Recently I traveled to Olympic National Park in Washington state for a family summer trip. In my camera bag, a dusty Mamiya RZ67 and a fresh box of Kodak Gold 200 film. I wanted to shoot Gold because Kodak recently reintroduced the classic film in the 120 format (after discontinuing it back in the late 90s), and it felt like a great excuse to put my digital camera down and reacquaint myself with film.
Kodak Gold is generally perceived amongst photographers to be a "pedestrian" film. It's the film your parents likely bought 35mm boxes of at the corner store before embarking on a family road trip.
Nonetheless, I've always appreciated the warm vibe and character of Gold. Images feel optimistic, cheerful, nostalgic, but not necessarily retro. Colors are also denser, more vibrant and saturated than its gray, pastel sibling, Kodak Portra.
In this video, I share the results from my experience with Gold 200, and what I think the strengths and weaknesses of the film are. Also, recommendations for the type of light the film appears to perform best in.
Something I didn't mention in the video — when leaving the beach and heading back to my car, an elderly man saw me holding the Mamiya and yelled out, "My freezer is full of Velvia 50!!" He was smiling ear-to-ear, and clearly thrilled to have his own stockpile of whatever is left of Fuji's legendary slide film.
I recently published a post on my YouTube channel about Drobo going bankrupt. I've used Drobos for years to locally store my raw images. They're wonderful, but all things considered, I don't feel comfortable continuing to use one moving forward. I asked my YouTube followers for replacement recommendations, and I'm now following through with one viewer's recommended OWC Thunderbay 8. Once I get all my photos migrated, setup, and have a chance to use it more, I share a review.
New site and newsletter
Recently I completely rebuilt and redesigned my website using Ghost. I still have lots of work to do (first time coding HTML/CSS in a lonnnng time), but the site is finished enough to soft-launch, then expand and polish moving forward.
I switched to Ghost because it's a simple, well-designed platform for publishing content on the web and via email. This not only makes publishing articles and newsletters easier and more streamlined, but also opens the door to future products and subscribers-only content I may explore down the road.
I also think newsletters (like this one) are the perfect format for sharing stories, photos, ideas, and links that don't fit in the world of YouTube or blog posts. They provide a chance to be looser, more personal, and speak directly to an audience. They also don't require hours of recording and editing, so there's that too.
Expect to see more newsletters like this in the future! 👊
Favorite things this week
Each newsletter from me will close with links to a few of my favorite things from the past week or two. Sometimes the links will be about photography, other times not. Overall, my goal is simply to share things I find inspiring, and perhaps you will appreciate them as well.
• Martijn Doolaard — Imagine buying a dilapidated cabin in the mountains of northern Italy, moving there, then working each day to turn it into a home. That’s what Martijn Doolaard is doing. His videos are quiet, slow moving meditations (some are an hour long) that draw the viewer deep into his world. I’m obsessed.
• Meaning in the Making — Recently read this on my long cross-country flight to Washington. Written by Sean Tucker, an instantly recognizable figure on YouTube for his videos about photography, life, personal growth and spirituality. I’ve followed Sean for years, and this book is everything you’d expect from him — thoughtful, introspective, honest, and inspiring.
• As you may have noticed, Instagram is having a serious identity crisis. Feels like their product team is panicing and trying anything to remain relevant as TikTok continues to grow and dominate. And in doing so, they're turning off their user base. Part of the reason why I'm starting to use Glass more.
• "Where did all the lumps and bumps go? How did buildings become so two dimensional?" Architect Thomas Heatherwick questions the "form follows function" mantra in his excellent Ted talk.
• Lourdes Grobet, the photographer who gained fame for her thoughtful, beautiful images of lucha libre wrestlers in Mexico, passed this week at 81. I'd love to own a coffee table book of her images.
Two of my favorite words are “over” and “next.” It’s an attitude that has served me well through a long life of ups and downs, along with a deeply felt appreciation for the absurdity of the human condition. — Norman Lear in the New York Times, writing about turning 100.
See you next time. 👋