Shot on Film: Day 5

The desert SW is a fascinating place to observe and photograph patterns.  It really doesn’t matter where you go in this vast area, it’s literally everywhere.  These patterns and shapes are revealed in both grand and intimate scales and are a treat to the eye.  On this trip I used a film that was new to me, Kodak Portra 160.  It’s often used for portraits because of the way it renders skin tones and has a wonderfully smooth grain.  It has a high dynamic range and is great for high contrast scenes.  I don’t see it used much for landscapes so I thought I’d give it a try.  I don’t have enough experience with it yet to make any final conclusions but so far I’m liking the film for creating a negative.


~ Edge of Shade ~ (2017 – Portra 160)

Warm light is reflected off a nearby cliff while this rock sits in the shade.  The various colors of the sandstone combined with the colors of warm and cool light create an interesting effect.  There is endless potential for images in the desert as you wander and observe.

~ Layers Beyond Layers ~ (2017 – Portra 160)

This sunrise was pretty incredible with an entire sky exploding in beautiful color.  I opted to photograph this scene instead because it showed much more interesting elements than just a sunrise.  I was drawn to the similar shapes (think Nike swoosh) and the layers extending to the horizon.  Also, this light was more balanced and no filter was needed to balance the exposure of the sky and foreground.  I’ll talk about my strong dislike for GND’s (Graduated Neutral Density filters) in a separate post.   I’m pretty impressed with how Portra 160 handles both the highlights and shadows, even in a smaller jpg scan.  I can’t wait to see this as a high res TIFF!

~ Stone & Pebble ~ (2017 – Portra 160)

One more intimate image of color, texture and shape.  I chose to leave the pebbles just beyond the plane of focus in this image for a specific reason.  Eyes are drawn to contrast, brightness and areas of focus.  By placing strong contrast on the left, focus in the middle and brightness on the right, a different form of balance is created.  Composition techniques become more crucial in intimate images to allow an image to communicate.  Every element in an intimate image must serve a purpose to the observer’s eye.

Thanks for reading and more tomorrow!





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