“Paris est une fête” as goes the say (Paris is a party) ; I am not 100% sure about it but Paris in summer surely put me in a great mood, and I enjoy shooting in the streets that I am rediscovering after so many years.
— Asian tourist checking a Korean restaurant —
This is summer 2022, probably my 5th or 6th trip in a year, carrying the M6 (The old one) and the Summicron 50v5 and a roll of Kodak TMA100, my favourite film very appropriate (I think) to the summer time. This is my 16th film of the year, so I am now far from my past One-roll-a-week diet, but ok this is not a competition.
If you have read the last post you have probably guessed the plot of this one : a roll of HP5, loaded in the back of the Hasselblad with no label, is first loaded around May, and used to shoot a single frame, the above view of Battersea Power Station as seen from other side of the river.
A few weeks later it travelled to Brick lane on a sunny Saturday afternoon, very close to where my photo lab is (Analogue Films).
The area is famous for its murals.
Probably the next day, I went for a walk in Chelsea Harbour and its surroundings
and then the camera, the back (the other back) and the film they contain all go back in to the box. Until a couple of weeks back, where I started the famous walk from Maida Vale to Regents park and further.
I thought this film was contained in the back with the “400 ” label, when it was on the other ones, so the shots from the one above were “pulled” at 100. I think the film handled it pretty well, if not for obvious marking problems.
Regents Canal is pretty nice place to walk through, a bit of Venetian style given by the boat, but something more urban brought by the metal bridges and the street art.
At the end of the Canal is the unique Chinese floating restaurant.
Back in Regent’s park to look at Freeze Art Fair open air sculpture, the tree of socks was waiting for my last frame
Is there any moral? One stop does not mater much surely, probably don’t keep your film 4 month in your camera. Ilford 120 rolls are known to have some backing paper issues, I should check if this is the case with this roll instead of blaming the storage in the cupboard.
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.
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.
Oh no that’s just a barrel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Heading to Soho always gives some opportunities, I met an American photog when shooting the above also carrying a M6 and a TLR.
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.
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).
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.
Biarritz has a market and also a seaside famous for surfing.
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.
It is very difficult to tell which one I used from the pictures.
So a good first part of the roll was shot in London, the weather was nice and my brain clicked in shooting mode.
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.
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 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.
I always found very odd to shoot sea side in black and white, but hey why not, my parents did this ages ago.
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 11£ 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 8£ for process and scan.
Everything is nice in black and white, there was not other choice for pictures a few decades back anyway, nor for motion pictures. And black clothes have a sliming effect (oh I m being carried away, my goth side is speaking now).
That said the seaside is not necessarily associated with black and white photography, the sand and blue skies are far away from the gloom and doom of big cities.
This is part of the second roll of the year, still going through the 30 meters roll of Ilford HP5. It is a bit boring but I used the M6 classic again and all these pictures were taken with the 35mm Summicron Asph v2.
The Fiat 500 is associated to the Dolce Vita, a movie that was host in … Technicolor black and white.
In winter on the famous Croisette boulevard, not many stars nor sunbathers, but you can see the light is quite good.
On the seaside you can also so some street type shots.
Finally the sea, on this scene backlit by the setting sun (on the left), the old city of Cannes in the far right, hills of Tanneron behind and the Esterel range on the left.
Finally two random shots, trying to see what can be done a bit closer.