I would like to write that this is a photo essay about something something something, but it’s just a few photos from a roll of Portra 400 that I thought were good enough to share.
Sometimes the photo I make to remember the camera I used it at the end of the roll and sometimes it’s the first picture on the roll. In this case it was the first. As you can see (probably), this roll of film was in a Nikon FM3a and I used the Nikkor 45mm F2.8P for at least this photograph and probably more. Although the thin lens paired with the FM3a makes a compact camera kit, the lens can sometimes be a little awkward to use because the aperture and focus rings are so narrow. Also, the focus ring on this lens is quite stiff and it takes a while to focus. Maybe I should give it a second chance and hope it loosens up. Or only photograph stationary subjects. Anyway, it looks great. And that’s important to the people who collect end-of-an-era cameras like this.

Three of the five photos in this post were made on the way to, in, or on the way back from the town of Seongsan south of Gangneung. The town is not much to look at and its claim to fame is having some very good restaurants that people from Gangneung will drive to eat at. I don’t go to the restaurants on my bicycle rides to the town, but I usually stop at a convenience store at the far end of town. I thought this was a pleasant little scene and made the photo while having a tin of Coke. This Billingham bag was expensive, but it’s very good. I wanted the tan canvas version, but it wasn’t available. In fact, the canvas version doesn’t seem to be available in Korea at all. I don’t remember the name of the synthetic fibre this bag is made of, but it’s sturdy. The red and pink flowers in the background are oversaturated, but these colours seem to be difficult to reproduce well on both film and digital.
The first step of this stepping stone bridge is a long one. I wouldn’t try it with anything valuable in my hands. Like an FM3a.

On the way back home I took the short route over a hill and came across this curious three-wheeled motorcycle. Most three-wheelers I see are smaller than this and look like the pan was attached by “a friend of a friend who knows a guy whose middle school senior owns a welding shop now.” This one is quite long and it seems like it was designed to look like this from the beginning. Except for that seat, maybe. That’s quite a throne. Wait a minute, where’s the engine? In that box? That seems strange. Maybe it’s an electric vehicle?

Amice likes to attack my tripod legs when I move it. But when it stops he likes to lie down next to it. A cat I met at an historical site one time did the same thing.
That’s it for this post. The next film photos are a long way away, but I should have some digital photos to post in the near future. 

4 thoughts on “Portra 400 + FM3a

  1. Interesting shots. I'd be staying clear of those stepping stones too, by the way ;)Your bag looks great. I have one decent bag (LowePro), the others my wife found in a thrift store – they're ancient and look horrible but they don't move from the house or car. Usually I walk around with one camera one lens, occasionally a second lens in a coat pocket.Love the 3-wheeler. It says a lot about the people and the country, I think. Over here most people would be embarrassed to be seen out on one of those – actually that contraption would never see the light of day over here. 'What would people think?!' Says a lot about our society, too.


  2. Thanks for the comments. I also try to travel light. My lighter cameras are usually around my neck and I'll put a lens or two in the Billingham. If I'm going somewhere with the F6 I'll put the camera in the bag until I see something interesting. It's too heavy to have around my neck all the time. If I bring a tripod then I bring a general backpack I bought downtown. Although it's not a camera bag, there are pockets and straps on the side that I can use for securing the legs.Young people here wouldn't be caught dead on the tricycle. Old people from the countryside aren't particular.


  3. Oh, how I love the looks of that FM3a! And it’s a decent and quite lightweight and good lens you got there as well. The closest I come to this lens must be my 50mm f/1.8 series E lens, which is also quite pancakey, at least compared to a lot of other glass I got for the Nikons.
    The tricycle is absolutely fab, as you quite rightly pointed out, and probably why you stopped to snap it up in the first place I assume 🙂


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