Ilford HP5 Memories

Internationl House, Drew University | Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film

Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film I recently purchased a Kodak Scanza film scanner from Amazon.com to scan some of my mid-80s Kodachrome slides, but the scanner can scan B&W white negatives. Early in my photography journey, shooting in B&W was easier. Colour film was too distracting and did not have the “art” look I was into at the time. But after scanning dozens of frames of T-MAX 400, I was surprised to find 24 frames of Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film negatives in my film photograph “archives”.

Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film was a high speed (ISO 400) traditional panchromatic film imported into USA and old between 1976–1989. Ilford is a manufacturer of photographic materials and is based in Mobberley, Cheshire UK and known worldwide for its black and white films, papers and chemicals. The company declared bankruptcy in 2004. Harman Technology Ltd bought the rights to the band “Ilford Photo”. The successor to Ilford HP5 is Ilford HP5 Plus.

Since I found only one set of Ilford HP5 negatives among my “film treasure chest”, and since over 30 years later, my memory is faulty, I can only speculate that either Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film was expensive or not to my liking. Comparing Ilford HP5 negatives to Kodak T-MAX negatives, I think I prefer the Ilford HP5. At present, a 36-exposure roll of Ilford HP5 Plus is cheaper than Kodak Tri-X 400 or Kodak T-MAX 400 so assuming it was always this way, my tastes have changed.

Internationl House, Drew University | Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film

The film strip did not have any dates but based on the “Happy Birthday” sign and the International House banner I deduced that the negatives are from November 1988, my fall Sophomore semester at Drew University. I think everyone else had left for Thanksgiving, and only my roommate and myself were left in the International House.

Happy Birthday to me | Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film
Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film

Rajat Sikka was my roommate in my sophomore semesters (1987-1988) at Drew University. He and I roomed together because Raj insisted and I had no good reason to say no. Raj as it turned out, was a womanizing-boozing-smoking-party young man. Each weekend, he hooked up with a difference even while dating several others. I could not keep track of their names and faces, but they were always white and blond. Arjun was a year ahead of us, but he and Raj were inseparable. We spent a lot of time in the basement at the International House eating rasgulla and gulab jamun, smoking, and talking bullshit. Raj, Arjun and another student, Finn McClain were my ticket to all the cool weekend parties. I attend a few, but not a lot.

Arjun Erry, Rajat Sikka, Raj’s Chicka, and myself, International House, Drew University | Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film

This might have been Jamie coming to drive me to his home for Thanksgiving. I remember spending at least one Thanksgiving with Jamie’s family.

Jamie Brestlin | Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film
Downtown Madison | Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film

I’m not sure about how it fared during the COVID-19 lockdown, but the Callaloo Cafe had been around for a very long time.

Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Ilford HP5 35mm B&W Film

By Khürt Williams

human being | casual photographer | nemophilist | philomath | human being khakis | t-shirt | flip-flops

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