15 January 2017 · Tim Coulson

Cruising to New Caledonia

I’m currently doing something that I find myself doing every year or two; trying to motivate myself to blog more. Not only that but I’m trying to find a new format to use and a new headspace to be in when I write. I find if I write for myself or for my family, things come out mostly right. When I try and write for other people, that’s when it doesn’t quite gel. So here’s to me in 2017, having another crack at documenting my life, our life, for us, by us. I think that’s the most important thing for me to realise – I’m doing this for us.

I’m also considering a new website; one that brings together my three existing blogs/websites into one. I’ll keep you posted on that. It will be a big job.

When I found out we were going on a cruise with Kesh’s family, I got kinda nervous. I’ve never been on a cruise before and that was intentional. The idea of being stuck in one place makes me feel anxious. I like to be able to move, anywhere and everywhere at any point in time. The family made jokes that at the first port, I’d head straight to the airport and fly home to avoid getting back on the ship. Let me put a disclaimer on this post and say that Keshy’s Mum and Dad paid for all of us to join them on the cruise and I truly am grateful for the experience and for their generosity.

The not so good: Zion spewed on Kesh at the black tie dinner and was then sick for a few days with a high temp and unsettled sleeping. Roo then got sick and spewed everywhere, including in our room. While we cleaned the room, Zion was put in his portacot to stay out of the mess. He decided to undress and wee all over his bed. Kesh felt generally queazy the entirety of the cruise.

The very good: Roo and Zion got to spend heaps of time with their cousins, which we loved. Kesh and I also got to hang out with her siblings and their family’s more than we have in a very long time. We got to experience a new country together and had an incredible day off of the ship.

The photos will tell the true story of the cruise. It was a good time. I shot entirely on film, which is the way I prefer to document my family. For the camera nerds, I used my Canon EOS3, which is just like shooting with a Canon DSLR but it uses film and you can’t see your photos until you send your film off. With this camera, I just use my internal light meter and overexpose, overexpose, overexpose. That’s the safest way when shooting film. Also, I found an INCREDIBLE new lab in Adelaide called Atkins Photo Lab. I really wanted to write about Atkins right now (before I try and become affiliated with them) so I can tell you that honestly, I haven’t worked with a friendlier lab. They are kind and generous and they love what they do. Add to that, I no longer have to send my film overseas, which has always freaked me out and my scans came back looking as good as ever (and these are my first scans so we can only make them better).

I use film for my family because digital feels too much like work. Film makes me concentrate on the moment, rather than just shooting it. It pulls me in – every single frame matters. I used Kodak Portra 160 and my 35mm f/1.4 lens. The EOS3 uses auto focus and even though I’ve been shooting with this camera for years, I still missed focus more than I would have liked. I’d say I missed around 25% of shots because of focus issues but I guess that’s kind of to be expected shooting at f/1.4. Let me know if you have any questions about cruising or about the photos.

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  • Kym Vander Stoep

    Amazing photos – makes me REALLY want to try film :)

  • Erin Pearlman

    i am so in love with this blog post. the photos are absolutely breathtaking and so raw and real. they inspire me so much. and your words are so lovely too. thank you thank you thank you

  • Brett Rogers

    Isn’t the EOS 3 the model with the eye controlled focus? I’ve never used it myself, I rarely shoot with an EOS and, when I do, it’s an older RT or 630 usually. Still, I don’t think I’d be too happy missing focus on 1 in 4 shots. 99% of the time I am using a manual focus camera of some sort, so, when I get out my autofocus Canons, I expect the focus to work. If it doesn’t: why am I using them?

    There’s certainly a case for using a len wide open for subject isolation etc, but not every image needs to be made at that aperture. Is there a reason you’re always shooting at f/1.4? Being an L lens I would expect its wide open performance to be quite good, but any lens will improve for a few stops when closed down not to mention the increased DOF of course. I’m sorry to go on about it, but your images are very good, and you’re clearly a photographer who knows what he’s doing. So I find it surprising that you’ve had so many focusing problems. Makes me wonder if there’s an issue with the equipment or, even the settings involved. As mentioned the 3 was a ground breaking and unusual model when it was released, but all those revolutionary focusing options, potentially, create the possibility of unexpected results if Eg certain focus points have been set.

    It is always wonderful to read about another photographer enjoying the process and results of imaging with film. Keep up the good work please.

  • A Wanderful Life – Simmy

    Great post and I love the way the photos turned out. The way most of us take photos is so indifferent to years ago and you’re right about how it must really make you concentrate on the moment. This has given me more to think about :)