Who knew ice went so white? Yashica 635 TLR & HP5

Who knew ice would go so bright? The Boqueria Market, Barcelona, 2018. Yashica 635 TLR & Ilford HP5.

Back in February 2018 I was lucky enough to spend a few days in the city of Barcelona, Spain. Once again, I took along only my Yashica TLR cameras, my 635 to shoot with and my Mat LM as a back up or in case I needed to load a different speed film before finishing my current film.

The TLR focuses your mind on what you are shooting as once you have selected your film speed, there is little else to worry about with these fixed lens cameras, you simply have to make the best shot with what you have.

I love markets and no visit to Barcelona would be complete without a trip to the famous Boqueria. This market seems to be going a similar way to Borough Market in Central London, catering increasingly for the tourists, rather than the local residents, although it seems to not have gone as far as Borough.

I was shooting Ilford HP5 @ 800, which worked well with the subdued light inside the market. One surprise for me was how the ice reacted under the market lights. In the above photo and others it went bright white. I was not expecting that. Lack of experience on my part, but an interesting surprise.


Stallholder, The Boqueria Market, Barcelona, 2018. Yashica 635 TLR & Ilford HP5.

Despite the market being fascinating, many of my shots did not turn out so well in terms of the angle of the shot. I think I needed to hold the camera higher as the shots were too low on some of the stalls. I need to remember that what I am seeing standing up is not what the camera is capturing, especially when shooting in more enclosed spaces like in the Boqueria. Another learning point from this single film. I thought the height worked well in the above shot with the goods in the foreground out of focus, leading to the stallholder behind in focus.

Customers eating at a tapas bar in the Boqueria Market, Barcelona, 2018. Yashica 635 TLR & Ilford HP5.

I am glad the above photo came out. The Boqueria was surprisingly quiet compared with the streets outside, full of tourists, the taps bars being the only areas that seemed busy. Perhaps it was just the wrong time of day to see the market busy, and in some areas, even a few more people would have made shooting with the TLR awkward.

Once again the Yashica 635 TLR has gone a good job of capturing the detail. The Ilford HP5 shot at 800 has enabled me to keep a reasonable depth of focus and good shutter speed indoors. I devved the film in Xtol, which has kept the grain nice and smooth for a 600 film with a decent range of mid tones. I want to try Xtol again, but I have read it is more affected by hard water than say, ID11, and therefore should be mixed at a higher concentration. This makes it less economical, and I have to shoot on a budget. I will have to see how the mood takes me when next ordering developer!

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