Despite months of planning by students and Oberlin College, at the last moment, our daughter Kiran decided that she was not attending on-campus classes for the fall semester. I think it was the last bit of paperwork with the college that did it. She had to fill out a form with her plans in case she fell ill to “COVID-19”. She realised that Oberlin, OH is an 8-hour car ride from home and if she was infected and we had to bring her home, we could not quarantine here inside our car. She did not want to risk infecting us. The news reports about infections breaking out on colleges and universities were probably another push. Tuesday afternoon after a last-minute scramble of phone calls and emails, we quickly made other plans for Wednesday, the day we were supposed to travel to Ohio.
Bhavna and I left home around 8 AM and drove down the shore to Seven Mile Island in Avalon, a borough in Cape May. We arrived at the Avalon Community Hall around 10:30 AM and bought two beach passes. We found a spot near the pier to set up our beach chairs, table and umbrellas and sat down to start our day of “doing nothing”.
I brought my Fujifilm X-T2 and XF27mmF2.8 lens, and a vintage camera kit, my Minolta X-700 35mm film camera loaded with a roll of Kodak Gold 200. I captured a few test shots on the Fuji X-T2. I was not too fond of the results from the colour recipe I usually use. It just felt too warm and contrasty. The sky was mostly clear with a few clouds, and the scene was brightly lit.
Kodak Porta came to mind perhaps because I had a roll of Kodak Portra 160 in my bag. Fortunately, Ritchie Roesch has two film simulation recipe for Kodak Portra. Because of the abundance of sunlight, I chose his Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation recipe. It took seconds to lookup his recipe and configure my Fuji X-T2.
In between long stretches of doing nothing; just sitting staring at the sand, surf and passers-by, I took to capturing beach scenes on my Fuji X-T2 and Minolta X-700. It was fun. I love the sound of the shutter of the Minolta X-700. I shot in aperture priority mode.
Around 1:30 PM, Bhavna and I packed up our beach gear and went for lunch at Sandbar Village, an outdoor restaurant. Of course, I ordered a Maine lobster roll and a beer. We regretted that we hadn’t done anything like this before and why we hadn’t visited Avalon before.
After lunch, we returned to our previous location on the beach for more sitting around and doing nothing.
I completed the 24 exposure roll of Kodak Gold 200 quickly and then loaded a 36 exposure roll of Kodak Portra 160 colour film. Bhavna wanted to walk the beach. I quickly completed the roll of Kodak Portra 160. We returned to our seat and sat down for another stint of “doing nothing”. I loaded a roll of Kodak Ektachrome 100 slide film.
Then Bhavna wanted to walk the beach in the other direction. Surprisingly, I finished that roll of Kodak Ektachrome 100 as well. Bhavna was bemused that I was having so much fun taking photographs on an almost 40-year-old film camera. I was surprised as well. Of course, my excitement could turn to disappointment once the film is developed, and I download the scans from the Darkroom.
Around 5 PM, after we had our fill of “doing nothing” we packed up and went home. We enjoyed our day of “doing nothing”.