Sometimes, relaxing on a Saturday means piling into the car and taking an all-day road trip down California’s incredible coast. This past weekend featured one of those relaxing Saturdays.
Armed with snack foods from Trader Joe’s and both my X Pro 1 and Canon F1, we headed out from the city and took a glorious drive down Highway 1. The fog in San Francisco abated once we reached Monterey and the skies cleared, leaving just the wind and clear conditions (albeit with some seaside haze and the odd wisp of cloud). From then on we were treated to a fantastic afternoon of breathtaking vistas along those dizzying cliffs.
Here are some of the digital shots taken with the X Pro 1 and either my FD 24/2.8 SSC, the excellent Fujinon 35/1.4 or an also-excellent FD 50/1.4 SSC. Very little if any editing done on any of these shots. It just wasn’t necessary.
Having taken a hiatus from film for the past several years, it has been refreshing to handle film and film cameras again. As those of you who have read this blog for a bit no doubt will recall, I have made it a habit of obtaining inexpensive glass and shooting with it on my X Pro 1.
Recently I picked up a very nice Canon F1 from the Bay and have been slowly going through two rolls of Portra 400. The first roll is due to be picked up tomorrow and the second, containing the shots from Big Sur, will be another week or so once I finish it up. Who knew that 36 exposures would cause so much consternation about whether or not to expose the shot? Oh yeah, I did, which is one of the reasons – if not THE reason – I decided to start shooting film again.
Digital is just so EASY to shoot. Sure, it’s hard to master. See any of my digital work for proof of that, heh. Still, as I’ve remarked before, the process of shooting film is rewarding to me. On top of that, I get a thrill from using hardware that has been around since the year I was born in the case of the F1 and, in the case of my Kodak Medalist and Yashica Mat, longer than that.
The trip along the coast was a day very well spent.
It was an illustrative day of the stark differences between shooting film versus digital. Shooting digital – as everyone with a smartphone can attest – can be a pretty speedy proposition. The way I shoot digital is pretty methodical, however.
With the Canon F1, it was downright slow. Slow in this case doesn’t mean slow in a negative sense, just slow as in, well, slow. Meter, focus, compose, check focus, check metering, steady, click.
We won’t talk about the two instances where I’d neglected to advance the film, either, so don’t ask. Ahem.
The keenest sense of apprehension I felt was in those few moments where I was uncertain how to set up the camera for one of the shots I took on film. In those cases I went with my gut and we shall see how the film comes out.
Since I frequently use the FD glass on my Fuji, there was quite a bit of swapping lenses throughout the day. I found that I kept reaching for the 24mm lens and it was always on the other camera. There were a couple of instances where I wanted even wider glass – but never longer glass – with the X Pro 1. In those instances I just shrugged it off and shot film as the 24mm lens on my F1 really IS a 24mm lens (rather than a ~36mm on the Fuji) and I really enjoyed having that extra width when I was shooting at the Bixby Bridge or McWay Falls.
I can’t wait to see the film!