All posts tagged: featured

Review: Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold is hands down the best color negative film that is only made in 35mm. It’s got a bit more grain than the Portra films. If overexposed, it’s light and airy while if shot at box speed outside of direct sunlight, it can get the punchy colors similar to that of Ektar. At the time of writing, it costs $13 for a 3-pack from B&H which is an absolute steal considering how much other 35mm films costs and just how good this film is. Color Truth be told, I do struggle to really pin down a consistent color palette with Gold because of just how much the saturation changes depending on whether it’s shot at box speed or whether you’re shooting in direct sun. If it is at all shady or if you’re shooting at dusk, the colors are quite rich and very saturated, however, if you’re shooting at high noon the colors are quite muted and very lovely. It may well be my favorite color palette of all the 35mm color negative film …

Interview: Jason Hunter

“I like the tactile feeling of shooting with film cameras. Whether that’s the clamshell on the XA, or advancing the film and cocking the shutter on the RB67. This is something that can not be found with digital cameras.” Jason is a film and digital photographer who co-operates Restore From Backup, a film photography specific hub account on Instagram. Jason first reached out to me out of the blue and started off by saying we had a common circle of photographer friends and he couldn’t have been nicer. Since then, his work has inspired me to see buildings and cars in different ways than before. JM – Tell me a bit about yourself. JH – I’m from Chesapeake, VA, a pretty dull little suburb between Norfolk and Virginia Beach. I’ve lived here for the majority of my life and have no plans on leaving. I’ve been married for ten years, and we have three cats and no kids. My life is pretty quiet, and that’s exactly how I like it. Also, I really love Math …

Innsbruck, AT: New City, New Film – Acros II & Ortho Plus

If you’re wondering why I decide to take my annual trip to the mountains between March and April, the answer is simple. It’s generally still very cold so the summer tourists haven’t shown up yet but the height of skiing and snowboarding is past. As a result, the area is bit less packed out and the trails have started reopening (if they were ever closed). Not to mention that at the times the airfare is a good deal less expensive as are the hotels. Anyhow – on this particular trip, we left for a couple week trip in Germany and western Austria just as the novel corona virus was troubling northern Italy but before it started being so widespread. On the day we were flying back, we learned there were several documented cases of COVID-19 in Innsbruck and luckily for us we were able to be screened a couple days after being back. With the self quarantine that we are still currently in, I’ve been able to get all the B&W and C-41 developed and …

Interview: Monika Murren

“I like to document moments and places that feel both intimate and otherworldly and magical.” Monika is a photographer that I met on Instagram like many of the other people I’ve interviewed but her body of work is uniquely personal. The work that she publishes on her instagram is inspiring and she even sells some of her prints on her website. JM: Tell me a bit about yourself. MM: I am was born and raised in Poland but have spent most of my adult life now in the US.  I currently live in the Hudson Valley, about an hour north of New York City.  I feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by incredible nature and yet so close to a big city.  It inspires my photography daily.  I have always been curious about the world having grown up in back-then communist Poland and not having access to the rest of the world.  I knew there was a greater world outside and it motivated me to learn to speak other languages and …

Superstition Mountains: New City, New Film – Ilford FP4 & Fujichrome Velvia 100

This past trip to Arizona was my third time visiting and every time I go, I grow more and more in love with the environment. Last year when we went, we visited Flagstaff but this year we split our time between Sedona and the Superstitions. Prior to heading out, I picked up several rolls of Ilford FP4 and at a camera shop in Phoenix, I picked up some Velvia 100. In Sedona I was shooting through a lot of Ektar and Provia and didn’t manage to load up the FP4 or Velvia until we rolled into the Superstitions. Admittedly, I didn’t particularly love either of these film stocks. Since the trip to AZ, I’ve shot through some 4×5 sheets of FP4 and didn’t much care for them either. That said, I’ve started developing my own B&W at home and have found that for some reason I’ve getting a lot more grain than I’m used to getting from the Darkroom so it may well be my own fault for not liking it. In general, I expect …

Experiment 2: Kodak Portra 160 vs. Portra 400 vs. Portra 800

This article is going to compare Kodak films Portra 160, Portra 400, and Portra 800. For exposure testing data on Portra 400, Portra 400 shot and developed at 800, Portra 800, and 8 other film stocks, please refer to this article. For an additional reference of Portra 400 shot and developed at 800, please refer to this article. To ensure consistency throughout the experiment, all of the shots were taken using the exact same camera/lens combo. To accomplish this, 3 different film backs were used, each loaded with a different Kodak Portra film. The control conditions were as follows: Camera: Mamiya 645 Pro TL Lenses: 80mm f/2.8 N, 150mm f/3.5 N, 300mm f/5.6 N-ULD Lighting (Portrait Only): 2 Profoto B1X with diffusers Light Meter: LUMU Light Meter iPhone app All films were developed at a local lab here in Columbus, OH and scanned at home using an Epson v600. All provided images were the converted negatives straight from the scanner software included with the v600. Results As perhaps could have been expected, I didn’t prefer …

Banff (In Color): New City, New Film – Ektar & Portra 160

This article shows off some of the color negative film I tried out on my vacation to Banff, CA in April2019. To see some of the black and white negative work, please follow this link.  Several of this films in this article have exposure tested and compared to other color negative films – this article is located here.   The Canadian Rockies were calling and we answered. In a moment of spontaneity and luck finding round-trip tickets for only 18k points, we got our tickets and booked a hotel within a couple hours and I immediately started thinking about what film I was going to take. For ease (and out of pure laziness) I needed to make sure everything was ASA 400 or slower so I didn’t have to have the film hand-checked. For color negative film, I ended up taking a pro pack of Portra 400 (per usual), Ektar, and Portra 160. I also ended up taking a few rolls of Fuji Provia and Ektachrome. Portra 160 I gave this film a shot after …

Experiment 1: Exposure Testing 11 Film Stocks

In this experiment, we exposure tested 11 film stocks and Kodak Portra 400 pushed one stop to 800. Among the color films, we tested: Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Portra 400, Portra 400 Pushed One Stop, Kodak Portra 800, and Fuji Pro 400H. Among the Black and White films, we tested: Ilford PanF, Kodak TMax 100, Kodak TMax 400, Kodak Tri-X, Ilford HP5, Ilford XP2 Super, Ilford Delta 3200. To ensure consistency throughout the experiment, the film stock was the only experimental condition. The control conditions are as follows: Camera: Hasselblad 501CM Lens: 60mm f/3.5 CB Lighting: 2 Profoto B1X with diffusers Light meter: Sekonic Lightmaster Focusing Aid: Schneider Kreuznach 4x loupe The loupe was used to set the focus at the start of the exposure test for each film stock. To ensure the exposure value (EV) was correct, the light meter (using an incident setting) was used to identify the neutral exposure as well as each EV in the center of the frame. All B&W film was developed by the Darkroom Lab and all C-41 …

Guide: Double Exposures (Multiple Exposures)

The first time I experienced double exposures, it was my grandmother showing me some of her old 6×6 photos in her retro photobooks.  Following that, I found myself going through IG and would be particularly attracted to these photos.  Accordingly, I hit Google and searched for ‘How to take a double exposure’.  There are some resources out there, most of which is for PS and not film.  Having experimented with it enough now and discussing the physics of it with a friend over a beer, I have a much deeper understanding for what’s happening and that has translated to better images. So here we are… I hope I can help you take double exposures you love. For those looking for a simple how-to: If your camera has a multiple exposure switch, engage the switch and take photos to your heart’s content (I would start with a double exposure before going for something with 3 or more). For those that don’t, no fear – you can do it just as easily.  Take your first exposure and …

Hocking Hills: Pushing Portra 400 1 Stop to 800

To see Kodak Portra 400 pushed to 800 exposure tested and compared with Portra 400 at box speed and Portra 800 at box speed, follow this link. To get to a review of Portra 400, follow this link. This is an article about an experience of mine pushing Kodak Portra 400 one afternoon when I was going through Hocking Hills in Ohio. On my way home in Columbus, OH from Charleston, SC, I have to pass through one of Ohio’s prettiest areas – Hocking County. As it happens, I was also going to be driving through at dusk and on a day following several snowy days. Who could pass that up? Not I says the cat. Then it hits you… It’s not just going to be dusk but you’ll be in gorge where it’ll get darker earlier and you realize you didn’t bring your tripod on the trip… No matter. You’ve got Portra 400 loaded in one of your spare film backs of your medium format camera and you go for it. Once you get …