Boulder, Colorado

Often times when you head out for the day along Colorado’s Front Range you simply don’t know what the day holds. That’s one of the reasons it’s such fun: that unexpected surprise emerging when you think you’re looking for one thing – and another takes you completely off guard. Such was the case on this day.

Fort Collins was shrouded in cold, gray fog.  There was really no hint of redemption – just unrelenting grayness. Sometimes the cloud base is low along the front range that you can literally climb above it by heading to the hills. This wasn’t the intention, but is exactly what happened as I made my way out of Lyons towards Estes Park.

With the newly repaired 645 in hand and I was eager to try it out – not feeling much like hiking, but just wanting to cover some ground and see if anything interesting popped up along the way. Estes Park was gorgeous – sunny blue skies, fresh snow, and warm. Unfortunately no photographs emerged, so on I pressed.

 

Coming over Lee Hill Road a beautiful, fresh frost covered everything as far as the eye could see. In the distance the sun shone only on the higher peaks to the south of the front range.  (Mamiya 645 Pro TL + Ektar)

The Peak to Peak Highway took me back to Ward and from there, down Left Hand Canyon. I’d re-entered the fog descending the canyon making my way slowly through the same cold gray I’d left in Fort Collins earlier. Towards the bottom of Left Hand is Lee Hill Road, which takes you south along the ridge line, depositing you in North Boulder. I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme I’m beginning to pay more attention to; along the edges of any transition is where the most interesting activity tends to be. The edges of the day, the edges of a storm, the edges of dark and light… you get the idea.

The scene atop the page was a brief moment seen coming around a bend as North Boulder came into view. Late afternoon light was partially obstructed by ice fog – just before disappearing behind higher mountains to the west. What struck me was the pronounced difference between the cold, blue, snowy trees blocked from the warmth of light – and the glowing, warm winter pinks produced by the last light of the day from the west.

I pulled over in a wide shouldered turn out on the tight road hoping I could quickly squeeze off a frame before other cars came. No such luck. As the fog wafted in and out producing holes in the distance – more light was allowed through and warm pinks intensified and I stood mesmerized. The quiet was broken by the sound of a down-shifting engine and I looked up the road to see a school bus making its way down the hill towards me. The car was safely off the road and though it was tight, I knew he could get by. I hopped the guard rail and scrambled down the embankment for a cleaner view – just enough for snow to make its way up over my socks and onto bare ankles.

The beauty of the scene was most uncommon. Snow adds a unique dimension to any landscape. No matter how many times I’d seen this same ridge line before, this day the snow made it uniquely beautiful. Especially the snow tucked in the crags and cracks of rock.

As I finished up and hopped the guard rail back onto pavement a young man in a knit cap heading up the hill slowed, rolled down his window and wagged his finger at me. I could only smile, knowing I’d not put anyone else at risk by taking the time to see something truly beautiful that day.

 

Olympic National Park, Washington

HOH Rainforest Tryptich no.1
HOH Rainforest Tryptich no.1
Blue Hour, Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington
Blue Hour, Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington
Kalaloch, Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Kalaloch, Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Hall of Mosses, Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park, Washington
Hall of Mosses, Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park, Washington
Marymere Falls, Olympic National Park, Washington
Marymere Falls, Olympic National Park, Washington
Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend, Washington
Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend, Washington
Blue Hour, Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington
Blue Hour, Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

 

Medicine Bow, Wyoming

Sometimes when visiting a new place surrounded by such emptiness there’s a mild reservation about leaving the imagined security of whatever semblance of civilization there is – and striking alone into the void. With minimal maps and no idea what really lay out there I check the fuel gauge and tires, listen to the car carefully for any indication of malfunction and make sure a little food and water are close at hand.

For some reason Medicine Bow, Wyoming calls to me. In the late 1800’s Medicine Bow was a mildly prosperous stop along the transcontinental Railway due to its proximity to water provided by the Medicine Bow River. Later – it was a vibrant stock and cattle holding operation and a stop for auto travelers along the old Lincoln Highway. In the early 70’s Medicine Bow was effectively cut off when Interstate 80 was built 35 miles to the south. Medicine Bow is one of the windiest places in America, a fact I can attest to from my visits. Often times when opening the car door, the wind catches and violently cranks it against the hinges causing the car to lurch.

Medicine Bow River, Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow River, Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)

 

 

Rock River, Wyoming
Rock River, Wyoming

 

Rock River, Wyoming
Rock River, Wyoming
Rock River, Wyoming
Rock River, Wyoming

My first intentional trip to Medicine Bow was several years ago as I determined to follow 287 north as far as I practically could. Outside of Laramie there’s not much topographic relief as one travels along the bottom of the enormous Laramie River Valley, ringed with high, wild peaks in the distance. The car drifts sideways in ever present wind as you unconsciously pull to the left while heading straight North. All but empty enclaves like Bosler, Rock River and Como Bluffs distantly dot the highway – a mirage providing the hope of relief that vanish as you approach, then roll through with no visible sign of activity. For a large portion of the drive the highway parallels the railroad and trains pass in either direction, the smile of their headlights providing brief companionship. Beyond the tracks, hidden from site by the risen berm lies the Laramie River, winding its way down from Wheatland Reservoir, 30 miles to the north east.

“Let Them Know” Highway 287 north of Laramie, Wyoming

It’s the very definition of solitary.

Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)

Upon arriving in Medicine Bow I was struck by its sparse, barren landscape, wind, and intense, western afternoon light. Long, coal and cattle-laden freight trains regularly tear through the town’s center at full speed as I prowl around the tracks. Sometimes when visiting a new place surrounded by such emptiness there’s a mild reservation about leaving the imagined security of whatever semblance of civilization there is – and striking out alone into the void. With minimal maps and no real idea what lay out there I check the fuel gauge and tires, listen to the car carefully for any indication of malfunction and make sure a little food and water are close at hand.

Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)

On this most recent trip the emptiness is tempered by the presence of our one year old chocolate lab Tecla. As the sun begins to sink I start the car. 4 mule deer amble across the dirt road in front of me. Tecla erupts in the back seat, bouncing back and forth from passenger to driver side angrily barking at these large, four-legged invaders. Though the windows are up they glance briefly at the car, assess the threat, then pick up the pace as the rail road crossing sounds yet again. I drop the car into drive and head into the late, windy afternoon.

Lincoln Highway designation sign, Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Lincoln Highway designation sign, Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)

Coming home that night, topping the snowy pass separating Wyoming from Colorado the headlights catch a large, still shape sprawled across the road. It’s a deer. She’s been hit and killed and lay still, alone in the night. I stop. At the top of the cold, foggy pass visibility is low and I sit for a moment in the dark car deliberating. If another car hits her it’ll surely create problems for everyone. Tecla wakes up in the front seat and looks at me as I open the door and step into the night.

I grab the doe by the front legs and drag her across the road. She’s heavier than anticipated. ‘I’m so sorry, sweetheart’ I say as her head arcs back and the friction of the blacktop tries to prevent us from our task. The hair on her legs above her hooves is wet and my bare hands slip, then grab tighter. Leather gloves  are somewhere in the car but I couldn’t risk the time to find them. A trail of blood is left behind on the road pointing to where she lay, and a large, round organ the size of a small beach ball that’s been dislodged, sitting in the road like a rock cairn on a hiking trail.

When I climb back in the car Tecla is awake and smells the dead animals’ scent on my hands. She aggressively sniffs and licks as one arm shoes her away, while the other searches the console for something to clean up with. There’s nothing. I drive 20 minutes down the pass and stop at Ted’s Place for a $2 bottle of hand sanitizer, then wipe down the steering wheel. This is life in Colorado and Wyoming, I think to myself – knowing I can’t share the event with my wife. “How was your trip,” she’ll say as I walk in, hungry and tired of being in the car. “Good. Really good.” And leave it at that.

Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Lincoln Highway Garage, Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Lincoln Highway Garage, Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)
Medicine Bow, Wyoming (2016)

 

Crane Hollow, Boulder County, Colorado

At the end of the day it’s light that’s the star. Great light can turn nearly any ordinary scene into something extraordinary. Those days I’m fortunate enough to be out in that wonderful, glorious autumn light with a camera are good days indeed. Making photographs is as much about the process as it is about the final image.

There’s something special about the color along Colorado’s Front Range in late Autumn. The Front Range is where the plains finally begin to rise, turning then into mountains. This transition zone has always been a special place to me. It possesses an understated beauty not found elsewhere; a gentility as one ecosystem makes room for another.

Crane Hollow Road, Boulder County, Colorado (2014)
Crane Hollow Road, Boulder County, Colorado (2014)

The fall is one of my favorite times to be out with the camera – but not for what may be considered the typical subject matter. Brilliant colored leaves tend to attract people from all over the country – and for good reason. Explosions of magnificent, bombastic color creating high drama are everywhere. I photograph these, too – and they’re smashing. The truth is though,  the time of year I look forward to the most is when the leaves fall from the branches and the people go home. Especially when we’re blessed with a beautiful Indian Summer; fall stretching out into the waning days of November and early December – sometimes beyond. The downside is of course lack of moisture. The upside is, there’s virtually nothing green left. It’s then the land turns countless shades of gold, brown, tan, ochre, beige, sienna and red – all laying dormant most of the day, going unnoticed in the high-altitude, high angle bright, Colorado sunlight.

Hygeine Road, Rural Boulder County, Colorado (2014)
Hygeine Road, Rural Boulder County, Colorado (2014)

Towards evening, however, when the sun begins its downward journey and the angle of light changes, spectacular color begins to emerge. It’s brief – the last hour of the day you can feel it building. But what happens in those final moments before the sun disappears behind the foothills west of Boulder is spectacular. Crane Hollow Road is an unremarkable dirt road in Eastern Boulder County. It’s probably no longer than a mile or so, and it travels north to south, connecting Hygiene Road and St. Vrain Road. Earlier in life I would cycle these roads back and forth from Boulder to Longmont routinely, eager to escape pavement on my mountain bike – for safety reasons as much as the aesthetics. Now I drive them, slowly in search of beautiful light. Every once in a while I get lucky.

Boulder County, Colorado (2014)
Boulder County, Colorado (2014)

Ektar is perfect film for this type of work. Its vivid color with a slightly warm bias lends itself well to reproducing dramatic light when it makes is appearance. Its fine grain faithfully reproduces subtle details emerging in the luminescent landscape. One of the unique things about photographing on film is this sense of anticipation and excitement when you think you’ve preserved a moment of beautiful light – but you’re not able to actually see the images yet. There’s a tendency to replay the sequence in your mind’s eye and go over your technique. When you find great light it’s easy to get excited and hurry through set up. Changing lenses, extending the tripod, connecting the cable release, screwing on filters… then quickly getting in position before everything simply disappears. Was the tripod on solid ground or bouncing on bending grass. In the excitement to get the camera in position and ready to shoot, did you remember to carefully focus? Shoot Mirror-Up? Did you bracket your compositions well – wide, mid and tight? Did you set the polarizer properly? Clean the lens? Choose the right lens? Use the right aperture? All these things swim through the mind’s eye as dusk encroaches and you make your way back to pavement, the car’s heater kicking in, then head home. There’s something exhilarating about that moment – when you think you got it right – but you won’t know for sure for several more days, until you’re holding the film in hand. Only then will you know.

Autumn grasses, Crane Hollow Road, Boulder County, Colorado
Autumn grasses, Crane Hollow Road, Boulder County, Colorado

At the end of the day it’s light that’s the star. Great light can turn nearly any ordinary scene into something extraordinary. Those days I’m fortunate enough to be out in that wonderful, glorious autumn light with a camera are good days indeed. Making photographs is as much about the process as it is about the final image.

Hope, Boundaries and Good Intuition

I’ve devoted considerable thought over the past few years as to why we as people make photographs and frankly have come up blank. I don’t think I could explain to someone why I make photographs other than the simple truth; it pleases me to do so. It’s fun to read the plethora of great essays by others, from the famous to the unknown, presenting wonderful theories and insights. I think I’ve finally concluded however that I’m not sure it really matters beyond the simple truth; it pleases me to do so.

I’ve been making images since I was about 11 years old, when my folks gave me my first Kodak 110 camera for Christmas, complete with the rotating flash cube on top of that tiny plastic body. I loved that thing. My next camera was a Canon AT-1, the manual version of the ever popular AE-1 and from the moment I held it I was a National Geographic photographer. Ruined for life. That was a good many years ago, and though I never actually became a National Geographic photographer, I’m still making images. I wonder what else we do during the course of our lives that stays with us like photography does? For me the answer is not much. It’s one constant – besides my family and my faith – that has endured through the years.

I think maybe most photographers – especially film shooters – are optimists. A musician friend once spoke of “the hope of a picture” in reference to deferring the shooting and editing process to someone who understood – and had the creative and technical ability to realize – such a thing. One of the highs of photography for me is the possibilities. The camera is full of best case scenarios, creative potential and hope. One of my favorite photographers (and writers) Robert Adams once said, “The job of the photographer isn’t to record indisputable fact, but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope.”

Organ Pipe Cactus
Organ Pipe Cactus National Park, Arizona

Hope. Every time I load a new roll of film I get a little thrill. It’s like a full tank of gas for me, the allure of that elusive “perfect frame” possibly hiding in every roll. Like a golden ticket, hidden in only so many Wonka bars. Perhaps that’s one of the things that appeals to me most about shooting roll film; the focused flexibility required to maximize finite opportunity. The digital shooter might counter with some sort of volume equation – like, the more you shoot, the more likely you are to find that golden ticket. I’m not so sure about that..

Tomohisa IKENO, on the Nikon F6* design team, summed it as “the value of unique pictures.” He said, “With a digital camera, the number of pictures you can take is infinite, in the sense that there is no limit in the number of shots to take, unlike shooting with film. You don’t have to hesitate when taking pictures. Just release the shutter… But on the contrary, some photographers reject the prospect of such ease, as they desire a more careful, rigorous approach to making photographs. They want to treasure each picture-taking opportunity by etching their vision on film…a certain degree of respect to taking each great picture.” This careful, rigorous approach can go a long way towards fulfilling the “artist” struggling for a voice in each aspiring photographer.

National Geographic reported the number of digital photographs made in 2006 was 53 billion, in 2011 was 80 billion and in 2015 is projected to be 105 billion. That’s a lot of pictures made. And deleted. If you’ve ever visited flickr, it sure looks like randomly clicking 5-12 frames per second until you stumble onto something creative may seem to have replaced this “careful, rigorous approach.” But I believe as people we benefit from limits. Boundaries.

Architecture and Shadows, staircase, Denver, Colorado
The Staircase, Denver, Colorado (2013)

We pretend to love to hate boundaries. Truth is, though, while we may initially accuse boundaries of cramping our style, they can provide a more creatively satisfying approach through a thoughtful blend of methodical experimentation – with a little “wonder of the unknown” thrown in for good measure. Boundaries may not be mandatory in order to force one to think, but they certainly go a long way in helping us focus. Whether you have 1, 10, 12, 24 or 36 frames  – you have that much-needed boundary; a governor to help steer your thinking into productive action. And in a counter-intuitive way, I’ll contend that boundaries even encourage intentional creativity.

John Szarkowski writes in the introduction to William Eggleston’s opus, Guide, “It’s not easy for the photographer to compete with the clever originality of mindless, mechanized cameras, but the photographer can add intelligence. By means of photography one can in a minute reject as unsatisfactory ninety-nine configurations of facts and elect as right the hundredth. The choice is based on tradition and intuition–knowledge and ego–as it is in any art, but the ease of execution and the richness of the possibilities in photography both serve to put a premium on good intuition.”

Good Intuition. Photography encourages a sort of focused flexibility; balancing logistical boundaries while remaining responsive to the nudges and pricks emerging throughout the creative session. The focused photographer then responds with method, technique, knowledge and bravery. I’ll suggest that all these things help train up “good intuition.” These are the things that make creative film photography a wonderful journey. Sure, there’s math and science involved too; you measure light, choose an emulsion based on creative goals (or whatever’s thawed from the freezer); you communicate through the machine’s knobs and dials your preferences on how best to approach the scene – knowing through intimate repetition how it’ll interpret and render your input. You view, you tweak. Rinse and repeat. Until you get it right. Until you get what you want. Until you’re released to move on to the next thing.

Breckenridge, Colorado
Breckenridge, Colorado (2009)

Again, Robert Adams: “Over and over again the photographer walks a few steps and peers, rather comically, into the camera; to the exasperation of family and friends, he inventories what seems an endless number of angles; he explains, if asked, that he is trying for effective composition, but hesitates to define it. What he means is that a photographer wants form, an unarguably right relationship of shapes, a visual stability in which all components are equally important. The photographer hopes, in brief, to discover a tension so exact that it is peace.” This “peace” usually isn’t the product of dumb luck, but creative intent.

This narrative began as a high-and-mighty dissertation on why people should still shoot film. Then I pulled up some digital images made on a recent outing and thought, you know what? It really doesn’t matter – beyond what your creative intent is. Digital photography has made me a better film shooter, and shooting film has helped hone my vision; my focus. For whatever reason, though, I’m always more creatively invigorated when I pick up my film camera (and I love the quality of the image. tangent: Image Quality is often talked about as only “high” or “low.” I think of Image Quality as a summary of the unique qualities an image possesses).

The way I see it life is one, big art project; sometimes even maybe like a beautiful tapestry: if you’ve ever viewed one of these intricately woven masterpieces from the bottom it appears chaotic;  threads running everywhere, patterns abruptly halting, isolated threads hanging down; far from beautiful. But if you flip that same tapestry over and view it from the top, it’s a masterpiece.

Colorado Pet and Feed, Fort Collins, Colorado (2011)
Colorado Pet and Feed, Fort Collins, Colorado (2011)

As an artist then, I think an important step in recording this “masterpiece in progress” is to find a tool – a medium – that speaks to your creativity. A while back I was listening to a radio interview with Booker T. Jones, the incredible musician known for his unique sound, created with the Hammond B3 Organ. He said about his discovery of the B3, “I found an instrument that I can speak through.” I think that’s really the key to a lifetime of fulfilling, creative photography: finding tools that encourage your unique vision. Then begins the process – as it did for me that Christmas morning long ago when I popped that flash cube on my new Kodak – of getting out there and creating your own tapestry. Though at any given moment the results may not appear to possess coherent attributes; some semblance of purpose or direction; don’t stop. You never know what it’s going look like from the other side.

And yes, it’s OK if your only reason for doing it is simply because it pleases you to do so.

You’re in good company.

postlude: This essay was originally published in Bob Kidd’s “Sunday Street” blog. To visit Sunday Street please click here.

The New Kodak Portra (again)

Today I received back from the lab my two rolls of Portra 160 shot over the weekend. The more I shoot this film, the more I like it. I know, I know… I’m in love with every film when it comes back from the lab and I get lucky with a shot turning out as hoped. But I’m beginning to see real benefits in sticking with an emulsion over a period of time to learn how to best anticipate how it responds in any situation. As is often the case with 36 frames, subject matter was varied. First, this post will concentrate on Portra for Landscape (and other) applications.

This first shot was made on the way home from a family event on Sunday, just north of highway 66 in Longmont, Colorado. This truck has been sitting in this field for as many years as I’ve been driving back and forth between Longmont and Fort Collins (many years), and I’ve always thought it a little unusual. This past Sunday the light was perfect. Dark skies always catch my eye, and the strong, Colorado sun was hitting the old, dilapidated siding just right. I pulled over, scrambled down the irrigation ditch and hopped what was left of the old, pushed-down barbed wire fence to get my shadow out of the shot. As usual, the F6 Matrix metered everything perfectly and Portra held the highlights in the sun-drenched western wall. As large and cumbersome as the Nikkor 28-70 is, it’s sure a functional lens. Stop it down to ƒ8-11 and you almost can’t make a bad image with it. But what really sets this image apart for me is the sky. There’s real, subtle intrigue in the sky – and much of that is Portra. It’s organic; somehow alive. And the greens in the foreground give the image something earthy. Portra handled all of it.

Here’s another Portra image made last summer:

When I uploaded the first image into my F6 gallery, I immediately thought of this shot as a likely predecessor in succession. These two are good examples of where I’m heading. The obvious visual tie-ins are the green foreground, low horizon, dramatic sky… vehicle(s). What really links them, though, again is Portra’s color balance, natural bias’s and grain structure. The image immediately above is Portra 400 (at rated 400). The color is – to me and my eyes – wonderful. It’s subdued, not bombastic and garish. It’s much more “real” than say, Velvia or Ektachrome 100VS (we’ll get to that wonderful emulsion in a later post). Portra carries with it – again, to me – a sense of America. I don’t know what it is, exactly – but it’s there. Add to it the organic quality of the 160 grain and you’ve got something that’s authentic. Touchable.

Here’s another one, made in Pine, Wyoming late last year. This is 120 film made with the Mamiya. You can see the same tendencies, the same look and feel:


Pine (Bluffs), Wyoming (2011)
So Portra for landscapes – despite the overwhelming preponderance of the high-saturation, high-contrast chrome films – is becoming much more appealing to me. As Kodak mentions in their on-line literature, Portra scans very well. Kodak surmised that today’s film shooter is more than probably scanning their frames more often then using enlargers. With this in mind, they specially formulated Portra for scanning. I can see a difference between it, and the old NC/VC frames. Kodak also claims it has a saturation level more balanced toward the older NC (Natural Color) as opposed to the Vivid Color (VC) strain. I’ll say, however, that it is more saturation latitude to my eye than NC and not quite as much as VC. Here’s a VC frame from last year:

This was 160VC shot at 100, which I’m pretty convinced is a good idea. While Portra has tons of latitude in exposure, like every other digitally processed image noise can always find a way in if permitted – especially at the under exposed areas of the image. I’m of the opinion that if you provide lots of light for ample exposure, then set good black and white points in processing, you’ll get a higher quality final print. I think this image has more punch to it than straight up Portra would provide. But that’s OK. For the occasions when that’s desired, Kodak’s Ektar is a good choice.

A brief word about color negative film vs. chrome (slide) films:

A look through any of my galleries bares witness to my use of the chrome films. The most common being Velvia, though I’ve briefly rediscovered Ektachrome 100VS – just in time for Kodak to discontinue it. However, I’m finding more often in general shooting situations I’m reaching for color negative films over the chrome films for a few key reasons. 1) Exposure latitude is phenomenal. Negative film, scanned full resolution at 16-bit is an incredible thing. Image features I know would blow or be buried on my digital sensor are right there, even shooting the mighty Nikon D3s which has tons of exposure latitude in its RAW images to begin with. And in a digital workflow, data is king – and negative film carries tons of it. 2) Cost. When you shoot as much film as I do, cost matters. Getting chrome film processed runs between $16-$18 per roll at my favorite lab. They use great E6 equipment and it’s worth it when I need to be sure a roll is processed right. But C41 comes in at $4/roll, $5 if you have the roll cut into strips of 4 – which are easier to store. That’s 3 or 4 rolls of film processed C41 for the cost of one roll of E6. That matters. 3) Full frame. I know I don’t need to have my slides mounted, but I do anyway. It’s how my storage system is set up. And I sure don’t want to mount them myself (I’d rather be out shooting). When slides are mounted they obscure the edges of the frame. When you shoot a camera employing a 100% viewfinder like the Nikon F6 you’re not seeing the same thing in the final image that you saw in your viewfinder. This might seem piddly, but can make a significant difference in the impact of the final image. 4) The slide-mounts also conceal the exif data my F6 writes between frames. Not a huge deal – I have the MV-1 to retrieve the data from the camera and store in an Excel spread sheet. But it can be handy to view on screen in a per-image basis, too. 5) Lastly, I don’t know if it’s old age or what, but I’m finding myself preferring a bit more natural color palette. The Chrome film I’ve been shooting for years will always resonate with me – I love color. But lately there are times that a more natural treatment of what’s before me is preferred, and for that, once again Portra is a wonderful choice. Another benefit is that, for some reason, the image looks less “digital.”

Add it all up, and Portra is an emulsion I’m hoping Kodak keeps around for many years to come. I’m always on the look out for deals to stock pile my freezer with, and Kodak’s new Portra is now at the top of that list.

Next time I’ll cover Portra and how it responds to flash.