Boston’s Chinatown, near the Theatre District, has some amazing opportunities for street photography. While waiting for a musical to start, I took the AE-1 down the Chinatown streets, near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and off of Kneeland Street. Once again, the glass was the 50mm f/1.4 FD SSC, and the film was Portra 400.
Even shot at box speed, Portra never looks overexposed or washed out in the afternoon sun. I was fearful that might be the case. In fact, at first glance, I thought this might have been 160.
Of course, Portra really rocks when you take advantage of its wide exposure latitude. Resetting the film speed knob on the AE-1 on the fly is a little painful. But it is well worth the effort and patience. I will take the above shot, at ISO 1600, over any low light scenarios I’ve shot with my D300. Fantastic results, with no pushing or pulling necessary in development.
I loved the supermarket above as a subject. Closed for Sunday, it made a great test for Portra’s unbelievable shadow detail, and true high dynamic range. If all of the bad HDR photographers want real results, well, just shoot Portra 400. HDR without the wonky color extremes.
One could spend days taking in Chinatown, and what it has to offer. It really is a photographer’s paradise. I really do need to get back there soon.