Natural Light Portraits on Agfa Ultra Film – How We Shot It
It’s time for another bonus photo in our “Photo of the Day” series, and a throwback to film photography!
The Equipment and Settings
- Nikon FM2 (manual focus 35mm film body)
- Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AIS (manual focus)
- Unknown shutter speed, f/1.8 @ ISO 100
- Agfa Ultra 35mm color negative film (The last roll I ever owned, and one of the last rolls ever made!)
The Shooting Conditions
Here we have a great demonstration of natural light portraiture for a single subject. In the first image I wanted to capture the bright warm (mid-day) sun hitting my subject’s hair, so I posed and composed the shot to keep soft reflected light on their face, with a bright, partly-shady background. In the second image, I turned the scene around and shot entirely in the shade, using the light you see in the first image to softly illuminate the scene.
With the right pose and composition, you can see how light “wraps” around a subjects’ face to illuminate it evenly, regardless of whether there is harsh direct sun nearby, or even falling on a subject’s hair!
The images were processed and scanned by my photo lab, and that’s it. Agfa Ultra was a very saturated, slightly warm/pink film, which gave images a certain “pop” right off the bat. (Unlike most color negative films which, usually start off very flat and muted…) It wasn’t as un-forgiving as slide film though, which is known for it’s extremely limited dynamic range.
Still, I enjoy the slightly flattened shadows and highlights. In my opinion, the subtle muted look to shadows and highlights is one of the main reasons for shooting film!
For those of you who don’t know, Agfa (the film company) went out of business a few years ago, so rolls of Agfa film are difficult to find these days. These images were created in 2009 with my very last roll of Agfa Ultra.
If you would like to see more film photos in “Photo of the Day”, (or not) …please comment below and let us know!
Take care, and happy clicking,
Natural Light Portraiture
If you are interested in becoming a master at natural light portraits, (photographing couples) …then you should check out our Natural Light Portraits for Couples DVD Workshop! This comprehensive video workshop collection will help you master everything about photographing people in a simple, natural light setting… Click here to visit the SLR Loune Store and get more info.