Leica M7 with ILFORD HP5 film

I like black and white photos. Long ago, I converted color photos that failed to have a good white balance into black and white. In other words, if I failed to make a good color out of colored photos, I converted them into black and white. I don’t do this anymore. I realized that one needs to find a different light and shadow conditions for black and white photos to understand the beauty of it.

I can do this with a digital camera but it’s much easier when I load a black and white film into Leica M7(or any film camera). Now I am forced to look for right light conditions for B&W photos.

Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter
Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter

This is kind of an example where I would make the background brighter with color photos but with B&W I enjoy dark shadow as it is. It makes the photo rich.

Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter
Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter

When a black and white film is loaded, I look for bright light and dark shadow at the same time. This makes the scene more interesting. In this sense, a spotlight from a cafe is perfect.

Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter
Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter

Photography is all about light(and composition) but with black and white, this gets more important. I love this photo more with a bit of shallow depth of field.

Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter
Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter

Right after I meet with customers, I tend to stop at a cafe to follow up on the meeting ideas before I lose momentum. So I take a lot of photos at a cafe where I see both low light and bright spotlights. This is a perfect condition for black and white photography because I can find both light and dark shadow at the same time. Depending on my subjects, I use either red or yellow filter. This makes black and white photos more interesting.

Here are a few more photos with ILFORD HP5.

Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter
Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter | Fish Market
Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter
Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 asph | ILFORD HP5 film | B+W Red filter