The first time around...

I enjoy photography especially black and white.. I've taken a wide variety of subjects and images over the years including sport, travel, documentary and landscape. I learnt with 35mm film cameras before moving to 645 medium format and then digital. For B&W I learnt to develop and print whilst at school and this has continued ever since with a darkroom constructed in my loft. This was decommissioned in 2007 when I started shooting digital and I eventually took a sabbatical from photography.

Photography started again for me seriously in 2015 when I purchased my Nikon digital SLR and started playing around with Adobe software. However, more recently I have started shooting medium format film again with my Pentax 645 and also with ‘Project Xpan’.

Why Film?

Working with film is how I learnt photography and I still enjoy the process of taking images with film especially for black and white. I have digital cameras and they are amazing tools but I have often found my workflow hurried and careless. When shooting film this is not the case and my workflow is slower and more creative. The images also have a different feel and look to them, film portrays more emotion as digital images can appear sharp and overly clean. I have mainly shot Ilford FP4+ and HP5 for B&W and when my darkroom was operational I used MULTIGRADE for printing.

Project Xpan

This year I took a leap of faith and purchased a second-hand Hasselblad Xpan. The Xpan is a rangefinder 35mm film camera that shoots in standard format but also in 3:1 panoramic format.

Why you may ask?

Actually there are a few reasons: Firstly, every photographer should own or have owned a Hasselblad at some stage of their life, those are the rules! Secondly, I wanted to do something ‘non-standard’ and have a different perspective on my images and photography. In this digital age with millions of images available on the internet the challenge for every photographer is to be unique and break away from the norm. Thirdly, it gives me another excuse to shoot film.

So I have now created ‘Project Xpan’ which is basically to go forth and capture the world, its people and places with the Xpan. One camera, one lens and one perspective 3:1.

I have provided my first group of images which were taken in Liverpool on FP4+ during lunch breaks from work. I am looking forward to adding to this collection.

Black and white film photograph by Martin Berry shot on Hassleblad Xpan using ILFORD film

All images ©Martin Berry