My husband whisked me and our hound dog aka Spot in Jozi away last weekend for an outing to a pretty farm on the outskirts of Johannesburg, called The Ground.
We love hiking and the outdoors, but since dog-friendly establishments are not an easy find around here, our choice of hiking destinations is somewhat limited. Notwithstanding this and excited about an unexpected day out, I was even happier knowing that it was promising to be fun for the whole family.
The weather forecast wasn’t the best for a day in the outdoors – heavy rainfall was predicted for pretty much the entire day – but if you follow SOOC and the latest recommendation of “Recipes for a Special Occasion”, you will know that a rainy day isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Au contraire! The outing got me even more excited because it meant a fantastic opportunity to test drive a bunch of recipes discussed in Episode 8 of Season 2 that would deliver good-looking jpegs in rainy conditions. By the way – you can still catch that segment of the episode below if you missed the show:
It was bucketing down when we left our house, but by the time we arrived at the farm, the rain had pretty much subsided and only wet ground and heavy clouds remained.
We happily headed out into the field with Spot leading the way, and me with my trusty weather sealed X-Pro 3, as usual, trailing behind.
Breathing in the fresh air and taking in the scenery, I started shooting in Kodak High Definition Plus 200. The images I shot with it definitely lean towards the greens, but I love how this recipe renders colours in landscapes, has definition in the details and holds the highlights in the sky.
Not short of alternatives and inspired by the pretty scenery, I switched to Fujicolor Superia 800. The overall look is a lot more true-to-life – the images don’t have the green tinge of the Kodak HD Plus 200 and have more blue in the skies.
My experiment didn’t stop there. I also took a few shots with Ektachrome E100GX and they turned out quite a bit punchier, with more contrast and because of that, with less detail in the shadows. Nice looking images though.
While I was in the swing of things, I switched to Scanned Negative and got results that are a bit less saturated with more detail in the shadows and a bluish tinge. I didn’t expect too much of this one, but am very happy with the results.
I also gave Superia Xtra 400 a go. I saw immediately how it leans towards the reds and has much more contrast. It is obvious that it is based on the Classic Negative film simulation and so loses the highlights a bit quicker than the other recipes, especially on a drab day with washed out skies. I like what it did to the orange in the protea and the colours of the other flowers.
I had a few more recipes to test up my sleeve, but despite the efforts of the weather gods, we got rained out eventually and had to cut our hike short. It wasn’t really hard to convince me to move indoors, since there was a scrumptious lunch waiting for us at the stunning Ground Cafe – what a wonderful space!
Most of the recipes I had been shooting with are great for a rainy day but not really suitable for indoor conditions – except for Fujicolor Superia 800 (image below left) and Superia Xtra 400 (image below right). Those two recipes use Auto White Balance which makes them more versatile than the others.
In addition to these, I had ear marked Fujicolor Reala 100 as another recipe for rainy days and since I didn’t get to test it during our hike, I tried it inside the Café. It is less true-to-life, leans a bit more towards Magenta and delivers desaturated colours. I love the look and feel of it.
Despite being a daylight balanced recipe, it delivered! (In case you wonder why I’m so impressed – recipes with Daylight White Balance, just like their original film stock, tend to render indoor shots and shots under artificial light overly warm, often with an unpleasant yellow tinge.) I love the results and it left me intrigued as to what it would have done for me outside in the rain…
So when I got home, I connected my X-Pro 3 to my computer and used X Raw Studio to convert a few of my favourite images of the day to Fujicolor Reala 100 (I shoot jpeg & RAW for exactly this reason – the ability to test the look of different recipes in the studio using images shot in the field.)
Seeing test results this way, increases my appetite for experimentation with the different recipes.
Following on with this, I chose a couple of RAW files from the outing and converted them into all the different recipes I had shot on the day and ended up with a great collection to compare and see how each of the recipes affects the look of the jpegs.
So now what? At the end of the day, it all comes down to taste and personal preference. I came to the conclusion that I really enjoy the results of Fujicolor Superia 800. It is an extremely versatile recipe, especially considering that it doesn’t only deliver outdoors but also produces nice results indoors. That comes in very handy when you are looking for a recipe, for example, that you can use for an entire weekend-away – when you don’t want to be too concerned about switching recipes.
I also like a lot of the images shot in Ektachrome E100GX. I think it’s a solid choice for rainy days. I was impressed with Scanned Negative. The fact that it delivers flatter-looking, less contrasty images is very useful in rainy conditions. Superia Xtra 400 is fabulous in some conditions, but I would choose carefully what to shoot with it.
As a bonus, I discovered my love for Fujicolor Reala 100. I am not certain if it’s just me and because I love the desaturated look of it, or whether it is really a great choice for a rainy day. You may think it is debatable. Like I said, at the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. As for me, I will definitely shoot with it a lot more.
I hope that you found my little exercise useful and that it helps you choose a great recipe when you want to go out and make some awesome looking jpegs on a rainy day.
Before I go, I want to give a shout out to The Ground for making my day so special. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a “dog-family” day out, and especially when you’re in the mood for delicious food in a lovely, cozy space.