Tag Archives: Kodak Portra 400
Haven’t shot a lot this week, so here are a few pictures from last week. It’s been so beautiful this Spring. I don’t know why, but every year I’m surprised when the trees start to bloom and then even more surprised to see leaves popping out.
I took these first four shots early in the morning on a walk to meet Kate after her long training run. At this time of the morning, the light is perfect. These were all shot with Hasselblad 501cm on Kodak Portra 400 film.
This was taken later in the day on the way to the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene. This is the Koadk Portra look that I always hope for…
Here are two of the four sheets of Kodak Portra 400 that I shot recently on my Toyo 45AII large format camera. I had received a box of Portra 400 for Christmas and was curious how it would handle long exposures. I normally like B&W for these types of shots, especially the foolproof Fuji Neopan Acros 100, but as I said curiosity got the best of me. I was also a little annoyed that the Kodak data sheet for 45 Portra read: “No filter correction or exposure compensation is required for PORTRA 400 Film for exposures from 1⁄10,000 second to 1 second. For critical applications with longer exposure times, make tests under your conditions.”
Super helpful, Kodak. Thanks! So you didn’t test the film for anything longer than 1 second? You would rather let the consumer make their own tests (which I agree to some extent makes sense)? It is discouraging that a box of 10 sheets of Kodak Portra 400 costs about $30 and each sheet is $3-6 to develop depending on which lab you use. Mine is only $3, so my testing consisted of loading two film holders with four sheets of film and blowing $24 in fifteen minutes.
Yes, I’m being a little hard on Kodak. However, Fuji and Ilford do a fantastic job of documenting the change needed in exposure (due to reciprocity failure) for times longer than 1 second. Kodak should do better.
Anyway, I shot four sheets from my usual test location (in Dumbo underneath the Manhattan Bridge looking at the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan) for long exposures and didn’t see a bit of difference. The first shot was 8 seconds for f22, but I gave it 15 seconds as a starting point.
The second one was taken right after the first and I gave it 30 seconds. I couldn’t tell a difference between the two.
I repositioned my tripod slightly for the second film holder and repeated the meter reading. As it was getting darker, the reading called for 15 seconds. I exposed one sheet for 45 seconds and the other for 90 seconds just to see if it would matter. It didn’t, both negatives were pretty much the same.
Here’s the 45 second exposure at f22.
The bottom line is that Kodak Portra 400 handles long exposures nicely. I got great results between 15 seconds and 90 seconds. Some of that was obviously due to the rapidly changing light conditions, but as its been well documented, this film is VERY versatile and forgiving. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Kodak Portra 400 for exposures between 1 second and 90 seconds. Next time I would probably just give the shot double the time that the meter reading calls for. Please note, this was in no way a scientific method. I didn’t keep notes, but I recall the exposure times and which film holders were which times. For critical paid use, I guess I would do as Kodak suggests and “make tests under your conditions.”
While I normally use my Nikon FM2n if I’m shooting 35mm, lately I’ve been using my 40-year old Olympus OM-1. It’s paired with a versatile 50mm Zuiko f1.8 lens and is a bit smaller than the Nikon. I love that this camera served my father-in-law for dozens of years, then Kate during high school photography classes, and is now working like a champ for me. I’m not sure how how many digital cameras we use today will still be around in 40 years. Probably none.
This past weekend I loaded the OM-1 with Kodak Portra 400 for our random exploring.
Virginia Slims Poster, Prospect Heights, Kodak Portra 400
Most of the Kodak Portra rolls that I just got back are from a trip to Hudson, NY, but about half a roll was taken here in the city. On a Saturday morning Kate and I went to the Union Square Greenmarket, which is one of my favorite places in Manhattan.
All images shot with the Hasselblad 501cm and Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 lens
I think I’m officially the last person to visit the newish Faile mural on Houston and Bowery. It’s been up for a few weeks, but since moving to Brooklyn I don’t get out to the East Village as much. I’m a huge Faile fan already, but this mural is just stunning. Kate and I were visiting a new pizza place on the Bowery and I just happened to have my old Nikon FM2n and a wide angle lens.
Since the Os Gemeos mural disappeared in the Spring of 2010 this wall has pretty much been dead to me. There was a yawn-inducing Shepard Fairey piece for awhile and then a tag-riddled Kenny Sharf piece; neither added much to the city.
This one is a thing of beauty. As always, you can click on the picture for a larger version.
Yesterday Jess and Garrett posted some great pictures of the mural as well.
If you like Faile, here’s an old post from the pop up arcade they did in the Lower East Side.
When I went down to Zuccotti Park last week, I also shot a roll of Kodak Portra 400 with the Hasselblad. Unfortunately, it looks like I have a light leak on one of my film backs. You’ll notice a slight haze on the left of some of these shots. It’s a film back I picked up cheap at Adorama and rarely use, but I need to reseal it before I use it again.
For my birthday Kate and I decided to spend a week at her parents house in St. Michaels, Maryland. Besides New York, it’s probably my favorite place in the world. Since we’ve moved to the city, St. Michaels has been the perfect compliment to the fast paced life we normally lead. On Maryland’s Eastern Shore you don’t hurry. You don’t feel rushed, you don’t feel like you have to do this or do that. You relax. We read, take pictures, nap, eat, drink, then repeat.
I took a fistful of film, my Hasselblad 501cm, Nikon FM2n, and the new Polaroid 400 Land Camera with me for our weeklong stay. As I look at my pictures, I realize that Fuji films are definitely better for pictures of water and boats. Kodak Portra is still perfect for people and things on land, but there’s something about Fuji films and water that look better to my eye. Fuji slide film (like the Astia I used) does have a tendency to shift to purple, but you can correct that in post processing if you want.
The Selina II sailing on the Miles River, St. Michaels, Maryland, Fuji Reala 100
The Selina II is a beautiful sailboat that offers cruises. We haven’t taken advantage of one of their trips, but we will one day.
On Wednesday evenings, they have sailboat races on the Miles River. Wednesday just happened to be our last night and our neighbor and friend Bob invited us to go out on his boat for an amazing view.
Red Sail on Miles River, St. Michaels, Maryland, Fuji Astia 100
During our recent vacation in St. Michaels, I had planned on visiting the nearby town of Cambridge, Maryland to take some photos. And since morning light is the best light for photography, I kept setting my alarm each night only to turn it off at 5am the next morning. I am definitely not a morning person. Finally, I woke up with the alarm near the end of our vacation and hopped in the car for the 30 minute drive to Cambridge. Driving is such a luxury to me since we moved to the city, that I really enjoyed being alone in a car with the radio blasting to some cheesy oldies station. I was wide awake and ready to take some photos.
I had only been to Cambridge once before with my father-in-law, but something about this small town that may have seen better days resonated with me. I think it reminded me of the small Midwestern town I grew up in. I only had two hours to take pictures, so I parked the car in an empty lot right in the center of town, and headed out with my Hasselblad.
On the way back to St. Michaels, I couldn’t help taking advantage of my newfound freedom of driving a car. I kept seeing things on the side of the road that would make a good photograph, so I finally stopped at one spot to take these pictures.
In the city, I always have time to scout out what I want to photograph. This time, I only knew that Cambridge appealed to me and I had a few hours to explore. Regardless, this was probably the most fun I’ve had with a camera in some time. I know I don’t have the time or funding for it, but I would love to just hop in a car and drive from the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains only stopping in early morning or evening to take photos in small towns across the US. I can feel a theme developing, but time and money always remind you of why you can’t do something. Maybe one day…
Sorry for the week without posts, but Kate and I took a vacation on the Eastern Shore for my birthday. I took a vacation from the internet. Am back with a quick post about my new bike that I picked up from Brooklyn Vintage Bicycles way out in Gerritson Beach.
I couldn’t have asked for a better bike-buying experience than the one I had with Peter at Brooklyn Vintage Bicycles. I had been trying unsuccessfully to find a vintage Schwinn to my liking on Craigslist. I visited a few used bike stores in Manhattan, but the selection was always medicore and the prices were high. Then I saw the Yelp reviews for Brooklyn Vintage Bicycles. They sounded too good to be true and the location (way out on Gerritson Beach) seemed like a hassle for this Manhattanite.
But I called Peter and he had the bike I was interested in from his website and promised me that a few others would catch my eye if I paid him a visit. So, I texted him that next morning asking if I could come out at noon. He said he wouldn’t be there, but I could still come out and someone would open up his basement so I could look at the bikes. (Later I realized that his hours were evening hours only during the week from 5:30-8:30, he didn’t even mention that, but instead made me feel like I could come at any time) In followup texts he told me to test ride whatever I liked and then to let him know if I wanted something. He would tune it up and deliver it for free to me in Manhattan.
So, I made the surprisingly easy two-train one-bus trip to Brooklyn Vintage Bicycles and was indeed amazed at the stock of bikes Peter had on hand. The bike I was interested in was even better in person, so I decided to let him know that it was the one I wanted. Before I could text him, Peter called me to see if I had found anything I liked. I told him what I wanted and he promised next day free delivery to my door in the Financial District.
Right after picking out my bike, I visited Landmark Bicycles in the East Village and found an old Schiwnn Breeze for Kate in the exact same color. Later after researching the serial numbers, I found out that they were both mnaufactured in Chicago in 1974.
1974 Schwinn Collegiate (I named him Eugene) and 1974 Schwinn Breeze (Kate named hers Mabel)
For our first bike adventure on our new wheels, check out Kate’s post at Embarrasment of Riches.
Here are a few shots from the harbor in Gerritson Beach, a few blocks down from the bicylce shop.
All shots were with the Hasselblad 501cm on the new Kodak Portra 400 film.
I’m still getting used to the Fuji Reala 100 film. So far I like it, but it’s a bit darker and more saturated than the Portra 160. I’ve mixed up some Reala shots from last weekend with my normal Portra film in this post. Images are from Soho and Rockaway Beach taken with Hasselblad 501cm and scanned with Epson V500 scanner.
Flowers and Herb Planters at Rockaway Taco, Kodak Portra 400
Rockaway Taco Library, Kodak Portra 400