We Shot a Roll of Portra 160 by Thomas App & Marion Gandois

Mar 6, 2020
4 min read

Thomas: We met on Twitter somewhere between a hashtag #shootfilm and a mutual subscriber. I started my youtube channel a few years ago and I began to invite other film photographers to share a few hours with me and offering a camera swap !

Marion: When Thomas sent me a message and explained me his project, I was really curious. Shooting with another photographer is always inspiring. And switching camera is a creative way to discover another camera. I usually shoot with Kodak film, but I never tested the Kodak Portra 160. So this meeting was opportunity to test it.

Thomas: For this particular swap I didn’t want it to be with expensive SLR cameras, because I want to share that even point and shoot cameras might be the perfect partner to shoot film. Not every film photographer has to shoot with a Leica or Hasselblad, I started my journey with toy cameras, and I still have a lot of affection for those cheap plastic cameras.

When Marion agreed to shoot with me, we quickly decided I would give her the Lomo LC-A I bought on eBay, and she would give me the half-frame camera she bought on her last trip to Seoul.

Marion: I started shooting with film camera a long time ago but only with a Nikon SLR (and a disposable camera when I was a child). I bought the Olympus Pen EE 3 during my travel in Seoul 5 months ago. I wanted to start exploring the point and shoot world. And that’s why I choose to shoot with the Lomo LC-A. This choice was a good way to show that even point and shoot can do great things.

Thomas: We started explaining to each other how to use each camera, I didn’t shoot on a half frame for a long time. Last time I remembered was when Lomography released the Diana Mini+ about 10 years ago. Our photo hike in Paris was a sunny afternoon, we got lucky because a few days before all we had was rain in Paris. And because we chose to shoot Kodak Portra 160, I was worried about the light. I actually was worried all the way, because I was shooting for the first time with the Olympus Pen EE3, I didn’t know how it would handle light gaps between the high brighted sky and the shadowed streets.

Marion: Like Thomas said I was also worried to see the colors of the Portra 160 and how the camera will handle all of this. But I’m really happy with the results. I love the dynamic of the colors. 

I was worried when I realized that I sometimes forget to adjust camera focus. Because on my Olympus I don’t have to think about that. I only started to think about it at the end of the day !  But thankfully for me I only missed few photos. 

Thomas: I was very surprised with the results of the film and the camera, everything is sharp and the dynamic range of the Portra 160 is amazing. I didn’t expect that much brightness, and the colours are very catchy, which I love. Even if the lab didn’t scan the shot side by side as I thought they would, I decided to combine my photos by two. I like the way the respond to each other.

Marion: We shot a lot of street photography so I was worried about lights and shadows, but the result on this point is great! We were pretty lucky with the weather and that’s why I wanted to play with the sun. I love the dynamic of the pictures. Soft colors of the Portra 160 soften the contrast between lights and shadows.

Thomas: This shooting confirms my thought about film photography, it’s about sharing, and those camera swaps are the best way I found to contact other photographers and meet with them, learning from all of them, and actually sharing something through film photography. Because I believe we are all experts of our gear, and there are so many cameras out there, I can’t get them all, so I suggest : Find another photographer and swap your cameras for a few hours ! 

Marion: At the end of the day I was really impatient to see the results. Shooting with Thomas was inspiring and it confirmed the fact that point and shoot cameras are a beautiful way to discover new film. I loved to discover new places in my own town. Those cameras are the best way to captured ordinary and daily moments. And also with a small budget! I definitely gonna try another time this Portra 160! And a massive thank you to Thomas for this opportunity! 

Thomas: Thanks for joining me ! 

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