Rome – July 2014: Captured on Portra

Rome - Portra-13
Vittorio Emanuele – or “The Wedding Cake”

On my first visit to Rome, the mythical beings riding the dark, nearly black chariots atop the almost snow white building became not only a navigational landmark for me but also one of my favorite images in my mind.  Since I travel for work, I did not have the time to actually walk up to it and admire it from several different angles.  But on this trip, I made a point to get some closer images.

It is a huge building.  It took a while to get this shot with the Italian flags somewhat unfurled, and this was one time where the people really added to the feeling of the awesome size in my opinion.  Oh, and those black chariots that captured my mind are called quadrigae, the mythical beings are Winged Victory, they’re made of bronze, and they stand for freedom and unity.  Thank you, Wikipedia….

As for the rest of the images, I liked the results from Portra 160 better than Ektar.  But I admit, as I go back on look at them again, they’re not that radically different.

Here’s a random shot on Portra with the Vittorio Emanuele in the background:

Rome - Portra-21
Vittorio Emanuele on Portra 160

To my eye, it just looks like it did when I was there.  Nice detail in the shadowed buildings; the light trim on the windows is great, the clouds look soft on some edges and crisp on others, the blue of the sky, the white of the monument, even the color of the bronze.

Here’s a shot on Ektar:

Vittorio Emanuele
Vittorio Emanuele – on Ektar

Granted the lighting was a little better on the Portra shot, but the building looks more cream.  I never looks that way to my eye in person.  Look at the details in the shadows – the trees just seem to become dark areas.  Even the clouds seem to lack some definition.

Could I adjust exposure for Ektar?  Maybe.  Could I learn how to use Photoshop and start doing color corrections?  Probably, but I don’t want to do that.  I don’t have my B&W roll(s) back yet, but I feel like Rome is more of a Black & White town to my eye. Regardless, I was overall more pleased with Portra in tough lighting conditions than Ektar.  And as I said, I have no intentions of buying more Ektar any time soon, even though some of the rolls later in the trip turned out well.  That may change as I shoot more of the Fuji Superia.  One thing Ektar does really well is there’s no visible grain.  But there’s not that much on  Portra 160….

One last thought – I did get one shot of the Irish Pub that was staffed by Australians where I drank English beers and watched the World Cup Final from Brazil, rooting for Germany, while I was in Rome.  It was truly an expat bar.  I spent most of the evening beside a Geordie (from Newcastle, England.)  For 160 speed film, in a dark bar at night, I think it did really well.  The one other indoor shot turned out nicely too.  The more I shoot it, the more Portra impresses me.






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