Day 3 — June 7, 2023 — Pismo Beach & Avila Beach
En plein air is a French expression that means outside or outdoors. Specific to art, it was made popular by Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes in 1800, who encouraged artists to immerse themselves into the landscapes that they were creating by painting the scene while at the scene, and not in a studio (the most common practice at the time). The en plein air philosophy was embraced by impressionist painters, such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and others.
Dave Wyman calls the Central Coast of California tour “En Plein Air” because there’s no classroom or lecture portion—everything happens while out in the landscape actively capturing photographs. It’s about learning to see and interpret the scene around you by being immersed in it. Additionally, this part of California has some similarities to some French and Italian regions, so applying the en plein air expression seems appropriate.
While this was Day 3 for me, for everyone else on the tour it was Day 1. This was their travel day. Once settled into their hotel, they spent the evening photographing San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach; however, I did not join them yet. The prior day was busy, and I knew the next several days would be, too, so I kept this one low-key with my family. We did make it to the ocean a few different times at various locations around Pismo Beach and Avila Beach, but I purposefully did less with my cameras and tried to just be in the moment more often.
The camera gear that I used on Day 3 (you can read the entirety of the gear that I brought with me in my Ultimate Travel Compact Camera Kit article) was a Fujifilm X100V with a 5% CineBloom filter, a Fujifilm X-E4 with a Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens, a Ricoh GR III, and the RitchieCam App on my iPhone 11. I did not use a tripod at any point on this trip, including the night shots below.
For Day 3, the Film Simulation Recipes that I used on my Fujifilm cameras (which can be found in the Fuji X Weekly App) were Kodak Tri-X 400, Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra 400 v2, Superia Premium 400, The Rockwell, Urban Dreams, Xpro ’62, and Serr’s 500T. On the GR III, I used the Monochrome Film Recipe (which can be found in the Ricoh Recipes App) for the entirety of the trip, treating the camera as a monochrome-only model. For the iPhone, I used my Night Negative filter on RitchieCam. As always, these pictures are camera-made JPEG’s that are unedited, aside from cropping and straightening sometimes—my workflow is so quick and easy!
Regarding the order, the top picture, House on the Seaside Cliffs, was the very first photo of the day, while Shell fits in-between Hanging Ice Plant and Camera Fight with Jon. Although I used my cameras less on this day, and despite the drab overcast weather, I still was able to capture a few good shots. I hope that you enjoy these pictures!
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