September in Herzegovina and Croatia

I decided to try the Minolta X-700 again on this trip, this time fully on manual mode, while using the built in light meter. The photos came out better, but there was still an issue, this time my fault.

I decided to ask about the problem I had last time in a Flickr group, namely why my photos did not come out very sharp. Someone finally replied and I was sure none of the issues they suggested were present. One of them was if I set the right film speed. I was sure I did, but when I picked the camera again I realised I indeed had, because this time I forgot to change it from 200 to 100. Not a big deal said the person at the lab that develops my photos, but some came underexposed.

The trip took us around Herzegovina in some places that, although I’ve lived here for a few years, I never saw: Mostar (the old bridge and the old town), The Dervish House and Buna river, the Kravica Waterfall and Capljina.

In Croatia we went to Peljesac, not an island, but almost, filled with vineyards. I was really excited about all the local wine, but most importantly, the Prosek, which is a drink that tastes similar to sweet white wine, but stronger, at about 20% alcohol. As I would do, rather than go to an established wine shop or bigger vineyard, I just stopped on the side of the road where a sign said that there were liquors for sale. It was a small producer, he made me taste everything, and I also loved his walnut liquor (orahovac). I normally don’t like it in Bosnia, but his was brewed with coffee beans and it tasted fantastic!

We also attempted to climb what I call ‘the great wall of Ston’ – a fortification that I believe is one of the biggest of its kind the the world, known also as the ‘European Wall of China’ – which I find very funny. Today it is about 5.5km long, though we hardly managed to walk 500 meters as the beginning is very steep.

The photos were taken with Kodak Ektar 100.

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28 Comments Add yours

  1. rfcn2 says:

    Ektar 100 is my favorite film but my shots usually come out with almost no grain and beautiful colors that pop. Most of the shots in this post have really bad grain issues. Ektar 100 is known for winning a contest a few years back as having the least grain of any color film. I did download one of your shots and spent about 3-4 minutes in Lightroom and got 80-90% of the grain out and did a few things with the color. If you wish I will email you my edit. Please supply and email address to do so.

    Robert

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adelina says:

      I also got Ektar because of that, though I think I was at fault for all this grain because of the wrong settings, but also the lens I got seems a bit tricky to focus- I did so much better here, so i think it is an improvement. About the focus- I have a suspicion someone adapted that lens for a digital camera – for example – on my Minolta- it won’t focus to infinity. To get a shot like the one in the featured photo there is one tiny spot just before infinity and i need to spend ages to get it right. But I am still learning about all of this. I think getting comments from other people with more experience is very useful for me to learn. I would like to see the photos you edited, when you have some time, please send them to: stuparua@tcd.ie

      Like

  2. Matt says:

    These shots are gorgeous!

    Like

  3. lasousa2015 says:

    The images are well composed but from being underexposed suffered a bit. Ektar likes light! Colors are rich and vibrant. Give it another try, I am sure you will have great results.

    Like

    1. Adelina says:

      I will try again with the right settings, but for now I ran out of Ektar, and I need to wait and order some more.

      Like

      1. lasousa2015 says:

        Good. Let there be light!

        Like

  4. rfcn2 says:

    Ektachrome will be out in a week. Kodak has made a new formulation of it and hopefully will have the same gorgeous colors of all the great National Geographic Ektachrome shots from a few years ago. In the past Ektachrome did not have the same look as Ektar. So I am looking forward to seeing what the new formula will look like.

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    1. Adelina says:

      That sounds great, it’s always good to have more choice for film, I shall keep it in mind, and get some of it after it is back on the market 🙂

      Like

      1. rfcn2 says:

        Kodak Ektachrome did come out last October. It is not the same to me eye as the old Ektachrome, it is better. To my eye the best positive (slide) film I have used in the last year. But this is E6 processing and not C41.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Adelina says:

        Look forward to getting some. I haven’t taken many photos since I moved countries, and it’s really really cold here, but hopefully soon I will be out more with my camera. I have some film for now, but I will make sure my next purchase will include Ektachrome.

        Like

  5. lasousa2015 says:

    Hi Adelina, your compositions are great. Some out of focus a small bit. As stated Ektar likes light. Your ISO setting underexposed by a stop and that pulls the film out of its sweet spot. Read this post on metering for film, I have used it as a bible: http://www.johnnypatience.com/metering-for-film/. Look at Johnny’s results from this method of metering. Nothing short of fantastic. Consider picking up an inexpensive hand-held light meter to implement his techniques. Assuming the hand held meter is accurate, you will overcome deficiencies in the in-camera meter. In bright light Ektar set to 100 ISO will produce grain free images with lots of deep color and contrast. I have read some shooting the film at 80 ISO also. To help with good focus use the depth of field scale on your lens. At wide open apertures it’s not much help due to the narrow depth of field but if you can get good exposure at for instance F8 you will have more room for error in focusing. This technique is especially good for street photography. Keep up the wonderful exploration you are in. L.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adelina says:

      Thanks for the tips. I will read the tips from that blog. As for a handheld meter- that would be a good idea given that some of my cameras don’t have any, and others are rather poor in that department.

      Like

      1. lasousa2015 says:

        I have the Sekonic that Johnny uses, it is very good and accurate. There are some small Gossen Pilot meters that are good and quite a bit less expensive. Camera shops probably have some laying around for sale for next to nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. lasousa2015 says:

    Another good technique is to get good focus on your closest intended focus point – then note the distance on the depth of field scale, then refocus to your farthest intended focus point and then note that distance from the scale. Then set your focus point between those two distances and all will be in focus!.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lasousa2015 says:

    If you can, purchase a Minolta MD 50 F 1.4. It is a fantastic lens giving you lots of latitude in low light and is not very expensive. The 24 F 2.8 is legendary but expensive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adelina says:

      Yes, I was thinking about it- also because the one I currently have was adapted for digital cameras before, and it has issues focusing to infinity 😦

      Like

    2. rfcn2 says:

      I have the Minolta FX 50mm f1.4, and Sigma FX 50mm 2.8 Macro, and Sigma 24mm f2.8 Macro. All great lenses. The Sigma 50mm is the sharpest and focuses very close. Sigma also sold the same lens under the name of Quantaray. These are sold for a little less on eBay and the same lens. The bokeh is very good on both of those 50mm lenses. Just so so on 24mm.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lasousa2015 says:

        Good stuff, thank you!

        Like

      2. Adelina says:

        There’s so much I want to get. I did help myself from buying lenses last year (I think I got to 10). I need to make a list for this year, and perhaps try to stick to it 🙂 First things first- a new Canon FD for my AE-1. A light meter. A new lens for the minolta. And I will have to adapt a projection lens that my father got me (for my digital camera) 🙂

        Like

      3. rfcn2 says:

        Sounds like you have the camera gear buying bug. I had it last year bad and am trying to shoot with what I have this year. I did not buy any film cameras or film lenses last year but did buy a number of digital ones and two full frame digital bodies. The Sony A7iii I got in October is shockingly good. And all my Minolta lenses work on it.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. lasousa2015 says:

    Here is the Gossen Pilot. Very small and well built and accurate.

    http://www.jollinger.com/photo/meters/meters/gossen_pilot.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adelina says:

      Yeah, was just looking it up. It’s small, and really affordable 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. rfcn2 says:

    Although not as good as a accurate light meeter, you can get a light meeter app for your smartphone. I have had an app called mylightmeter on my last few iPhones and it works well. I have checked it with several of my cameras to see if it is accurate and mine is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adelina says:

      thanks, I was thinking about that. But i haven’t tried it yet because my phone camera is not as good and I think that should play a big role in the accuracy. Next time though I will have to use the sunny 16 rule (as my new camera does not have a working light meter at all), so perhaps i can use it in combination with the camera app to see what works best.

      Like

  10. rfcn2 says:

    All slide films like Ektachrome, Fuji Velvia, Fuji Provia are much more demanding of proper exposure than C41 negative films like Ektar, Portra, Kodak Gold, Kodak UltraMax, Fuji 200 and Fuji 400 Superia.

    So if you use a fast film like 400 and set your lens to f8 or higher most of your focus issues will go away. Keep in mind that over f11 and you may get defraction. that means less sharp at very high f-stops.

    If you cell phone does not have a good camera then the app may not work well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adelina says:

      Yes, I am using films that are less demanding on the cameras with poor/no light meters. I could use slide films on the AE-1. It appears that the light meter is working very well.

      Like

  11. Love the waterfall and stone steps. Where were these taken?

    Like

    1. Adelina says:

      The waterfalls are in Bosnia and Herzegovina – they are called Kravice and they are more impressive than that. The stone steps are in Ston, Croatia- they have a very long fortified wall there.

      Like

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