In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Kodak Portra line of films, Emulsive is hosting three months of Portra Parties. The shoot week (August 6-12) coincided with @_JasonAvery’s #CameraChallenge (Macro)… So out came the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 and PK-13 extension tube, mounted on the FM3a, and loaded with Portra 400.

Yes, it suffered the same fate as its #DianaDay cousin, and, no, it wasn’t everything I hoped, but still, there’s a couple of things worth sharing, maybe.

For this #PortraParty Macro #CameraChallenge, I decided to go back to my roots* with macro abstractions.

It was fun, crawling around on the floor with the FM3a and Micro-Nikkor, trying to handhold 1/8th and 1/15th, trying to get more light on the scene to get up to 1/30th at least, and failing on all counts.

I think I might have had more keepers if not for the massive developer failure. Alas.

(Yes, that’s a piece of emulsion that peeled off from somewhere and stuck to the top of the frame… Good times.)

I started out photographing this thing I made. It’s a tall, narrow cardboard box, lined with foil, with slits cut in the sides that carry small sheets of glass, and a big door in one side for easy access to the bottom. I had some ideas to make some Marilyn Minter-inspired things with it, but never have. I just haven’t spent enough time with it, really, and the few times I’ve pulled it out to do some macro play, I’ve ended up just shooting the foil itself (and see above).

I tired of that fairly quickly.

Luckily, Samie ordered some kind of car part for his brother, and the box for it had a cardboard hole in it and a plastic bag… I had some ideas for this (and still do, as I didn’t succeed the first time). Looks fun, right?

I played around with sticking my hand through the back side, putting various random objects back there to get some color, and all kinds of things, but nothing really came out.

I was marginally pleased with this shot, of some stiff green bubble wrap.

And the one that started this post, of my water glass.

Right at the end of the roll, frames 35 and 36, I had a flash of inspiration: take a shot with the D7000, then shoot the preview screen through the plastic bag.

Here’s a shot of the preview:

Maybe it’ll help you find me in the result. I’m not entirely happy with it, but there’s some possibility in it, I think. sort of like in-camera, single shot, multiple exposures, almost. Could make for some interesting results, especially with properly developed film…

So that was my #PortraParty for August, and my #CameraChallenge (Macro). I missed the share window for #CameraChallenge, but I’ll be putting in a few of these for the #funkyAF category of the #PortraParty.

I don’t expect to win anything.

There are two more #Portra Parties scheduled. Shoot weeks are September 3-9 and October 1-7. See Twitter and/or Emulsive for more details), so get some Portra and get ready!

*2012’s 365 project was lousy with abstract macro pictures, largely made with reversed lenses and extension tubes, and 2014’s Macro Monday series was fun too, but I haven’t done much with any of that on film. Without the instant feedback regarding focus and all, I always worried about wasting film. Well, I’m sharing 6 or 7 shots, of about 30 total… that’s a far higher keeper rate than the usual 200+ from the 365, so maybe it’s a win?

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