Route 66: Sun n Sand Motel⁠ — Trying Recipes (That Are Not Mine…)

Sun n Sand Motel – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 66”

The possible number of potential Film Simulation Recipes is almost unlimited. For example, on my Fujifilm X-E4, there are 750 different Kelvin White Balance options that could be selected, and 361 unique White Balance Shifts that could be assigned to each of those different Kelvin options, which means that, if all other settings were identical, you could create over 270,000 different recipes just by changing the White Balance and Shift. Granted, many would look extremely similar to others, but they’d be at least a little different. My point is that there can be millions and millions of potential recipes for Fujifilm cameras, particularly the newer cameras which have more JPEG options. I’ve “only” created just under 250 recipes for Fujifilm cameras⁠—I’ve barely scratched the surface!

Some of you have created your own Film Simulation Recipes. A handful of you have even had your recipes included on this website and in the Fuji X Weekly App. I love that you are diving into your camera settings, getting creative, and sharing the results with the community⁠—it’s all so wonderful! I’m very honored to be a part of all this, and to have a front-row seat.

I’ve shared before where you can find many of these Film Simulation Recipes that were created by others (recipes that are not by me), but today I want to point you to some specific ones: “C1 Classic Neg” by Luis Costa (Life, Unintended), “Aged Negative” by Justin Gould (Fuji X Weekly Community Recipes), and “Kodak Portra 66” by Justin Gould (Film.Recipes). Why these ones? They looked particularly interesting to me for the subject that I wanted to use them for.

The photographs in this article were not captured with these recipes, but instead were RAW files reprocessed in-camera to apply the recipes to exposures already captured. I used my Fujifilm X-E4 and Fujinon 27mm lens (originally with my Fujicolor Natura 1600 recipe) to photograph the burnt Sun n Sand motel in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. This hotel first opened along Route 66 in the 1950’s, had major renovations in the late-1990’s, and closed for good in 2013 after a severe storm caused major damaged. Apparently homeless moved in after it closed, and sometime later (although I couldn’t find exactly when) fire damaged much of the property. It seems to be in the process of being demolished, albeit slowly. The Sun n Sand motel has been left in a sad state, and the opportunities to photograph this somewhat-iconic site along The Mother Road are fleeting. I’m glad that I had the opportunity.

C1 Classic Neg by Luis Costa

“Ironically, I think it resembles Slide film much more than Negative film!” ⁠—Luis Costa

Motel Window Reflection – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “C1 Classic Neg”
Family Units – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “C1 Classic Neg”
Red Arrow – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “C1 Classic Neg”

Aged Negative by Justin Gould

“It reminds me of prints I made from 35mm film in the 1980s.”—Justin Gould

Historic Route 66 Motel – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Aged Negative”
Burnt Junk in a Bathtub – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Aged Negative”
Burnt Door – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Aged Negative”

Kodak Portra 66 by Justin Gould

“Some things seem to be made to go together, and in our world of film simulations and recipes, it’s Kodak Portra and fading Americana.” ⁠—Justin Gould

Cheap Desk – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 66”
TV & Chair – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 66”
Oh, Deere! A flat tire – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 66”

If any (or all) of these Film Simulation Recipes look interesting to you, please visit Luis’ and Justin’s websites⁠—they have many more! I haven’t personally used most of them, but there are plenty that look pretty good to me, based off of the sample pictures. I’m sure many of you will appreciate them. If you have the Fuji X Weekly App, tap the circle-with-dots icon at the top-right, and you can manually add these (or any other recipes) into the App, if you want to take them with you on the go. Don’t have the Fuji X Weekly App? Download it for free today!

Tips for Photographing Fort Stevens State Park — The Incredible Apex of Oregon

Sea Grass – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – “Fujicolor Super HG

There’s a photographic wonderland in the Pacific Northwest that everyone should visit if they have the opportunity: Fort Stevens State Park, which sits at the furthest northwest corner of Oregon where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. It’s about a 25 minute drive west of Astoria. There are many great picture opportunities at this historic location. If it’s your first visit, you might not know what you’ll find or where to begin—this article is intended to be a guide, so be sure to bookmark this if you think you might go.

Let’s take a look at what you’ll find at this incredible apex of Oregon!

Peter Iredale Shipwreck

Peter Iredale Remains – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – Vibrant Color filter

Probably the most famous and most photographed landmark is the Peter Iredale shipwreck. This ship was a four-mast barque sailing vessel made of steel that, in 1906, was enroute to Portland from Santa Cruz, Mexico, with a load of rocks. High winds pushed the ship off course, and it ran aground at high tide near the Fort Stevens military base. Nobody was hurt, and for whatever reason the ship was left abandoned. What’s left of the ship can still be seen to this day, and is now an iconic picture location.

There are basically two times to photograph the Peter Iredale shipwreck: higher-tides and lower-tides. At higher-tides, the boat is partially covered in water and the waves crash into the metal remains. It’s less accessible and more photographically limited at high-tide than low-tide, and you’ll definitely want a telephoto lens, but it’s still worthwhile to capture some images. You can use the grassy sand-bluffs to frame the ship. At low-tide, you can walk right up to the ship—heck, you can drive right up to the ship! It’s most ideal if you can catch the shipwreck at low-tide and at sunset (this tide chart might be helpful), and a wide-angle lens will be your friend. Most likely you won’t be the only one at the boat, and it takes some patience to not get other people in your images (or yourself in their pictures).

Finding the shipwreck is super easy. Enter the park on the Peter Iredale Road and follow the well-marked signs (Google Maps). The parking lot is not far at all from the shipwreck, so it’s easily accessible. At low-tide you can drive right onto the beach (I suggest 4-wheel-drive), which makes it even more accessible.

High Tide

Beached Ship – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – “Fujicolor Super HG”
Wet Shipwreck – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – “Fujicolor Super HG”
Shipwreck Shore – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – “Ferrania Solaris FG 400

Low Tide

Ship Remains – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400
Shipwreck Remnants – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter
Peter Iredale’s Bones – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Gold v2
Rusty Ship Hull – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – Color Negative Low filter
Golden Shipwreck – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell

Fort Stevens Military Base

Underground Building – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – Vibrant Color filter

Fort Stevens State Park has an intriguing past—if you are a military history buff, this is a must-see place! Fort Stevens was an active military instillation from 1863 to 1947. On June 21, 1942, a Japanese submarine fired 17 shells at the base. While several of the shells hit Fort Stevens, aside from several severed power lines and some damage to a baseball diamond, they didn’t do any major destruction and nobody was hurt. This was the only attack on the 48-contiguous states during World War II.

There are a lot of old military buildings in various conditions within the state park⁠—about 25⁠ structures, some of which are massive—and many of these are open to the public. It could be an all-day or even multi-day event to explore them all, or, if you’re not all that interested, can be briefly experienced within less than an hour. There are three sites: Fort Stevens Historic Area (Google Maps), Observation Pillbox (Google Maps), and Battery Russell (Google Maps). The Fort Stevens Historic Area is where most of the buildings are located plus the visitor’s center. The Observation Pillbox is accessible via hiking trails. Battery Russell is located not far from the Peter Iredale shipwreck, and can be easily explored right before or just after seeing the old boat.

For photography, wide-angle lenses are probably your best bet, and a large aperture option is a good idea. Consider bringing a tripod for shooting in the dark. Those interested in military history or abandoned buildings will find Fort Stevens State Park to be a treasure-trove of photographic opportunities!

Watch Your Children – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – MetroColor filter
Abandoned Fort – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter
Big Hole – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – B&W Fade filter
Empty Walkway – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter
Spiral Stairs – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X100V – “Ilford HP5 Plus 400
Old Fireplace – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X100V – “Ilford HP5 Plus 400”
Stairs in the Forest – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X100V – “Ilford HP5 Plus 400”

Pacific Ocean

The Big Ocean – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – “Fujicolor Super HG”

There’s about four miles of sandy beach along the Pacific Ocean within Fort Stevens State Park. There’s also additional beach access on the Columbia River side of the park, which is interesting, too⁠—especially if you want to see large ships coming and going⁠—but the vast ocean with its lengthy sandy-beach is the real star.

At the south end is Strawberry Knoll (Google Maps), which is a good place for 4×4 vehicles to access the beach, but for everyone else will require a short hike to the ocean, and there’s limited parking. The easiest beach access is probably at the Peter Iredale shipwreck (Google Maps), which has more parking, but is also the most visited site. As you drive north on Jetty Road, Lot A (Google Maps) has easy beach access and plenty of parking, Lot B (Google Maps) has plenty of parking but it is a short hike to beach, Lot C (Google Maps) has an observation tower, a lot of rocks, a longer hike to the beach, and tons of parking, and Lot D (Google Maps) has plenty of easy beach access and parking, but technically this is the Columbia River side, and the water will be a lot more calm. Any of these locations can be good for photography.

I recommend having both telephoto and wide-angle lenses at your disposal. High-tide and low-tide can be interesting, and sunrise, midday, and sunset all offer interesting light. There’s no right or wrong time to go, and visiting at different times and during different conditions will give you vastly different photographic opportunities. I think one could spend days, weeks, or even months photographing the beaches at Fort Stevens and not run out of inspiration.

Beach Alone – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Pacific Shore Monochrome – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
South Jetty – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X100V – “Ilford HP5 Plus 400”

Other Sites

Morning Drive – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – MetroColor filter

There are miles of hiking trails, thick forests, camping, ponds, lakes, and streams within Fort Stevens State Park. There’s abundant wildlife, including deer, elk, sea lions, bald eagles, heron, puffins, and occasionally gray whales off the coast. No matter where you are in the park, there are picture opportunities literally everywhere! The landscape is just incredible, and surprisingly varied. It might be easy to overlook all of this in-between the beach, shipwreck, and abandoned base, but don’t! Keep your eyes open, your adventurous spirit eager, and your camera ready, and you’re sure to capture some amazing yet unexpected pictures.

If you have the time and energy, the Fort Stevens/Jetty Loop/Ridge Loop Trail is great—mostly paved and fairly easy, but at nine-miles is a bit long (you don’t have to cover the whole thing). Coffenbury Lake (Google Maps) is worthwhile, and somewhat accessible from the Battery Russell parking lot.

If you are a wildlife photographer, you’ll definitely want to keep your long-telephoto lens handy. If you are a landscape photographer, wide-angle lenses will often be your best bet. Having a couple cameras, one with a telephoto lens and one with a wide-angle, or perhaps a good zoom lens, is a solid strategy.

Forest Pond – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – “Ferrania Solaris FG 400”
Elk Alone – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – “Fujicolor Super HG”
Clatsop Spit Tower – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter

Conclusion

Driftwood & Shipwreck – Fort Stevens SP, OR – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodachrome 64

Fort Stevens State Park is one of the most spectacular locations in northwest Oregon! It is a worthwhile photographic excursion that can be experienced in a day, but if you have more time to spend in the park you will surely be rewarded for it. Some parts of the park (Coffenbury Lake and Fort Stevens Historic Area) require a daily self-pay $5 parking fee per vehicle, and camping isn’t free, but otherwise the other parts of the park don’t have any fee to access.

I used three cameras to capture these pictures: Fujifilm X-E4, Fujifilm X100V, and iPhone 11. On the Fujifilm cameras I used various Film Simulation Recipes, and on my iPhone I used the RitchieCam app. All of the pictures in this article are unedited (aside from minor straightening and cropping, they’re straight-out-of-camera images), which means that I didn’t spend hours manipulating them in software. This is a great way to save time and make photography even more enjoyable. Capturing photographs that don’t require any post-processing is a wonderful way to streamline your workflow and simplify your photographic life. When traveling, where you’re making tons of exposures and opportunities to post-process those pictures are limited, things that save you time can make a huge difference. If you own a Fujifilm camera, I invite you to try Film Simulation Recipes (check out the App!) on your next photography outing. If you own an iPhone, download the RitchieCam camera app for free today!

Abandoned Location: Hugh’s RV w/ Fujifilm X100V & Fujicolor Reala 100 (Video)

I had the opportunity recently to photograph the abandoned Hugh’s RV in North Salt Lake, Utah, with Fuji X Weekly reader Ryan from Oregon. The last time that I was there I used my Kodak Portra 400 film simulation recipe. This time, both Ryan and I used my Fujicolor Reala 100 film simulation recipe on our Fujifilm X100V cameras. Two photographers at the same location using the same camera with the same settings, but with different perspectives. Check out the video!

I had a great time shooting with Ryan! It was a good opportunity to talk cameras, recipes, photography, and more. I want to give a special “thank you” to Ryan for participating in this adventure, for allowing himself to be filmed, and for sharing his pictures in the video. Please check out his Instagram account, as his pictures are great!

Let me know in the comments what you think of the video. I appreciate the feedback!

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Gear:
Fujifilm X100V  Amazon  B&H
Fujifilm X-T20   Amazon 
Fujifilm X-T30  Amazon  B&H
Fujinon 10-24mm   Amazon  B&H
Rokinon 12mm   Amazon  B&H
GoPro Hero 8 Black   Amazon  B&H

Film Simulation Review: Abandoned RV Dealer with Kodak Portra 400

Journal – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Portra 400”

I recently stumbled upon an abandoned RV dealership in North Salt Lake, Utah. It’s been vandalized. Broken glass and graffiti abound. Nature is doing its thing, too. It’s significantly dilapidated.

Hugh’s R.V. apparently hasn’t been closed for very long, I believe less than two years, but the building looks like it has been abandoned for a decade or more. One of the reviews I found for this place stated that it looked dilapidated—this was when it was still open!—so it was already in a state of disrepair prior to abandonment, and that partially explains why it looks so bad now. Perhaps more than anything, people have just trashed it since it closed.

I captured Hugh’s R.V. with my Fujifilm X100V using my Kodak Portra 400 film simulation recipe. I love how this recipe looks for many things, including structures. Really, it was an easy choice! This particular film simulation recipe could be many people’s “only” recipe. It’s good for such varied situations, and an abandoned building in afternoon light is no exception. This Portra 400 recipe on the X100V is an especially great combination, and a one camera, one lens, one recipe philosophy could be embraced. I appreciate the film-like aesthetic of my Portra 400 settings.

My challenge to you is for one week (or at least one day if that’s too much) use one camera with one lens and one film simulation recipe. If you don’t have an X100V, that’s no problem, just use what you do have. I think the restriction will empower your creativity. Limitations improve art. If you accept this challenge, let me know in the comments which camera, lens and recipe you plan to use, and also report how it goes. I look forward to your feedback!

Hugh’s R.V. – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Portra 400”
Hugh’s Graffiti – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Portra 400”
Closed Circuit – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Portra 400”
ERNL – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Portra 400”
Open Door, Broken Window – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Portra 400”
Trash in the Shadow – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Portra 400”
Tubes & Tablets – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Portra 400”
Out of Office – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Portra 400”

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

Video: Abandoned

I created a new video entitled Abandoned, which features my black-and-white photographs of abandoned places that I’ve captured over the last five years. I used to do a lot of “urban exploration” type photography, but I don’t venture into that genre much anymore. I do think that it’s important to document these forgotten and neglected structures, as they’ll crumble away someday, either by man or nature, and the opportunities to record them are fleeting. The photographs also serve as commentary to how society deals with what’s unwanted and unneeded. The decay speaks of our values, and how we handle change.

The main purpose of this video, however, is not the photographs, but the music. I have a six-year-old son, Joshua, who loves music. You can tell that he feels it deeply, like he connects with it at soul-level. He’s learning piano, and it’s impressive the songs that he makes up. He’s not a child prodigy or anything like that, but he’s much more musical than my other kids. He is music smart, and we’re trying to foster that.

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My kids like to make songs on an app where you mix samples. It’s kind of like being a DJ. It’s called “live loops” and you can select different sounds and beats, and record it as you go. There’s a lot that can be manipulated and customized. My kids record all sorts of different songs. Last week Joshua came to me and excitedly said, “Daddy, listen to this song I made!” He played it, and I was impressed. It sounded like an actual song! It was pretty well done.

Being a proud father, I wanted to share his creation with everyone, so I made a video. I hope that you enjoy the photographs, but I hope you especially enjoy the music that my six-year-old son mixed. I think that the music and pictures compliment each other, and together they tell a story. I hope that we’ll have many more opportunities to collaborate. I can say for certain that Joshua loves music, and he has many more creations stirring in his heart and mind right now.

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