On the French Riviera

After leaving Paris, I travelled to my hometown of Cannes, famous for its festival, the beaches and its beautiful weather.

It did not disappoint its son. The weather was perfect, mostly bright blue skies all the time and a far warmer climate that Paris (or London).

Cannes also boasts two main harbours, filled with oversized yachts but also with fishermen’s boats as in the two pictures above showing some traditional fishing boats called “pointus”.

The end of the bay on the east side is called la Pointe Croisette and hosts the casino named “Palm Beach”, whose name is sometime used to designate the area. The casino is under renovation, and for those with a culture in French cinema, the crane you see is located where the famous swimming pool of “Melodie en Sous Sol” was located.

Cannes is not just for stars : locals still play the “petanque”

And not all drive Rolls Royces.

A tiny Autobianchi can be found on the harbour (in excellent condition)

And a 1950’s Peugeot 203 can be found driving around (slightly less good condition).

There was a lot of activity along the beach this year. Some relax, some have to work, thats life.

The sunsets on these winter days were often breath-taking.

All shots with Leica M262 and 35mm Summicron Asph v2 or Elmar 50mmF3.5 ltm, what else do you need?

On the French Riviera

Bye Bye Paris

Paris by night

If you read the last two posts, you get that I fell in love with Paris for the second time (or the third maybe, one shall not count when it comes to love).

Palais Royal

So this is my last post of the digital shots made with the M262 and the Elmar 50 or the Summicron 35.

Goldilocks was here

You guess by this last sentence that there are indeed some analogue shots of Paris but that will be for another post.

Goldilocks’ car a pre WWII Citroen Rosalie I think

To each his (her) own

6 or 7 weeks after these pictured le M11 is out and the M262 really feels like an antique. But I still really like it, faithful device, my goto camera.

The model and her phographers.
False hopes?

I did not go camera shopping in Paris. Err, ok I went to the Leica shop on the Faubourg Saint Honoré, to check on the film MP prices in France. This camera is a beauty, but do I really need it? Ah let’s wait a bit longer…

That week Josephine Baker made it to the Panthéon. A bit of history captured here.
Patron un p’tit coup on a soif

Probably translate literally to “Boss pour us a little one, we are thirsty”. Paris and its bistro’s could fill a life of photography.

Paris by night again and again
Bye Bye Paris

Bye bye, but don’t be sad I will be back soon.

Bye Bye Paris

PARIS – LA BOURSE DU COMMERCE – NOVEMBER 2021

One of the new things I wanted to visit in Paris was the recently opened (Summer 2021) Bourse du Commerce. Very briefly : this building which was originally a place to trade grain, has been leased by French billionaire Francois Pinault to host the art collection of its group (well a part only as he also owns similar exceptional place in Venice, you can check back my post about the Venice Biennale of 2017 and also some of the 2011 Biennale).

Beside its exceptional architecture and location in the hear of Paris, the bourse du commerce as it is today, also boasts two major attractions to my eye. A work by Tadao Ando, under the form of the concrete cylinder at the heart of the main exhibition hall. I have made a few posts about Tadao Ando in the past, you can for instance read about the church of light in Osaka here.

But also in this same hall is a masterpiece by swiss artist Urs Fisher, that I already saw in Venice in 2011.

On the outside the concrete cylinder, forms a galley where work of arts by
Bertrand Lavier

The double spiralled staircase

The glass ceiling

All shots were done with the Leica M262 and I think the Elmar 50mm F3.5 (otherwise that’s the Summicron 35mm Asph vII, but Lightroom tells me its 50mm). One of the constraints I feel when shooting in big cities it to limit the kit I am carrying : I feel like it is a bit silly (lack of style, overly touristic, …) to carry too much gear in such occasion so I often carry a single body and a single lens for the day.

PARIS – LA BOURSE DU COMMERCE – NOVEMBER 2021

Paris – November 2021

I travelled to Paris in November last year for the first time in more than 10 years, the main reason being that I left the last 14 years on the other side of the planet. We were blessed with nice weather for the first part of our stay.

It was real fun being a tourist in a city I leaved for in the late 80’s. Like London, it takes me a little time to adjust and turn my eye to the local subjects and actually press the shutter, but there are really plenty of subjects here.

I carried my usual set in Paris, the M262 and the M6, but due to some luggae constraints I only carried two lenses : the Summicron 35mm Asph v2 and the vintage screw mount Elmar 50mmF3.5.

The Summicron is as always a great performer, and the Elmar is very pleasant. I must say the aperture adjustment at the front of the lens is a pain on a film camera without meter, but with the M6 or even better with the M262 set on auto mode, its no longer a problem.

Yes subjects are plenty in Paris, the sites, the people, the tourists, there is always something to shoot. I found there are also a lot of smaller shops that in London, which are making nice subjects.

Of course I was blessed being there during Christmas season where a lot of decorations are making the city even more attractive.

Below a few more random pictures. I have a couple more sets on Paris to come and in a few weeks, some analogue shots will come up.

If read until now you deserve me to whish you a happy new year, keep on shooting and may the light be with you.

Paris – November 2021

London 2021 Roll#2

That’s it Roll#2 is finally back from the lab. Thanks to some film fotogs I met in town, I finally find a more affordable lab, although I must say the over all price is still steep, but I am down to 10 £ for processing and scanning down from 16£ for my first roll.

Still a long way to go to beat Singapore prices. On a side note, I have ordered some Vitamin C and a thermometer so I can go back to Caffenol, as soon as I find some Soda wash.

Good job from the last, scanning is quite ok, I chose the high res JPG option for the price. I must say that after 18 month of Cafenol, I really cannot make the difference. More grain, less grain? I am not very technical.

Definitely London offers different scenes that Singapore, I still don’t feel at ease shooting random strangers, but there is enough going on to make useful subjects.

Roll 3 is under way, but as I mentioned somewhere else being grounded 10 days with Covid is not helping my photographic activity.

Size matters

London 2021 Roll#2

When the archives are floating back

Browsing through my storage room ahead of my move to London, I went through my boxes of old pictures and binned most of the prints, but naively kept negatives, probably something like 20 to 30 rolls that were never scanned and spent most of the past twenty years in storage.

1993 Dereliction – Brussels

I really like browsing through old pictures because that’s why we take them in the first place right? Being able to watch them later. Most of the rolls were shot between 1992 and 2001, between my arrival in Brussels and my first digital camera.

What do you see when you look at old pictures? Well ok in this case what I saw first that the negatives, the Kodak Gold mostly, were pretty deteriorated and got yellow stains that wont go away.

1993 Chez Guillaume Villers sur Mer

Beyond this, with nearly 30 years of decantation, not many picture pass the bar of being shareable. I smiled at my old self, look thoughtfully at departed family members and lost friends. It is more walk down memory lane than an art exhibition. But a lot of pictures are frankly crap, and there are always lessons to take from this. The saddest thing is all those scenes which are not shot correctly and for which I only took one shot. Maybe an extra shot or a third and the memory would have been golden. My lesson here is to try to concentrate and if you can’t well at least try to multiply the chances.

1993 – Amsterdam style wedding

In 1993 I already bought my Nikon F3 with a 35-70F3.5 zoom, and offered my wife an Olympus mju-1, I think most of the shots here are done with the Olympus. 10 years before digital cameras hit the consumer market, I loved this point and shoot. When I arrived in Brussels my area of the city was quite derelicted and I was looking for a camera that would enable me to shoot pictures like the first one : abandoned houses viewed through a crack in a door or an opened window, showing the unseen, the essence of photography. Well ok, film was expensive back then so I did not overuse it…

1993 – Barcelona

Years before I learned the term street photography I was attracted to random stanger…

1993 – JF in Brussels

By then friends also had film cameras and there was no Facebook, so most of the time you never saw the pictures they took of you.

Hope you enjoyed this small reading, back form the time where film cameras where cameras, full stop.

More to follow…

Scanned with Epson v800, small correction in Lightroom

When the archives are floating back

May throwback

When life is slow and shooting slower, or when life is too fast to shoot, isn’t there an opportunity to look back at the albums ( ie Lightroom folders) for recent or not so recent pictures?

The Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam

I don’t’ know how you sort your pictures, for me the digital shots end up being sorted in monthly folders (unless there is a very special event and I group them into that folder). I also end up putting the scans of each film roll in a separate subfolder under each monthly one.

Working 24/7

I originally load these images in my working hard drive, but then move them to an externals one always attached to my PC plus a couple of backups. Its not fool proof but it means all my pictures are both at arms reach and reasonably safe. I do not have an off site backup though.

Sentosa Concrete Jungle

That also ensures I can “focus” on the images that are recent (or not so ) and that I have not shared.

Sentosa by night

Well lets say that when shooting gets slow and I need something to share I know where to look at. SO today these are some shots done around Singapore in May 2021, nearly 6 month ago.

Tibetan Buddhist temple in beaty lane

Another time another place says the song. Walking around a few places I liked carrying around the Leica M262 and I think the 35mmSummicron Asph v2.

Bugis

It is getting colder in London and there is some satisfaction looking at pictures from a warmer place.

Waiting for you

Don’t worry I am not turning all sad and nostalgic, I have ordered some Ilford Fixer and some Vitamin C for the next round of Caffenol and even invested in a Thermometer so I can work properly. I have to Washing Soda at the moment but that will come soon.

May throwback

New place, new life, new photos?

So that’s it after 14 years in Asia I am moving back to Europe, UK to be precise. I have now been 6 weeks on the old continent, and a first post is long overdue. While all my stuff is in transit, I have carried in my hand luggage the M6 and the M262 with 3 summicrons, the 28, 35 and 50.

I have finished my first roll of expired Fuji Across 100 and had it process at the first shot I could find for the whooping price of 16 GBP. I could hardly believe it, but I will be back to Cafenol soon so this is a one off. It seems however that prices of film are a bit higher that in Singapore.

Shooting in a new country is both exhilarating and inhibiting : I can see so many new things to capture but also I am a bit camera shy these days, and don’t really know how people will react to the camera. I have engaged a couple of photographers in the street and they assured me there was no problem with this, but I have to get into the mood.

Strange enough, I don’t see many people with cameras in the street and I am yet to meet a Leica shooter, but I am keeping my eyes open.

The shots were scanned by the shop (Snappy Snap), it seems they did an ok job at it.

I hope you’ll enjoy the reading, my second roll is nearly done and I start having a backlog of digital, so get ready for more posts. All shots Leia M6 + summicron 28 Asph v1

New place, new life, new photos?

ROLL 2021#14 COLORFUL JOO CHIAT

So after Roll15, here is Roll14. This one is a bit late as I had to bring it to the lab and it took me the whole week to do it. Well so here is a beautiful roll of Kodak Ektar, processed and scanned by Whampoa color. The roll was shot with the Hasselblad 500CM with the kit lens (Planar 80mmF2.8), as last Sunday I stick to the rule, one camera one lens.

So these are 12 shots done when I met Ez in Joo Chiat, you can see him in one of the shots.

It was a beautiful morning, with a lot of light (and very hot), I shot the Ektar at 100 measure with the Sekonic 308x. As usual there was not a single AA battery in sight at home, so I started my photowalk by scouting for batteries.

ROLL 2021#14 COLORFUL JOO CHIAT

ROLL 2021#15 FAREWELL, MY VERY LAST SINGAPOREAN ROLL

The uncle he is a busker

That’s public now , I am a quitter, after 14 years I am leaving Singapore. I am moving to new horizons but that’s a story for later. The recent tightened measures are not facilitating farewells and the mood is not to party.

Last Sunday, I wen out but my shooting buddy Ez, founder of the Hasselblad User Group Singapore (HUGS), for a last photo walk. We met in Joo Chiat and then walked to Kalang MRT along Geylang road. Quite a walk under the hot sun.

Camera of choice was the Hassie, loaded first with a roll of Ektar (Still to be processed) and here with my fav film : the Rollei Retro 80s, processed in Caffenol.

Its been a very satisfying morning, walking with my friend along the charming Joo Chait road, then turning into what used to be the last red district of Singapore (Still a bit seedy in 2021).

Geylang has a very rich architecture, remains of better days.

Why does the uncle cross the street
Eggs business

A rare close up shot, never really satisfactory to my taste.

The house with the Sikh guards on the pillars.
HUGS man.
A closer look at the HUGS man with a wrong T-shirt though.

I could not have dreamt of a more satisfying last roll and Ez promised I can keep posting on the HUGS groups even when overseas, so all is good; it just a goodbye.

ROLL 2021#15 FAREWELL, MY VERY LAST SINGAPOREAN ROLL