What is the best Holga film to use in sunny weather?
The easy answer for this question is that people tend to go with 100 ISO film for sun and higher numbers like 400 ISO for shade. A 100 ISO film is less sensitive to the bright light so it won’t get blown out to full white in that bright light. A 400 ISO film expects to be used in a lower light situation so it is more sensitive. It can pick up the lights and shadows even when there is less light around.
But on the other hand, 100 ISO tends to be higher contrast. It tends to have less grain. Usually when you’re using a Holga you want that kind of grainy texture to your image to give it depth. You want the subtler feel.
And, besides, different film companies have different qualities built into their film. The way one company’s 100 ISO works could be quite different from another company’s 100 ISO.
Your film doesn’t work in a vacuum. You can always use the shutter release to extend the shutter time, whether your sky is sunny or cloudy. You can also change the aperture opening to adjust the amount of light coming in to touch the film.
And heck what is “sunny weather”? Does it mean 100% full blaring sun like in Mexico City? Does it mean a nicely cloudy day in Massachusetts? Are you standing by the ocean with the water reflecting light on you like a mirror? Are you near a forest where beautiful dappled light results?
I really don’t think there’s any one answer to this. There is never a ‘best’ film for any situation. There are all sorts of beautiful shades of film and you should play with them all. In many of my photos it was the most bizarre combination of film and settings which created a shot I adored. If I only went with the most expensive film and the one “ideally designed” for the light I was in (assuming a certain shutter speed and aperture opening), I would have completely ruined the shot.
Trust in yourself. Experiment. Play. Keep a notepad and record what YOU like about the shots.
That’s where the beauty unfolds.
Veteran’s Day image taken on Veteran’s Day 2015 by Lisa Shea.
Kodak Portra 400 Professional 120 Color Negative Film
Developed by Old School Photo Lab