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Scraps of the Pilgrim

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I finally made my way back down to southern California to visit with my dad for the first time since my mom’s funeral; it felt safe to do so now that we kind of have the virus figured out, at least the preventative measures side (figuring out preventative action and enacting preventative action being two completely separate things, apparently).

One of my favorite things to photograph in Dana Point is/was the brigantine Pilgrim. I have memories visiting this tall ship, built in Denmark in 1945, while I was in grade school here, 30 years ago. It’s a near-replica of the ship that brought Henry Dana to the harbor that would bear his name in 1834. It’s part of the reason I went on my own sailing journey starting in 2012.

The last time I photographed the Pilgrim I was on a mission to make some photos with my Fujifilm X100F, getting the photos correct at capture, with zero post-processing at all. Part of my One Chance Photography Project that I started last year.

I chose the ACROS film simulation so that I could focus on the shapes and lines of this ship – shapes and lines being my favorite part of boats like this. Color really has nothing to do with it. It’s all about form.

Well, that was in 2019, almost exactly a year ago, when the world was relatively normal. There was no coronavirus, mom was as healthy as a cancer survivor could be, and the Pilgrim was still afloat. But the Pilgrim started taking on water in March after efforts to restore her rotting wooden hull failed, and the tough decision was made to demolish her in her slip.

I had to see what was left and found just a few pieces in the parking lot of the Ocean Institute. This time I had my new X-T4 and 16-80mm f/4 lens. ACROS, a way to celebrate her beautiful lines, was no longer appropriate. I wanted to try a more somber tone, using the new CLASSIC NEG film simulation. I haven’t used this film simulation a lot yet, but I think I like it so far.

I’m still working on creating a good Documentary custom setting with CLASSIC NEG, and this is what I used for these photos. Again, no post-processing was done. These are the JPEGs as they came out of the camera.

  • Film Simulation: CLASSIC NEG
  • Grain Effect: Weak Large
  • Color Chrome Effect: Weak
  • Color Chrome Blue: Off
  • White Bal: Auto
  • D RNG: Auto
  • Tone Curve: H-1, S0
  • Color: -1
  • Sharpness: 0
  • High ISO NR: -2
  • Clarity: +2

The black & white photos of the ship standing are obviously the old photos; the color photos were from today.

Artifacts from the Pilgrim were auctioned off so that the Ocean Institute can continue their maritime education programs that the Pilgrim helped enable.