Pushing KODAK EKTAR 100 Film

Pushing KODAK EKTAR 100 Film

I had run across a discussion online where someone had pushed KODAK EKTAR 100 Color Negative Film two stops and the look was very striking. It's a pretty punchy film to begin with, so pushing was going to bring that characteristic out even more! I wanted to try it. Before I show you the results lets dive into a little background for those who don't know what pushing and pulling are.


Pushing is when you extend the time your film stays in the chemistry allowing it to continue to develop longer than normal. 

Typically I will shoot a film at a higher ISO rating than it actually is. Like my example, you would push an ISO 100 film to the ISO 400 you had set your meter to calculate the exposure for.

You now have an underexposed image and you need to "push" it by leaving it in your developer chemistry longer to make up the difference.

Any changes you make to processing your film will alter the resulting image. Pushing will cause the exposures to become increasingly contrasty. This is exactly what I wanted to have happen when I shot my test roll. I am thrilled with the results!


Pulling is, naturally, the opposite. When you pull you are removing your film from the chemistry sooner than normal. 

I typically shoot my film at a lower ISO rating than it actually is. For example, you could shoot a 400 ISO rated film at the ISO 100 you had set your meter to calculate the exposure for.

Conversely to pushing, pulling will cause the resulting exposure to be less contrasty. Some say it leaves KODAK PORTRA with a pastel-like quality and this is something I definitely want to try out! For another blog post though!

But Why?

I can hear people saying, "Why not just do that in Photoshop?" I'll tell you why not. Because pixels are not grain. Photoshop is not a lab. Film is not digital.

Pushing and pulling has greater affect on the highlights and mid tones while leaving the shadows roughly the same. That's an incredible artistic tool, and may be part of the reason you often hear people say to meter for the shadows. If you meter for where you want your shadow, you can push or pull to affect the rest of the scene.

The Results

OK, here we go. Some of the sample shots taken with a 35mm camera pushing KODAK EKTAR 100 to ISO 400 at my lab. Praus Productions of Rochester, NY is fantastic to work with and they take mail orders. Look them up and send them your film!








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