Bill Brokaw was the heart and soul of The Photographers Group. After two long years apart, it was remarkable for the Hunterdon County photographic community to come together to pay tribute to Bill at his studio in Frenchtown. I did not know Bill well. We met online during the pandemic when he reached out to the Princeton Photograph Club for participation in a Hunterdon Barns, Bridges and Buildings Photo Project for the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce.

Jennifer Bubb Brown purchased The Photographers Group from Bill. It will continue under the joint leadership of Melissa Mertzman, Jenn, Lori Lucas, Ken Curtis and Mike Brint. The main goal will be to keep that spark alive and continue to pursue Bill’s passion for projects. The new leadership team will make an announcement detailing our first project in the coming weeks.

After what was the group’s first meeting after the lockdown from the global pandemic and also a member-only sale of Bill’s extensive list of digital and film photography gear, I walked across Race Street to Blue Raven Records. A few minutes later, I walked out with a used copy of Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album.

Lambertville, Race Street, New Jerset, Hunterdon County
Sunday 10 July 2022 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 R WR

Last year, after reading Tobias Mann's review of Kodak Portra 800, I bought a roll to expose it as soon as possible. But I set aside the roll in a cool box and forgot about it until December. I had promised Bhavna a trip into Frenchtown to see how the shopkeepers and restauranteurs had decorated the downtown area. The sky was overcast, creating an excellent opportunity to expose a few frames of Kodak Professional Portra 800.

Kodak Professional Portra 800 is a high-speed daylight-balanced colour-negative film optimised for challenging lighting conditions. It has a nominal sensitivity of ISO 800 and a notable underexposure latitude for effectively pushing to ISO 1600 with maintained quality and extended highlight and shadow detail. As we walked around Frenchtown, I exposed the roll at boxpseed in a wide variety of natural lighting conditions, including broad daylight, open shade, and of course, window light. Although I have several Minolta flash units, I did not expose any frames under artificial light.

The film was developed at Boutique Film Lab and scanned using my Silver Fast 9 and Epson Perfection V600. I used Negative Lab Pro to convert the scans. No corrections to exposure, colour temperature and composition were made.

Kodak Professional Portra 800 35mm film delivers all the advantages of a high-speed film, finer grain, higher sharpness, and more natural skin tones and colour reproduction. Portra 800 film - for perfectly stunning results with less-than-perfect light. The negatives have some warm tones, and while the grain is noticeable, I think it’s still very pleasant looking.

Name Kodak Portra 800
Type Colour (negative)
Native ISO 800
Format 35mm
Process C-41
Features Kodak T-GRAIN emulsions, Fine Grain, High Sharpness & Edge Detail
Lab Boutique Film Labs
Scanner Epson Perfection V600
Software SilverFast 9 SE + Negative Lab Pro
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
19 December, 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7

I woke up this morning thinking about Dad. I miss all those moments we spent listening to records.

The inner sleeve is on the couch. I sit and read the jacket. Dad cleans the record surface and stylus while the pre-amp and tube amp warm up. The polished vinyl gently drops onto the platter. The turntable spins. The tonearm and phono cartridge gracefully move into place. No words were spoken. It was time to listen.