‘layer’ one or more shot on top of the other in Photoshop.

The easiest way I’ve found is to open the main picture and the texture images then drag a texture image over the main image from the ‘Projects’ floating toolbar. Resize the texture image to be the same size as the main image beforehand – this helps a lot!

The ‘Layers’ floating toolbar will then give various blending options such as ‘Overlay’ and ‘Soft Light’ – just have a play about with the options and the opacity of the layers and you’ll get the hang of it.

This next one is another Lensbaby shot with some strong layering to give a scratched/blotchy appearance. The Lensbaby plus layers combination is very nice!

00178805

And finally a more subtle one – a soft green texture with a vignette around the edge. The texture has the effect of altering the tone curve and the colours which, if you get it right, can make the image look a lot better without looking over processed.

00217844

I’ve gone a bit ‘Gothic’ here – probably because these types of shot suit more extreme layering. One you get used to this as a normal part of post processing it’s easy to build up a library of textures from free downloads or texture shots you take yourself.

There’s a detailed free tutorial here if anyone wants to see the process in more detail.

Give it a try – it can really add a special look to your images – especially for book cover stock. It’s also good for hiding dust and scratches on film images, and for adding some colour to black and white shots.

Hope you find this useful and thanks for looking!

Tree Tuesday Part Fifteen

A bit of an unusual Tree Tuesday this week – and rather sad. This is a Black Poplar in the grounds of the National Trust’s White Mill in East Dorset – a place I know very well as I’m a volunteer there during the summer. It’s age is anywhere between 300 and 500 years and the species itself is very rare.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It died several years ago, and we didn’t know that the stump was hollow. The years of spiders webs and rotting wood accumulated in there is spectacular.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I suppose the very high rainfall we’ve had this year contributed to the collapse, and as the tree is now unsafe it will have to be cut down – this is in a garden open to the public. It’s provided a home for snakes, birds and huge fungi for many years and will be greatly missed by all who know the site.

On the positive side, many cuttings were taken 15 years ago and are planted around East Dorset, so it’s not all bad.

Thanks for looking – Happy Tree Tuesday.

ps. There’s an article about Black Poplars here if you’re interested.