Bertie News | Episode 03: 12-14 Weeks Old

These photos might give the impression that Bertie’s a sleepy, placid puppy

What they actually demonstrate is that it’s only worth trying to get a decent picture when he’s sleepy. True to the working cocker spaniel breed, Bertie’s energy levels are off the scale. The good news is that now he’s had all his vaccinations, he can burn some of that energy off outside in the fields.

Nikon F100 / Ilford HP5 / Developed with Bellini Foto EcoFilm (Liquid Xtol)

Bertie the working Cocker Spaniel Puppy

Bertie the working Cocker Spaniel Puppy

Bertie the working Cocker Spaniel Puppy

Bertie the working Cocker Spaniel Puppy

Don’t worry Coco – you’re still top dog

Coco the working Cocker Spaniel

Thoughts On Ilford HP5

I’ve probably shot most of the popular black & white films over my four decades of shooting film. In more recent years I’ve tried to whittle my choices down to a handful of films that give me consistent, predictable results. The downside of this is that I can’t always remember why I might have previously discarded certain film stocks. And so it is with Ilford HP5. Seeing Jim’s recent appraisal, I thought it was time to give it another go and refresh my memory.

You can only draw limited conclusions from one roll shot under one set of conditions. Grain is more controlled than Tri-X, with a flatter, less-contrasty look. That said, the highlights were blown on quite a few of the frames. I suspect this was down to over-development rather than poor metering. I’ve just started using Bellini Film EcoFilm Developer. It’s supposed to mimic XTOL and use the same times, but I had a similar issue with a roll of Tmax 100. I have one more roll of HP5 to shoot, and I’ll probably decrease the developing time by ten per cent. Let’s see how that goes.


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6 comments on “Bertie News | Episode 03: 12-14 Weeks Old

  1. I have a cat that’s only photograph-able after he’s shagged out from a long romp up and down the hallway. Lots of people have seen photos of the majestic beast calmly looking out the window over his kingdom but get a shock when they meet him in person (catson?).
    What are you scanning your film with? They are so detailed and perfectly toned that I would believe you if you said the photos came from your digital camera.

    1. Catatonic – a cat that makes you feel better?

      I’ve had people mention my scanning before, but I’m no scanning guru and my workflow is very simple, which is how I like to keep all aspects of photography. It probably comes down to the fact that I have a very good scanner – Epson V700.

      I scan using the native Epson Scan software at 4800 dpi, without making any adjustments.

      In Photoshop:

      For 35mm, I crop the image to 12” x 8” @300dpi for archiving

      Clone out any dust spots

      Occasionally make minor changes to exposure / contrast

      Crop to 1200px x 800px for the web site. I might add a touch of sharpening for some shots, but I rarely find it necessary.

      Er…that’s it.

  2. Although Amice drives us mad sometimes (feet attack early this morning), he really is a ‘catatonic’. He’s lovely when he’s in the mood.
    I’ve read the V700 is good, but your scans prove it. Someone told me that flatbed film scanners are okay for sharing on the web but no good for making printable scans. Have you tried getting 8×10 prints done from your own scans?

    1. Absolutely. I always get prints of my favourite photos. I have albums and walls full of prints, all the way from 6×4 up to 12X12 for my square medium format film. Some I make in the darkroom when I have time, but most I get done by a lab. The quality is always superb and I have no doubt I could easily go bigger if I needed to.

  3. Great looking pup. Having a kid handy to hold down the dog is a good strategy. Also, very nice results from that film.
    I have some 11×14 prints now in an exhibit that were done on a 15-year-old Epson 2450 flatbed scanner.

    1. Thanks Mike. Indeed, when you get a new puppy you should also automatically be issued with a small child for puppy wrangling duties.

      TBH, regarding the film, I turned this into amateur hour. I did the one thing that would have me rolling my eyes if anyone else had done it – I changed two variables at the same time… unfamiliar film and unfamiliar developer. I do have a second roll of HP5 and I’ll develop that one with my usual D76.

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