Kodak Portra 400 Film: Best Film Overexpose Technique

Kodak Portra 400 Film Photography Penang

It was fun to shoot a film on my Yashica Electro 35 GTN film camera and this post is all about how to use the pull film overexpose technique and develop it at box speed. I was actually doing quite a lot of homework, watching videos and tutorials about how to pull film overexpose. This experiment of pulling the Kodak Portra 400 is for creative purpose and what are the results of the film stock. I actually shot it at +1 stop and develop it at box speed.

At first, it does get confused about the term pulling and pushing. When I say pull, it means that I’m increasing the exposure. So if I get to shoot a Kodak Portra 400 at 200 ISO set on the film camera, I’ll get a 1 stop overexposure.

Using the film overexpose technique

This is my first time overexpose film stock and guess what? The results really surprised me! It looks a lot better than my first roll of Portra 400 film shoot and I was quite happy with the color tones of the overexposed Portra 400. I quite enjoy how this film looks on film.

I was shooting some film photography portraits, street fashion in Bukit Bintang and street photography in Georgetown, Penang recently with my Yashica Electro 35 GTN loaded with the Kodak Portra 400. I try my best to preserve the film by storing it in the fridge and avoiding leaving it in hot places or for a long time inside my camera.

As usual, the film is developed by Darkroom8 Malaysia, one of the best film lab in Malaysia. My favorite shot is the concrete jetty shot taken at Batu Ferringhi beach in Penang with composition and leading line.

This was my second time shooting on the Kodak Portra 400 film stock. I like how the framing and blue teal color tone of the sky blend well with the concrete jetty. As the shutter speed are set automatically, I have to depend on the camera light meter.

I didn’t expect my film shoot series in Penang turned out so well, although there are few shots with the lens cap on. Read about my holiday in Georgetown Penang and view more street photos.

How to Pull Film Overexpose Technique
Yashica Electro 35 GTN Kodak Portra 400 Film
Kodak Portra 400 Pulled Film
My street portrait using the same film roll in Bintang Walk also turned out amazing! I’ve combined it with the use of Moment CineBloom diffusion lens filter and you can learn more about diffusion lens filter in my latest guide.

The recent street fashion photoshoot in Bukit Bintang KL with the lovely girl is one of favorite portrait shoots. I was shooting at F2.8 giving a little more exposure as the lighting at the location was quite shady.

Kodak Portra 400 Fashion Street Portraits Malaysia
Kodak Portra 400 Film Portraits Malaysia

How To Push/Pull Film By 1 Stop

There are times when a photographer is shooting film and they might desire an image that is overexposed. This blog will give you some tips on how to achieve this look, as well as what the differences are between over-exposing a black and white negative or slide, as opposed to color. We usually pull & push film for creative purposes, and pushed film if we need more exposure in low light.

Pulling film
Pushing film means overexposing the film. On the camera, set ISO to -1 stop of the film box speed. E.g film box speed 400 ISO, camera ISO set to 200

Pushing film
Pushing film is known as underexposing the film. On the camera, set ISO to +1 stop of the film box speed. E.g film box speed 400 ISO, camera ISO set to 800

There are many reasons why a photograph might be intentionally overexposed, such as to add brightness to your composition, or to aid in high contrast levels. In this case, the goal is to make your image brighter than what it actually is. This is also known as an overexposed photo. Do check out more about how the images look when pushing the Ilford Hp5 film stock one-stop results in more contrast and getting more light in low light conditions.

Here’s the pull film overexpose technique by 1 stop. Set the ISO to -1 stop on your film camera depending on the based film box speed. Let’s say the film box speed is 200 ISO, set the camera ISO to 100, which is 1 stop overexpose and develop the film stock as usual. You can always shoot film at box speed as I did to the moody creative portraits shoot if you feel like maintaining the color tone.

I hope this simple and easy technique will help the beginner who wants to try to overexpose film stock for more exposure. Happy shooting film!

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