We travelled to Oregon for a week in May. We were greeted by a heat wave in Portland after four chilly nights camping in Bend. I brought my trusty Olympus XA4, which is easy to pocket on bike rides and hikes. The 28mm focal lens seems to match the way I see the world – I rarely have to zoom with my feet when I compose. I’ve also used the macro capabilities more than I anticipated, mostly for flowers and artful cappuccinos.
We stayed in Ladd’s Addition, apparently Portland’s oldest planned neighbourhood. The tree-lined streets were welcome shelter from the sun! Each day we enjoyed morning coffee in a café in the Northwest (“upper left”) corner of the unique neighbourhood.
There are two things I don’t like about the XA4: the automatic DX code reader that overrides the ISO selector, and the lack of exposure compensation. Fortunately, both can easily be solved by a placing a strip of gaffer’s tape over the DX code contacts. For particularly bright subjects (like snow) or backlit scenes I’ll set the camera ISO one or two stops below the film ISO, and rely on the overexposure tolerance of colour negative film.
We travelled from East Portland to the St. Johns neighbourhood to visit the fine folks at Blue Moon Camera & Machine. It just happened to be the day of the St Johns Parade!
This was a fun situation for the XA4. Scale-focus to 3m metres (the default whenever you open the clamshell), ISO to 200 (+1 stop), point and shoot. I love how the view is wide enough to show the crowd on both sides of the parade route. We saw marching bands, classic cars, tractors, dancers, and pirates.
These photos are from the sunny side of the street. Photos taken from the shady sidewalk didn’t turn out as well, overwhelmed by the contrast of shaded foreground and bright background. At Blue Moon I got to nerd out about Nikon SLRs and pick up a Blue Moon shirt. I love their logo.
We visited the Hoyt Arboretum before heading home from our trip. I finished up the roll of Portra 400 photographing trees in the morning light.
The roll was developed by Rocket Reprographics in Vancouver BC, scanned using a Plustek 8200i, and inverted using Negative Lab Pro v2.4.2
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