I am a fairly new Lightroom user. After learning basic adjustments I started using VSCO presets on my photos. I was particularly fond of presets that produced lively greens and warm hues in my photographs. My taste has changed to muted colors lately; I particularly notice blues and earth-tones.
I first noticed these muted colors in the beautiful photography of Voaa and Missy Prince. Negative Feedback's LA eposide had these tones. I was drawn to the subtle colors of the light and airy photographs. Someone didn't just turn the saturation dial down.
Shifting work-life balance affects my photography. I feel notably less creative to shoot in months when I am particularly busy at work. I have also taken on more responsibility and I think the added pace makes me seek out colors and textures that are more subdued, less bombastic; colors that give me space to slow down a bit.
Fujifilm Pro 400H
I shot three rolls of Fujifilm Pro 400H and I love every frame. The colors feel true even though they are a bit muted. The photo of the farm needed an exposure range of 5 zones (shadow in EV 10, sky in EV 15) and the film nailed it. The shadow of the trees did not lose any detail, and neither did the clouds. Given this was my first clear day exposing with a spotmeter there is a fair chance the film fixed my mistakes.
Color negatives are more forgiving than black and white negatives especially if you overexpose. Plus or minus one stop barely makes a difference. Fujifilm Pro 400H is particularly forgiving. I try to get the exposure right but the colors stay muted and slightly washed. Such is the nature of this film. So different from the always-golden-hour tones of Provia 400.
I took this photo with Provia 400 in the morning light. Warm tones on the foliage are nice but the yellow tone in the sky is a bit too much for my liking. In my eyes, the photo of the farm above renders the blue sky better. The sky in the farm was Zone 8 and it should be close to getting blown out but it didn't. I don't know what EV or zone the sky was in this photo with the Cypres because I took it before I owned a spotmeter.
Provia cast a similar yellow tone on portraits. More on that in another post.
Provia 400 worked better on the duvet than it did the cypres trees. Maybe Provia does better with indoor shots. I have loaded my last roll of Provia 400 in the camera. Maybe I will spend it on some indoor portraits.
I don't want to stop at Pro 400H before trying a few more options. As my work falls into a manageable cadence I want to try out a few rolls where the color is richer.
Films like Velvia 50 are more saturated and I haven’t felt the need to try these. I am not a big fan of the green tones of Porta though the colors look really good. I hear Ektachrome is coming back! I ordered two rolls of Cinestill 50D. At $18 a roll, they are twice the price of any other roll I have used. It is a new roll to the market and I want to give it a shot. I also want to try Ektar 100 but the internet says it should have a similar color saturation to the Cinestill 50D.
The real trick is to find a film that does both landscapes and portraits well. All signs point to black and white.