A Journey with Medium Format & Kodak Tri-X
I always use personal vacations as an excuse to flex my photography muscle. But choosing the camera is always a head scratcher for me since I am lucky enough to have a pretty vast camera collection. I knew I wanted to shoot with Kodak Tri-X and was favoring shooting in medium format which bought the camera choice down to two, the first was a Hasselblad 2000FC with a Zeiss 80mm f2.8F lens or the funky little Diana F+ with it’s plastic fantastic lens. I remember the night before I left, I had both the camera’s sitting on my desk with a pro and con list to figure out which one was joining me on my journey up north. In the end I choose the Diana F+ for it’s compactness and zone focus capibilties. I would of loved the sharpness of the Hasselblad but the sheer bulkiness of the camera was the ultimate deciding factor. Combine that with four rolls of fresh Tri-X and it was time to go!
San Francisco has always fascinated me, it’s a city you can visit many times and have a completely different experience each time you go. For this trip we wanted to take a step back from the big branded hotel chains and instead choose to stay at two different hostels, a first time experience for me. The first hostel was Pigeon Point Lighthouse near Pescadero. a very charming little place built in 1871 and is now part of the California Parks system. My first impression of our lodging for the next two nights was that it was so peaceful. Besides the lighthouse, there are hardly any other signs of man and once you started walking along the trails near the shoreline you feel transported to a private beach somewhere on the east coast.
Being about an hour outside San Francisco and along a long stretch of rural countryside meant a lot of driving, which translates into a lot of exploring the areas tourists normally don’t get a chance to see.
When we traveled up to the city. We stayed at another great hostel, this time at the historic Fort Mason. Overlooking the bay near Fishermen’s Wharf, it provided a great base to explore the city and with the great public transit the city as, we rarely had to bring the car with us.
The sights and smells of the city are intoxicating to the senses.
Picking the Diana F+ was the right choice. I really loved how each image turned out and the subtle softness that its plastic lens created really suited the trip we took; beautiful, nostalgic, and full of great sights that we won’t soon forget. I can’t wait to return.