Hunting boat
Photos & Projects

Appreciating what you already have with Nikon FE and Fuji C200 – By Jesper Reiche

February 10, 2022

Every Christmas I spent time with my parents that still live in a little town called Præstø, where I grew up. It is situated a little under 100 km south of Copenhagen.

I usually spend some extra days there relaxing in my childhood home together with my parents and enjoy all the amazing food served by them. But in order to have room for it all, I usually take my camera with me for a lot of walks around the town. As I grew up there and still visit a number of times during the year, finding new things or angles to photograph can be challenging. This day where these images were taken however the weather handed me a lot of motives on a silver platter. All I had to do was show up.

The setup

It has been a little over a year since I (re-)started analog film photography, which I also wrote about here: Restarting Film Photography with an Olympus 35 LC. I am unsure about how many rolls of film I have shot since then, but I think it is somewhere in the 30-50 range. Most of them have been black & white. It has been an interesting journey with lots of ups and downs. I have a lot to learn especially with black & white.

This day I was armed with the color film of choice, Fujicolor C200. It was loaded in the camera that never lets me down, the Nikon FE. After a period of not really falling totally in love with my newly acquired Olympus-35 SP I had loaded the trusty old Nikon, that has given me more keepers and memorable experiences than what my indifference towards it deserves. Like the old pair of sneakers that just sits there, patiently waiting. Not becoming jealous towards the new shiny ones that has come to replace it. Just always there. Always ready to perform.

Up until this point, the day had been steeped in fog. The type of weather that penetrates walls and wraps around you on the couch comforting you and ensuring that no events will unfold outside so staying wrapped up on the couch is the only rational choice.

But suddenly, with only and hour or so until the so far unsighted sun would set, it started to win some ground on the fog. I knew this was my cue.

The walk

So I flew out of the couch – or okay I rolled – but I had a sense of urgency as I knew the light could not be there for too long and I had about 15-20 minutes of walking to where I wanted to take pictures. It is a little old fishers harbor in Præstø, called Jacobshavn. I have been there numerous times to take pictures but never really nailed it no matter the season. But while I put on my new boots gifted to me by my girlfriend for Christmas I had a hunch that this could be good.

Sometimes the feeling is just there. Halfway on the way to Jacobshavn I caught this scene with two benches by the sea. Normally you would be able to see other parts of Præstø in the background like the city church. But because of the thickness of the fog none of this was visible. The scene was so serene.

Benches

For some reason I have an easier time focusing with the Nikon SLR in the cold than my rangefinders. It never fogs and I find it as easy as in warm weather. Strange observation – I know.

Jacobshavn

As I got to Jacobshavn I was met with total silence. There was no one there and if there would have been any background noises anywhere then they were muffled by the thick fog. It was very serene and very beautiful. Breaking the silence with the sound of the Nikon FE shutter I took this image of a bridge leading out into the abyss. Normally it would have been possible to see a church and a part of the city in the background.

Bridge into the fog

Walking out onto the bridge hearing a combination of snow cracking and the wood squeaking I cross my fingers that one of my first walks with my new boots won’t suddenly find me submerging them in ice cold water. The bridge luckily kept my boots out of the water. And I could turn around at the end of it and snap this image of the little harbor.

Small harbor

The boat

The next one here is one of my favorites from the set. I was looking for color and objects that could be framed without too much distraction around them. I spotted this boat and even though there are boats to the left of it, their lack of color diminishes the distraction. A big plus was that the boat had “Præstø” written on it. It was difficult to frame the entire boat and not have any of it being cut of. I was glad that I had the Nikon where I can frame very precisely and not one of my rangefinders.

I cannot remember the scene well enough to argue whether I should have moved the frame slightly to the left to give less room between the boat and the frame on the right. But perhaps I was also trying to leave out some distraction to the left as well. Nevertheless I am extremely pleased with how this turned out. I think the colors of C200 is nothing short of brilliant for this scene.

Boat on land

Walking in between the small cottages that are closed off and empty this time of year I captured this image. The item on the right is a winch to pull boats up on land.

Fishing cottages

Further down the road, almost as a way of convincing people that this place still has active fishermen, these nets hang out in the open. Again with the background covered in thick fog it is almost handed on a silver platter for me. But the rendering and sharpness of the Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens really topped it off.

Fishing nets

Fishing nets

The serene hunting boat

And then suddenly this scene opened up in front of me. This small little hunting boat with the disassembled bridge in the background. It was just the perfect subject and frame. Normally I only take one shot of each frame on film. But this one I took a few extra. I really, really wished one of them would come close to represent the serenity and beauty of what was in front of me. I even took out my phone to take a few pictures. So no matter what happened I would have it captured.

Hunting boat

Framed with everything to the left

Hunting boat

More evenly framed – don’t know which I prefer?

I do however wish that I took a few more in the “portrait” mode as I would have like one where I was a few steps further back. But I am more than pleased with the ones I got. Both the camera and film really delivered! A fun little anecdote is that I shared the pictures on my Facebook account and it turned out that I actually knew the guy that own the boat. There is a lot of charm in small towns and communities.

Hunting boat

If I was a proper writer, then I would probably have ended with the ones above in true style of “saving the best for last”. But in keeping with the chronology I will share two more pictures that I got afterwards.

The sun

The temperature was below zero (Celsius). This meant I could walk along the water line where it would otherwise have been too muddy for my new boots. A little bit further I found this boat. It really stood out with its colors against the muted palette of its surroundings.

Boat upside down on land

Right before the water stopped me from going any further I found this little bridge which was disassembled for the winter. Just a simple serene scene, which probably also would have worked just as well without the fog.

Disassembled bridge

Walking back the same way as I came the sun almost broke through the fog revealing this beautiful scene.

Sun behind fog

I am so happy that the camera I brought along this day was the trusty old Nikon FE and C200. Sure I would have gotten good pictures no matter what. But with this camera in hand I trusted it way more and could just focus on enjoying the experience.

Final thoughts

This roll of film is the absolute best I have ever shot. It is just hard to beat good scenery and lighting. In one way it reminds me how important light is for the image. How important it is to wait for the perfect light as it makes or breaks the final image. But on the other hand, focusing only on the end result, is not why I am into photography. I enjoy the process. I enjoy walking around “seeing” in compositions no matter how the light is. It makes me relax. Takes me away from a computer and out into the world to explore and observe with intent and curiosity. Good end results are just the cherries on the top.

Now that I have convinced myself that I already have all the cameras I need. I can finally bury the thought and hunger for shiny new cameras. Now I only need to decide whether the next camera I do not need should be a medium format film camera (Hasselblad 500c or Minolta Autocord) or a Fujifilm X-Pro 3 to replace my X-T2.

Thanks a lot for reading. Feel free to reach out and help convince me which camera I do not need you can find me on Instagram under @jmreiche or visit my website at jesperreiche.com

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Roger
    February 10, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Very nice pictures. I love my FE, but it never works in temperetures less than 1 or 2 degrees. The shutter sticks open.

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 10, 2022 at 10:23 am

      They are awesome cameras! I have actually never experienced sticky shutter on the FE but I had some on a roll shot on my Olympus-35 SP

  • Reply
    John Furlong
    February 10, 2022 at 10:39 am

    A great demonstration of how colour film can work to great effect in what many people might consider to be less than ideal lighting conditions!

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 10, 2022 at 10:43 am

      Thanks a lot John! And you are right. If I had not already had C200 in the camera then I would probably have put in B&W film. I am glad that I did not.

  • Reply
    Steve Curzon
    February 10, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Great article, enjoyed reading it and seeing the lovely shots. 👍

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 10, 2022 at 11:31 am

      Thanks a lot Steve. Kind of you to leave a comment.

  • Reply
    Marco
    February 10, 2022 at 11:39 am

    Great shots and a nice little write up on them. You have inspired me to do more of that when posting my work.

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 10, 2022 at 12:22 pm

      Thank you very much Marco! I am humbled to read that my work inspires you. I can also wholeheartedly recommend making write-ups of your work. It is a great way to synthesize one’s thoughts and act as reference for oneself down the line. I also do so on my own homepage. I know that few people will ever see or read it, but I enjoy the process.

  • Reply
    Stuart Marcus
    February 10, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    Congratulations Jesper! I am thrilled that you were given the gift of weather and that you realized it was a blessing for your photography! Lovely and dreamy artwork!!

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 10, 2022 at 4:07 pm

      Thank you very much for the kind words Stuart. And thanks a lot for leaving a comment.

  • Reply
    Martin
    February 10, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    Hasselblad or Autocord? Get both if you can they’re brilliant. Like your passion for the FE, I have the same about my FM3A

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 10, 2022 at 4:18 pm

      Haha you are not helping me acquire less gear 🙂

  • Reply
    David Hill
    February 10, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    Jesper, these are great shots, and they bring back fond and frustrating memories of cold mornings by the sea or in the mountains (with my now long-defunct Olympus OM4Ti) waiting for fog to clear /just/ enough. That was a lovely camera until too much snow and rain and fog got the better of its non-weather-sealed electronics. My Nikon FM is more basic and far more durable. Weather is a gift and a curse.
    About hunting boat framing preferences … My vote is the one you call “more evenly framed”. Negative space and rules of thirds are great guidelines, but here you already have lots of negative space in the top of the frame, so I don’t mind extending the background dockworks across the bottom. But more important is how you’ve framed the boat against the pilings .. only in this one is the boat distinct in its entirety, and the windscreen not lost against the background pilings. That’s my take. Opinions may differ 🙂

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 10, 2022 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you so much for your long and thorough comment David. I really appreciate it! And thanks for input in terms of the “best” one of the hunting boat images. I haven’t thought about it in terms of which one framed the boat without “interfering” with the lines of it. That is a very good point!

  • Reply
    Dean
    February 10, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    What a beautiful journey you have taken me on. The story and images are both excellent, I feel like I was there with you. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 10, 2022 at 7:29 pm

      I am very glad that you felt that way. I am really proud of the images, but was never totally satisfied with the text. So really appreciate the feedback. Thanks a lot Dean!

  • Reply
    Alan
    February 10, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    There’s a sad irony to the title of this post, given what I’m hearing about the future of C200, one of my favorite films 🙁
    Great photos – very atmospheric!

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 11, 2022 at 6:16 am

      Oh no, I hope you are not saying that C200 is going away as well? Do you have any links to stories of that? I would be so sad. It is my absolute favorite color film!
      Thanks a lot for leaving a comment!

  • Reply
    Jamie W
    February 11, 2022 at 12:11 am

    Very enjoyable article and images, thanks and well done!

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 11, 2022 at 6:17 am

      Thank you very much Jamie. Very kind of you to not only read along but also leave a comment. Really appreciate it!

  • Reply
    Mark V.
    February 11, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Nice photo’s. I have two Nikon FM I’ve been starting to use again recently.

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 12, 2022 at 11:00 am

      Thanks a lot! They are awesome cameras that deserves to be used 🙂

  • Reply
    Marc
    February 12, 2022 at 3:42 am

    What kind of settings were you using? Seems like with 200, fog, and setting (what sun) you would be fighting for light yet DOF looks goo.

    • Reply
      Jesper Reiche
      February 12, 2022 at 10:57 am

      I am pretty sure that I shot all of them 1 stop overexposed.

  • Reply
    Alan
    February 14, 2022 at 10:22 pm

    I read it on reddit (…gedit?)

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AnalogCommunity/comments/rxtdoj/fuji_c200_discontinued_discuss/

    ..Something about it becoming repackaged Kodak Gold from here on – or maybe that’s just for the American market? It could all just be hearsay – and pandemic supply chain weirdness.

    I’m struggling to find it anywhere though, including eBay. Mind you I live in NZ, so that could explain things. Film is sometimes difficult (and expensive) enough to get hold of here. The Fujifilm website still ‘lists’ C200 as an extant stock, but then again it also ‘lists’ Pro 400h as extant, so I’m not sure what we can really read into here!

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