December through early March was just a blur. Packing, moving, new house, new job, new everything. All the while, my photography languished. And each time I had a spare moment, the weather did not cooperate. We’ve had historic rain in Northern California.
But one Sunday early in March, the planets aligned giving me both a free day and good light. It had been a while since I exercised my little Olympus OM-2n, so I loaded up some Kodak Portra 400 and took a drive up to Yountville, CA for a walk around downtown. The sun was shining and skies were mostly blue when I left Napa. Twenty minutes later, clouds rolled in and I dodged spotty showers all day as I explored the business district.
Yountville is a pleasant little Napa Valley town located about 60 miles north of San Fransisco. Around 3,000 people call Yountville home and over a third of the population lives at the Veterans Home of California Yountville, the largest facility of its kind in the US. As I drove by, the grounds and facilities looked impressive and I am going to find out if I can visit and photograph there.
The shops along Washington Street provided for some pleasant browsing and at this time of year, there weren’t many tourists. The locals tell me by late Spring and through Summer, the streets are packed. I realized when I got this film back from the lab that I must have been obsessed with signs that day. The town has some great signs!
Hunger pains set in on the way home, so I made a pit stop at Oakville Grocery for a hunk of cheese and a bottle of sparkling water. Founded in 1881, Oakville Grocery is California’s oldest continually operating grocery store. The cheese was delicious and the fizzy water hit the spot!
I always forget what a joy the Olympus OM-2n camera is to shoot. Its small size and lightweight make it a perfect “walk around all day” camera. It offers everything a 35mm film photographer could want with great metering, manual and aperture-priority exposure modes and top notch Zuiko lenses. I just picked up a nice CLA’d OM-1 and am quite anxious to take it for a drive. The OM-1 is the manual everything OM camera.
My OM-2n was CLA’d by John Hermanson. He does fine work and specializes in Olympus.
My Portra 400 film was processed and scanned by Ryan Tolbert at Boutique Film Lab. I am working with them exclusively this year as an experiment in getting to know one lab and refining my workflow.
My last shots on every roll are mirror selfies. I flipped this one in Lightroom.