Happy Motoring: Abandoned Exxon — Route 66 — Santa Rosa, NM — Fujifilm X-E4 + Kodak Portra 400 v2

Happy Motoring! – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”

Back in May, while on a lengthy roadtrip, I stopped in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, for the night. A small town along historic Route 66, Santa Rosa pretty much exists to provide food, fuel, and beds for travelers passing east-and-west through The Land of Enchantment. Like a lot of old Route 66 towns, Santa Rosa has seen better days—there are many abandoned buildings along the highway, and some others that appear to not be far from their inevitable fate of abandonment.

Santa Rosa might be best known for a scene in The Grapes of Wrath, where Tom Joad watches a freight train cross a bridge over the Pecos River. Scars from The Great Depression are still visible if you look hard enough. The biggest tourist attraction is the Blue Hole, a natural swimming pond fed by a vast underground water system. While visiting Santa Rosa, I was asked by locals a couple of times, “Are you here for the Blue Hole?” I guess it’s a big deal, but I didn’t make time to see it.

I did make time to photograph a few of the abandoned buildings. One was an old Exxon gas station. This particular service station offered two grades of gas, two stalls for vehicle maintenance, and two restrooms. You could buy maps or a soda from a vending machine. Inside was an old Dairy Queen sign that I do not believe originated from this particular gas station, but probably another building elsewhere in town, perhaps owned by the same person.

Evening Charge – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”

In an empty grass-filled lot next to the gas station I found some old playground equipment. There may have been a campground or RV park there at one time, but the playground is the only thing left. I suppose on hot summer nights, the ghosts who still use the teeter-totter can get a coke from the abandoned Exxon next door.

Exploring and photographing places like this is both fascinating and frightening. It’s like a large time capsule that broke open years before being discovered, now filled with retro nostalgia and haunting decay. You don’t know what you’ll find—what’s hiding behind a corner—and even if there isn’t any danger, it’s still not safe. Going into abandoned buildings is never safe. I do believe that it’s important to photograph these places for several reasons: they’re always changing (due to nature and vandals) and will eventually be completely gone, they offer a glimpse into a previous time that’s long gone and fading from our memories, and to document the way societies deals with unwanted junk from broken lives and broken dreams. As Troy Paiva put it, these places are “steeped in Wabi-Sabi feelings of accepting loss and finding beauty and nobility in decay.”

The sun was low while I was there, preparing to set behind the western horizon—I had about 30 minutes of wonderful “golden hour” light to work with. I used my Fujifilm X-E4 with a Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens attached to it to capture these images. The Film Simulation Recipe that I used for these photographs was Kodak Portra 400 v2, which is one of my favorites—the Kodak-like colors and tones are just so lovely—an excellent option for this particular scene and light.

Ring – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Unleaded Regular – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Zero Gallons Available – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Gas & Games – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Rusty Hoop – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Dark Lights – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Ice Cold Coke – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Fan Belts – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Someone Left The Lights On – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Toolbox – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Still Being Repaired – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Exxon Pumps – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
DQ Sandwich – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Exxon – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Nickel & Dimed – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Application Information – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Atlas Tires Book – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Sandia Peak – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”
Time Stands Still – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Portra 400 v2”

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

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Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Reggie’s Portra

Dr Pepper Closed – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Reggie’s Portra”

Reggie Ballesteros (website, YouTube, Instagram, Instagram), also known as Reggie B Photo, is an official Fujifilm X-Photographer based in San Fransisco, California. He shoots both film and digital, and on his Fujifilm cameras he likes to use both RAW and JPEG. For his JPEGs, Reggie developed a Film Simulation Recipe that’s a close match to the Kodak Portra 400 film that he shoots and has developed and scanned (on a Noritsu) at Richard Photo Lab. He was very kind to allow me to share his Portra recipe with you on this website and the Fuji X Weekly App. Thanks, Reggie!

Portra 400 was introduced by Kodak in 1998. It used to come in two varieties: “NC” (Neutral Color, which had less saturation) and “VC” (Vivid Color, which had more saturation). I shot a little of both Kodak Portra 400NC and Kodak Portra 400VC back in the day, and I preferred the more colorful version. The film was redesigned in 2006 to improve grain and scanning. It was again redesigned in 2010, with the NC and VC emulsions dropped, replaced by a new mid-saturation version (simply called Portra 400), with more improvements to scanning.

I’m Your Huckleberry – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X100V – “Reggie’s Portra”

As the name implies, Kodak Portra 400 is intended for portrait photography, but can be used for many other genres of photography. It’s similar to Portra 160, but with more contrast, saturation and grain. Believe it or not, ISO 400 was considered “high ISO” by many photographers back in the film days, and Portra 400 was one of the absolute best “high ISO” color films ever made. It’s still available today, and is very popular among film photographers.

When developing his Portra recipe, Reggie used the Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe from this website as his starting point, and he tweaked it to more closely match his Portra scans and to better suit his photography. One film can have many different aesthetics, depending on how it’s shot, developed, scanned, and a whole host of other factors, so it’s great that Reggie made this alternative version, which might be closer to the exact look that you are after. Also, because this recipe uses Auto White Balance and doesn’t use Clarity, you might find that this one is more versatile than some other recipes. Oh, and take a look at the Kodak Portra 400 v2 and Kodak Portra 400 Warm recipes, which could potentially produce your desired aesthetic.

Pines – Lake Catherine SP, AR – Fujifilm X100V – “Reggie’s Portra”

One special note: Reggie has a 5% CineBloom diffusion filter attached to his lens whenever he shoots with this particular recipe. I have been using my Fujifilm X100V as a monochrome-only camera, but because I, too, have a 5% CineBloom filter attached to it, I made an exception so that I could test this recipe on that camera with the diffusion filter. For the shots captured on my X-E4, I did not use a diffusion filter; however, I do like how the 5% CineBloom subtly affects the image, and I recommend pairing it with this recipe if you can.

This Film Simulation Recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, & X-T30 II cameras. To use it on the X-T3 and X-T30, simply ignore Grain size and Color Chrome FX Blue, since your camera doesn’t have those options⁠—the results will be slightly different, but nearly identical. More than likely this recipe is compatible with GFX and X-Trans V, but I haven’t tested it to know for sure.

Abandoned Long John Silver’s – Elk City, OK – Fujifilm X100V – “Reggie’s Portra”

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: -1
Shadow: -1
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: 0
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +2 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using “Reggie’s Portra” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4 and Fujifilm X100V cameras:

Abandoned in Childress

Brick Building – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Reggie’s Portra”
Interior Junk – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Reggie’s Portra”
Inside Mess – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Reggie’s Portra”
Glass Door – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Reggie’s Portra”

A Walk in the Ozarks

Chapel – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X100V – “Reggie’s Portra”
Dark Clouds Over Lake – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X100V – “Reggie’s Portra”
Fishing Trail – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X100V – “Reggie’s Portra”
Ducks by a Pond – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X100V – “Reggie’s Portra”

Cadillac Ranch

Classic Drivers – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Reggie’s Portra”
Krylon – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Reggie’s Portra”
Spray Artists – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Reggie’s Portra”
Love Spray Paint – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Reggie’s Portra”

Below is a video that Reggie made which illustrates his Portra recipe quite well (he notes that the Shadow setting is incorrect in the video⁠—it should say -1, not -2). Be sure to like and subscribe and all that stuff. Enjoy!

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

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
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Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
CineBloom 5% Filter Amazon B&H

Find this film simulation recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation Recipe

49718475416_c243bdc992_c

Summer Waves Hello – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Kodak Portra 160”

This is the film simulation recipe that you’ve been waiting for! One of the top films that I’ve been asked to create a film simulation recipe for is Portra 160. I’ve tried many times, and I felt that I got close a couple of times, but I was never able to get it quite right. Fuji X Weekly reader Piotr Skrzypek recently created a Portra 160 film simulation recipe for his Fujifilm X-E2, which he gave me permission to share. I modified his settings very slightly, and published that Portra 160 recipe for X-Trans II cameras last week. Using those settings as a starting point, and understanding how X-Trans II is different than the newer sensors, I was able to make a Portra 160 film simulation recipe that is compatible with X-Trans III & IV cameras.

Portra is a line of films that Kodak introduced in 1998. As the name implies, it was designed for portrait photography, although it has been used for many different genres, as it’s good for more than just portraits. Kodak made Portra in three different ISOs: 160, 400 and 800. The ISO 160 and 400 versions originally had two options: Neutral Color (NC) and Vivid Color (VC). In 2011 Kodak redesigned Portra, and they did away with the Neutral and Vivid versions, making instead only one option in each ISO. Portra has been a popular film since its introduction.

49718431646_9fdf6ee393_c

Horizontal Ladder – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Kodak Portra 160”

This recipe looks great when you turn the exposure compensation dial up. You don’t want to clip highlights, but if you keep the highlights just below clipping you can get excellent results. This recipe is especially good for high-contrast scenes. Really, this is a good all-around recipe that you’ll want to keep programmed in your camera’s Q Menu. I imagine that for some of you, this will be the top film simulation recipe that you use most of the time. Don’t be afraid to use Auto-White-Balance instead of Daylight, or to adjust Color up to +2 or down to 0, depending on your tastes.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: -2
Shadow: -2
Color: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: Daylight, +4 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodak Portra 160 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

49714391966_33d41f4331_c

Last Light Roofline – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49713840078_e850820071_c

Yellow House – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49717893098_b46f5ec0dd_c

Rooflines – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49714691967_3e8a4b7bd0_c

Garages – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49717937323_8990ab022e_c

Blue Dumpster – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49714521031_849507bebd_c

Stop – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49714519756_ec15367087_c

Elevator Trucks – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49713981198_6b13fa9a33_c

Bird Over Grain Elevator – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49718740272_abafa4e331_c

Autumn Leftovers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49714378926_c7ee124993_c

Sky Reed – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49714405676_be5528e262_c

Boy in Thought – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49718003013_788021c4c7_c

Blue Wall Boy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49714403041_6a8acfd3cc_c

Girl by the Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49713864013_8010c0f300_c

Bike Seat – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49722418511_17337a3d99_c

First Pear Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49713850718_d88dd28769_c

Goosenecks – Goosenecks SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49721515893_f387bfa8b5_c

Satellite Dish – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49714520071_107c5d8884_c

Grey Sky Over Roof – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49718737417_0f0c0fbd30_c

Red Barn Day – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49714403011_51364b46fa_c

Sky Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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