Lucky Thirteen



I am not a superstitious person, so the thirteenth roll is not giving me the tiniest frisson of fear. Indeed, I got married on the thirteenth 30 years ago; that worked out pretty well.

This roll has a variety of stuff on it. I have pulled out just the storm drain photos which is my favourite single subject for photography, and a couple of architectural shots. The storm drain has many faces, and can be difficult to photograph well, especially if it has people on it, so it keeps me coming back for more. If you want to see more of my photographs from here in all kinds of weather and lighting then check out this link which lists all the posts in my blog which document my efforts to keep track of the personae.




The bigger challenge this week was the film colour. I shot this with a Mamiya M645 Super using a new roll of Kodak Portra 400. I found it very difficult to scan, there was no getting away from a greenish tinge to many of the negatives. I scanned each one at least twice with different settings but for many shots remain unsatisfied. I suppose that means, in part, that I did not nail the exposures for those images.  Not sure that Portra will be a go to film for me if this is typical. I have another roll and once that is done should have a better sense. I am also shooting some Fuji in the Mamiya and hope it comes out a bit better.

Other photos from this roll of film will be on my blog over the next few days, including black and white conversions of today’s storm drain shots at the same time as this post is published (link). Black and white versions of the architectural shots appeared on my blog two days ago (link).














11 thoughts on “Lucky Thirteen

  1. Reblogged this on burnt embers and commented:

    Here is my post about this week’s roll of film in the 52 Rolls project. I am all caught up now, I think.
    So far this week I have shot 5 rolls – 4 at a concert. Not sure when I will get them back, but am anxious to see how they came out in those difficult conditions.


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    • Hi Peter – you hit the nail on the head. It took me the longest time to stop feeling irritable while waiting for people to (just) get off (my drain quickly will ya) and start looking for a photograph with them on the drain. Not too many have worked, at least not as well as the drain usually works without them.


  4. Maybe it took you a while to scan, but I like the way the colors turned out. I wouldn’t dismiss the 400 Portra. I have found that people’s relationship with the film is very dependent on their scanning workflow. For some scanner/software combinations, it works fine right away, with others it’s nearly impossible to get something satisfactory out of it (looking at you, Silverfast…).


    • Thanks! I am giving it another chance. A few of the pictures were very good, but with overcast skies I was not really impressed. I was using Epson Scan in professional mode, but maybe for this stuff I should try something else, even Silverfast since it might be fine, if I can convince it to talk to the computer and scanner properly. It had become such a pain that I stopped using it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find that with the exception of black and white, almost everything gives me better results than silverfast. It’s so granular with color correction that you can set it to do almost everything, but it doesn’t come with usable presets for the modern Portras (one of my huuuge pet peeves. Their line is that the company who made the presets is out of business, but then they encourage you to create your own. I don’t know why they can’t let someone do a Portra 400 preset in-house that would be a good starting point). Color-wise I’ve gotten really good results with Epson Scan and Portra 400 on 120. I do tend to overexpose that a bit though.

        Ok, long rant. Color rendition also has sonething to do with the lenses you’re using. I use it mostly with my Minoltas, and they seem to pair happily with it. Maybe other brands like other film better.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I really liked some Portra I shot through an Olympus XA – it had lovely colour and I had no trouble scanning it. I think it may have been my exposures, but perhaps the Mamiya lenses have an influence too. I will keep on trying to analyse it, maybe one day I will have figured out film a bit more than right now.


          • It’s a bit unpredictable, but then, that’s also the fun of it. If these images are any indication, I’m sure you’ll get good stuff from whatever film. I just think Portra is worth getting to like – if all other films went away (though I certainly that’s never gonna happen), Portra 400 could do most jobs still…


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