Saturday, April 21, 2018

Horizon Perfekt on Kodak Portra 400

Tonight in this blog, I'm not trying to do any sort of products review, but more on sharing my shooting experience and photographs using a swing lens panorama camera on Kodak Portra 400.

I bought my Horizon Perfekt point & shoot swing lens camera in 2007 and by far I had made only 18 rolls of film, and yes I have to admit I didn't use the camera too often. Suffice to say night photography with this camera has never came across my mind. Recently I decided to load a roll of Kodak Portra 400 and headed downtown on the second last night of iLight 2018 @ Marina Bay Sands. I have always enjoyed using this swing lens camera and upon completed a roll I sent it to the local photo lab for film processing and scanning, and I welcome you to view the photos.

For a roll of 35mm film on Horizon Perfekt, I can make 22 exposed frames. Depends on how you load the film in the camera, you can get one extra frame. Low light condition certainly poses challenges on this swing lens camera, but with Kodak Portra 400 forgiving overexposure latitude, I rated 200 to over-expose 1-stop. For light metering, I use Pocket Light Meter app on my iPhone, with which I am able to take reflective metering which is quite accurate and occasionally I'd use my hand-held light meter, Sekonic L-308, to take both reflective and incident metering, just to ensure.

Passage by artist Serge MaheuPassage is an immersive, minimalist, contemplative and interactive artwork that explores the emotional connections we develop with light and sound.
Shutter speed on Horizon Perfekt are as followed 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 second. 1/30 and 1/15 second are not available on this camera. Hence for low light condition, I have to mount the camera on a tripod and to make exposure with a cable release to minimise camera shake.

Octopoda by amigo & amigo, co-founded by Simone Chua and Renzo B. Larriviere
Octopoda is an interactive light installation that invites audiences to become part of his tentacle percussion ensemble.

The man on the foreground without a face was captured due to his movement against the lens swinging direction from left to right. This is one important factor to take note in order to avoid such imagery effect which can otherwise destroy a wonderful photo.

Next I went indoor in Marina Bay Sands shopping mall and came across this gigantic musical lighting display. The ambience presented good lighting for exposure and one good advantage of using this swing lens camera, is that it can take pretty interesting vertical panoramic photos. Panorama isn't essentially a must-be in landscape orientation format.

Golden Flight

This golden egret statue (shown above) is situated at the courtyard of Park View Square along North Bridge Road. It was early evening at about 6:45PM when I made this shot with the camera mounted on a tripod. Weather was gloomy and started to drizzle, hence I made 2 quick exposures; one in horizontal orientation and the other in vertical. The latter result isn't really pleasing. I like the matching colors of the golden statue and warm tungsten lights set against the building's cyan hue. I corrected the colors in Photoshop and enhanced further with Nik Collection plugin on tonal contrast.

My final conclusion on shooting Kodak Portra 400 with my Horizon Perfekt in low light ccondition? On that night out photo shoot, I was able to make quite satisfying results with good colors and less film grain by over-exposing 1-stop. As the old saying goes "expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights." I really like the colors Portra 400 produced and I have yet to try shooting Kodak Portra 800. I still love this swing lens camera which I will use it more often for future night street photography.

Coming up, though it's not night photography related, I really want to share with you readers some daylight street photographs I made on the same film with the same camera. Below is Anderson Bridge next to Fullerton Hotel, across Singapore River. Once again the weather was gloomy and yet the lighting was good. Since there are less colors in the scene, I converted to black and white in Photoshop with Nik Collection plugin. I also straightened up some converging lines issue and this is the result.

Anderson Bridge

On rainy day, most photographers call it a day but not for me. I took the opportunity of this torrential rain condition with proper light metering, I made this panorama photo at a bus-stop. 

Every Country's Rain

A week later on a sunny day, I was out in the streets again with my Horizon Perfekt. As usual, I was walking and prowling for potential subjects or interesting characters, and there it was. This scene presented itself before me, and I walked around keeping a close observation and at the same time looking out for the vantage spot. Then I stopped, composed the shot, and waited for a few moments when this African black woman in red dress appeared in the frame. I released the shutter.

Upon viewing this street photo, I noticed the color palette i.e. red, green and blue, with a little yellow, all which somehow play each other quite well in its own place. I'm not saying this is the best street photo but somehow to me personally I find it pleasing.

Lastly, I thank you for your time to read my photo blog. Do subscribe for new blog post and updates if you haven't done so.

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