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Experimenting with Fujifilm recipes – Kodak Portra 160

Some days ago I had to travel to Athens for a business trip. I wasn’t wearing a suit, holding a briefcase, and going around shaking hands or something, it was more of a “Hey the covid restrictions are not that strict anymore do you want to meet your coworkers?”. So I said yeah, anything that will change the remote working routine. Athens is 500km south of where I live and with covid still I decided it would be better to go by car.

So a long drive to a mostly unknown place and me finally meeting most of my coworkers that were just digital faces on a laptop screen for so many months made me excited and anxious at the same time. The driving part turned out to be ok. There wasn’t an opportunity for me to take any photos (just the endless highway), but I had a lot of time for myself to listen to music, podcasts, and also think. I arrived there tired and the next two days were long days, working, socializing and getting to know each other better, but in the end I was lucky to find some time to cosplay as a tourist in Athens and take some photos.

Photography should be fun and although I like to shoot RAW files so I can edit the files later as I want, there are sometimes that you just want to take photos and don’t think about post-processing and editing. Back in the days of films, you pressed the shutter button, took the photo and that was it. And that is how I wanted to approach the photos of my trip and that’s why I choose to use a film simulation recipe. For those that don’t know film simulation recipe is a look and feel of your photos, meaning you can change the settings of your camera so the images you take look like a certain film. Fujifilm cameras are especially known for having the best in-camera film simulations but you can also add your own. There is a big community that creates these recipes but the best place to get them for a Fujifilm camera is Fuji X Weekly. So the one I chose to use is Kodak Portra 160 as you have already read in the big letters in the header, which looks like the Kodak Portra 160 film stock (who would guess it!).

The first stop was the area around Parthenon which is mainly old houses and alleys. It had a ton of stuff to shoot and I was a bit overwhelmed on some occasions. As I look know most of my photos are portraits I think because I was somehow trying to isolate compositions. I think this film simulation works really well with the yellow and orange walls. Also, I tried to sneak a photo of the older woman with the dog which is sort of alright.

The rest of the photos are from the National Garden of Athens. I didn’t have much time, because I needed to head back, so I just strolled around for an hour or so photographing different things. The National Garden has a variety of plants and trees and it was a nice and quiet walk, except for the hundreds of parrots in the palm trees. I own only an 18-55mm lens so there was no chance to photograph any parrots. These photos are predominantly green and some of them under shadows. I think that the colors look really good in these conditions.

I have used this film simulation before and I love it. I like it so much that I need to find a way to use it as a film (hint: I have a working film camera so probably I will). It has warm colors with soft shadows and nice vibrant colors. Most of the film recipes have a bit of nostalgia and I thought it suited my feelings for the trip. I was thinking about my dad and all the stories he told me from when he was a young teenager in this big city. He also had to come here for work some decades ago and under totally different conditions than me.

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. I want to thank my coworkers for the good company and for showing me around. I hope all the future “business trips” are as good as this one. If anyone of my coworkers is reading this blog don’t worry, I haven’t uploaded any of your photos here but have in mind that I will probably keep them so I can blackmail you some time in the future!

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