The Queen is dead (The film edition)

There are a few inconvenient living close to Buckingham palace, one good thing is that its easy to drop buy when something is happening, even an unfortunate event as the passing of queen Elizabeth II.

It was easy to go a couple of times over the fatal week end, shoot a bit of film, with the M6 and the Summicron 50v5.

Oh we are 20th of October 2022 today, so from now on I have to specify that my M6 is an original classic one with alloy body, not the new version with mate paint over brass body, as it seems these things matters to camera makers.

This is part of a roll of Ilford HP5, hand rolled from the 30 meters spool I bought nearly 2 years ago, processed at the usual Analogue Films Lab in Shoreditch.

The two days were quite different, the Friday being is, may I say, more interesting and laid-back, we could even see the King getting out of the palace. The area before the palace was easy to access, and I circled it a few times.

Saturday, the place was packed to the point of not being accessible (no interest if you ve been here the day before), and the crowd was mostly laying flowers in Green Park.

It was a heyday for photographers, even for smartphotographers from Asia.

Talking about the event with my wife we remembered that we witnessed the passing of King Baudouin of Belgium in 1993 while we were living there (sorry I don have any pictures) and the one of Lee Kwan Yew in Singapore in 2015 (you can find some of my pictures here), but don’t go imagining things.

The Philippino ladies kindly agreed to have their pix taken
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The Queen is dead (The film edition)

Occupy Westminster

Something different today, a few shots of demonstration dubbed “Occupy Westminster”, by climate activists Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion.

I missed the blocking the bridges part, and just caught the tail of the protest, pity.

You can read the article of Guardian here

All shots Kentmere 400, Leica M6 Classic and a lens or the other 🙂

Occupy Westminster

My Last roll of Polypan 50

Summer holidays are just a memory now and after much procrastination, here is one of the rolls shot in this happy time (12th Roll of the year)

This is a roll of Polypan 50 shot at 100 ISO with the faithful M6 Classic and some Cron or another but most probably the 50mm v5. I have asked the lab to push one stop as this roll was given to me quite a few years back now by a friend in Singapore.

The street scenes are shot in Ai- en-Provence where I spend a couple of days with my family in August. The sun was hitting pretty hard which is quite ok for a low speed film.

You already know I am not too technical, but here we go for the techie moment: The Polypan 50 lacks a anti-halation layer ( I think it means no protection from the light bouncing from the back of the camera); this makes it glow in some areas, making the images a bit old time and dreamy. I also quite like the rather profound blacks, although not as much as in the Rollei retro 80s.

The edges of the fountain are really glowing here you see what I mean.

Aix is quite picturesque, but the next day we went to Chateau Lacoste, a magnificent estate 40 minutes drive from Aix, with Michelin starred chef restaurants, a vineyard, an entrance building made by Tadao Ando and dozens of art works spread in the garden.

Yes the music pavilion was made by FRANK O. GEHRY

Oh no that’s just a barrel.

A beautiful tractor

The olive tree
Yes that’s a Richard Long

More trees
A dirty spaceship
Art work in progress

Really worth visiting, I ll post more shots in the next posts.

Oh I lost track of the Polypan roll, well I think it aged a bit it seems there are marks here and there that are not common to processing issues, so I guess this is a bit of an experimental roll. For such a slow speed film it is a bit grainy, but all in all I really like it.

My Last roll of Polypan 50

2022 Roll 10

Paris rue de Buci

I still keep track of my rolls and sort them by date and year and enrich in Lightroom, the camera, film and lens ( Often an estimate). But when I used to boast of my one roll a week productivity, I must say I have now fell below one roll every second week.

Paris – Azabu

I would like to shoot more but I don’t have time and may lack enthusiasm / drive / inspiration. This roll was shot in June 2022, with the Leica M6 classic, over a week end in Paris and the next one back in London.

Paris, 4th Arrondissement – Communist Party “Art and Society” branch.

This is a roll of Kodak TMAX 100, a film I really love for its high contrast in sunny weather, I bought a couple of rolls from Analogue Labs a few weeks before.

A Jazz band busking in “Le marais”

Most of the shots were taken with the Summicron 35mm Asph v2, really my go to lens. I love it for the perspective, but the 35 makes the pictures a bit too wide for me, my subject is always a bit lost in the frame, as I tend to avoid confrontation when I snap in the street with my wife/family.

Histoires de Paris – HĂ´tel d’Hallwyll

On the other hand I frame my shots with just a couple of different styles, I think I manage to build a consistency in my flickr photo stream. I like my subject centred most of it.

The embrace

We are so much into candid and street photography nowadays that sometimes I find it difficult to shoot non human subjects. They form a big part of urban poetry nonetheless.

Back in London it was Wimbledon and Mayfair offered public screening, with desk lounge chairs and drinks (of course)

Wimbledon
Outside Paul Smith in Marylebone
Finger pointing

Above shot is a bit missed, I thought the shadow would be more obviously funny/interesting, maybe I should reframe, but I rarely do too radical reframing just put upright a bit.

The music shop

Heading to Soho always gives some opportunities, I met an American photog when shooting the above also carrying a M6 and a TLR.

Crossing carefully

Soho I said is always offering some opportunities.

As the light was going down, with 100 ISO the shutter speed had to go below 1/30’s hence the slight blur above.

The Harvest

I carried the camera to the office on Thursday to finish the roll and bring it back to process to Analogue Lab, so I did a few shots between Liverpool street station and Spitalfields market… but not enough to finish the roll. I am pretty good with the rapid loading on the M4 and M6 so I easily hit 38 frames in a film, sometime 39.

I hope you enjoyed the roll.
2022 Roll 10

The Leica III goes out for a spin in London

Captain Tom Moore ( Primrose Hill)

It has been a year since I moved to London but it still feels like I just arrived and there are still so many things I have not done. But this is one I have done now : I took the Leica IIIC for a spin, and we had a great time.

Old 120

The pictures have been taken over a few weeks, mostly in London, but actually I realised I even brought the little fellow to Paris. It all started the week of the “Secret Gardens” walk : a week-end of open gates in private gardens around London. An opportunity of long walks and discoveries.

The first pictures are not really garden like, but I found this beautiful beast parked outside a garden. I had loaded the camera with my last roll of Fuji Across 100 (the old version) expired since a couple of years now. A souvenir from Singapore. For that first day I brought two lens (I think) the VC 21 Color Skopar and the 50 Elmar F3.5.

Nature
Light
The choir in the ultimate garden.

I have a small choice of LTM lenses: the VC 21mmF4, the Elmar, a Summitar 50mmF2 and a Summaron 35mmF3.5. And also a poor 135mmF4 Canon Serenar. But I particularly love the Elmar because of its ease of use and very predictable results. The 21mm, I love because it is sexy, particularly with the VC 21-25mm Viewfinder.

Ride in Piece.

I went to Paris that week end with the little fellow and I think that’s the first time he’s been there. I only brought the Elmar, a week end in Paris is not for fussing around.

Swing in Paris

The above scene is badly centred, I blame the viewfinder for this. I sometime wish I could have a 50mm external finder like the cool Leica SBOOI.

Saint Sulpice

A choir was rehearsing in Saint Sulpice church and I capture the above is a beautiful subdued light, probably wide open 1/15s, slow lens and 100 ISO film can do that.

Chelsea Old Townhall

I was back in London to capture the most beautiful day of the life of the lady above, and indulge in my gothic tendencies in Brompton cemetery

But soon it was time for Wimbledon and tennis balls grew on trees

I finished the roll in Chelsea harbour, back with the 21mm with the two shots below.

The pub around the corner, I love the tones.

Top picture is of a mural on Primrose hill, a portrait of Captain Sir Thomas Moore, more popularly known as Captain Tom, who was a British Army officer and fundraiser who made international headlines in 2020 when he raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Film was processed in Analogue Films is Shoreditch as usual.

The Leica III goes out for a spin in London

Paris in the spring

Batmaid (Boulevard Beaumarchais)

So this is the second part of my second roll of Cinestill XX I started in Biarritz. I was not super satisfied with the scanning so I plugged the old Epson v800 and rescan the whole film. I did not like the scan for two reasons, first I forgot to ask for high res, and I though the pictures were a bit small. Second I thought it was too grainy and had too much contrast.

City of Romance (Rue Amelot)

I quite liked the result of the Epson, if I recon correctly I scanned in 2400 dpi, saved as B&W JPG using the standard holders. The result is a bit smooth, that you may assimilate to lack of sharpness.

Fun in Paris (Ile de la cité)

I think there is a bit on compromise between sharpness, grain and details. Well anyway I am not very technical, I like these scans better.

Ready maestro (Rue de Buci)

These shot are still part of the same trip so I think the lens is either the Summicron 50mm v5, either the Summicron 35mmF2 Asph v2, attached to the Leica M6 classic

Glorious food (Rue du pas de la mule)

After the second roll, its a bit difficult to make an opinion on the Cinestill XX, as I am not sure how properly my lab process it. As I said before a bit too much grain for my taste (remember my favourite film is the Rollei Retro 80), but maybe there is a ratio between the distance to the subject and the grain that makes it less suitable to my may of shooting (I usually do streets shots between 5 and 10 meters) ? Did anybody consider that?

Public transport ( Rue Saint Antoine)

Enough of the technical bit, Paris in the spring is a beautiful place to be. That’s a first for me in about 15 years so I was under the spell, and I thing that will be the same for the seasons to come.

A l italienne (Boulevard Saint Germain)

Paris is not as eccentric as London, but there is a good mix of old and new, tourists and locals, fake and authentic, making you raising your camera every 5 minutes. Ok I am a slow shooter so that will be once every thirty minutes.

Lost if thoughts (Rue de la petite boucherie)

One last technical thing: I can see on forums the never ending question of bringing films through airports: remember that there are x-ray machines as well when you take the Eurostar. I never cared being worried about X-ray machines damage to film. I think if you are an amateur this is irrelevant. If you are a pro that’s different, but then you can always buy and process locally if its so important.

For the ladies : the firemen of Paris (Bords de Seine, quai François Mitterrand)
Lost ( Quai des Grands augustins)

Thanks for reading.

All shots Leica M6 Classic, Summicron 35 or 50, Cinestill XX shot at 200 ISO, I put an indication of where the pictures were shot so you can plan a tour. This roll is older that the one displayed in My last roll of Ektachrome.

Paris in the spring

My last roll of Ektachrome

Lady in Red

No worries : this is only the last roll of Ektachrome in my box. It expired sometime in early 2021 and travelled in a container from Singapore to London, and probably made a couple back and forth on airplanes without being shot.

Nic G, The friendly gardener at All Hallows By The Tower Garden

It all started by the Secret Gardens open days in London, where I loaded the M6 Classic with the said roll, and attached the Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mmF4 and the famous 21-25 viewfinder. It was a very lovely day and we headed first to the Tower of London where we visited the garden of All Hallows By The Tower garden, where Nic the gardener grows plants he saves from the streets.

London Bridge

We walked back along the Thames , for the very touristic shot above, we also visited the Nomura building with its rooftop garden but I managed to screw-up the shots.

Panning action

A bit of panning on passing vehicles is never lost, above on Lower Thames street.

Harry and Edwig

Catching up with the city, we visited the Lincoln’s Inn, as they put on their website a “thriving society of barrister”, I am totally ignorant of this, but there were beautiful grounds and I could shot a few birds. Getting there we crossed the London’s Naked Ride, for which I made a couple of shots but not so funny with 21mm, so I’ll pass. Use google if you have no idea what I am talking about.

A Jag in London

We continued the game the next day, spotted the nice vintage vehicle above.

Singing in the park

We finished sometime Sunday afternoon around Notting Hill visiting some private gardens.

Le Pont-Neuf

As I am a slow shooter, I finished the second half of the roll in Paris. Which I find very inspiring since my return to Europe. By then I had changed the lens to the vintage 35mmF3.5 Summitar LTM.

Boarding
l’Ile de la citĂ©
Photoshoot for a Japanese wedding, place Dauphine
The queue for essential goods
Saint Sulpice

In Saint Sulpice church, a German Choir was practicing, the light was wonderful and I regretted not having a better set-up, but I think the above shot gives an idea of what was going on.

In France everything end with cheese.

This was my first E6 roll processed and scanned by Analogue Films. Good job as usual and I was nicely surprised they were able to do it in the same one week period as they do for C41 or black and white.

I hope you enjoyed the reading.

My last roll of Ektachrome

Biarritz in Black and White

So holidays were not over by then and I was still in Biarritz with the Leica M6 and a couple of Summicrons (35 and 50) when I loaded my second roll of Cinestill XX ( purchased in Aperture UK shop in London).

The Market

I think I changed the roll around the market, so some pictures of this place can be found on my previous post.

Markets are different that in Asia a Singaporean friend told me, Same same but different I reply. Goods, people, food, money,… all the same.

I found this set a bit flat to my taste, although the light was great that day, and it was still reasonably early.

I made the mistake not to ask the lab to scan in high res, so this format is the one at which I got my negs. I will have to rescan them but probably not immediately. I think the low res scan adds to the grain, but maybe I am wrong.

To go or not to go that is the question

Biarritz has a market and also a seaside famous for surfing.

Nah not enough waves
Baywatch

It has sometime a bay watch vibe.

Surf is family thing here
Cal look

Biarritz in Black and White

A Royal Week-end

Last week end (2nd to 5th of June) was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a celebration giving some picture opportunities.

Friday, all started by the air parade shot from my window with the crappy Canon Serenar 135F4 mounted on the Leica M262. The lens was already mounted on the camera, I was just playing around last week.

WWII planes, I think a Lancaster bomber and four spitfires

The city was generally dressed up in national colours and royal memorabilia’s. Here the newspaper kiosk on Sloane Square, shot with the Summaron 35mmF2.8, the M version with goggles. I really went al vintage lenses this week,

A couple of “street parties” happened through the kingdom over he week end, mostly involving food and drinks, here in Mayfair Friday.
Paul Smith window in Marylebone.
I was expecting more silliness in the street, but ok some people really played the game.

Friday a steel band was playing on Kings Road, a couple of ladies made their best to warm up the atmosphere.

The queen of the afternoon

But they were not alone.

Even the Chelsea Pensioners were out.

Some people were rushing to parties in the hood.

The party went on until Sunday.

Chinatown

People rushed to the Mall on Sunday morning to see the parade.

But I met Stan Laurel.

and actually walking against the flow, we reached Hyde Park Corner and met the parade, with no crowd at all.

Sunday I changed the lens for the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm, a better choice as it is easier to focus without the goggles.

After watching so many horses, we moved to the Belgravia street party on Elizabeth street (the well named).

God save the queen
The queen

And all finished with a bit of music (and beer)

If you are not bored by now, I will have some film shots from Saturday to post as well.

All shots with Leica M262, with in order the Canon Serenar 135mmF4 ltm, the Summaron 35mmF2.8 M, the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm

A Royal Week-end

My first roll of Cinestill XX

London, where else?

A bit more than a month back I bought two rolls of Cinestill XX in the Aperture UK shop in London. I have read about this film, but its the first time I saw some available for purchase, so I picked two rolls to see what it is like, keeping in mind that I will have a road trip in France a few weeks down the line.

I loaded the first roll soon after and started shooting in London over a couple of very sunny week-ends we had in late April.

The XX box claim to be a variable speed motion picture, but on a conservative move, I set the M6 speed dial to 200, and put a 50mm lens in front of it, most likely the Summicron v5 or the Summilux v2 with a yellow filer.

Balthazar’s bride

It is very difficult to tell which one I used from the pictures.

Twins
Off the wall

So a good first part of the roll was shot in London, the weather was nice and my brain clicked in shooting mode.

Fashion addicts

When holidays started, I spent a day in Paris, with not much shooting action, then drove to the Loire valley, where frankly I felt more compelled to use the digital M and 28 mm cron.

But here are three shots of the park of the Chenonceau castle.

At this point we drove to Bordeaux witch I never visited before and seems to be a good place for street photography, just enough people, and specific places.

A street in Cite Fujes built by Le Corbusier

Worth visiting for modern architecture buffs : the cité frugès built by Le Corbusier, one house is a museum and can be visited upon appointment.

The market
The blue oyster cult
Street life

The film was processed by my usual lab here in London : Analogue Films in Shoreditch, it seems they were not very familiar with the film at first. They managed to do their usual good job as processing and scanning.

The last part we moved to Biarritz in the Basque Country, capital of surfing in France.

Life is a beach

I always found very odd to shoot sea side in black and white, but hey why not, my parents did this ages ago.

Bay watch
Local artists
The market

I found the XX a bit too grainy for my taste, maybe blame the processing, who knows? Lets see how the second roll turns out.

Oh yes, the cost. The film was 11ÂŁ a roll ( almost 13 Euros, 14 USD, 19 SGD), mmm I think I still have some HP5+ in my 100ft roll. And Analogue Films charge about 8ÂŁ for process and scan.

Hope you enjoyed the ride.

My first roll of Cinestill XX