Adrian Sztruks – portra 400 (2014)
Kodak Portra is NOT my cup of tea. It tends toward muted pastels with compression in the highlights that I find unappealing.
Plus: if you’re working analog and making portraits or so-called fine art nudes, you likely use Portra. And call me an iconoclast but: girlfriend, ubiquity is an enormous turn off.
That being said, three things about this scan interest me:
- It’s medium format with a shallow depth of field, check the way that the bokeh seethes against the grain structure–a nice, thoroughly cinematic effect that highlights the young woman while also clearly grounding her in her environment.
- Because it’s medium format, there’s a good chance the camera doesn’t have built-in metering. As a result, this is slightly underexposed. (Little known oddity about cameras, unless you’re actually measuring the amount of light in exact relationship through the lens onto the focal plane, then you get hit up by the discrepancy between F* and T* stops.
- The highlights aren’t compressed, you’re retaining a full range of detail in the sheets but further more note how the tonal range of the wall–ostensibly yellow–is not replicated within the woman’s skin tone. The result is an appealing warm tone–which is 120% in keeping with the image. However, from the standpoint of color correction, such separation offers a ridiculous range as far as color balancing. (For example: I’d apply basic color correction, monkey around until I got Prue Stent-esque skin tone and lastly add a little bit of the amber glow back.)