My wife called me at work to tell me that my latest scans were ready for download. I usually get the email when the lab sends it, but I was so busy today at work that I did not notice my phone buzzing. It was a nice surprise as I was not expecting them until next week. These scans were my first bout with Ilford Delta 3200. My goal was to do some low light and night shooting to see how this stock rendered the images. After doing some research, I decided to shoot this roll at ISO 1600. Box speed is 3200, but Ilford literature states that it is actually rated at 1000 ISO. I read that it also does well at 3200 and 6400. I may have to experiment with a higher speed later.
I was very pleased with the images. The is the first time I’ve shot night scenes with film. I was worried about my metering technique under the night lights. I used a handheld Minolta light meter. This meter can be fitted with attachments for different types of metering. In this outing, I used a 5 degree spot attachment. Technically 5 degrees is not a spot, but it is small enough to isolate and evaluate different light sources in a scene. It works very well, and I believe the exposures in these photographs turned out quiet well. I forgot to mention that these shots were taken in medium format (120 film). I used my Mamiya 645 1000S. This post shows only 6 shots. I will be posting more later, so stay tuned.
I had this roll of 3200 setting around for several weeks. I was waiting for an opportunity to get out at night. Of all nights to get out, I decided to venture out on a rainy Sunday night in downtown Columbia, Tennessee. After a while of not shooting, the urge to get out builds up. That was the case when I decided to head out in the rain. I figured I would stick to the square where I could use the awnings for cover. This actually worked out quite well and it proved challenging to find interesting compositions from selective awning locations.
My first stop was just out side of the license and registration office. After I found my composition, I setup my tripod and mount for the shot below. All the shots in this post were shot using a tripod.
License & Registration Please
Next, I found this salon sign to be interesting. It had an old storefront feel to it. I thought I could bring out that nostalgic presence about it with the black and white film. It was hard for my aging eyes to get a good focus on the sign. To make sure my focus was spot on, I used the flashlight app on my phone. I positioned my phone on the sign with the light shining back toward me. It was quick and easy to focus on the tiny light source. As you can see it worked like a charm.
I walked around a bit before settling on my next shot. I was drawn to the table setting with the glistening raindrops. Once again I had to use my phone to assist me with the focus. I sat my phone on the table closest to the camera.
The above image is just outside the Square Market Cafe. Through the breezeway just behind this setting is the backside of the storefront.
This next shot is one of my favorites of the bunch. I really like the “still of the night” feel to this one.
Still of the Night
My final image of the night was actually where I started. The vantage point where I took the first picture is just to my left from where I took the shot below. My back was literally against the wall for this shot. I was in a sitting position. I did not have to extend the legs on my tripod for this one.
I had a fun time walking the damp and dark streets around town. Other than the missing color, the images came out just as I remembered them. As you can see you have to “Embrace the Grain”. This is a popular phrase among analog shooters. I don’t find the grain objectionable. It adds to the character of the photo. Along with the grain of shooting at 1600 comes the faster shutter speeds. Some of these shots could have taken half a minute or more to expose properly if shot at ISO 100. A lot can happen in 30 seconds. I will definitely be stocking Delta 3200 in the fridge for special projects. I will have to experiment with shooting at box speed and even 6400. I may even be able to handhold my camera for some street work at night at those speeds.
Images Best Viewed in Lightbox Below!