The new normal

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The usual Shake Shack long queue

The title of today’s post is a trap. It should be called Caffenol week 6, but it starts to be boring. Saturday I finished a roll of Ilford Delta 400, and processed it as soon as I was back home.

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The uncle just score

This is my second brew that I kept from last week. I have been careful today to limit the time of processing to 5 minutes at 28 degrees, plus 10 seconds for pouring out.

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Back Alley BBQ

The negatives  are still a bit thick but on the better side I would say. I also filtered my fixer before using it. As a result I have very few crap on the film.

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Fishing in the shadow of the tower

Another innovation this week is that I cut the roll in two before processing to squeegee. Less chance to scratch by carrying dust over with my fingers, less residual water at the bottom of the film. Unfortunately I did not  count he frames so I ended up with an odd number of strips.

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A catch like that

The result : this is my best Caffenol film of these past 6 weeks. I must say it is the best film altogether and choosing a small number of shots from it was difficult.

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Chef of wheels

But back to the processing, there was very little dust on the film, and I did only  minimal spot cloning in light-room after processing. I also added 1 more minute to the fixing time, this is the 7th roll with the fixer (It should do 17), it cannot harm.

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Sometime we feel we are so small

This is shot again with the Leica IIIc, but with the Summaron 35mmF3.5, which is quite a sharp lens. I measured the light with the handheld Sekonic L-308-s, and used my 35mm Leica finder. The finder shoe was bent during my last move and I think the shot above really shows it.

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Reserved

The first three shots were taken around Chinatown last week, while the next three where taken around Marina Bay, where I met some friends by complete fluke. Friends are great picture subjects, lets remember this.

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Mannequin

Saturday morning I met some fellow shutterbugs in Haji Lane. The two frames above were shot in a kind of artsy enclave where a  lot of murals can be found.

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The world’s on fire

The area is far less crowed than usual, but its still a busy place in the morning, with deliveries for local businesses, people having coffee or photographers bringing models to shoot with the colorful area as a backdrop.

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The dancer

We hijacked the model above, thanks, thanks, one shot and we move, my camera is so old, anyway.

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Haji Lane usual crowd
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That time of the year

We have entered the 7th month of the Chinese new year and offerings are appearing outside maybe businesses.

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Lets all go home safely hop you enjoyed the ride.

 

The new normal

The lock down roll

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Banana-ah-ah

This is not actually a full roll of the lock-down, I did not shoot much and probably on the first 20 frames of this roll.

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Cooking for take away only

This is a roll of Kodak Tri-x shot with the Leica M6 classic and the Summicron 35mm Asph vII.

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Deserted hawker center

The first part of the roll was taken on a Saturday around lunch time in the Balestier area. Shops were half closed, hawkers were deserted and the rare shoppers wearing masks.

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The masked shopper

Little traffic rare cyclist allowed not to ear masked while ridding, life seemed to have come to a halt under the scorching sun. We had dreadful weather for a while, but the day I go out at lunchtime with a 400 ISO film, I am forced to shoot at F1/500 and F16.

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The unmasked rider

There is always a nice outcome : I stumbled across the coffee shop below, I first stopped to take a shot (the symmetry of the arrangement caught my eye), then the chord bring the entry puzzled me and finally I bought some coffee. I usually use some arabica in my old Moka machine but they sell only robusta. In the end for a bit more than 5SGD for 250 grams that was a ok deal.

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The old style coffee shop

Of course life is full of encounters, an sometime you meet fellow Leica Shooters

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Another M6 with 50mm cron

I am no sure that Grab food riders made a fortune during the lock-down (my good sense tells me otherwise), but they were ubiquitous during the period and thanks to them we managed to have entertaining food at our table. (Thanks guys and gals).

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The ubiquitous Grab food rider
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Hawker at work
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Tiger’s haunt
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The other unmasked rider

As no many activity goes on to finish the film I walked the places where people were going out to exercise or just take a bit of fresh air while respecting the prescribed social distancing procedures. It is funny how here again  you meet some acquaintances.

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A well known Leica figure caught during his jogging (hard to resist)

The Singapore river was usually packed with joggers and cyclist, we  will surely do great at next Olympics when they eventually happen. The Marina Bay Area, though not empty was really a lot quieter that it used to be.

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Sorry ladies can you get out of my the view
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MBS in black and white

Skaters did had much problems crossing big roads carelessly.

The last few shots where taken after the lock down when we entered what was known as phase 1 and now phase 2. More freedom to roam around, retail shops reopening, still as nothing exceptional is happening, back to my usual vice : random shots of people in the streets, preferably with masks.

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Hope you enjoyed the roll. I manage 38 shots on this roll again, unfortunately the process suffers from reticulation (same as the one I took a couple of month back ), I ll tell about it to the photo shop and maybe i ll try to process the films myself going forward.

 

The lock down roll

Touring Singapore Chinatown with the 500CM

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.

 

Touring Singapore Chinatown with the 500CM

Around Arab Street with the Hasselblad

… and some friends from the HUGS (Hasselblad User Group Singapore), just before we could not hug anymore. A very small mid week post, 10 shot of a Rollei Superpan 200.

This is taken with a Hasselblad 500 CM with the Planar 80mm F2.8 CF, processed at my usual lab and scanned at home with the Epson v800, and edited in Lightroom. I don’t particularly like the Superpan, but I must admit it was OK on this occasion.

Around Arab Street with the Hasselblad

Back to the monkey god temple

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Quality Lion dance that afternoon

Birthdays have the habit of coming back every year, so for the third time I think I find myself at the TIONG BAHRU QI TIAN GONG temple in the area of Singapore called Tiong Bahru for the birthday of the temple. One of my friends reminded me of the event and I was super happy it was at a time where I could attend.

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This is a Taoist temple, a popular faith in Singapore among the Chinese population. I still don’t know much about the Taoist faith and practice, so i won’t try to explain it here. The spirits and gods have  a great place in the faith and they are honored through offerings like Chinese Opera, joss paper bonfires, ..

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The celebration involved lions dances, a dragon dance troop, musicians, as above and below. Singaporeans say that Taoist are noisy. I think I have some old shots of the gentleman below.2019-29-m6-18-40

The person that looks to be the man in charge posing with the lions and some banners.2019-29-m6-18-372019-29-m6-18-35

Meanwhile across the street, the porters of the gods sedan chairs are taking some rest.

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I shot 2 rolls of Tri-x (one above, one below this paragraph), one roll or Provia 400H (in between) and hundreds of digital pictures using the magic combo, Leica M6 for film and the M262 for digital; for lenses I brought the 50 cron, mostly on the M6, the 35cron mostly the M262 then. I also brought along the 90mm Elmarit for a few digital portraits.
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At that moment the gods starts to be carried in 3 sedan chairs to the place where the bonfire will be lit.

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Below some of the carriers of the three sedan chairs.2019-30-m6-20-2

I don’t know if they are really heavy but the guys are relaying each others regularly.

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This write up is about the film shots and should be called “You are all my favorites”. It found very difficult to select between the shots. I have included the shots of the two Tri-x rolls, I will do another small article about the Provia roll which has its own story.2019-30-m6-20-9

We now arrived at the field where the bonfire will be lit, a small crowed is gathered. Led the the Taoist priests.2019-30-m6-20-142019-30-m6-20-15

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One of the gods chair with the idol in the middle.

 

(You can read an oldest post here )

 

 

 

Back to the monkey god temple

Panguni Celebration – Singapore

So what happened since the March Photowalk? No pictures ? Well a bit of the contrary, I have been in a film frenzy and I now average 2 rolls a week, but then this takes  a lot of time to process and there is little time left to put this us in a post. Also of course has there’s been a bit of travelling, but that will be for other posts…

So at the week after the March photowalk, on a Wednesday morning, was the celebration of Panguni.

Panguni is a Hindu celebration similar to Thaipusam (you can see my post for this year here). In Singapore it is held two lunar months after Thaipusam, in the Yishun area, at the Holy Tree Sri Balasubramaniar Temple.

Like Thaipusam it involves body piercing, carrying Kavadis, music, friends and family support.

It is always amazing from the outside to see people going through this ritual. But you can also find some laughter there.

Panguni is a lot smmaller celebration that Thaipusam and it is less crowded. A lot less photographers and onlokers as well. Some of the people I spoke to pput the emphasis on the local dimension of the ceremony.

Pictures are done with Leica M4 and M6, with Summaron 35F2.8 and Summilux 50F1.4v2, using Kodak Tri-X. I also shot some colours pics but they did not make it through the selection.

Panguni Celebration – Singapore

SINGAPORE NATIONAL GALLERY – Part 2

This is a follow up of the last post;

As this was the first outing of the year,  I could not resist bringing along a second camera, the Nikon F photomnic with the original 50mmF1.4 non AI.

When I did the write up of the film shots of 2015, I noticed the Nikon F only went out of the box once and this is not fair, I have some interesting lenses that can attach to it and it should hit the road more often this year.

The batteries from the stock seems to be still working; I pulled from the fridge a roll of Rollei retro 80s. This is the first time I use this film, I read you can shoot it at 100. This film is expired for a bit more than a year, but sitting in the fridge that probably does not matter. When I bought the Nikon F  a few years back I grabbed two measuring prisms and both although far from mint provide accurate measuring, at least as good as the handled meter.

Same as for the Hasselblad shots, all the pictures are made handheld, the 50mm is the equivalent of the 80mm Planar on the Hassie, not the best for architecture shot, but both cameras are already quite heavy so I could not consider bringing another lens (anyway the wider I have with the connection prong is 35mm).

The Rollei film performed quite well. It has as expected fine grain, it is quite contrasty, the scanning is easy as the negs are quite flat, the film has an odd blueish tint. Some of the shots have some deep blacks, and nice grays. The measuring seems to be not always on, but maybe it is more due to the meter of the F than to the characteristics of the film. This film seems to show some character and I’ll get some more when I can. I’ll probably test with another camera, the EOS1M which has better metering capabilities.

There is not much more to add about the National Gallery from my last post, maybe that the place boasts a few restaurants (at least 3 or 4) and the prime minister of Singapore was treating a Princess of Thailand the way we visited.

 

SINGAPORE NATIONAL GALLERY – Part 2

Over and Under the sea with my Heineken Camera

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Ok actually this is more over the sea than under. Part of the “big tour of the south pacific” holidays camera pack, I carried along the Heineken Toy Camera and its waterproof case. I had a great time and some interesting shots when I brought in on a company week end out in Phuket two years ago, so I thought it would be a nice complement to the DSLR and the Agfa.

To make things a bit more funny, I loaded it with Black and White Tri-X film. I think the colors generally sucks with such cameras and black and white will make a bit more special images. I think at 400ISO the Tri-X is a bit over exposed even given the F9, 1/60th of a second fixed exposure of the camera. The 100ISO shots at Phuket where a bit better.

Oh and the fixed lens is a 28mm.

Below is my aquatic family, mini me and wifey
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And your servitor, shot by Noé the aquatic photographer.

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Shots from our hotel in Tahiti, with the island of Moorea in the background.

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Our neightborhoud

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Finaly a real underwater shot with fish included.Facebook-5-2

All of this is good fun. I missed having a digital submarine camera though, I must say the few underwater shots would have been nice. But not regret, i’ll do this again.

Over and Under the sea with my Heineken Camera

Back from inside the cardbox : the Canonet 28

During last summer holidays my wife looked into an old card-box in the garage and found the Canonet 28 her dad offered her for her 10’s birthday. The camera was still boxed, with the never ready case, strap, manual, guarantee card and a film still engaged.
All looked in perfect condition at the time, but I did not have time to take it for a try and the wife did not want to bring it back to Singapore.

Cannes Le Vieux Port - Fishermen's warf
Cannes Le Vieux Port – Fishermen’s warf

So last month we were back to France for Christmas holidays and I planned carefully to arrived with a roll of Tri-X and an Alkaline battery to make my test. Opening the box a second time was a different experience: the never ready case is very deteriorated, and some joint on the camera door are desaggregating as well. The battery contact shows some corrosion but my father in law was clever enough to remove the old battery before packing the camera. All in all the camera is in good shape, but bought in 1975 and packed probably since the middle of the 80’s (30 years ago), it is not in pristine condition.

Orchestra - Xmas market - Cannes
Orchestra – Xmas market – Cannes

After cleaning the contacts, I loaded the battery and the roll of film and the meter start moving when the aperture ring is set to auto mode. I went though the documentation but could not get the meter to give me a speed indication when I select the aperture manually; so all the shots are done in full auto mode.

Framed - Saint Laurent du Var - France
Framed – Saint Laurent du Var – France

Results are quite good I think. Quite good contrast if not sharp. There is a few limitations ISO is limited to 25 to 400 range and speed from 1/30th to 1/600th. When it is getting dark, the camera will take pictures at 1/30th F2.8 which cause some motion blur or under exposure. Focusing is easy and seems quite accurate.

The fence - Saint Laurent du Var - France
The fence – Saint Laurent du Var – France

I saw the fence and just thought about Geoff Dyer’s book “The ongoing moment” that I am finishing at the moment. He makes a relationship between a 1916 shot of a fence by Paul Strand and a far later picture by Michael Ormerod echoing to it. And here I am in the next century, 100 years later indeed, in front of the fence… really I have no shame

Court Saleya - Nice
Court Saleya – Nice
Marché Saint François - Nice
Marché Saint François – Nice
Ferris Wheel - Nice
Ferris Wheel – Nice
Ferris Wheel - Nice
Ferris Wheel – Nice
Roundabout  at night  - Antibes - France
Roundabout at night – Antibes – France
Xmas Market scene - Cannes - France
Xmas Market scene – Cannes – France

And now for those who read carefully the start of the post. What of the film that was engaged in the camera?  This was Konika SR-V 100 color print film; manufacture in the late 80’s; so this is probably expired for 20 odd years. I rolled it back carefully, loaded it in the Nikon F3 and shot it at 50ISO and brought it to the lab… absolutely nothing was shown on the negs when I collected them. Too bad….

Back from inside the cardbox : the Canonet 28

A day at sea with a Toy Camera

Let’s have a small break from the pictures of Vietnam.

Last week end we had a company outing in Phuket, Thailand and I was asked what camera i will bring. I have a pretty bad record for this type of activities as I broke my D80 last time as well as a Fuji Instax. So this in mind, plus not wanting to have a proper camera in the middle when having some funny activities (some involving water and some even stronger beverages) I ended up picking up the Heineken Toy Camera. A plastic 35mm camera that was given free a couple of years back with the purchase of 15 bottles of Heineken.

I loaded the thing with some Ilford 400 PAN, which turned out to be as its worst but also when we went to a beach on an island with a roll of Rollei RPS 100ISO. The pictures below were taken from this film. I really really enjoyed it, specially the ones under the rain. Of did I mention the camera came with an under water case? I don’t really shoot with toy camera’s, only with battered old ones, but I like the dreamy effect of the plastic lens very much.

Long Boat ashore
Long Boat ashore

All Rollei RPX 100ISO , F9, 1/100th

Long Boat
Long Boat
Fishermen
Fishermen
Andaman See
Andaman See
Friends under the rain
Friends under the rain
Happy buch
Happy buch
A day at sea with a Toy Camera