Mid term school holidays stroked again last month and we pondered where to go this time. We have travelled around the region quite extensively but never did a nice trip in Thailand. Bangkok was the first city we visited in 2007, but we did not enjoy it too much; too overwhelming; we also visited Phuket once, but beach holidays are not too much our style. Oh yes and I also been on my own a few time to BKK and Phuket, but that’s another story.
So we decided to visit the north of Thailand from Bangkok (excluded) to Chiang Mai. Our first stop will be Ayutthaya, an old Capital near Bangkok. Wher eyou cna see the amazing Buddha image embedded in a tree (above). Or the very active Wat Phanan Choeng (below).
At Wat Phanan Choeng; these two men are folding robes to dress the large reclining Buddha.
So we flew to Bangkok, stayed near the airport and made a (long) day trip to Ayutthaya. Monday we flew to Sukothai; and visited the Historical park.
Tuesday we drove to Chiang Mai with very interesting stops on the way; particularly the Si Satchanalai Historical Par; below. An amazing complex or ruins in the shade of the trees.
All shots with the Hasselblad 500 CM; 80mm F2.8; Kodak TMAX 100
This was also the day I tried my “new” Canon (yes you read correctly)
My friend Chum gave me his EOS-1N last week. In pristine condition I must say. I rushed to Excelsior Plazza Saturday to get a lens. I bought a 50mm1.8 MKII for 99 SGD. Load 8 new batteries in the grip, a roll of TMAX and Sunday was the day I shot a Cannon SLR for the first time.
Summer holidays in France means for me taking an odd camera out of the cupboard in my parents house. I must say I am always tempted to take the Dacora Digna which gives me quite some quite consistent results. Its lack of settings, its Lomo / Holga style rendering (yes but a Free vintage Holga mind you) always make it for interesting results.
Le Cabanon de la Plage is an extremely nice good restaurant with an amazing setting on the border of the beach in La Bocca just outside Cannes on the French Riviera.
I also became partial to using slide film with it. This makes the price per shot quite high indeed but actually I really like what I get in return.
Nice is nice I think “Nice is nice” is part of lyrics of a song, this made us laugh our heads out when we were teenagers.
Finally, a subtle hint of posts to come, picking one one of the “odd” camera was quite challenging this year as I carried from Singapore my beloved Leica M4 and also my new long awaited toy, a pristine M6 Classic black with a Summaron 35mmF2.8.
So that Monday morning the news broke out : Lee Kuan Yew had passed away. The historical leader, the father of the country was no more. I have been living in Singapore for 8 years now and we call this place home, but I am just a foreigner after all and cannot judge in one way or another the the legacy of the man. I must admit I did not had the courage to queue to see him resting, but I went in the streets that week and tried to capture the event.
The first day, the body is Mister Lee was laid in the Istana, the residence of the Singapore president (which he never was). A condolence book was set outside the residence and people start coming and queue and sign,
And bring flowers.
Another condolence book was set in front of parliament house which will be the final destination of the body before the funerals.
All Hasselblad 500CM, Planar 80mmF2.8 Kodak Trix400 and Ilford Pan 50; first shot is SMRT public transport company screen shot with Leica M4 and Summilux 50mm1.4 wit Kodak TriX 400.
So the last week-end before the start of the year of the goat I went with the family in Chinatown. I brought the Leica IIIc and a couple of lenses actually 3.
Most of the shots below are done with the infamous back focusing Jupiter 8, 50mm f2.
Quite fun anyway.
Chinatown is very busy around this time. People shop for food, decoration, or just stroll around.
These two guys selling chestnuts are here all year round
But other stalls are just temporary,
Just selling nuts
or fruits in the side of the street
Some of the sellers are coming from China just for the event, or so have I been told.
Sausages and cured meat stall.
This was the first time I use Kentmere 100 ISO film; reasonably cheap, I understand it is manufactured by Ilford now. As I rarely use Ilford product (except fro Pan 50 and Pan 400) I cannot really tel how it compares to FP4 for instance. Nothing to rave about, I’ll probably finish my stock and go back to Tmax or Rollei RPX 100.
So actually on the french national day I was going to the market and I came across a guy in traditional dress holding a drum so just followed and realized he was going to the local celebration of the national day. I took a few shots with the Dacora Digna, my beloved holiday camera, and with the LeicaIII that I brought with me for the summer holidays back home.
The Leica shots are done with the Summitar 50mmF2 on a Rollei RPX 100 Film and I managed to ruin the shots by trying to process the film at home using the Caffenol method. The film was not well developed and very difficult to scan, hence the grain. I’ll come back on the Caffenol story later.
I like the shot I called “The photographers”, the Asian tourist with her phone on the foreground and the official photog in the background.
I have been watching this group of people a few time when going to the office supply shop in Bras Basah Complex near Bugis in Singapore. This is the first time I have a camera at hand and goes up to them to make a few shots. I am not sure what martial are they are rehearsing; some king of wushu maybe ?
I just had the 50mmSummilux with me but that’s enough if you walk closer (above) of back (below). I think I quite like the vertical shots with the small characters and the big buildings.
My printer is broken, but as soon as I get a new one, I’ll print these shots and bring them to the club. Another photo opportunity?
If you missed the last episode, I bought a Zorki S for 40EUR in an antique shop and it turned out there are some quite obvious problems with it. Two days later, I tempted my luck with a 6 years expired Kodak Gold film. I shot the film on the way to work, using hyper-focal focusing because the range finder does not work, and I missed one shot out of 5 as the curtains of the shutter stay stuck most of the time. Meanwhile the mini-lab broke down so I had to wait two extra days to be able to have a look at this masterpiece.
As expected, one picture in 5 to 6 turned out ok in term of exposure and the 4 below are the best of the lot. It’s very difficult to guess for the rest because of the very bad quality of the film (or because of it’s high artistic quality). Well that will need another try.
In between I have lubricated the shutter by dropping some silicon lubricant on the shutter button and it seems that by firing 20 shots a day the shutter no longer get stuck: good news. Also a gentle fellow user gave me some information on the rangefinder issue so I may run a second roll very soon. Probably an unexpired B&W film.
Appart from trying the Zorki out, I liked this mural very much down in the Summerset skate park; it changes from the usual things we see there. Hope I can shot it with a proper camera before its gone.
Ok these are the last pictures of Bukit Brown Cemetery, promised. Until I go back there sometime of course.
I forgot to mention that the pictures were taken the week after the tomb sweeping; a week were people go to the ancertors tombs, clean them and bring offerings. So on the pictures below you can see scent sticks and red candles.
A lot of offerings remaining at this place; candles and sticks of scent plugged in condensed milk cans.
Some Sikh guards guarding Chew Geok Leong’s tomb. Actually, a bit of google-ing and I learned there are more of those in the cemetery.