During the last outings of the Leica User Group Singapore (LUGS) of 2019, I had the good idea to carry the Hasselblad 500CM loaded with my favorite film: the Rollei Retro 80s
I love the range of grays and the profound black that this film can produce. This is not all art but a nice walk with friends at a time when this was possible. I put the full roll, no censorship and some edition in Lightroom. Film was was processed at the usual lab (Ruby Photo) and scanned at home of Epson v800.
This is a set of pictures of the colorful public housing blocs situated on Circuit Road in Singapore.
Circuit road is accessible via Mc Pherson MRT, and is located in the east part of town, 20 minutes ride from Orchard Road.
This estate dates back from the early 1970’s and has recently received a face-lift, becoming the Lego or Mondrian estate. Apparently the “upgrade” as we say here was not only cosmetical as the area used to be a bit shabby from what I gathered.
The outing was organized by Low Che Eng from the “Lets Shoot Film SG” Facebook group. We were nearly a dozen freaks walking around the estate, with cameras ranging from various Leicas and medium formats to a view camera (Chamonix ?).
I carried around the Hasselblad 500CM and 80mmF2.8 loaded with a slightly expired roll of Portra 160vc (nearly two years I think) shot at 200iso and the Leica IIIc with the Voigtländer 21mmF4 loaded with a roll of Rollei retro 80s.
The film was processed at the usual lab and scanned at home with the Epson v800.
I did a bit of post processing in light room but even without it the film turned out quite well.
Finally meet a resident, this gentleman used to a be a guitarist at the raffles hotel back in the days where hotels had musicians and is now keeping fit in his old age. This is the last shot of the roll hence the slight issue on the top of the frame.
The hassie keep on having problems shooting 12 complete frames, but this time I got lucky.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We also took a tour of the Red Hill close estate, a public housing estate set for redevelopment.
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.
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.
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.
The Lion dance troupes from the Zhoujia style go each year to Bright Hill temple for Qingming celebration to honor their founder. The Zhoujia is a special form of Lion Dance, which is very energetic, founded in Singapore, there are very interesting videos on the history of this martial art, coming from the south China King-Fu. Mister Li, in his 80’s is he current master and the son (or grand son) of the founder
The Qingming or Ching Ming festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English (sometimes also called Chinese Memorial Day or Ancestors’ Day).
The troupes gather at the bottom of the slope getting up to one of the temple courtyards (for those who do not know Bright Hill temple, it is a massive compound), they run up one by one up the steep slope (and very sunny last week).
The lion dancers perform around the yard at the sound of drums and pray as different shrines before ending before a table laid with offerings. They then move aside and align waiting for the other troupes to parade as well. A total of 6 groups were present this day.
Afterwards there will be some common praying to the ancestor, Kung-Fu demonstration , a full minute of full strength drumming and a final tour.
The Leica User Group Singapore (LUGS) organized an outing last week (7 April 2008) to the Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club.
The Hassie came to the party loaded with a roll of Cinestill 50D. Here is the result. The Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club is place in Amg Mo Kio, central Singapore, where bird lovers have their pets compete. In both singing and look competition.
It is a beutiful places with both shadow areas with low hanging bird cages but also a wide open space with high poles were cages are hoisted by a pulley system.
(The above rectangular shot is due to an issue with the Hassie back frame spacing)
On competition days judges are walking between the birds and give notes.
10 to 22nd of March was the Singapore Design Week, and during the week-ends were some Design trails, taking visitors through Design landmarks in the city-state.
We join the trail on the last Sunday,and had a first stop around our house at the Lloyds Inn, a recently renovated boutique hotel around the corner from where we live. The inside of the hotel is out-of-bounds but the garden and outside architecture is worth a look.
In a small portion of the garden is a kind or art installation, good opportunity for a close up with the Hassie.
The trail is quite well organized and a minibus was bringing visitors from one place to the next. This being sunday a couple of places were closed unfortunately. We head next to the Working Capitol on Keong Saik Road, near Chinatown. This is a very nice classic building converted into a shared working space for individual entrepreneurs and start-ups.
A bit more close up action on a showcased jewelry stand
Out final stop was up Pearl Hill, on what’ snow called number 195, but was called “the upper barracks” from the time it was housing the Sikh officers of the colonial police (I imagine the non officers were in the lower barracks). This is also a beautiful colonial era building, but which nowadays is more or less left to its own dereliction. Very close to the city center it would make a beautiful area for art display or as the Working Capitol for housing start-ups.
We met a very nice young couple doing calligraphy to the greatest joy of my son.
Al pictures taken with the trusty Hasselblad 500Cm and the 80mmF2.8. Some pictures (interior) with Kodak Tri-x 400, others with Ilford PAN 50.
Last month I went to the “Carnaval de Nice” with the Hassie and the second roll of Rollei Digibase CR200.
Nice is just 30 km from my hometown of Cannes, but this is just the second time in my life (about 48 years) that I go there. I have an excuse because I have been away since 1985. I went with my son Noé who also made some nice pics with his Coolpix.
Not so easy to catch action with the Hasselblad, I was also not very well positioned so there is a bit of back-light. I still think this film is great; the colors are very realistic and it is quite relaxed regarding exposition.
It’s already a coupe of years back since the railway station in Tanjong Pagar was closed moved to Woodlands close to the Malaysian border. To give an idea to the reader with no knowledge on Singapore geography, Tanjong Pagar in in the south side of the island and the border is at the north. For the small story the station, the tracks and the land below were Malaysian property. So a couple of years back, the station (see here) was closed, the tracks removed (and returned to Malaysia) and an exchange of land and other compensation was done. So was born the green corridor, the former railway from the south of Singapore to the border of Malaysia.
Sometime on August, after a brunch at Rider’s Cafe and a drive along the border with my friend Oliver, I was dropped at the former Bukit Timah railway station (in the middle of the corridor) and walked 10 KM south until I reach a “No trespassing” sign before getting to the old station area. I carried the Hassie with 2 backs and the Leica III (That will be for next post).
The bridge across Bukit Timah road and the railway station are the most interesting items to see, there lay the last meters of track.
After (or before) this point the green corridor is a dirt track between trees; very green and very blue this day as well.
The city is never far however and you can never forget the constructions nor the noise of the traffic. Maybe going upwards to Malaysia is different, but going south to the sea you can;t forget Singapore is a dense and busy city.
Color shots done with Fuji slides, 100 ISO. All scanned with Epson v500, adjusted with Lightroom 3.6.
One of the last week-ends despite not feeling very well, I head to Little India without any special idea in mind and the Hassie in the camera bag. Having left my shoes outside I walk inside the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Serangoon road to find that a celebration (or puja) was held that day. I just had half a roll and could shot the following.
The is Rollei RPX 400 ASA film, the first roll I ever shot. I must say I quite like it the grain is very thin, quite good contrasts. I have a little stock of both 100 and 400 ASA of this film in 120 format in the fridge, I may buy some 35mm when I’m back in France. When back from the shop the film was quite flat and easy to scan unlike the Rollei Retro which is so curly
I am not sure if this is a set meal or an individual set of offerings for each participant; I did no stat that long to check.
One of the musicians or the ceremony at rest.
The chariot of the temple that rides out in the city for some special celebrations.