First off Portra 400 has never really been my favourite film to shoot. Every time I load a roll I feel like I have set my expectations too high. Wether it’s 35mm or 120 my disappointment in the results tend to be the same. My first thought is why does this film cost so much? While my second thought is why does everyone love the muted soft colours this film produces? Those questions are probably best answered by Portra fans for sure. This last roll I shot however got me thinking. Thinking about why we put some much stock into the actual emulsion we are shooting instead of just pre-visualizing the look we would like and then just making it happen. Regardless of what type of film we are using. Some would say that it is blasphemy to bring a film negative into the digital darkroom instead of the traditional dark room but I ask the “Purists” these two questions. Isn’t all Photography just artistic expression? Shouldn’t we just focus on telling the story that we really want to tell? Now sure I have my favorite films I like to shoot and Portra may not be one of them but with a little drop of Contrast and a touch of Saturation I can get it where I feel like it needs to be. Here’s to telling “your” story.
Shot with the Yashica Mat 124G on Lomography Color 400.
Each and every film emulsion is unique, exhibiting characteristics that make them easily distinguishable. Kodak Portra is no exception. One of the characteristics that keeps Portra shooters coming back for more are the bright soft muted tones. Below is an image that displays just that. The image was captured mid day on my Yashica Mat 124G TLR at f8 & 1/250 of a second.