Kiran changed her mind about attending the first sophoremore semester on-campus, so we quickly made other plans for what was supposed to be the move-in day.
Despite months of planning by students and Oberlin College, at the last moment, our daughter Kiran decided not to attend on-campus classes for the fall semester. The last bit of paperwork with the college 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 her inside our car. She did not want to risk infecting us. The news reports about infections breaking out in colleges and universities were probably another push. After a last-minute scramble of phone calls and emails on Tuesday afternoon, since I already had the day off, Bhavna and I 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 "doing nothing" day.
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 because I had a roll of Kodak Portra 160 in my bag. Fortunately, Ritchie Roesch has two film simulation recipes for Kodak Portra. Because of the abundant sunlight, I chose his Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation recipe. It took seconds to look up his recipe and configure my Fuji X-T2.
Between long stretches of doing nothing, just sitting and staring at the sand, surf and passers-by, I captured 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 our beach gear and ate lunch at Sandbar Village, an outdoor restaurant. Of course, I ordered a Maine lobster roll and a beer. We regretted not doing anything like this before and why we hadn't visited Avalon and Seven Mile Island.
After lunch, we returned to our previous location on the beach for more sitting around and doing nothing.
I quickly completed the 24-exposure roll of Kodak Gold 200 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 seats 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 had 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".
UPDATE: After messing around with Color Efx Pro 4from DxO's Nik Collection 3, I think my criticism and reaction to the SOOC JPEGs from my Fujifilm Film Simulation Challenge Roll 5: Kodak Portra 400 test was "user error". I think the exposure compensation dial may have moved during my photo walk. That would certainly explain the washed-out look of the SOOC image. As a test, I used Fuji X RAW Studio to reprocess the images with Ritchie's Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation recipe and adjusted exposure compensation settings, and the results are much better. I think the photos were over-exposed by between EV +1/3 to +1. In the interest of transparency, I left the original blog post but included reprocessed images at the bottom of the post.
This blog entry is my fifth instalment for the Ritchie Roesch's Fujifilm inspired Film Simulation Challenge. For this challenge, I chose Ritchie's Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation recipe for X-Trans III sensors and went for an early morning walk around downtown Princeton. This recipe attempts to simulate the look of Kodak Portra 400 Professional ISO 400 film. I've never used the actual Kodak Portra 400 Professional ISO 400 film, but I like the SOOC JPEG images on Ritchie's web page and decided to give it a try.
I walked north on Nassau Street toward Hogie Haven. I shot using Kodak Portra 400 until I got to Shouse, then switched to Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation.
I shot RAW + JPEG and EV +2/3. The challenge is all about film simulation recipes and SOOC JPEGs, so I've included the best of the roll of 36. Many of the SOOC images have been cropped and edited for perspective correction only. Despite my best efforts with the built-in level of the Fujifilm X-T2 I tend to tilt.
What I learned from this experience is that while it's an ISO 160 film, Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation might not be the best for brightly lit scenes. The image of the woman walking toward me seems washed out, although this could be because I did not expose correctly. I think Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation might be best when shooting in the shade or shadows or on more overcast days.