On our Facebook page Dave Butler asked this question. We get this often, so it’s worthy of a blog post.

Question

Which combination of films in Exposure 3 or 4 could work to emulate Vericolor, either Print or Slide?

Answer

Vericolor was a portrait film, like Portra NC. That means that it had relatively low contrast and saturation. Low contrast makes blemishes and wrinkles less noticeable. Low saturation makes skin look more uniform. To see the dangers of high contrast and saturation, try Fuji Velvia on a portrait. Ouch!

In Exposure 3 or 4, try the presets for Kodak Portra 160NC in both the Color Films – Print and Color Films – Print – Low Contrast folders. The low contrast version is especially good for a calm feeling and healthy skin. It has low grain, but you may want to completely turn grain off. Also try other films in that Low Contrast folder.

Look in the Color Focus folder for the Glamour Shot presets. Don’t be turned off by the silly name. Yes, some of them are over the top, like mall portraits, but the low intensity versions are useful. These presets use a semi-transparent blur, like putting a silk stocking over the lens. The presets with Halation in the name use a blur found on the IR tab that only affects bright areas. The other presets use a blur on the Focus tab. In Exposure 4, try Glamour Shot – Halation (-Contrast) and Glamour Shot – Low. You can easily tone them down with the Overall Intensity slider found at the top of the Color tab.

Look at Ektachrome EES – Subdued in the Color Films – Slide folder. EES is a little darker and more grainy, which some people like because it is “moody”.

Now I’m straying pretty far from the original question, but it’s worth mentioning Black and White films. Many of those are great for portraits. Try ones in the B&W Films – Low Contrast folder, especially Agfa Scala 200 and Kodak Technical Pan. Also try the Glamour Shots in the B&W Focus folder.

Split toning is more artsy, but sometimes I love it for portraits. Look in the folder B&W Split Toning for Gold Split. Even better, look in the B&W Misc Effects folder for the High Key and Toning presets. You can see some beautiful uses of High Key in Shabnam’s article.

Speaking of portraits, I recommend Brian Mullins’ article on natural lighting.