For today’s post I have altered the rules of my Pebble Project a little, so as to accommodate a little ‘push’ processing. To date I have concentrated on the effects of changes in film and developer rather than exposure. ‘Pushing’ a film involves giving less exposure than box speed and then adjusting development accordingly (usually as an emergency in a given situation, but sometimes for aesthetic effect).
HP5+ is known as a film that offers a very wide exposure range. There are plenty of people, too, who like to give it less exposure for the look it produces. My findings today contradict neither the literature nor the common wisdom on the matter. I am no scientist, but I guess that scientists would endeavour to check their assumptions just as rigorously as their more fanciful speculations. It seems to me like a healthy thing to do.
So what do we see? Well if you have been following this project, or are looking for the first time and are observant, you will notice that the light is quite different in this sample. In order to expose HP5+ at 3200 (a good ‘push’, if you will), I had to alter my setup a little. I was out of smaller apertures and lower light power settings, so the only option left was to move the light away from the pebbles. Hence the altered shadows.
As for the aesthetics of the film, it is, as I say, what we’d expect. Increased contrast and more prominent grain. But how well this film copes with three stops less light than box speed! Sure, the extremes of the tonal range are more dominant and there is a loss of subtlety over previous samples. I don’t know if it is me maturing and enjoying the sheer range of film aesthetics, but that grain looks very pleasing - assuming grain is what you want.
I have added this sample to the Pebble Project gallery, which you can find under 'resources' through the top menu. I still plan to continue with the core developer and film combinations, but this little exercise does open the way for some more ‘exotic’ samples in future.