TK Roll 2015-6: Autocord by the River, Once More (Portra 400)

Rituals can develop quickly, and just as quickly we lose sight of how they came about. In a larger sense, that is what keeps the world just a little bit more magical than Max Weber would have it. In the small ways that make up everyday experience, it creates little instants of certainty, and happiness. It lets you enjoy things for what they are, and to be content with where you are in these moments.

On weekend afternoons when the weather is fair, and when my girlfriend is in town, walking down to the River Rhine with cameras around our necks has become such a ritual. Me usually lugging my Autocord around, her with whatever SLR sat ready and loaded on the shelf. The photos we take are contemplative, and relaxed. There is a serene air to most of the pictures from these walks, influenced by the time of day, the slow speed of life on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and the special light that the city seems to create. Light that wants to be memories.

After all the technicality of the last post, this one needs hardly any: Again, the Autocord got the nod. It is a joy to use, and not only does it seem to lead to better framing and more interesting angles than SLR photographs, it also is less troubled by camera shake, and somehow, the horizons always end up straigther than I fear they will be when I click the shutter on the move.

I shot Kodak Portra 400 with an initial phone app light meter reading and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adjustments to changing light, erring on the side of overexposure. I scanned the developed film pretty much with EpsonScan’s suggested settings, auto exposure and all. A small crop here, some sharpening and contrast there, and that was pretty much it. I think I’m beginning to understand why so many people like Portra, and I suspect that most of them use Epson scanners as well. The two pair very nicely.

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