5 Frames… Of Yosemite National Park on a Yashica Mat-124 G and Kodak Portra 400 (120 Format / EI 400) – By Simon Kim

Written by and published on .

In order to reduce the number of folks that are visiting Yosemite National Park due to Covid-19, only a handful of park passes were being released at 7am each day through the Yosemite National Park website. After a few failed attempts and early wake-ups that were in vain, my fiancée and I finally got the opportunity for a much-needed getaway from LA to spend a weekend together taking photos at one of the most iconic photography locations in California.

To document this trip, I packed my Nikon Z6 digital camera along with the Yashica Mat-124 G medium format film camera. While I certainly enjoyed shooting with the Z6, I didn’t enjoy switching lenses and the consequential weight of having to carry so much gear while on extended hikes. (You must leave some room in your backpack for water and snacks!)


Yosemite Valley packs one breathtaking view after another. The temptation with a digital camera was to be trigger happy at every stop! For me, this trip asked for a more zen-like approach to photography: Meter the scene, adjust the settings, wind the film, take a deep breath, and click the shutter. On day two of the trip, I ended up leaving the Nikon Z6 back at the hotel. The Yashica Mat-124 G was light and compact enough for a full day of hiking while not compromising on image quality with its very capable 80mm fixed lens (45mm full-frame equivalent).

For my film, I decided to go with Kodak Portra 400. While Kodak Ektar 100 or Fuji Velvia 50 might have captured the fall colors in a more vibrant way, I intentionally chose to use Kodak Portra 400 for its warmer tones, and subtle softness in the way it handles the fall off between highlights and shadows. All of the photos were shot at box speed without a lens hood and developed and scanned by the amazing folks at thedarkroom.com

In comparing the landscape photos from the Nikon Z6 and the photos from the Yashica Mat-124 G, the photos from the Yashica were my favorites.

The intentionality that naturally came with having 12 shots per roll of 120 film with a 6×6 medium format camera allowed me to meaningfully select and compose the images that I ended up shooting for this trip.

Portra 400 might not be the obvious choice for landscape photography. After this trip, I came to appreciate its ability to balance the subtleties of light and color in nature. The combination of this film and the Yashica Mat 124g ability to produce razor sharp images that are not clinical but soulful was a combination that I will be looking forward to shooting more in the future!

Thanks for reading and stopping by!


~ Simon

Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?

Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

Share your knowledge, story or project

At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.


More related reading

EMULSIVE’S most popular darkroom related articles of 2020

Here’s listicle #2 for this year, and it’s 100% focused on darkroom alchemy. From bringing back Kodachrome (development, that is!), to RA-4 color printing, to ... Read moreEMULSIVE’S most popular darkroom related articles of 2020

EMULSIVE’S most popular “5 Frames” of 2020

If you’re celebrating, Merry Christmas! If you’re not, welcome to the end of a year which, well, that’s enough about that. I made a promise ... Read moreEMULSIVE’S most popular “5 Frames” of 2020
Previous

5 Frames… Of Bradford on a Voigtlander Bessa 66 (ILFORD XP2 Super / 120 Format / EI 400) – by Mike Avison

5 Frames… From the Peter Pan Cup Christmas Day 2019, on ILFORD Delta 3200 Professional and HP5 PLUS – by Simon King

Next

1 thought on “5 Frames… Of Yosemite National Park on a Yashica Mat-124 G and Kodak Portra 400 (120 Format / EI 400) – By Simon Kim”

  1. Wonderful images, Simon. You’ve hit the nail-on-the-head with the intentionality that a 12-shot TLR brings to bear; I recently picked up a Rolleicord III, and have found that to be exactly the case. Photography as mindfulness.

    Reply

Join the discussion