Whitlingham Marshes on FP4+

A couple of weeks ago I went to visit a lovely friend of mine, Tom, at his place in Norwich. We’re frequent photo buddies, and have been going out together to point glass at things for years. The blistering cold and imminent snow didn’t put us off, and we took a muddy trek to Whitlingham Marshes, 10 minutes from his house.

I took along my trusty Bronica SQ-A, which I’m getting much more comfortable using, despite it not having an in-built meter. Luckily, the light was fairly even on the day, and my iPhone app (Lux) did a pretty good job! I got through two rolls of Ilford FP4+, which I’ve not used before. We survived the mud and cold, and managed to get back in the warm before the snow got too heavy.

Norfolk Marshes-2
Well, have you?

With two rolls of 120 to develop, I thought I’d try spooling both onto one Paterson reel, one after the other. I was pretty pleased with myself, and happily souped them in Rodinal 1+50 at 20C, as recommended on The Massive Dev Chart. I was a bit disappointed to see some developing inconsistencies when I pulled the film from the tank though – I think the problem may have been down to insufficient agitation. For a 12-minute development time, I agitated only once every 2 minutes, and I think one frame may have got creased, or the developer wasn’t mixed properly, and it gathered in one spot for too long. Luckily, the burn spot was only visible on one frame, with a couple of others only slightly washed out on one side.

On the plus side, I really like the smoothness of FP4+, and the lovely range of tones it produces. Apart from human error, it seems to play well with Rodinal too, which is lucky as I have loads of it left.

Norfolk Marshes-5
Break your arm, they will

I’m going to be experimenting with cyanotype contact prints soon (yay!), and will definitely be using some of these. This is my favourite from the shoot – I love the reflections, and am quite proud of how sharp it is, considering it’s handheld.

Norfolk Marshes-8
Reflections

The rest of my shots are over on Flickr, here.

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