Matt MacCourt’s Love of Kodak Portra, Ektar and Film

All images by Matt MacCourt. Used with permission.

In continuing my running through of various entries into The Phoblographer’s analog zine, I’ve found a lot of amazing photographers who have pretty awesome work, but not quite zine quality. One of those photographers is Matt MacCourt–who has loved shooting portraits with color film for a while now.

Here are his words.

I am a semi-professional photographer based in Brighton, UK. The work I do is mainly photoshoot and live music based, although my personal work is evolving into more of an abstract project-based style. The photos attached are taken from a project documenting a yew forest and pagan ritual site, and a photoshoot modelling local handmade clothing.

In my images I try to evoke a certain mood or feeling, for the yew trees this was a sense of the ethereal nature of the location, although I also wanted to root this in the primal earth. I like shooting film as it allows me to shoot more freely and creatively than digital.

I have been using 35mm Pentax SLR’s, LX and MX, 50mm 1.7 lens mainly as I like to limit myself. I use a variety of black and white film, such as HP5, Tri-X and Acros 100. Colour tends to be Ektar 100 or Portra 400 depending on conditions.

I got into photography through wanting to document landscapes and locations I visited, my interest grew from this initial starting point over a number of years.
Initially Ansel Adams was a large influence for landscapes and Anton Corbijn for portraits. Recently I really admired Richard Mosse’ work with infrared film in Enclave and Awoiska van der Molen’s black and white abstract landscapes in Blanco.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

I have been shooting seriously for about two years, shooting film for about a year.
I have worked a variety of jobs since leaving university, it’s probably accurate to say I derive more satisfaction from one image than all that time working! Also I find the process therapeutic, while I am shooting nothing else exists to me.

I am more of a documenter I think, I feel more inspired to capture events and locations around me than create something to shoot.

I usually can see the image I want in my mind before I raise the camera, so have usually set the aperture and then I focus, set shutter speed and check the frame. Often I am using a tripod for timed exposures so I can take my time.

I have my film processed and scanned at my local lab, I have a good relationship with them so can always discuss specific requirements to achieve the results I want. I then sometimes adjust images in Lightroom, it’s a bit of a hybrid process, I’d love to print from the negatives in a darkroom but unfortunately it is not feasible in my current location.

When I pick up my DSLR I feel like it’s an excited child screaming at me about all the cool things it can do, when I pick up my analog camera I feel like it’s a grumpy but very capable old man saying, ‘ok, what have you got?’ It sounds strange but that’s how I see it!

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

For more from Matt, be sure to check out his website.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.