Tadao Ando’s Church of the Light – Osaka

The Church of the light is Osaka, is one of the most famous designs of Japanese architect Tadao Ando and it was the highlight of our first day is Osaka.

L1000582

Built in 1989, is it located 20km from the center of Osaka. It is a quite small building the chapel which is the original building is only a bit more than 100 sq meter.

2018-43-M6-16-12

When the parish approached Tadao Ando, the most important point was the lack of funding that was available for the building. That suits the minimalist approach of the architect who also chose to use some recycling planks for instance to built the bench.

L1000540

The most iconic feature of the building is the wall of the chapel at the back of the altar wit its hollowed cross from which the light pours.

L1000553

L1000556

L1000558

Bare concrete, narrow spaces, the emptiness is expected to make room for the spirituality.

 

L1000550

The chapel also contains an organ (with rear view mirrors)

10 years later a second building, the Sunday school,  was added on the side of the chapel with similar architectural elements.

L1000560

From the practical side : you ca visit the web site of the church : http://ibaraki-kasugaoka-church.jp/e-forvisitors.html

You will learn that the church is not open for visits every day and that you have to register online for the visits. (we did). The ladies there were so nice so I don’t think it is  a problem if you forget to do it, but given the time to get there better be safe. The entrance of free but you are asked to do make a small donation for the  maintenance of the building

2018-43-M6-16-11

Accessing the church from Osaka you have to take the train to Ibaraki station (30 minutes) and then the bus the church. All in all it should take 45 minutes to an hour. At the station there are not many signs, you have to take but number two  which starts on the left most bust stop outside of the station when you face outside. There is a taxi stand there, you better ask than wandering for 20 minute like me.

The are plenty of excellent resources on the web of the church.

Color shots Leica M262, BW leica M6+Ultrafine Xtreme 400ISO lens – Summicron 28,35 and 50

Advertisements
Tadao Ando’s Church of the Light – Osaka

Another roll of Cinestill 800

A couple years back I participate in the kick starter campaign for the launch o the CineStill 800 medium format film. I ended up (with a slight delay) with a nice T shirt ( (I spare you the picture for the time being) and a few rolls old the said film.

Image 6

I have already shot a few rolls and I must think of going through the reminder before they expire. The Hassie also did not get much action this year so I loaded a roll when I went to the Leica User Group Singapore outing to the Red Hill market area.

2018-40-Hassie-3-05

Above is the best shot of the roll. This lady sing sings the market for the greatest pleasure of the people around. The film was rated at 640 ISO, the day was a bit overcast but most shots were done about F11 1/250.

2018-40-Hassie-3-06

This is the seventh month of the Chinese year and it is the time were the dead visit the world of the livings and displays of religious artifacts as above are common over Singapore, to please them and let them go back in peace.

2018-40-Hassie-3-02

We also took a tour of the Red Hill close estate, a public housing estate set for redevelopment.

2018-40-Hassie-3-01

I did not manage to shot the whole 12 frames in  the morning, so I went last week in Chinatown to finish the roll on the lantern festival. I shot the remaining frames at F4 1/60s.

2018-40-Hassie-3-08

The above is quite OK, the below is not. It is seems a bit difficult for me to measure the light for this kind of scene.

2018-40-Hassie-3-10

Shot with Hasselblad 500CM, Planar 80mmF2.8 lens, and a tripod fr the last two shots.

The film was scanned with Silverfast and Epson v800, with bit of white balance and contrast and exposure adjustment in Lightroom.

Another roll of Cinestill 800

Outing at Redhill Market with LUGS

2018-35-M6-13-09

These are pictures taken during the LUGS (Leica User Group Singapore) outing in August to the area of Redhill in Singapore. Redhill area is accessible by MRT. Places of interest are the newly renovated market (dried goods, meat and veggies, but also religious artifacts) and the soon to be demolished Redhill close estate.

 

2018-34-M6-12-10

2018-34-M6-12-30
Ciggie break version one
2018-34-M6-12-28
Ciggie break version two

2018-34-M6-12-212018-34-M6-12-202018-34-M6-12-182018-34-M6-12-162018-34-M6-12-12

Picture were taken with the Leica M6 classic (mine is black but that does not affect the pictures) and my new, Summicron 35mm Asph v2.  In my opinion this particular version has not a big added value on film, but it seriously kick ass on digital.

2018-34-M6-12-08

2018-35-M6-13-26
The flower stall
2018-34-M6-12-36
The market singer
2018-35-M6-13-23
The chatty veggie seller
2018-35-M6-13-20
Local vegies

2018-35-M6-13-172018-35-M6-13-16

2018-35-M6-13-15
Egg business

2018-35-M6-13-14

2018-35-M6-13-11
The shy butcher

2018-35-M6-13-102018-35-M6-13-08

2018-35-M6-13-05
Old style trade

2018-35-M6-13-03

2018-34-M6-12-40
King of fruits

I used the two rolls of Ultrafine Xtreme 400 film. This is the first time I hand roll film myself (I bought a 100ft roll and a bulk loader, for 100$, this is about 18 roll of 36 shots for roughly 5.5$ a piece).  I shot 14 rolls of it so far this year, this is quite a good film, with fine grain and good contrast. I don’t develop myself, but my local lab does a good job with it.

 

Outing at Redhill Market with LUGS

FIRST ROLL OF Rollei Variochrome

2018-36-M6-14-12
“A la Mort Subite” Brussels – Belgium

Summer holidays have been over for a few weeks, and it is time to go back to this blog. As usual I did not shoot as much as expected during the holidays. One poor roll of medium format Rollei 80S with the old Kodak Autographic, and with the M6 a roll of Kodak Gold and the present roll of Rollei Vario Chrome.

2018-36-M6-14-01
L’Atomium – Brussels – Belgium

The Rollei Varichrome is a reversal (slide) film, claimed to have high latitude and can be shot between 200 and 400 ISO, 200 being recommended for scanning. Although introduced in 2017 it seems it is a “new old” stock that will have a limited availability. some reading suggest this is altogether expired material already. Note this film can be cross processed in C41 as well.

2018-36-M6-14-03
L’Atomium – Brussels – Belgium

My complete roll is a bit over exposed, in particular those of the Atomium, generally the dark areas are not dark enough.

2018-36-M6-14-09
Le botanique – Brussels – Belgium

Above shot of the botanical garden in Brussels is very pleasing, the lack of contrast gives a great mood.

The following street shots taken during the FIFA world cup final also work quite ok. The vintage look is overall quite nice, except maybe the picture of the two young ladies, but it may just be the exposure being off on that one.

2018-36-M6-14-14
FIFA World Cup Final – Downtown Brussels
2018-36-M6-14-17
FIFA World Cup Final – Downtown Brussels
2018-36-M6-14-23
FIFA World Cup Final – Downtown Brussels
2018-36-M6-14-24
FIFA World Cup Final – Downtown Brussels
2018-36-M6-14-25
FIFA World Cup Final – Downtown Brussels
2018-36-M6-14-11
Mrs B

I like very much the first shot and the one above taken in the vintage café “La Mort Subite”.

All in all this looks too much like an Instagram filter to me, some shots are very satisfactory, but it will become very gimmicky to use. The experience is quite expensive as well, I think the roll was like 18SGD and the processing 13 SGD, so more or less 1SGD a shot. Shooting a roll of Kodak Gold would cost half of this and Instagram filters are free. In conclusion it is worth giving it a try, but then it’s better have a subject on which you will shot your whole film, the gimmick effect being lost in the consistency of the subject. For instance I imagine a wedding photographer may like to shot a roll of this as a special feature. For me I don’t think I’ll use this again.

Finally two shots below on quite different subject :

2018-36-M6-14-31
Still life : a traditional French post box
2018-36-M6-14-36
Countryside restaurant outside Manila (Philippines)

 

All shots at 200 ISO with Leica M6 and one Summicron or the other (28, 35, 50) and scanned on Epson v800.

 

Rollei Vario002

FIRST ROLL OF Rollei Variochrome

First Roll of Kodak TMAX P3200

I had a couple of events recently and thought about trying the new Kodak TMax 3200. This is supposedly a new film, replacing the old TMZ 3200 discontinued in 2012.

2018-28-M6-08-161
1. Singapore CDB late afternoon

I loaded the Leica M6 and used my brand new Summicron 35mm Asph v2. The M6 meter is basic but consistent.

2018-28-M6-08-06
2. Make up session

The result is quite disappointing, chances are that can be some issue with the processing as the lab may not get used to this film yet (but they have been quite reliable so far).

2018-28-M6-08-10
3. The show

What is so disappointing?  Mainly the high level of grain. I shot a roll of Ilford 3200 last year and it was far lot better. Ok the lighting conditions vary, last year was a concert where the band was quite lighten up on a dark background.

2018-28-M6-08-14
4. Office decoration

On this roll there are different scenes with various lighting conditions. The first shot isoutdoor, late afternoon light. The next two ones are a show for kids, one make up session lighten through a bright large window, the second a  little girl during the show.

2018-28-M6-08-15
5. Office decoration

Shots 4 and 5 are taken during the preparation of the Charity day in my office. Light on shot 4 is challenging, as it’s shot  through glass. But 5 is standard office neon light.

2018-28-M6-08-16
6. Merci Marcel

The last 6 shots were taken during the opening party of Merci Marcel  restaurant in Singapore (thank you guys this was a nice party). The pictures are quite moody, and the 35 mm is a great party lens. Maybe I should have overexposed a bit?

2018-28-M6-08-22
7. Merci MarcelThe
2018-28-M6-08-26
8. Merci Marcel
2018-28-M6-08-31
9. Merci Marcel

 

2018-28-M6-08-32
10. Just a small one
2018-28-M6-08-36
11. A refill?

 

 

First Roll of Kodak TMAX P3200

Father’s Day Special

agfa

I read this brilliant idea last week, but I I cannot remember where nor who to credit, so my apologies to the original writer. So here it is, Sunday was father’s day and what nicer tribute to my dad that to shoot with his camera?

2018-30-Agfa-2-2
Mrs B and Mini-me

So I loaded his Agfa Isolette III with a roll of Bergger Panchro 400 and went for the usual family stroll in the city center.

2018-30-Agfa-2-1
The scene without the models

(You can read some story of this camera here: the Agfa Isolette III is back

2018-30-Agfa-2-3
A souvenir from India

A few days later The roll is back, as my last 3 or 4 Panchro rolls they did not turn out great. 11 unremarkable photos of my father’s day family walk.

 

2018-30-Agfa-2-4
#15 – my favorite shot

Note there are 11 shots because the marks on the Panchro are very faint and I over roll

2018-30-Agfa-2-5
Spottiswoode park back alley
2018-30-Agfa-2-6
One of the many mural celebrating “last time”
2018-30-Agfa-2-7
No comment

2018-30-Agfa-2-8

2018-30-Agfa-2-9
Taoist temple, Amoy street
2018-30-Agfa-2-10
Pho Saigon at the corner coffee shop
2018-30-Agfa-2-11
Anderson bridge and MBS

Happy father’s day dad.

 

Father’s Day Special

The Alms ceremony – Luang Prabang Laos

L1003035

The alms ceremony in Luang Prabang is a unique ritual that makes the charm of this small city. It is a also a well know one and pictures of the monks lining the streets of Luang Prabang at 5am are famous worldwide. I could not attend it the first time I was there 10 years ago, but I made sure to see it this time.

L1003047

The little lady above lives on the other side of the street, where I am shooting from. The people on her right on the first picture are tourists (Korean, Thai, Chinese?) renting a stool, and buying alms from the merchants. So this has become a real touristic attraction, many stools are ready for Buddhist tourists or anybody who want to participate, and the non participating are legion.

L1003057

I try to keep a safe distance and show respects for the monks but as usual this is not the case for everybody. This is a bit frustrating, but I generally prefer to miss a shot than to fight or be a nuisance. All of this spoils a bit the ceremony for me, but it can be that I am just a tad difficult.

L1003063

I may stand corrected but what make it unique is the fact that monks from the 7 or so monasteries in town go out in the street to collect alms in procession, rather that visiting houses of people who will donate food.

2018-14-M6-06-007

If you are out in the street at 5h30 you can assist roughly to one hour of procession, and i f you follow the rules you can approach the monks up to 3 meters.

2018-14-M6-06-010

We were sitting on the pavement of the main street and it is quite busy. I think there may be many “spots”, like places  where the procession turns who may offer better photo opportunities, same from the exits of the monasteries of the path along the river.

L1003089

Outside of the center you will see random people waiting for monks from place to place, which surely would enable a closer encounter with this local customs.

2018-14-M6-06-012

Regardless of the crowd it is a great experience.

2018-14-M6-06-013

We enjoyed very much sitting opposite the lady-from-across-the-street as we regarded her devotion more authentic. But this is quite subjective and I don’t want to be judgmental.

L1003080

Flash photography is forbidden or course, so high end DSLR will probably have the upper hand here.

L1003070

For this lady renting stools and selling alms this is time to ring the end of the show.

L1003082

2018-14-M6-06-016

2018-14-M6-06-015

2018-14-M6-06-017

L1003096

Color shots taken on Leica M262 with 50mm F2 Summicron v5, Black and white taken with Leica M6 classic and Summicron 28mm F2 Asph on Ultrafine Xtreme 400ISO film.

 

The Alms ceremony – Luang Prabang Laos