Last black and white shots of 2021

Oh my Oh my. We are in March already and here is my last B&W roll of 2021, where was I? Well not shooting for sure, as I just brought my first roll of 2022 to the lab. Well time flies, photography is one of the losers in the adjustment to my new life.

Anyway, last roll of 2021, shot in December in France, first 4 shots in Paris, next 5 in Cannes, the others in Antibes.

This is a single roll of Ilford HP5+, still hand rolled from the 30 meters roll I bought last year in Singapore. Pictures were taken with the M6 classic with the Elmar 50F3.5 or the Summicron 35 Asph v2. Oh by the way that’s not my last roll of 2021, no no no sir, I quickly shot a roll of expired Portra 400 at the end of December, but I am not sure there are enough shots to share on that one, or maybe yes I ll do next week.

Hope you enjoyed watching…

Last black and white shots of 2021

LONDON 2021 ROLL#3

The painter

I am a slow shooter and a slower poster. So here is a roll shot in late October / November 2021 in London and in Paris for the last few shots.

She was there is the sunlight

I am sure the film was from my 30m meters roll of Ilford HP5, and shot with the Leica M6. I cannot se so sure about the lens.

The roll was processed by AnalogueFilms in Shoreditch again. I had to explain a bit that the film was not what was said on the canister, but I think the message passed across. They were also very kind and gave me a handful of empty canisters that I will replenish with more HP5.

Planking

The first three shots were taken during a long walk from Knightsbridge to Borough Market, the one above and the one below were taken another week around Covent Garden. The guy above was having some kind of practical joke with friends.

Select your Chanel (Harrods London)
Martin Margiela window
Back from another later afternoon walk

Then we went to Paris for the last week of November, from now on I used the Elmarit 50 only on the M6.

A vigil for Virgil Abloh in front of Louis Vuitton

We are all kids in front of the Galleries Lafayette Christmas display.

Inside the Galleries Lafayette
Good Bye, two more rolls to process to finish 2021!

Hope you enjoyed the reading.

LONDON 2021 ROLL#3

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

ROLL 2021#11 The Nikon F3 was back

Marina Bay Sands (who said “again?”)

This is bit back to the future as I already posted about rolls 12,13, and 15, but rest assured roll 10 will come in due time. I was complaining last week about life in Singapore being less photogenic since the Covid started last year. Man I did not knew what was coming.

Stands of the floating stadium

For one week now we are in Heightened alert mode, basically we are back in a quite strict mode, mostly : non essential workers are asked to stay home, it is not possible to eat or drink outside (eateries can thankfully to take away), quarantine form most countries are extended to 3 weeks in selected hotels and coming into Singapore is quite difficult (even for residents).

The Padang

Having enjoyed a lot more freedom than most countries since last July, we feel taken a bit aback by this new deal. So my color roll shot a couple of weeks before this soft lockdown 2.0 seems quite joyful and interesting for the place in time where I write from.

Tan Si Chong Su Temple

We were discussing our last holidays abroad, which were in March 2020, when we could still fly (in half empty planes though) and I remembered that I brought the Nikon F3 to Thailand and shot only two or three rolls before putting it back in the box. So it was time to pick it up again and give it another go.

Lonely smoker

I will explain a bit later this month but I am downsizing a few things, so I am shooting what’s left in the fridge rather than go and by fresh film. So I picked up my last roll of Portra 400, which is a bit overkill for just walking around, but ok I an clearing my fridge. The roll was shot over two days around Singapore.

Drink stop

I put the 50mmF1.4 on the F3, because my other lenses are too big for just walking around. I must say I have always been a big proponent of the 50mm, claiming the 28 / 50/ 135 were the trinity of my generation, and only young punks would walk around with a 35 as their normal lens. But I think I have moved my point of view a little bit…

The yellow Burmese girl

I have used many 35mm on the Leica system (film or digital) and I finally came quite used to it (I own 3 😦 ). The versatility of the 35mm, with a field of view larger by more than 30% is quite impressive and I think I really appreciate it on the Leica’s to the point that I find the 50mm narrow. Off course you have to step closer to your subject, but that’s not so much or a problem with a small rangefinder.

Sunday silliness

Getting closer with a SLR, even a small old fellow as the F3 is a bit less easy. Also (I am happy to be corrected) it seems the offer in term of 35mm (Vintage of course) is a bit lesser that the offer in 50mm, where Nikon has a few outstanding lenses.

Sunday Party – Tik Tok style

So ok I feel now that the 50 is a bit narrow but at the same I don’t think I will invest in a new (even a new old) lens for the Nikon at this point) (And remember I am decluttering).

Fishy business

The roll was processed at Whampoa Colours, scanned by their good services, and shared on the web. Damn I still have not collected my negs. The combo F3 + 50mmF1.4 AIS + Porta did a fairly good job. I shot most of the time in Auto mode, meaning the speed is controlled automatically by the aperture I selected, quite easy with a 400 ISO film (shot at 320).

Thian Hock Keng Temple (Really tight shot)

It seems the focusing of the F3 with the 50 is quite ok, I would need to try with the original 35-70 F3.5 AI Pro see if I have any problems. But that’s a heavy lens, not for casual walks.

A well deserved treat.

A final though for the road, a lot of my pictures from 25-30 years suck, I feel very bad, because souvenirs from this time are scarce, but on the upside It looks like my photography has progressed.

Hope you enjoyed the reading, stay safe.

ROLL 2021#11 The Nikon F3 was back

ROLL 2021#13 TEKKA MARKET And More

The Umbrella Hat

As my Ilford roll only had 22 shots, I loaded my last roll of Tri-X into the Nikon F3 while we were still in Tekka Market. I could not resist running after the guy with the umbrella hat, even I did not really got a really good shot.

316

316 on the bowl is probably the number of the stall so the staff attending to the hawker center know where to bring it back after picking up and cleaning. I felt really hungry at that time, but it was way too early to get a second breakfast.

Me time

It was still raining outside and this guy was playing with his phone inside a wheelbarrow.

The mini mart opposite Tekka market

At that point we had stepped in the street, and faced the last few drops of rain. I have a hood on my 50 which does a good job at protecting him from small rain (although that’s a metal hood for a 28mm)

Ez was still with me of course. At this point you would have realized that the pictures are not as sharp as usually, for instance compared to the last post. I have several options to explain this.

Action shot, Stef on his Oxley bike

First option is that the Tri-X is notoriously difficult to process in Caffenol. I have used my usual Delta recipe scaled for 500ml. BUT because I think my films are usually over processed I have decided once again to try to lower the temperature.

The throw

I feel that usually the time for processing is 4’40” and that does not give much leeway for control (I may be wrong), so I decided to keep the same time but cool a little bit the mix by using 10% of water from the fridge (probably 3 degrees) and 90% of tap water (29 degrees) to get a mix around 26 to 27 degrees.

The Corgi’s umbrella

Of course I have no thermometer and the reason you have not seen roll 2001#11 yet is because I quite screwed up by making the mix too cold back wen I processed it. But I must say that this time, looking at the film drying it has gone in the correct direction, showing more contrast than my usual processing’s.

1,2,3, go!

So what could have gone wrong ? Err not sure, could the difference of 3 or 4 degrees between the developer and the rinsing water caused an effect similar to reticulation?

Surprised in selfie action

.. or shall I just blame the Tri-X and look for another recipe for this film the next time?

I could simply finish my bulk roll of HP5plus and keep things simple what do you think? It’s a pity as I was quite happy with the content of the film ; that will teach me to try experimenting. This is also probably the last roll of the F3 for a little while.

The correct usage of the mask

The little fellow made 3 turns ( understand rolls ) and will now go back to the box. Yielding a SLR, even the not so bulky F3 with a 50mm, to the face of people is a bit gross. I’ll go back to the rangefinders for a little while

What’s up doc

I realized this Saturday that these old folks are hanging around in that place because the are polls nearby ; you can expect more shots of this place soon.

Waiting for the cobbler to finish his job.

All these shots were done in Aperture Auto mode with the F3, very convenient. A facility I don’t have on the M6. It looks the shots were properly exposed, I had some difficulties as I thought that holding the shutter button would store the speed. I may get it wrong by 20 years or so. I think after these 3 rolls and the two ones form last year, I can happily conclude that the F3 focuses properly. With the 50mm at least, I did not bother trying other lenses.

ROLL 2021#13 TEKKA MARKET And More

Roll 2021#12 Tekka Market

The man who took me out of bed on that rainy day

Rainy day Saturday, when I left home to meet my fried Ez at Tekka Market, in Little India. The weather was quite bad so I left the Hassie home (Ez is the man behind HUGS the Hasselblad User Group Singapore) and only put the Nikon F3 loaded with a hand rolled roll of HP5+ (and a spare roll of TriX).

C est le pied.

I was soaked when getting to the MRT. I have not seen my friend for a while so we spent a certain time in front of a coffee and shot randomly what happened within range.

Grosse fatigue / tiredness

I set the F3 to ISO 320, to overexpose my film a little bit as recommended for Caffenol for medium speed film. My best lens for the F3 is the 50mmF1.4AIS so the combo enabled to shoot decently in the dimmed lighted market (also given the very gloomy external light).

Curry Puff stall

I came quite a few times in Tekka market but that’s not my favorite : I find it a bit too dark, and alleys are on the narrow side so you often find yourself in the middle of somebody else’s path. I generally feel a bit more at ease in Tiong Bahru or Chinatown Complex, but that Saturday was very nice and friendly.

The art of choosing the crab

Once home I quickly processed the film with the Caffenol Delta Recipe, adjusted for 500ml of water. At current temperature ( more or less 30 degrees), processing time is 4’40”. I use the Ilford rinsing method and Ilford fixer after that.

The smile of the butcher

Scanning was a breeze, the film is quite flat and after processing shows very little dust. The roll only had 20 full shoots and 2 half shots at start and end. 22 frames rolls are nice because I can hand them to dry in the shower without having to cut it in two.

Balance is everything

Loosing half a frame at the start is a bit obvious but why at the end? I remember now that when loading from a bulk roll the first part of the roll, which will be the last frame is partially exposed, only enabling for half a shot. It is very difficult to know when you last shot will be, maybe I should try to quickly load a new roll and retake the last shot?

Self Service

I still struggle focusing with the F3, but I think this roll is ok from that point of view. I have included a few more pictures below, I hope you enjoyed the reading

A really wet day
Roll 2021#12 Tekka Market

KosmoFoto Mono

Passing my favorite photo shop the other day (Ruby Ye in Excelsior Plaza basement), I noticed a stack of an unknown (to me) boxes of film. I was told it is Kosmo Foto Mono. I heard of the brand before but never tried it. So I could not resist, parted from 14 SGD and walked home.

Next day was an unformal outing of the HUGS (Hasselblad User Group Singapore) and I brought both the Hassie (see last post) and the Leica M6 loaded with the said Kosmo Foto Mono and mounted with the 50mm Summilux v2 (My first ever Leica Lens). We met in Chinatown, to capture the Chinese New Year atmosphere.

That day was also the outing of the Urban Sketchers group, which gave us (me) plenty of pictures opportunity, I like shooting random strangers, but strangers in action is even better.

The Mono is a 100 ISO film, the weather that morning was quite ok for outdoor shots with normal speed and aperture. Except the below, inside the Chinatown complete, probably full open and 1/60 sec.

When I reached home after lunch the tricky question came : how do I process this film? Querying the Caffenol Facebook group I learned that this is some rebranded Kentmere 100, so I looked up processing time. But when I removed the label to take a nice scan of it for my collection I noticed the canister actually says Fomo.

Who to believe? Anyway checking the Massive Development Chart I noticed both the Kentmere 100 and the Foma 100 have the same development time for the same Caffenol formula. My vitamin C stock is a bit depleted but I still could find enough to process one roll with the following formula:

500 ml water. 27g Washing Soda, 8 g Vitamin C , 20g Netscafe classic

My room temperature here in Singapore is 28 Deg, so I scaled the time and processed for 6 minutes, with agitation the first 20 seconds then 3 inversions every minute.
Using Ilford method to rinse, Ilford rapid fixer and dishwashing soap in the last rinse batch.

The negative is a bit over but the scams are looking good. There is a certain softness to them which is quite pleasant. 14$ is a bit expensive for a standard 100 ISO film, but I quite like the results so I may give it another try (oh yes maybe I have to finish by 100ft roll of Ilford Delta first, I probably have the equivalent of 12 rolls left in there)

The HUGS gang that day.

KosmoFoto Mono

Chinese New Year 2021 is upon us

Covid or not, Chinese New Year 2021 is upon us : a lot less feisty than usual, with masks and social distancing, here we go again.

CNY 2021 will be on Friday, 12 February, but for a couple of weeks now, some stalls have open in Chinatown, and people start to go do their shopping. Yes there are less stalls than usual, and Chinatown has lost quite a few businesses these last months. Also there will be no Lion dance this year

You will see more of it surely, Chinatown is always happening and picturesque. Above some shots of an aquarellist, and in the top middle an art exhibition part of SPIF (Singapore Photography International Festival).

Shots were done on Kodak 160 slightly expired, shot with a Leica IIIc and Elmar 50mmF3.5. Filem was processed and scanned at Whampoa photo. Whampoa does an excellent job as usual, but the pictures seems a bit underexposed, maybe the roll was a bit more expired that I thought.

On a more technical note, I always wonder why people use 50mm finders for the Barnack Leicas, as its suppose to be what the viewfinder window is doing. But actually I found when shooting this roll that the I missed a few shots because of framing. In the absence of framing lines using the border of the viewfinder is quite uneasy.

Chinese New Year 2021 is upon us