photo: Ilford XP2


My sister Liz gave me a bag of rolls of Ilford XP 2 Super for my birthday, so I’ve dusted off the old Yashica and taken it out a few times. Here you see the results, with a little tweaking in LightRoom. I had a few doubts about posting a picture as posed and studied as this, but I was encouraged by the reaction in various other forums, so I’ve gone ahead.

I’m a fan of the tones and grain that are achievable in XP 2, however I think this is either a little overexposed or badly scanned, or a combination. I’ve had a tip from Mort on to head off to Gunn’s and get them to scan the neg [what you’re looking at now is a Gunn’s scan] – a better job than what you see here (done elsewhere). If you look at the full size image you can see jpeg artefacts which make it look a bit noisy.

So despite the convenience and instantaneous results of digital photography, I still like the artistry, artifice and anticipation of film. Ben’s reaction to me taking the photograph was ‘let me see’, but it’s dawning on him (and me) that with film you have to wait. I still catch myself looking at the back of the Yashica to see …

John Gunn Camera Shop, 16 Wexford Street, Dublin 2, 01 4781226