These are pictures taken during the LUGS (Leica User Group Singapore) outing in August to the area of Redhill in Singapore. Redhill area is accessible by MRT. Places of interest are the newly renovated market (dried goods, meat and veggies, but also religious artifacts) and the soon to be demolished Redhill close estate.
Picture were taken with the Leica M6 classic (mine is black but that does not affect the pictures) and my new, Summicron 35mm Asph v2. In my opinion this particular version has not a big added value on film, but it seriously kick ass on digital.
I used the two rolls of Ultrafine Xtreme 400 film. This is the first time I hand roll film myself (I bought a 100ft roll and a bulk loader, for 100$, this is about 18 roll of 36 shots for roughly 5.5$ a piece). I shot 14 rolls of it so far this year, this is quite a good film, with fine grain and good contrast. I don’t develop myself, but my local lab does a good job with it.
We had decided to fly from Bangkok to Sukhothai, that was half a good idea as the plane was mid afternoon and staying at the airport we missed nearly a full day of holidays.
Despite its name being quite well known, Sukhothai is actually a very small city. The center is mostly made of hotels and restaurants for tourists visiting the main attraction; the Historical Park.
The Sukhothai historical park is a vast compound of ruined temples just outside the city centre. This is a very large area, better be visited by bicycle as some temples are quite remote. You can easily spend a half day in there. We went for the walking option, but we missed a couple of nice spots.
This man is picking what seems to be algae from the moat surrounding the main temple.
You can find there dozens of temples, shrines and shedis (pagodas), in various states of conservation. You can take hundreds of pictures of Buddha statues in various positions and state of decay.
There are also some nice pieces of water, used for the Kratong festival, which unfortunately would happen a few weeks after our visit.
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
Hoi An, is a beautiful and very touristy; but it is still full of local life. Street food, food stalls, … there is a lot of photo opportunity and you may well pretend you are the only tourist around. This is selection of film shots done with the Hasselblad 500 CM. Color shots with Kodak Portra 400 and black and white with Kodak tri-x. I have two backs and I think it is safer to carry same sensibility film to avoid messing up with the exposure on the heat of the moment.
Actually talking of the hit of the moment, it happened a couple of times already that in the excitement of having taken what I believe was a good shot I hit the rewind crank instead of the winding knob and end up my roll after just a few pictures. Silly me ! Well as least now I have identified the issue and will try to behave in the future.
On a side note, as in Cambodia, the conic hats does not make it easy to picture people faces.
During the Vietnam trip we stayed 3 days on the coast between Hoi An and Danang. We drove all the way from Hué, through the “cloud pass”, through Danand, and passed the Marble mountains to the hotel; all in all a 3 hours drive. On this part of the coast fishermen are using round basket boat; I saw a few or our drive but they were a bit far off or we did not have the possibility to stop to investigate and take some pictures. So I was a bit frustrated when getting to our resort; I’m not too much of the sea-side photographer and anyway the weather was not so good.
Walking along the beach, what was my surprise after getting out of the resort to see a group of these basket boast ashore; I had to ran back to the hotel get a camera and snap a few shots. The next morning I was back and so the next evening; in both occasions when I spotted the guys rowing back to the beach. They have me pay for my taking picture by asking me to help carry their boat out the water, which I found a very fair trade.
Shots on this page are made either with the 50mmF1.8D or with the Angenieux 70-210F3.5AI
Little monks in the Thien Mu Pagoda – Hué – Vietnam
I realize it’s been a long break; my last post dates back from the end of September! Like many other people I have been busy; nearly two seeks in Vietnam, kid going back to school, seeing friends, walking around with a camera and a bit of work, in a word: life.
So Vietnam was our last destination, we spent 10 days in the the middle and south part between Hué and Ho Chi Minh city aka Saigon. Weather at this time of the year is not great and actually it is the start of the bad season. We had a lot of rain in Hué, but we were quite lucky in other places.
Camera wise I slightly modified my usual kit and brought along the Angenieux 70-210 F3.5 AI lens instead of the Nikkor 80-210 F2.8 AF. The reason is that I wanted a lighter kit that fits in a back-pack I borrowed from a friend. Yes I was again wondering about a new bag bt could not make up my mind so I decided to try a back-pack instead of taking along the Crumpler 8Mio back (which is no longer produced it seems). I could fit in the bag:
– the Hasselblad 500M with an extra back
– the D700
– the 50mmF1.8D
– the 17-35mmF2.8AF
– the Angenieux zoom
There is enough room left for the lonely planet,the light-meter, a couple of films. The rest of the accessories goes in the checked luggage, including spare film.
As we traveled “free and easy” (meaning we did not have our own car and driver all the time) I enjoyed the back-pack very much as it enabled me to carry all my stuff around all the time. On the down side, even if this one (Lowepro 200 something) has a kind of “Sling” feature, it is not as practical as a shoulder bag. So I think I will have more crisis of looking for the perfect bag in the future again.
Oh the picture, this is one of the first of the film shots, these kids are little monks in the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hué. This pagoda is famous for its 7 levels tower, but also for the monk who drove from there to Saigon to set himself in fire in 1963 in protest against the government.