Need help shooting portra 800 indoors

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by christian_duarte, May 18, 2015.

  1. I've been browsing around Todd Hido's work recently and i fell in love with some of the portraits that he's done indoors. I figured portra 800 would be the best for this type of stuff, but i dont have much experience shooting film indoors. What would you guys recommend as far as metering and exposure? I plan on using an P67 with a 55mm f4, which i think is a bit slow, but it's all i have right now and it seems to work for him pretty well.
    Here are a few links to his work so you can get an idea of what i'm talking about:
    http://41.media.tumblr.com/6487d94b0ce3a511f1bcf36920224d45/tumblr_mgazqtde6q1qk32qbo1_500.jpg
    http://edgereps.com/wp-content/uploads/Completed%20Portfolios/TODD%20HIDO/2_TH-Portfolio%202/THP2-03.jpg
    http://edgereps.com/wp-content/uploads/Completed%20Portfolios/TODD%20HIDO/2_TH-Portfolio%202/THP2-09.jpg
    http://edgereps.com/wp-content/uploads/Completed%20Portfolios/TODD%20HIDO/1_TH-Portfolio%201/THP1-05.jpg
     
  2. Learn scanning and post processing of Color negative film. Color correction and lighting is also a must.
    Those look also like you need a good tripod.
     
  3. Learn scanning and post processing of Color negative film. Color correction and lighting is also a must.
    Those look also like you need a good tripod.​
    I mean i have all of those basics covered because i shoot long exposures with film at night so the processing is no issue. I was more worried about getting the exposure right seeing as how i dont have money to throw around since film is expensive these days.
     
  4. Sorry if I offended you in any way. I have been at this for many years and I still learn everyday. Just ask Lex.
     
  5. Ahh no, no offense taken. It's the same with me; indoor portraits are something that is rather out of my comfort zone so i want to have a better understanding of how to do this before i go out and shoot.
     
  6. P67, you mean a Pentax 6x7? I would guess you will like a slightly longer lens better. If you have any kind of a light meter, even another camera body you will need it. I like that style very much. If you don't have one it shouldn't cost much. Even a 35mm body and lens used would do. If that is all window light then you will have to pay a lot of attention to time of day. At this time of year and late in the day I get a gorgeous light through a three window door set, great for natural portrait lighting. Have to work fast though, the light is constantly changing. As for the question you asked, (sorry about that) watch the highlights with 800. I don't shoot a lot of it (160 and 400 for me) but it will take a little practice, especially with some of that light, to get the right balance between shadow and highlight. I tend to let the shadows drop out and keep the highlights from getting completley blown though it doesn't always work out that way.
    Rick H.
     
  7. Either spot meter on the face or let the subject hold your incident meter, prepare yourself to decide if you have to compensate for reciprocity failure and shoot?
    Sorry thats what I'd be trying to do. - It seemed to work with Fuji 1600 & 800. - It might be not enough on the very nasty last link you posted.
     
  8. If I may make a suggestion: from what I've seen, Portra 400 is probably going to perform better at EI 800 (even without pushing) than Portra 800. But do test them both. You'll probably be glad you did.
    Those portraits are beautiful. And despite the fact that he is careful how he prints, his photos look natural. A lot of photographers go with what's trendy ("Notice me, notice me!"), and their photos are utterly forgettable. He just does what he feels is right. Funnily enough, I've seen quite a few photos which have similar feel to his, but they're straight-up negs or slides. No playing. Well, more or less.
     
  9. Thanks for the advice guys! I have a few rolls of 400 (both 120 and 35mm) left so i might test them by shooting them at 800 and experimenting with pushing one to see what's better.
     
  10. Watch contrast and be aware there's fill in these shots to reduce it. Get a good incident meter, preferably one with a narrow(1 degree) spot.
     
  11. Under-exposing 400 film won't get the look you're
    after. That increases grain and makes it tougher
    for minilabs to scan well. Rate the 800 film at
    400-640. Make it easier on the lab or whoever
    scans the negatives.

    Ditto, the metering and contrast advice. Use a
    reflector to provide some fill and reduce
    contrast. Even a makeshift reflector from a sheet
    of poster board or white fabric will help. But
    don't overdo the fill or you'll lose the natural
    light effect.
     
  12. As a side note, does anyone remember the discussions that took place on this board about 10 years ago, while there were still significant film shooters out there? They would go something like :
    Can anyone recommend a good 800 speed color negative film?
    Sure - XYZ 800 is a great 800 film. Just expose it at 200 and it looks wonderful. :)
     
  13. I may remember a thread or 40 like that.
     

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