I love how Ritchie's Kodak Portra 400 film simulation made this SOOC JPEG.
Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload project.
I convinced Bhavna to come with me to the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market. Earlier in the week, I ordered a rustic loaf of bread and a 7 year aged reserve cheddar from Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse in Milford. I ordered online, but pick up is at the farmers' market.
It seems my days have become so dull that I do all my photography on the weekend. I convinced Bhavna to come with me to the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market. Earlier in the week, I ordered a rustic loaf of bread and a seven-year aged reserve cheddar from Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse in Milford. I ordered online, but pick up is at the farmers' market.
Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market is hosted at the Case-Dvoor Farmstead in Flemington, about a 45-minute drive from home. We didn't know what to expect, but we pleasantly surprised. Beside Bobolink, we bought a few containers of spicy pickles from picklelicious for Kiran. She loves their pickles. I bought some native wildflower plants for my garden and roasted coffee beans.
Now for the strange bit. We stopped at one booth where a woman and her family were selling a sort of Balkan calzone and a sweet pastry which she thought I "needed". When I explained that I don't eat too many sweet things due to Type 1 diabetes, her husband, who was seated on the grass nearby perked up. He got up and insisted on praying for me to be healed. I was polite, but then it got weird when he tried to lay his hands on me. I did my best not insult the man when I insisted that I had to leave. But he persisted in explaining that disease was all in my mind and that he could cure me with prayer. Did I mention he was not wearing a mask and insisted COVID-19 was a hoax? Yup. Weird.
After the market, Bhavna wanted to go for a hike. We quickly ate our "Balkan" lunch, changed, and drove over to the St. Michael’s Farm Preserve. The last time we hiked this trail it was winter, the air was cold, and the ground was frozen. We had a blast then, but this time, we were miserable. The preserve is mostly open fields. The air was humid with temperatures just above 30ºC. We were wilting. Bhavna wanted to turn around, but we persisted and found a fork in the trail that took us into the forest. That was more fun, but the trail wasn't as beautiful as the Rocky Brook and Mount Rose trails.
I was in the kitchen when I looked out the window and saw this foal strolling across the lawn. I grabbed the Canon 70-200mm, gingerly slid open the sliding door and was able to snap some photos.Submitted as part of the 100DaysToOffload project.
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 400 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 installment for Ritchie Roesch's Fujifilm-inspired Film Simulation Challenge. For this challenge, I chose Ritchie's Kodak Portra 400 recipe for X-Trans III sensors and went for an early morning walk around downtown Princeton. This recipe attempts to simulate the look of the 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. 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 Kodak Portra 400 was most likely designed and tweaked for Western wedding portraiture. It seems to work best with a white and grey and a generally muted colour palette. This film would not be my choice for colourful Asian weddings and events. While I like how some of these images were rendered, I had this feeling that the photographers singing the praises of Kodak Portra 400 must hate the colour.
In other words, this film simulation and Kodak Portra film would have been great for Erin's and Joe's wedding or Andrew's wedding but may not have been appropriate for my brother-in-law's wedding. Mastin Labs wrote an article about editing skin tones after applying their Adobe Lightroom film presets.
If your predominant market is light-skinned/Caucasian people, you can easily use any of the Portra packs or the Fujicolor packs.
If you're shooting mostly people of color or Asian skin tones, we recommend sticking with the Fujicolor packs and films.
I found Mastin Labs' article by searching for "best film for dark skin tones". Most of the results from Google were links to forums where photographers were asking the question. That's a good thing. Those photographers realise that not all skin tones are the same. But when I see any film described as "... delivers spectacular skin tones plus exceptional color saturation" I get this sick feeling inside that the writer meant white skin tones. When did white skin become the default?
Other entries in this challenge series.
These images were reprocessed using Fuji X RAW Studio with the EV adjusted Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe.