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Negative Space


A few weeks ago Bhavna and I down the Jersey shore to Avalon Baech, a beautiful beach on Seven Mile Island in Avalon, a borough in Cape May. At the last moment, our daughter Kiran, a sophomore at Oberlin College in Ohio, decided that she wanted to attend the fall semester remotely. Kiran's explanation was that she did not want to risk infecting us. We had already taken the day off and committed ourselves to fourteen days of self-quarantine but now we had a scheduled day off and perhaps Bhavna and I just needed to relieve some anxiety. That morning, I packed beach chairs, umbrellas, and my newly acquired 35mm film kit, a Minolta Minolta X-700 and MD Rokkor-X 50mm f1/.7 lens.

I shot a 36 exposure roll of Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100 35mm Color Transparency Film, then shot a 36 exposure roll of Kodak Professional Portra 160 35mm Color Negative Film, but I also used a Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation recipe on my Fuji X-T2 digital camera. This is one frame from that roll of Kodak Professional Portra 160. I think it’s a good use of negative space.

Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload project.

Author: Khürt Williams

human being, information security architect, avid photographer, nature lover, F1 fanatic, drinker of beer.

18 thoughts on “Negative Space”

  1. Tobias Mann says:

    I look forward to seeing how the Ektachrome 100 came out. I reviewed the E100 a few months back after I got back into film photography. I spent my college days in the darkroom so film has been a welcome escape from reality. As for Portra 160, I think you photo came out quite nice. However I've never much cared for the deeply muted colors I always seem to get while shooting it. If I wanted to go for an evocative portrait shoot It'd be an easy choice, but probably not one I'd have picked for a trip to the beach. I think I'll have to pick up some more Portra 160 and give it another go.

    Glad to have found your blog, and I look forward to your next post!

    1. Hi Tobias. Thanks for the comments. The roll of Ektachrome E100 didn't give me the results that I expected. I think that's because I didn't expose it correctly.

      I think Portra 160 works well when you have a lot of light, like at the beach. It would not be my “go-to” film for general use but it's forgiving of exposure errors.

  2. Prior... says:

    Love the mood you gave us - and Avalon sounds nice
    Also read your comment with Tina and so you are a purist? The film route must be fun!

    1. Hi Prior, thank you.

      I shot film from 1988 to 2000. Then I switched to digital in 2000 going from Sony to Nikon and in 2018 to Fuji. I started shooting film again last year after my Dad passed away. He was an Asahi Pentax fan and he had gifted me his old Spotmatic II. It was non-functional so I bought another one off eBay, fixed it up, and shot a roll of film. It was fun. So I found my old Pentax P3 and shot a few rolls in that. Then I bought a Spotmatic ES II and then a Minolta X-700. I now have more film gear than digital. But last year, I bought a new iPhone 11 Pro and started a 52 week project and 365-day project. COVID wrecked things but I do my best to shoot on my iPhone, 35mm film and my Fuji X-T2 mirrorless.

      1. Prior... says:

        Khurt! I had no idea you were such a photographer - for some reason when I saw your name I associated it with a writer ?? Not sure why that is so...
        your brief history was really nice to read

        And a heart tug to imagine the spotmatic project and how that likely hi Jared your dad and maybe assuaged some mourning - and could feel the energy in using the eBay one to fix up his - I bet he'd smile down on that!

        And I almost night this very experience camera set (film) back in 2016. In Kansas City for a wedding and a thrift store was down the road from a place we had a luncheon
        And think it was a cannon (was a hike back) with two extra lenses - can't recall the price but I know it was cheap and the whole thing looked gentle used or well kept.
        I walked away because I truly did not need the project (long time) and hopefully someone else snatched it up that valued it more -
        But I do think about how fun it must be to ha e hear like you do!

  3. That beautiful beach calls to me... ?

  4. Apart from the great use of negative space I like that the people are facing one way and the seagulls the other. It makes me wonder what they know?

    1. LOL! I didn't notice that until now. Good eye.

    2. Prior... says:

      Good eye indeed

  5. JohnRH says:

    Great shot, especially on computer as you scroll down through the sky to the beach. Excellent.

  6. Mesca says:

    Beautiful use of negative space! Great work!

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Mesca

  7. Tina Schell says:

    Before moving south I had a home in Avalon. Your image brought back fond memories. Lovely capture. Are you doing your own developing or have you found a source?

    1. Hi Tina. I send my film to The Darkroom in San Clemente, California for developing and scanning. For super hi-res scans and developing it's about $27 including return shipping. Slide film is $30.

      1. Tina Schell says:

        I could mention the good old days but that would definitely show my age Khurt!

        1. Same here. These days the film is almost as expensive as the developing.

  8. Amy says:

    Such a beautiful beach shot. An excellent example for negative space.
    Glad to hear your daughter has decided to attend the fall semester remotely.

    1. Thank you, Amy.

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