I consider myself mainly a landscape and travel photographer, it’s the kind of photography I like and practice mostly.But when your girlfriend is a talented portrait photographer with great Photoshop skills, eventually you will try to make a different kind of image.
Together with Vaia Daldis, we decided to make a fine art photo in studio. She and our lovely dog Persa, offered to pose for the shot. I chose to use the Plaubel Makina 67 loaded with Kodak Portra 400 film. This is a film with a huge dynamic range, and my favorite color film for medium format.
I used two sources of light, a Nikon SB-900 flash and a LED light. In order to meter flash, I used a Sekonic L-308s light meter. I also used a digital camera to test the flash exposure. Since I have relied at the past on my meter and digital camera for metering exposure with flash, I found out that i many cases the readings I got , led to underexposed photos. Also, I was planning on using my large format camera for some shots, so I decided to test exposure by shooting instant film with the Sinar Norma.
I shot three instant frames, bracketing exposure, and the correct settings for flash proved to be 1 1/3 stops over my meter and digital camera readings. It’s sad that Fuji decided to discontinue the FP-100C and FP-300B instant film, since these instant pictures are a valuable helper in situations like this and also they are a form of art themselves just like Polaroid images.
Anyway, I shot a roll of film with Makina 67 at f/8 and 1/60 shutter speed. I rated Portra at ISO 200.
Every single image came out with the correct exposure, and we chose the best one to edit.
Vaia did an excellent post process edit, and here is the final image (click on photo to see large size).
Both of us could see that there is a certain 3D pop in this image compared to other fine arts photos we have made with digital cameras, and this the main reason I choose to use medium format film for this kind of work.
Keep in mind that the film was scanned on a Epson V500, which is not a good film scanner, but still the final result was great when printed A4 size. I placed the image straight on the scanner glass with a piece of glass on it to keep it flat, which proved to be sharper and with more details from the scan I did with the film holder. Fortunetally, there were no Newton rings.
I am sending soon the negative to a lab in order to get a better quality scan and see how it compares with the V500. Next photo session will be with the Sinar Norma large format camera!
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