Kodak Portra 160 Exposure Latitude
In the world of analogue photography, there is a plethora of films to choose from, but one of the most popular types is Portra film. These films have an excellent reputation for their soft colors and their ability to realistically reproduce skin tones. The exposure of a film plays a crucial role in the appearance of the image, which is why I will be addressing this topic in various blog posts. In this post, I have created an exposure series with Kodak Portra 160 to show you what it can look like when under or overexposed, and what happens to the image as a result.
As a wedding photographer, I am faced with different lighting situations. It can be either super dark or super bright. Since analogue cameras do not always have high shutter speeds or wide-open apertures, it is often difficult to achieve the "correct" exposure. I put "correct" in quotation marks because I believe that exposure often depends on personal taste. I want to assure you that you don't have to be afraid of films not showing any images when you "incorrectly" expose them.
I chose two different exposure situations that were available to me: one with low light and one with more light. I used an external light meter to measure the light, which in my opinion, provided excellent readings. The light meter was pointed towards the camera, and half of it was in the shade. I took the photos using a Pentax 645n, a medium format camera with a self-timer. Additionally, the film was scanned with a Noritsu HS1800 at Urbanfilmlab (a Frontier can produce different colors). Please keep in mind that the colors may appear differently on different screens when viewing the images.
Less Light - Portra 160 Normal
More Light - Portra 160 Normal
You can see quite well what has changed or remained the same. Negative films have a high dynamic range, which means they can capture a lot of light but also handle less light and produce an image - albeit with some compromises. However, I actually prefer some of the underexposed images here to the "correctly" exposed one. For those who want more details, you can watch my video on YouTube, which I will link directly below.