Tuesday, April 28, 2009


There are ups and downs to self education.
Nobody could teach themselves photography without an army of helpful
posters in the net, I think. Trying to work out the finer points of
dynamic range in relation to different film brands and sensors from
scratch might attract somebody with a mind like that of Mr Fox Talbot.
I'm quite an indolent soul and since nowadays there is an answer to most
questions that are asked about gear and its use, I spend quite a bit of
time boning up on the differences between Fuji and Kodak and generally
wondering what I should try next.

I bought five reels of Portra 160 VC in Ted's Cameras in Elizabeth Street
during my trip to Melbourne. I thought it would give some zany saturation
and photos taken in front of the Water Wall in the NGV turned out very
well indeed.

Antony Gormley at the National Gallery of Victoria

My enthusiasm is such that I joined the
group on Flickr to be able to share images of art works
that I hope to collect over time.
This refined and very lively group asks that posters
send their work to just five Flickr groups for 30 days days after
they have posted a photo to Utata. It somehow makes
a photo seem special.

It is only now that I realise that Portra is much debated.
The jury is still out on whether it is good for landscape work,
as Portra NC seems to be preferred. The vivid, highly saturated
VC is the film of choice for weddings and for studio work under
strictly controlled lights, it seems.

I deduce all this from reading.
It is difficult to come to any conclusion without trying it out in different
situations for myself.

It was certainly a fun film to try in the tropics, as a wander round Singapore


Granny J said...

So you are using film! That puts you in a very special category...

Now for the Jabberwocky meme -- the captcha word below is ensta which certainly must mean very soon, as "I'll be there in an ensta..."

Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

Film seems to be more popular again.

Seemingly, for copyright reasons, quite a few Irish professional photographers are using it, as the original processed film is, well... I suppose, more original.

I like Portra a lot and have tried NC as well. It gives a less vivid result, but is subtle.

As for the Jabberwock, there is probably a new language, Captcha, about to take the World by storm.