Playing with Film – Portra 400

As you may recall, I have been trying my hand at shooting film and am participating in a part of a blog circle of some lovely photographers who are doing the same.  Each month we will be trying out a new type of film and posting our results.  This month, we shot Kodak Portra 400.  Most of my circle had shot Porta 400 a few months ago, so this time they rated the 400 ISO film as 800 to test those results.  I had never tried the film before, so I skipped the rating at 800 portion of the experiment.  (Also, I couldn’t figure out how to do it.)  Many people have told me is their favorite film, so I expected just to love it, but in the end I am not sure that I do.  It certainly “feels” like the film shots I recall from my childhood, and I appreciate that nostalgia, but I am not sure that I am happy with the tint, the saturation or the grain – except for most of the bright, full-sun photos, which I prefer.

First, here are a few shots from Seattle –


KAC_2013_03_21_0004(We had visited the butterfly house at the Pacific Science Center when Avery managed to fall into the koi pond.  Really.  So that is why she is wearing my shirt like a dress.  In any case, I like how the film looks here, in this very bright image.)



KAC_2013_03_21_0011(I expected to like this image best, as it was taken in some of my favorite light to use, but I actually much prefer my digital shots from this session.)


The rest of the images were shot while we were on vacation in Hawaii.




KAC_2013_03_21_0029(This shot struck me as particularly magenta and odd-looking, as though it is decade’s old.)


KAC_2013_03_21_0033(I think this is my favorite shot – I like the way the film brings out the colors here.  Again, this is a full sun image.)



KAC_2013_03_21_0037What do you think?  Do you love it, or is it too “instagram” for your tastes?

Please continue around our blog circle and check out the stunning work of Gretchen Willis by clicking HERE.

6 thoughts on “Playing with Film – Portra 400

  1. I love all the photos, but then again I am terribly biased due my love for the subjects 🙂 It’s been so long since we used film, that I have even forgotten how to. But I see what you’re saying about the “nostalgia” element….some definitely have that look. Very cool experimentation. I love Avery’s shot of wearing your shirt, the whole get up is too cute. I love how they now play together since Alexa is growing up & I do so want to steal her (hehe). The last one of her sleeping in her bikini, OMG, I just want to eat her up! XOXO

  2. Oh my – that last shot is just too sweet! I love all your Hawaii images – the colors are so pretty. I was cracking up at your second shot – that is so something that would happen to one of my boys – but they probably would have jumped in instead of fell!

  3. I love the magenta toned old school one! That was my impression too, like it was a picture of you as a girl. ❤

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