When Only Film Will Do

The picture today is of the “Scarborough Dude,” a fixture in the Canadian Podcasting Scene, and a valued friend. I took this portrait last weekend using my Nikkormat FT2, an old Nikkor 24mm lens and Ilford XP2-Plus film.

Portrait of a Friend

Although XP2-plus is supposed to be fine grain, the grain can become more noticeable when underexposed, or used at a higher exposure index. Also, from what I am reading, film scanners tend to act in the same manner as condenser enlargers, emphasizing the grain. Combining these factors, it is not a surprise that this photo appears rather grainy (more obvious at larger sizes).

Given the subject of this portrait however, I believe this grainy, organic appearance is appropriate, as it matches the Scarborough Dude’s personality; he is always the “real deal”; never any fakery. And while he is “with it” technologically speaking in terms of blogging, podcasting and other forms of social media, (indeed more so than many of his generation), he does not dismiss the past. He explores his past, and understands how it has shaped him and where he is today.

Film is organic. It is often grainy. There is no mistaking its character. The subject of this portrait would be ill-served by anything less.

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