Kodak Portra Still Rocks


Film is pretty cool. It’s easy to get all caught up in the digital tech and toys and post-production but taking the time to connect with what got me interested in photography to begin with does a lot for my creativity. I’ve been carrying my little Holga around a lot lately and getting some fun results. First, I did a little comparison with a variety of color 120 films just to see what worked best. I’ve narrowed it down to Kodak Portra 160 for outdoors stuff. It’s just the most beautiful saturated velevety stuff in this little camera. For monochrome, I like Ilford. I’ve alwys liked Ilford. Not sure why, really. I just started out using it and stuck with it. I’m using Ilford XP2  ISO 400 which works well outside and in medium light. It overexposes nicely and burns in the darks pretty well. The first shot above was the Portra, as well as the first two shots below. The last two shots (woman’s legs and chair) were with Fujicolor Superia 100. I love the dramatic vignette on those. These were just in-between shots while setup with the real gear. The Holga has some quirks like the mysterious light flare that happens in both the upper right and left corners. It comes and goes frame by frame. Odd, but that’s really what that camera is about.


Film use is sliding downhill but the analog factor puts a different perspective on the way I see. When walking around with the Holga, I notice textures, graphic compositions, odd little cracks in the sidewalk, just about everything really. I find myself breaking down everything I see wondering how it could be made into a photo which is exactly the kind of inspiration I need right now.

All photos © 2009 Gary Allard


  1. by Donald Giannatti on February 6, 2009  4:39 pm Reply

    Great stuff Gary. I love Portra. You make the medium and the subject work so well here... Holga, C41 and Square... Wow.

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