Shooting film is expensive. There, I said it. It’s a monetary commitment, and one that keeps a lot of people from jumping in. BOY DO I GET IT. But film is too good to miss out on so - I’ve decided to start doing some consumer film stock spotlights (today’s is freaking THREE dollars a roll people) to provide a lower budget option, along with a few tips on how to shoot it to get primo results.

Basically, I’m gonna shout from the rooftops the glories of low budget films until you all. come. runnnnning.

In case you missed that all caps bolded price point up there, I’ve recently discovered Kodak ColorPlus 200 and it is 3-ish dollars a roll on Amazon. Shut up. Since a lot of my shooting style involves direct light I purposefully shot in intense sun to test it out, and I’m honestly really impressed with how well it handled the highlights. Still retaining that detail but with some punchy color - what more could I even ask for??

I’ve come up with a few little pointers for this film stock to help you out before you run and buy up every roll (be kind and save some for me?). Consumer film stocks are awesome and cheap, but keep in mind they come with a few more limitations than the pro stocks. Here are a few tips and heads ups for this one in particular:

  1. Shoot this puppy in bright, clean light.

    I know it’s tempting to want to document all the things, but this film stock is not going to handle artificial lighting (aka, indoor lights on) well at all, so squeeze close to those windows or shoot it outside in full sun.

  2. Rating.

    If you’re paying attention to number 1 up there, this rating business is going to be a dream. The images I have on this post were all rated at 200 and then pushed a stop because I’m super into contrast. But if you're not, just rate it at 100 to give it one stop of overexposure, and always meter for the shadows.

  3. Be intentional with your metering.

    Consumer film stocks are cheap for a reason. They’re not nearly as lenient as pro stocks, one small shift in where your light is could change your exposure, so be intentional, & just keep an eye on where the light is coming from. The side by side below are two images shot in the same spot, but the first one isn’t getting that great clean reflection off of the white wall and suddenly we’re in muddy shadow territory.

ColorPlus200 +1 slightly underexposed

ColorPlus200 +1 slightly underexposed

ColorPlus200 +1 proper exposure

ColorPlus200 +1 proper exposure

4. Watch out for color reflections.

Consumer film stocks are just a bit more sensitive when it comes to reflective colors, so just watch what color of light is bouncing onto your subjects, stay away from any artificial lighting, and you should be golden (but really you will because number 5).

5. Naturally warmer.

Because this is a Kodak film stock it is going to naturally be a bit warmer. If you don’t love warmer images just tell your lab to scan it neutral to cool to keep all of that yellow out, or pull it out in post.

6. Go buy more.

You heard me. This stuff is crazy cheap and so great for fun, low cost documentation. Here’s the link, now go and get some into your cart!

ColorPlus200 +1

ColorPlus200 +1

Happy Shooting!


Melese MillerComment