Howzit! I was on Kauai for a weekend so it was quick in and out action. Now me being the noob that I am, I packed up the whole kitchen sink. My Contax T3, Nikon FM3A, Pentax 645n with the Summicron 90 lens, and my Hasselblad 503cw. I only ended up using the T3 for quickies, Hassy for landscapes, and the Pentax 645n for everything else. The main thing I did different this time around, was trim down my film stock. Brought Ektar, Portra 400UC, and Acros. Which by the way, makes a HUGE difference than my last trip to Kauai. I brought Ektar, Portra 400VC, 4ooH, HP5, Portra 400, and Portra 160 last time. Big mistake! A lesson learned a year ago, stick to at least 3 stocks, TOPS!
So let’s talk a little about the stock, what went wrong, and the lessons I learned from this trip. So let’s get started, chee!
Portra 400UC, which I hoard like no other. The FIND In A Box ohana will confirm it too. It’s colors are punchy, but best of all, being that it’s Portra, it’s forgiving. The square format photos below are shot on 400UC on the Hasselblad 500cw. Moving on to Ektar, this frickin stock HATES ME! I swear! Ektar is not as forgiving as Portra, so if I underexpose it, I create a brand new stock I like to call, Ektar B&W (see the black & white photos below? It’s Ektar). BUT, it’s a BIG BUT and I cannot lie. When you nail Ektar, it’s frickin GANGSTER! The photo on top, the side by side, LOOK AT IT! THE COLORS! I can see why Jon Canlas chose it to replace the discontinued 400UC. Oh they were both rated at ISO400 and pushed +2 in development.
Now, for the hard lessons learned. I shot 8 rolls, that’s roughly 120+ shots. I kept about 40, 40 brah! That’s a 30% keep rate. Most of the ones I were disappointed with, were the ones out of focus. Exposing can sometimes be fixed, but you can’t fix focus. Oh and trust me, the feeling of getting out of focus shots makes you feel crappier than getting something over/under exposed. For me anyways.
Another lesson I learned, is to trust yourself. Me, I have bad eyes, so the Pentax 645n adjustable diopter is a HUGE game changer. My mistake, I trusted the focusing on the camera and the focus beep. I think if I trusted my eyes more than the camera focusing system, I would’ve had a better keep ratio and I wouldn’t be as mad.
Last lesson for this post, don’t buy a used light meter and expect it might not have problems. This idiot right here, yes me, bought a used light meter from eBay and knew it had problems. I needed a light meter and didn’t have the funds at the moment, so I bought it and prayed for the best. Well, I think the light meter readings had a big part of why a lot of my exposures were off, and the main part of my failures with this, was me being me.
Well, that’s it for this round. Mahalo for reading and hope to have you talk story with me again on my next post. Have a good one!