I Call This One “Boy with Areca Palm”

“Boy with Areca Palm.” 2022. Photo by Clay Duda.

I freaking love photographing this kid. My son is 2 1/2 months old in these photos and he makes taking good photographs pretty easy. Plus it’s rewarding as a parent and all that good stuff.

Here he is with an Areca Palm, a plant that wishes it lived in Hawaii and not Alaska this winter. My son might think that too, but so far he seems to like the snow.

“Boy with Areca Palm.” 2022. Photo by Clay Duda.
“Boy with Areca Palm.” 2022. Photo by Clay Duda.

I took these photos on my living room couch with an Olympus OM-2n and Zuiko 50mm f1.4 lens on Ilford HP5 Plus 35mm film. It was pushed 1 stop during development using Cinestill DF-96 monobath, scanned with Silverfast on an Epson v600, and light balanced in Adobe Lightroom.

I have used Ilford HP5 Plus film off-and-on for years. For a long time I preferred Kodak Tri-X 400 over it for the gritty grain, but the more I use it the more I’ve fallen in love with HP5. It is still extra-contrasty and gritty, but to me the grain seems buttery and the film also pulls out more details in the blacks, which I love.

At any rate, I have a whole brick of 35mm HP5 in the freezer, and a couple rolls in 120 format, so expect to see more stark posts and pictures with it in the near future.

"Boy with Arica Palm." 2022. Photo by Clay Duda.
“Boy with Areca Palm.” 2022. Photo by Clay Duda.

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Clay Duda is a freelance journalist specializing in investigative reporting, feature writing, editorial photography, and digital media.