File photos: My first #FP4Party with the Yashica-Mat

Second day of shooting
Second day of shooting in historic Georgetown, Colo. (Daniel J. Schneider)

Another brainchild of the inventive and fleet-footed EMULSIVE, #FP4Party is a monthly group effort to showcase the possibilities with Ilford’s ASA 125 film.

The idea is to shoot as much or as little Ilford FP4 Plus as you like, in whatever format you prefer, during the first full week of the month. You get week two for developing, scanning, printing, etc., and share the results in the third week of the month. Submissions are gathered, finalists nominated, and then there’s a vote for a monthly winner.

Devil's Food
Devil’s Food offers stellar Southern-inspired breakfast and lunch in Denver. (Daniel J. Schneider)

The November winner — a well-deserving shot from Maite Pons — was named in early December.

As yet I haven’t really participated. I made all these pictures during the shoot week in early September, and while I had hoped to share some in time, it was not to be. It always takes me forever to process my film, unfortunately. Or perhaps fortunately.

Bicycle at Wish
A bicycle in front of the Wish boutique in Denver’s Old South Gaylord district. (Daniel J. Schneider)

I say that because initially I wasn’t particularly thrilled with any of these photographs, but with time to reflect on them I’ve found a few I like more than I thought.

I must admit, though, following along loosely with the @FP4Party Twitter account and the finalists’ galleries has been fun and enlightening.

An antique microscope seen through the window of an Old South Gaylord shop in Denver. (Daniel J. Schneider)

When Kodak discontinued Plus-X in late 2011, I was devastated. I’d only just settled on it as my favorite panchromatic film and I was ill-prepared to find a replacement.

Since the speed of Plus-X (also ASA 125) was one of the reasons I liked it so much — I mostly work outdoors in bright sun, and I don’t always have fast shutter speeds available to me — I tried other slow films instead. For some, like Delta and TMax 100, it wasn’t my first experience. Others were new to me.

Washington Park alley
An alley in Denver’s Washington Park neighborhood. (Daniel J. Schneider)

I hadn’t tried FP4 Plus previously, so I bought some. In those tests I found it unpleasantly grainy. It was (at least) five years ago, though, and I’ve refined my development technique considerably in that time.

These results show much more even grain and, while it’s a little more pronounced than the grain of Pan F Plus, it is not less pleasing to me. In fact, I’m very happy with what I see from FP4 Plus today.

A pressed steel birdhouse hangs from a low branch in the Washington Park neighborhood. (Daniel J. Schneider)

I had two opportunities to take my Yashica-Mat out that week and I had five rolls of FP4 Plus in my film case. The first pictures in this series are from the first of those two days, when I dropped by South Gaylord Street in Denver — a one-block stretch of historic buildings in an old residential neighborhood, isolated from any other commercial or industrial properties, crammed with small and unique businesses.

From there I walked to, and around, Washington Park, both in search of pictures, and in service of my recent goals regarding my weight and general level of fitness (seeking less and more, respectively). A gravel walking/jogging path encircles the park and forms a 2-mile loop that makes for an excellent afternoon stroll.

Washington Park
City Ditch, once used for irrigation, runs through Washington Park in Denver. (Daniel J. Schneider)

The second half of this set is from a drive later in the week that included a strenuous hike to an abandoned mine high in the Rocky Mountains, and a relaxing stop in historic Georgetown, Colo.

Georgetown was once among the richest mining towns in Colorado, and it shows in both the number and opulence of the homes and buildings dating as far back as just after the Civil War. Now it’s primarily a tourist trap, albeit one absolutely drenched in history, and a stopping-off point for anyone headed over Guanella Pass.

Wash Park cyclist
A cyclist speeds around the ring road at Washington Park in Denver. (Daniel J. Schneider)

I was fairly exhausted and didn’t stay long in Georgetown, but I was glad for the opportunity to walk on gentler grades in town for a little while before completing my drive back to Denver.

All in all, I’m pleased with my results. And I don’t mind that they’re late — #FP4Party provided the inspiration, but my focus is on making good pictures and improving my craft rather than participating in events and contests, and I’m happy to watch those aspects from a distance.

All the pictures in this post are presented in the order in which they were taken, meaning you’ve only seen those from Denver so far. Here are the ones from Georgetown:

Georgetown Colorado
Historic building in Georgetown, Colo. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Strousse Park
An old mine cart on a short track segment in Strousse Park, Georgetown, Colo. (Daniel J. Schneider)
J Snetzer Merchant Tailor
J Snetzer Merchant Tailor, Georgetown, Colo. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Historic porch
The porch of one of Georgetown, Colo.’s many historic buildings. This house was built in 1885. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Georgetown Valley Candy Company
Georgetown Valley Candy Company building detail. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Georgetown Museum
Georgetown Museum. (Daniel J. Schneider)
Detail of Built in 1867
Detail of a Georgetown building identified only by the large painted sign, “Built in 1867.” (Daniel J. Schneider)
Buckley Garage
The Buckley Garage in Georgetown was built as a Dodge-Plymouth dealership and converted to a service station in the 1950s. The pumps were removed to make way for a widened road in the early 1990s. Leroy Buckley, who operated the station for decades, died in 2003. A plaque on the building commemorates Buckley’s 73 years as both a fixture in and pillar of the Georgetown community. (Daniel J. Schneider)