UPR AMS Night analog mode


Going old school!

Ferry Verwijk is not only a recurrent UPR participant (having won already several awards) but he's also an avid analog and film photographer. He is one of the few photographers I know who still does most of his photography with film cameras in today's digital age.

You can learn more about his relationship with photography and his experience winning the UPR Amsterdam 2016 edition here.

Today's post isn't that much of an interview but mostly a race report from our last UPR Amsterdam Night edition that Ferry participated with his film camera. He didn't have the chance for his photos to go to the Jury so we thought we would still showcase them to you and let him tell you about his experience with a kind of photography that very few of us still relate to, but where everything originated from.

" Why not? That's what I was thinking. 

So I mailed Luis to ask if it was ok to join for the evening and shoot on film, but not finish the race. Luis said yes straight away, so let's go!!! Or wait!!!!! When you shoot film, you have to think ahead!!! I still had to make a choice for wich camera and lens I wanted to use, and wich film.

I went for my old Nikon F2 with a 24mm f2.8 lens. I chose this camera because it is nice to work with, the finder shows the lightmeter info in red signs so it is easy to see in the dark. People see a guy with an old camera and I do notice people react positive seeing a old camera ☺. I chose this lens, because I just wanted to take one lens, I love wide angle for Urban shooting and 24mm is just wide enough. It is not the most fast lens I own for this camera…but well….I did have to make a choice.

Ok, camera and lens…check….now, wich film? 

I already know I did want to shoot black and white, so that was the easy part. But which B/W film?? Because the race started in the last daylight and ended in the dark I needed a fast ISO for the low light, but not to fast for the last daylight…. My Nikon F2 does do 2000th of a second, so a film to fast could give problems in daylight. My choice was Ilford HP5, a 400 ISO film I do use often when I need to push a film (pushing film is taking a film and let your camera think it is a film of a higher ISO) and push it to 1600 ISO. I know the film can handle it and like the result more (with 35mm film) as another classic, the Kodak Tri-X400. It is important that you do not only shoot it as a 1600 ISO film, you need to develop it as a 1600 ISO film too. Pushing film is making it possible to shoot in poor light, but….the film will give more contrast and more grain. But I like that, so that was no problem ☺.

So I did have a camera, lens and a film…so let’s go!!!

After meeting up with the UPR team and getting the first theme’s it is just the same game for a film shooter. Just think about the theme’s and how you want to put them to a image, but….because you have to think in front what gear and film you must choose, you are not that flexible as with a modern digital camera. The shutter speeds are higher, you can work with high ISO easy.

But that is part of the fun… and the thrill of the fact you just don’t know what the result is until after you develop the film, and scan it to make it possible to share the photos. 

I do shoot film for about 36 years now, and still about 80% I shoot is on film. I just like the process, and the thrill, and doing the night edition with film was great fun. 

I have to confess, because I did not take part of the ‘race’, I did take more time to drink a beer and talk with people, but a real UPR on film….that would be great fun and a great challenge.

For those interested, I used Rodinal developer 1:50 delution on 20 degrees celcius, developing 24 minutes. Rodinal for that raw look it gives this film, and 1:50 delution so the film can develop all the way for a hard contrasty look. 

Ferry "