5 Frames… Of Kodak Portra 400 double exposures (EI 400 / 35mm format / Nikon FM) – by Yelitza Rodriguez

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For this roll of Kodak Portra, I set out to shoot a series of self-portraits featuring flowers and foliage with my new (to me) Nikon FM and a Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens. I had gotten the FM a few weeks ago for a personal project/series of multiple exposures, and I wanted to take advantage of the MX knob that the FM body has, allowing me to wind the film without advancing it.

Initially, I wanted to take my time and go frame-by-frame in my double exposures. (It’s why I got the camera in the first place, right?) I had gotten impatient one day while out at the arts and crafts store and I decided to shoot the roll of flowers first, rewind, pop it back in, and then shoot the portraits. I figured, “there’s always the next roll.” The following day my sister and I headed out to the local park to shoot the roll again, this time: the portraits.

Since I hadn’t marked my advancing point on the film prior to starting, I knew my frames would overlap and, man, was I excited to see the results.

After receiving my scans back from the lab, I was giddy. Though I had to stitch the frames together in Photoshop, I believe the resulting panorama of portraits is a better result than I had anticipated.

While I think there are technically six frames in total for both complete shots, I hope the resulting images are enough to merit a slight pass, otherwise, it’d feel incomplete. I shot each exposure at EI 400 (800 total) and pushed 3 stops in development to 1600.

Overall, I would like to go back and better compose my shots one-by-one next time, to force myself to think harder about my composition and what I want to convey. Though, there’s always fun in the not-knowing! Perhaps I’ll even try my hand at shooting double exposures on slide film…stay tuned.

~ Yelitza

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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

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