2004 Era | Pentax ESII x Ilford HP5

Last time around I was talking about archiving, storage and backing up digital photography. That was a project that took me deeper than expected and is almost finished. At least it’s in a place that I am happy with, leaving me with some time to move on to other projects.

This brings me to this weeks work. Another ongoing project that I may or may not ever catch up on; processing old film.

It seems to never end. I have a box in a drawer of old film that has been shot, some un-shot. Some of it was been kept cool in a fridge at some point in time, some has been sitting out for 10-15 years. It’s basically a mess of film. I have some that I have rolled myself, some labeled, some that is not. That last bit has given me trouble before as I mentioned in an earlier post. I am sure all of the home rolled stuff is HP5 but I did have some Delta 100 at some point when I was studying photography in the late 90’s…

To top that off I have started shooting film again in the last couple of years as I rekindle my love for photography. I have a better system to organize, label and store things and have balanced what I am getting processed at the lab. New stuff when I can and an occasional old roll when I don’t have anything new that I have shot.

This week’s roll was unlabelled deep in a box. It turns out that my educated guess of HP5 was right and I was pleasantly surprised to get some images back from the lab circa 2004. I was living out in North Gower with my brother for a spell at that time and a few of these images are from around that part of the world.

Another fun part is guessing what camera I had at that time and I do believe it was an older pretty beat up manual 35mm Pentax. I remember it was black, the light meter didn’t work and I had a wide Vivitar 1 Series lens for it. I have no idea where that camera is now. None of the pictures were ever super sharp with that lens and my less than perfect vision. So yes I was happy to get some fun images back!

A couple of things to note form this batch of photos is the obvious dark streaks at that top of the frames. Light leaks which equals fogging of the film (unwanted light exposing the film or possibly wanted if you’re into that sort of thing). This is most likely from poor storage over the years and the fact the film was in a plastic canister that I rolled myself or possibly the old camera let some light in too. Luckily it isn’t so bad and I got some useable images!

First up we have two shots of the same subject. I think this was the beginning of me trying to frame things up front and centre, trying to keep things symmetrical and balanced. The second one is off centre a little bit and I can’t decide which is the stronger composition. Next up is a side view snapshot of the same subject. After that we have an old industrial building framed up in that symmetrical style.

The Marvelville Community Centre is just east of Ottawa and I used to drive by this all the time visiting my parents. Accompanying that is what I like to call an “anomaly or glitch” with a split frame double exposure. The Civic Pharmacy is a bit of an iconic sign here in Ottawa and has been well documented over the years. Two side notes about this corner building; One my old family doctor’s practice was in the top level of this building. Secondly I happen to live a few minutes walk from here right now. Lastly we have a quick snapshot of my old friend Eric strumming his guitar in our short lived art/photo studio downtown on Bank Street so so many summers ago!

Update: after a bit of research I discovered that the old pentax was a Pentax ESII.

That’s it for now, take care and happy shooting!

– Jeremy

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