Labor Day Weekend on the Oregon Coast in Pacific City
Hung out with my family in a place called Cape Kiwanda and stayed there for the weekend before returning to Bend. I had a great time and did manage to take a few rolls of medium format too!
I first wanted to capture a beautiful sunset on the coast (who doesn't?) so I loaded up slide film in my Hasselblad 500c and walked out on the beach. Velvia 100 was my film of choice, and I also added a three stop reverse graduated neutral density filter (ND). For those who are unfamiliar these, they are mounted directly in front of the lens with an adapter. The purpose is to bring down the brightness in certain parts of the scene. For most situations, including mine, it was used to darken the sky by three stops. How reverse graduated ND filters differ ordinary graduated ones is it has the darkest shade near the middle rather than the top of the filter. This is tailored specifically for sunrise/sunsets since the brightest part of the scene will be just on the horizon, instead of high in the sky during middle of the day.
Slide film has a narrow exposure latitude compared color negative film, Velvia being the narrowest of them all. Which has less flexibility for high contrast scenes, without filters you're stuck with metering for the highlights, knowing you'll miss most shadow detail, or vice versa. ND filters adapt the scene to the narrow exposure latitude of slide film and when done right the results can be stunning.
Next shoot: Munson Falls
The next day I was driving through Tillamook, that name may ring a bell. It's the cheese, ice cream, and dairy company. Some of the best ice cream you can get comes from there.
As I was driving back to the camp sight I saw a sign for Munson falls. I immediately went to check it out only to find the water falls blocked off from woody debris from a big rain. I didn't want to go back empty handed so I focused on the creek downstream. For this shoot I chose Fuji Provia 100F which is also a slide film but has a little more exposure latitude than Velvia and the colors are more lifelike. I had a 10 stop ND filter but that proved to be overkill so I simply stopped down the lens without any filters. The exposure in the shade was slow enough to get motion blur in the stream.
Other photographs with Yashica-D loaded with Kodak Portra 400:
While the Hasselblad is a dream to shoot. My Yashica-D is still my favorite to carry around, its compact and cannot interchange lenses which prevents me from bringing too much gear. It's really just a joy to shoot and I enjoy the challenge of using only one camera and one lens. I can't recommend this camera enough. Especially you're just looking to get into medium format, its dirt cheap compared to the Hasselblad and the quality is nothing to shake a stick at either. The images are a little soft wide open; but when stopped down to F5.6 to F8, it's very sharp.
Kodak Portra is a great all around film that can be used outside of portraits. It basically has the widest exposure latitude of any film you can buy today. This is ideal for my Yashica-D since I don't want to fiddle with filters. These shots are more casual shots of my family.
Kodak Portra was an ideal choice especially for taking photos on the beach during the day. The light is so bright during the day on the sand which acts like a reflector on your subjects. You may have noticed how stopped down I was during the day at F16 and my 1/500 shutter speed. The Yashica-D's shutter speed only goes up to 1/500sec and the lens stops down to F22. I actually over exposed the negatives a little bit (which is okay for color negatives). So I was maxing it out a little bit on the exposures during the day. Next time I would shoot Portra 160, just to give myself a little more headroom. Overall, I'm very happy with what I got from the trip. I would love to visit the coast again for more long exposures.
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