Naoshima is an island town in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, it has been a long time project to go there, as it hosts several arts museum built by Tadao Ando as well as a famous hotel made by the same architect.
This year we finally made the trip to Osaka and on the way to Hiroshima we stopped at Naoshima. Getting there seems difficult at first, but in the end it is quite easy, you take the train either to Takamatsu or to Tamano and ferry to the island.
The Benese house hotel is full 6 months in advance so we had no chance to stay there. We then decided to sleep in Takamatsu and take a ferry for a day trip in Naoshima. Takamatsu is a secondary town, with a big hotel “JR Clement” (a bit expensive for what you get) and a few restaurants where you can manage in english. It also hosts the garden-museum of Isam Nogushi which is well worth the visit.
A day is Naoshima is probably enough, the Chichu museum hosts some art pieces made to measure and the Benese house museum has an awesome collection of modern and contemporary art. The Lee Ufan museum is also worth the visit, although less well know if you are not into minimalist art. We took a bus to the Chichu Museum with is the furthest palace from the ferry and walked our way back from there.
The subtle architecture of Tadao Ando is beautiful and invite to meditation. All the buildings are no photo, so you will see here no photos of the them. And I must say I did not miss being surrounded by people taking selfies, not that the place is packed though.
The rest of the island contains minor exhibitions in some traditional houses and some outdoors installations.
We spent a nicely filled 10 hours there and probably enjoyed most of it. Time to take the ferry back to Takamatsu
Pictures shot with Leica M262 and Summicron 28/35 or 50.
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