Over the weekend I went on a hike to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. We covered 10 miles and over 5000 feet in elevation that day and the views were absolutely stunning.

This was the first color roll I shot with the Olympus XA2. I got this camera back in March before the lockdown and for the first couple of months shot black and white film exclusively. Kodak Gold has recently become my go-to color negative film so I knew I wanted to bring that on this hike and I couldn’t be happier with my choice of film. Being a consumer film, it is cheap and easy to find. I love the look of the grain and the bright gold tones lent beautifully to the mountainous landscapes

When I got the scans back from the lab, I had to lighten the shadows a little bit because personally I don’t like my images to be that dark or contrasty. I also brought down some highlights that I lost in scanning but that was the extent of my editing.

Overall I was very impressed with how these photos turned out and I think this might be my go-to combination for future hikes and everyday photos. Before getting this camera, I kept being tempted by disposable point and shoots. I love the simplicity of them and they force me to really think of my compositions because that is the only aspect of the process that can be controlled. Because of their simplicity and cheap plastic design, however, they aren’t sharp and I am always disappointed in the final product.

Even though I am still getting used to the auto zone focus, I have been extremely impressed with how sharp the Olympus XA2 has been. I can’t wait for the next adventure to photograph with this absolute pleasure of a camera.

~ Tessa

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Avatar - Tessa Klingensmith

Tessa Klingensmith

Bill Murray is my spirit animal.

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  1. Tessa, I know this is absurd, but do you realize that Zuiko 35/3.5 lens on the XA series is a Tessar-variant design. We might say your name is a Tessar-variant as well. It’s serendipitous.

    I also love the White Mountains..

  2. While the XA has the rangefinder, you really can’t go wrong with an XA2! Glad you had fun shooting with it, Tessa. And the White Mountains are definitely a great landscape.

    I love using my XA2 for stuff like this. Kodak ColorPlus 200 has been my preferred stock, but I should give ol’ Gold a shot.

  3. I love shooting in the White Mountains, the birthplace of Landscape Photography.
    If you can get hold of the Olympus XA with rangefinder focusing, it’s well worth it.
    I hope you get the opportunity to scan the negatives yourself. The results will be more to your liking.
    Nice work!