I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…

A couple of months ago two dear friends accepted the challenge of posing together.

Despite all the excitement about making a photo session with two beautiful women I had a few ideas about making it also a session for exploring 35mm C-41 color film and a new camera.

So, Sandra, Joana, Maria and myself, of course, toke a day off and went to the countryside for our session. Sandra and Joana were the models and Maria the producer.

Before the session we all had a wonderful lunch overlooking the sea, spending time in good spirit, sharing and fooling around with ideas for the shots.

I would like to think that, many years from now, we will remember that lunch and we will remember all the laughs through the images. In the end that’s the most important, being with friends, being connected by something we all love and welcoming (and keeping) good and positive people in our lives.

That being said, a little bit of “hardware” now…
My idea was to take some Portra 400 and some Fuji ProH 400 but I couldn’t find any Portra so I toke some Fuji ProH 400 and some Superia 200. Both were shot at half of the box speed but developed at box speed.

I don’t like to jump into any conclusions when using color film because we all know how much the labs can interfere in the final result and not to mention that using a cheap Canon 9000F home scanner will not pick up everything the negative has to offer.

I will share some thoughts about the results, as I go along, but please take it with a grain of salt.

 

This first shot was taken with Superia 200@100.
I got a very strong Yellow/Magenta cast, specially on the skin tones and low lights.
It was taken under an almost flat light, in the shade. I think that helped in controlling the color cast on this specific situation.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.  Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

Next situation… also Superia 200@100 but with a bit more light coming in through the trees. That made all the difference.
Sandra has a darker skin tone than Joana and it is noticiable that the yellow and magenta are starting to pop out. On the other hand I love the hair and the eyes and the red ribbon on her wrists. It’s a kind of image in which I like that “extra” saturation and “exaggerated” colors.

I love the warmth of this shot as I love the overall coldness of the previous one.

 

Untitled-44

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

 

Were are a couple of more samples. Same film, same camera, same lens.

 

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

 

Using the Nikon F3 was so cool. What a sweet camera. I set it to aperture priority and that was it!
The meter seems very accurate, the f1.4 lens allows crazy short depth of field and I just have to worry about choosing the right aperture. The cherry on top of the cake is the speed and aperture display inside the viewfinder! I’m keeping this F3.

I really love the next shot. It’s all about that look.
Please also notice that is is much “colder” than the previous ones.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.  Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

 

Next example, now using Fuji ProH 400@200.
Even the light feels cold in a warm way… and what a delicious camera and lens.

 

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.  Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

 

 

Yes I’ve said this before and I will stand by my words, I’m a sucker for shallow depth of field or, better said, I like to take full advantage of the depth of field however, this was the first time using an f1.4 lens so… some shots are too soft or I even missed focus all together.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

Using the F3 instead of the Hasselblad also allows me to shoot faster, to shoot more and to capture some situations harder to accomplish with a medium format camera.

Gorgeous Joana being herself.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

An in between moment… Maria was fixing Joana’s hair.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

Focus on the lips at f4 or f5.6, if I remember right.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

Focus on the lips at f2 or f2.8.

Untitled-50

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji Superia 200 @ 100, developed at box speed.

 

 

By the end of the afternoon we went to a final location, a wheat field. It was just beautiful, all green, waist high. The clouds were becoming yellow(ish) and gray/blue and the wind became stronger… We all felt like a storm was coming and to be honest, we were all tired and a bit cold.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

 

It was a nice setting and I remember saying to Maria that it was the most beautiful scenery of the day.
And that was a hug, a real hug. I felt that both Sandra and Joana had lost all of the initial embarrassment of posing together and having to touch, and to be close to each other, so I moved closer.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

 

No good. I needed to see the hug, it was the central point of the shot, so I stepped back again.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

 

Still no good.
Everything was perfect, the green field, the sky, the hug and that wonderful cold wind making their eyes watery… but still no good.

 

 

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

 

This could be it. The shot.
As I was scanning the negatives this image stoke me as the best of all the shots. I love Joana looking at me and I love the wind on Sandra’s hair. It’s beautiful in a… sad or nostalgic way.

 

However, this was the shot! To me, this shot made everything worth while.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4. Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

Nikon F3, Nikkor 50mm/f1.4.
Fuji ProH 400 @ 200, developed at box speed.

 

I don’t talk nice about my pictures very often but this image makes me proud. Not in a selfish way. How could I?
I had everything laid down for me. Two beautiful ladies modeling and becoming friends, tireless Maria helping me, Nature being gentle…

I just had the chance of standing there witnessing a beautiful scene taking place.
I thank Nature and the ladies for that moment, however this picture means nothing compared to being there and watch it happen.

I feel proud for being able to capture such a moment, just to show you two how beautiful you are.

Thank you a million times dear Sandra, dear Joana and dear Maria.

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2 comments
  1. Borja said:

    This is a very insightful post. I own a Nikon F3 with an HP viewfinder as well as a collection of AI lenses including my beloved 50mm f/1.4. For some reason I found using Kodak Portra Film works best with Nikon’s metering just as Fujifilm works best with Olympus OM metering…perhaps its my bias. Kudos to your wonderful examples.

    • Thank you for the excellent tips and let me ask you something, do you think that using an UV filter has any influence on the colors? To be honest I was hoping for less “saturation” and the shots did came out with noticeable color casts, magenta on some, cyan on others.

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