4 Reasons I Love Ilford Hp5 Film

We thought we'd start highlighting all the amazing types of film that we use in both our professional and personal work and I wanted to start with one of my favorites - lovely Ilford Hp5 film.

35mm rated at 1600, +2. Image by Kim Hildebrand

35mm rated at 1600, +2. Image by Kim Hildebrand

1.  Versatility: This film is always in my camera bag because I can use it anywhere.  Hp5 is noted for its excellent overall performance in a wide variety of lighting conditions.  You can rate this film from 320 all the way up to 3200 and it will look amazing!

120 film rated at 320, +0.  Image by Kim Hildebrand

120 film rated at 320, +0.  Image by Kim Hildebrand

35mm rated at 400, +0. Image by Kim Hildebrand

35mm rated at 400, +0. Image by Kim Hildebrand

Rated at 800, +1.  Image by Jackie Fox

Rated at 800, +1.  Image by Jackie Fox

Rated at 1600, +2.  Image by Heidi Alhadeff Leonard

Rated at 1600, +2.  Image by Heidi Alhadeff Leonard

Rated at 3200, +3.  Image by Megan Dill

Rated at 3200, +3.  Image by Megan Dill

2.  Contrast:   It's contrast, while high, is less pronounced than that of Tri-X, which appeals to shooters that prefer a more even tonal scale.  Because it is less pronounced than Tri-X, the highlights and shadows respond really (well if exposed correctly) when using it in a low-light situation where you intend to push the film.

Rated at 400, +0.  Image by Alpana Aras

Rated at 400, +0.  Image by Alpana Aras

Rated at 1600, +2.  Image by Kristin Wahls

Rated at 1600, +2.  Image by Kristin Wahls

120 film rated at 3200, +3.  Image by Lea Ciceraro

120 film rated at 3200, +3.  Image by Lea Ciceraro

3.  Grain:  I found an informative article in the Adorama Learning Center comparing Hp5 to Tri-X, which is considered the gold standard among street and documentary photographers.  Hp5 is noted for its fine grain, high-edge detail, and excellent overall performance in a wide variety of lighting conditions.  Usually, grain on a pushed 35mm b/w film is too much for me, but I love it on Hp5 film!  Last, the grain is still absolutely beautiful on medium format when pushed 3 stops (see example below)!

35mm rated at 1600, +2.  Image by Kim Hildebrand

35mm rated at 1600, +2.  Image by Kim Hildebrand

Image by Amanda McKinley

Image by Amanda McKinley

Rated at 3200, +3.  Image by Tamara Aptekar

Rated at 3200, +3.  Image by Tamara Aptekar

4.  Cost:  Ilford Hp5 currently costs $4.39 per roll of 35mm or $4.69 per roll of 120, not bad!  Note that Tri-X isn't much more ;)

So if you haven't tried out Ilford Hp5 film, I encourage you to give it a try!  It's quite an amazing and extremely versatile film.

Mi Amore Photo : Black & White In-Home Maternity Session

I was giddy when I saw these beautiful maternity images come in from Shannon Griffin of Mi Amore Photo.  The light, the details, the INTIMACY, oh my.  Even though her friends had a long wait, I'm sure they'd agree with me that these images (and their new little one) were well worth it.  Beautiful work, Shannon.

Shannon says:

"This session is very special to me as these are my husband and my closest friends.  They tried to conceive for 2 years and started to give up hope.  Of course, when they stopped trying it happened.  This is their first child and we are all beyond thrilled to meet this baby!  They are waiting until the birth to find out the sex of the baby.  They are going to be the absolute best parents and their love for each other is inspirational and beautiful.  (It was photographed in our home in Tallahassee, Florida.)"

Gear used:

Contax 645 with the 80mm lens
Portra 400 (pushed 2 stops and converted to black and white)
Tri-x 400 (pushed 2 stops)
Dev/Scan:  The FIND Lab

See more of Shannon's work here:

Website | Facebook | Instagram

If you have a favorite session you'd like to submit, we'd love to hear from you!

XOXO,

Kim

My Take on Boudoir Photography

I remember years ago before I even had a photography business, seeing boudoir photos in an online forum and thinking, whoa. I was in a bubble of newborn images and photos of children, macro flowers, and dogs (who out there remembers ILP!?). I quickly dismissed boudoir photos. They were sooooo cheesy, I thought. 

Then I became a mother. I came face to face with my own body image issues. I survived trauma, several times over. I began to see the power I had just because I was a woman. I started to explore what that meant. I tried to understand it.I began to take care of my body, eat better, laugh more, go for a run. I started talking kinder to myself. I got a studio. I looked at boudoir photos a little differently. 

I didn't (and still don't) look at the cheesy photos, they are still very much out there. (Don't even get me started on dudeoir.) But I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with "boudoir" photos. I didn't want them to be "boudoir" but how to get around that? And I quickly realized, calling them boudoir photos was the first problem. I didn't want to shoot "boudoir". I didn't want women coming into the studio with a bunch of lingerie and taking photos that scream SEX! in red flashing lights. I wanted to take photos of women (clothed, unclothed, whatever) so they could SEE how powerful they are too. So they can leave my studio walking taller, talking kinder to themselves, and stopping to smile in a mirror instead of pulling up the skin around their eyes longing for the days where it was tight. 

So it was then Empowerment was built. I don't shoot "boudoir". I shoot Empowerment sessions. 

What's the difference? Don't you still use a bed? Aren't your clients in lingerie?
Yes, I do sometimes use a bed. Yes, sometimes they are in lingerie. I don't have a thing against either of those things. Clients can be in parkas or naked for all I care, it's not about me. I approach these sessions first by asking why my clients are choosing to do it now. What was it that triggered you to contact me? What's going on in your life that you need this right now? Maybe it really is a gift for their spouse, but maybe there is more there, under the surface. And THAT'S what I want to know. The difference is the feeling, the mentality, and the approach.

When I connect with my clients on another level beyond taking a photo, when I listen, I show them it's ok. It's ok to feel vulnerable. It's ok to open up to me. I get it. I understand you. I hear you. I see you. And that's where a powerful image comes from. 

You may or may not like my Empowerment photographs. And it's the only time I'll honestly say this, but I don't care if you like the image or not. When I create photos at an Empowerment shoot, they are for my client only. You might see one or two, you might see none. Clients go through a sort of transition during the shoot and that is very evident in the image. I know the vibe they had when they entered the studio and the difference from the vibe they had when they left. I feel that and see it. You might not. But they do. And that's what matters. 

I also shoot them all on black and white film. It's rare that I'll even shoot one digital photo. Or one color photo. When you see yourself in a black and white photo, there are less distractions. You can focus on the real you. It's raw. And I think, it's empowering. 

You know what else is Empowering? Finding your strengths and building from there. Ignoring the industry norms, trends, and what the latest rock star photographers are doing. Creating your own signature thing. It's something I've worked hard on in both my Empowerment work and my family and newborn work. I work on it all the time as everyone has something to learn no matter what stage of your business you're in. I would love to help Empower you in your own business to help you find what your strengths are if you are stuck. I've been stuck and thanks to some incredible mentors in my life I've found my way out each time. I'd love to help you and be your mentor. Contact me if you'd like to chat!

Joyce Kang: Favorites in black and white film February 2015

I may have said this before but I will say it again:  I LOVE black and white film.  Black and white film is like a classic Cadillac.  It will never go out of the style.  The more you look at it, the more you fall in love with its simplicity and its beauty. The last couple of weeks has been incredible!  The submissions on Little Bellows Facebook blew me away.  I seriously do not know how I can even choose from your amazing photographs.  You left me utterly speechless and gasping in awe!  Especially this image by Kim Tsui Photography:

This is one of the images that I want to say "I wish I shot it".  Yeah!

I love the way Kim uses light in this image.  Well, I love the way Kim incorporate light in her composition in all of her work, period.  This is the image that caught my eye as I scroll though numerous beautiful submissions.  Let's just say that using high contrast light in an image is not easy.  I have tried and tried, and I just can't seem to get it right.  This image is perfection!  I love the way Kim used the light to draw my eyes from the left corner of the image to the little girl.  I love the striped highlights from the window blinds (?) on her body.   It's like she is being marked.   Is she being confined to this wall because of something she said?  Perhaps she is being chastised for going against the rules.  Or maybe, she has lost something that was important to her.  A lovey?  A doll?  I want to know more!  I want to ask "are you okay, sweet heart?"  It brings out the maternal impulse to put my arms around her and big her a comforting hug.  I want to take my hand and smooth out her tussled hair and tuck it behind her ear, and console her "everything is going to be alright!"

I would love to hear your thoughts.  What emotion does this image evoke within you?

Thank you again for all of your submissions friends.  Next up, I am looking for your favorite color film images.  Be sure to tag them #LBfilm so I don't have to guess "is this film?"  In the meantime, happy shooting!!

 

xx Joyce

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Kim Tsui Photography

 

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Jenna Lee Photography

 

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Wallace Standard Design and Photography

 

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Kim Hildebrand Photography

 

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Bella Jewel Photography

 

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Jacqueline Rose Photography

 

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Jaclyn Shepard Photography

 

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Lady Tori Photography

 

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Molly Matchum Photography

 

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Heather Chang Photography

Joyce's Black and White Film Favorites Nov 2014

Black and white film is the root of all things photography. It's simple, beautiful and classic. I love the nostalgic feeling of a grainy black and white film image. I have tried to duplicate the look on my digital camera but never succeeded. There is something about a black and white film image...it's real, it's raw, and it's alive!  Congratulations to all the photographers featured here.  Your images make my heart sing!  Keep posting your beautiful film images on Little Bellow Facebook Page and hashtag #LBfilm for a chance to be featured!  

Here are the Black and White Film Favorites Nov 2014:

Lately, I have found myself drawn to squares.  Maybe I am being biased because I just got my dream camera, Rolleiflex, and it's as beautiful as the name. I am head over heels over this square image and the flawless composition.  I love how Amy uses the ceiling light and the dark wood floor as the leading lines to direct my eyes into the frame.  She then uses the repetition of the geometric shapes creates a steady rhythm and balance in and around the frame: the cabinets, the appliances, the slight switches, the dish towel, and even the kitchen island.

What are they doing?

Is this a mother and her child?

Is she baking cookies or preparing something delicious while her little boy is looking on?

I want to explore this image and know more about what is keeping the little boy's attention here.

I feel like an intruder looking in at a private moment.

Despite the vast negative space within this square frame, I feel the warmth of the relationship, I hear the exchanges of tender conversations, and I smell cookies that are freshly baked.

I sense the abundance of unconditional love.

Amy Bethune

Amy Bethune Photography

 

Carrie Geddie

Carrie Geddie Photography

 

Erica Sandusky

Erica Sandusky Photography

 

Jennifer Capozzola Photography

Jennifer Capozzola Photography

 

Kate Tuttle Photography

Katy Tuttle Photography

 

Kim Hildebrand Photography

Kim Hildebrand Photography

 

Kim Tsui Photography

Kim Tsui Photography

 

Phyllis Meredith Photography

Phyllis Meredith Photography

 

Megan Boyer Photography

Meghan Boyer Photography

 

Miriam Dubinsky Photography

Miriam Dubinsky Photography

 

I encourage you all to participate in submitting your film images. "Joyce's Film Favorites" is an on-going bi-monthly feature. The only requirement for the submission is that it is...film. That's it! So, don't forget to share your beautiful film images on Little Bellows Facebook Page when your receive your scans!

 

Blog Contributor and Writer:  Joyce Kang

©Joyce C. Kang-DDKang001017-R1-E006-Edit-2001Joyce Kang is a children & family photographer in Austin TX.  She is also a mentor and a film workshop instructor for Embrace The Grain.  She is married to her best friend and enjoys outdoors with her family.    She loves to curl up with a good book and has a terrible addiction to any thing that tops with a heaping scoop of ice cream drizzled with chocolate fudge!

Follow Joyce and see more of her work at: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google+

Joyce's Film Favorites in Black and White October 2014

Shooting with black and white film did not come easy for me at the beginning. I am a color junkie! If you take a peek into my closet, you will find that I have clothes in every color imaginable. One of my favorite designer of my "younger" days was Betsey Johnson when she was still designing most of the collection herself...go figure that out! Obviously, seeing the world in tones of gray is one of the challenges when people switch from color to black and white film.  Simply seeing the light is no longer enough.  It will take lots of practice and self training to be able to recognize contrast, tone, and textures and how to make them all work together under the light you are shooting in.

When I saw these beautiful black and white film images submission on our Little Bellow Facebook, I knew I have to show them off here.:

 

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Verva Photography

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Klodjana Dervishi Photography

 

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Megan Dill Photography

 

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Lilly Lane Photography

 

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Amanda O'Donoughue Photography

 

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Heather Chang Photography

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Rebecca Lindon Photography

 

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Kim Tsui Photography

 

Blog Contributor and Writer:  Joyce Kang

Joyce Kang selfie black and white on mamiya c330Joyce Kang is a fine art lifestyle children & family photographer in Austin Texas.  She is also a mentor and a film workshop instructor for Embrace The Grain.  She is married to her best friend and enjoys outdoors with her family.  She loves to curl up with a good book and has a terrible addiction to any thing that tops with a heaping scoop of ice cream drizzled with chocolate fudge!

Follow Joyce and see more of her work at: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google+

Joyce's Film Favorites in Black & White - September 2014

Thank you to all who submitted your GORGEOUS film images for the feature! I think it would be so fun to divide this bi-monthly feature into two major film types:  black and white film and color film. This include instant films too!  So please submit those fabulous instant film images.  I have seen so many beautiful submissions on Little Bellows' page so far. I just can't get enough of black and white film's buttery grain! Here are my picks for Film Favorites in Black and White:

Annie May Clark

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Jacqueline Rose Photography

Kodak TriX 400

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Brooke Bikneris Photography

Kodak TriX 400

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Sarah Landa Photography

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Megan Dill Photography

Kodak TriX 400

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Meghan Boyer Photography

Ilford XP2

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Klodjana Dervishi Photography

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Jaclyn Shepard Photography

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The Paper Deer Photography

Fuji Acros

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Molly Matcham Photography

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Blog Contributor and Writer:  Joyce Kang

©Joyce C. Kang 2013-3912003948-R1-036-16A001Joyce Kang is a fine art lifestyle children & family photographer in Austin Texas.  She is also a mentor and a film workshop instructor for Embrace The Grain at In Beauty and Chaos.  She is married to her best friend and enjoys outdoors with her family.  She loves to curl up with a good book and has a terrible addiction to any thing that tops with a heaping scoop of ice cream drizzled with chocolate fudge!

Follow Joyce and see more of her work at: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google+