There is no Planet B

This is not a piece of sci-fi write up, just a few shots from a protest about Climate Change on Trafalgar Square in London in early November.

It seems to become a recurring pattern in my posts (check here ), but this is a reality : some people wants to let the others know that climate is changing and its time we do something about it.

I don’t necessarily do enough myself (oh that business trip to Asia makes me guilty) , but maybe sharing pictures is a small action I can do?

It cannot be less productive than wearing an extinction rebellion tie ūüôā . Ok ok and what about the impact of film processing? Frankly I don’t know. This was shot with my Leica M4 from 1967, with an even older lens, so probably it has less impact that a digital sensor made in the recent years. Tough question, a bit like electric car battery impact vs thermic engine oil consumption.

This guy’s accordion is probably not younger than the M4, he kindly started playing when I asked to take his portrait, but even in 2022 the M4 is still not capturing sound. I used the KEKS EM-01 Light meter , it is nice and light and quite accurate, but I still have problems reading the measure.

This is another roll of my 100ft HP5 roll that I still have not finished, it is not so old, so I don’t think age has deteriorated it that much but I am not really enthralled by the grain. Well another 4 rolls to go. It seems it never finishes, but all in all it should be about 18 rolls overall. I think I’ll buy something else next. Maybe some Ultrafine 400, but it seems the Extreme is sold out. They now have a different product, Finesse, I have to dig a little before engaging me for another 18 rolls, but also that is just 60USD for 100ft roll.

Rebels at rest

By the way this is roll 23 of this year, all in all better than last year (in term of number of rolls anyway) but far from my 55 rolls from a few years back.

Oh I have decide to go back to Caffenol, so watch this space for badly processed pictures in the coming weeks.

I hope you enjoyed the pics, and remember : “There is no planet B”

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There is no Planet B

The happy people party in the park

A few time last summer we bumped into this lot of happy skaters, who were engaged in what can be described as a party.

Good atmosphere, disco music and smiles all around, all lead by the above MC.

Hurry up Alice or you ll be late to the party.

The sun was going down and available light was no much, but good enough for the Summicron 50 and the roll of HP5 loaded in the M6.

A bit of line dancing.

I m just passing by, please ignore me.

The happy people party in the park

A Royal Week-end

Last week end (2nd to 5th of June) was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a celebration giving some picture opportunities.

Friday, all started by the air parade shot from my window with the crappy Canon Serenar 135F4 mounted on the Leica M262. The lens was already mounted on the camera, I was just playing around last week.

WWII planes, I think a Lancaster bomber and four spitfires

The city was generally dressed up in national colours and royal memorabilia’s. Here the newspaper kiosk on Sloane Square, shot with the Summaron 35mmF2.8, the M version with goggles. I really went al vintage lenses this week,

A couple of “street parties” happened through the kingdom over he week end, mostly involving food and drinks, here in Mayfair Friday.
Paul Smith window in Marylebone.
I was expecting more silliness in the street, but ok some people really played the game.

Friday a steel band was playing on Kings Road, a couple of ladies made their best to warm up the atmosphere.

The queen of the afternoon

But they were not alone.

Even the Chelsea Pensioners were out.

Some people were rushing to parties in the hood.

The party went on until Sunday.

Chinatown

People rushed to the Mall on Sunday morning to see the parade.

But I met Stan Laurel.

and actually walking against the flow, we reached Hyde Park Corner and met the parade, with no crowd at all.

Sunday I changed the lens for the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm, a better choice as it is easier to focus without the goggles.

After watching so many horses, we moved to the Belgravia street party on Elizabeth street (the well named).

God save the queen
The queen

And all finished with a bit of music (and beer)

If you are not bored by now, I will have some film shots from Saturday to post as well.

All shots with Leica M262, with in order the Canon Serenar 135mmF4 ltm, the Summaron 35mmF2.8 M, the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm

A Royal Week-end

My first roll of Cinestill XX

London, where else?

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.

Balthazar’s bride

It is very difficult to tell which one I used from the pictures.

Twins
Off the wall

So a good first part of the roll was shot in London, the weather was nice and my brain clicked in shooting mode.

Fashion addicts

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.

A street in Cite Fujes built by Le Corbusier

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 market
The blue oyster cult
Street life

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.

Life is a beach

I always found very odd to shoot sea side in black and white, but hey why not, my parents did this ages ago.

Bay watch
Local artists
The market

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.

Hope you enjoyed the ride.

My first roll of Cinestill XX

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

More Chinese New Year spirit and a bit more

The love of the two oranges

These two auspicious oranges offered during CNY period, here at the entrance of a restaurant in Clarke Quay. As often I make associations in my mind which are quite irrelevant, why think of Serguey Prokovief Opera The Love for Three Oranges where actually I just have two? Maybe the essence of photography : showing what’s not there.

Posing for CNY the Buddha Tooth Relic temple

I started this roll in Chinatown a while back, and as we were during CNY period, people came around the Buddha Tooth Relic temple to take selfies.

A Bak Kwa shop

CNY is also about food, and the Bak Kwa (sliced barbequed port meat) shops are busy. There are queues outside some of the most famous who generally have sold all their goods by lunch time on week ends.

Traditional Cosplay

I was very happy / lucky a couple of weeks later when coming back to Chinatown I saw this group of youngsters dressing up in traditional Chinese costumes, for a fun photo shoot.

Urban sketchers at work in the shade
Caution fierce look

This is a roll of Rollei retro 80s, shot with the Leica M6 and the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm lens.

The lady with a fan
The lady in the shadows

The film was processed in Caffenol CM recipe at 28 degrees for 5minutes. Some shots are great, but the ones with big dark areas like above are showing some marks in the dark parts. Fingers marks? Fogging ? Effect of the expired film? I don’t really know. The effect is even more noticeable below:

Japanese restaurannt

It is not super easy to shoot indoor with 100 ISO setting and a 3.5 lens. I quite like the result, regardless of the marks.

Play

A big thank you to Louis Vuitton for this fashionistas playground giving opportunities for a few candid shots. Once again it was 7pm the light of the day was fading so the shots are taken at 1/60 or 1/40 and F3.5

More playground

A few random shots to finish

A pile of bar stools, the blacks and the contrast are really specific to the Rollei 80s, so I am happy this can be rendered in Caffenol.

Some sculpture in a back alley, I think it’s the entrance of a club or a bar.

A bit if tragedy to finish this is the place where 5 party goes met their fate when driving into coffee in the late night hours a couple of weeks back. You can still see the burned façade of the building. A few days (maybe 1 or two weeks) after the incidents, offerings were placed for the deceased.

More Chinese New Year spirit and a bit more

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

CAFFENOL REBIRTH : WEEK 5 : SAME PLAYER SHOOT AGAIN

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Happy birthday Singapore

Processing film at home is a funny activity, actually it is a very modern one, inline with instant self rewarding of Instagram and phone-o-graphy.

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National Day under surveillance

So after 4 weeks wit the same brew, I decided it was time for fresh coffee. I followed the same recipe but added some table salt, which is supposed to limit the fogging on the negative, specially for high speed film like the Ilford Delta 400.

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National Day Party atmosphere with social distancing

I prepared the mix Sunday afternoon to be ready for processing in the evening, but actually I could not wait and loaded the finished roll I had in an improvised dark cupboard.

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Feels like holidays

I realized that my expired fixer is now all grey and contains a lot of flocculation. I try not to poor the deposit in the tank, but did not think of filtering. I fixed for the usual 5 minutes. Then I filtered the fixer back in the bottle.

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The three bunnies

It looked the film was fixed properly but there is some deposit in places. Next time I will filter before pouring and extend the fixing  time just to be safe.

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Art Science museum with bird

So I used the new mix at 28 degrees for a bit more than 5 minutes. The result is OK, but I would say a bit over done. I cannot tell if the table salt had any effect (I put 10g for a litter of Caffenol).

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Art Science museum with bird II

This time I managed to squeegee the water from the film without leaving dust or hair and let dry in the bathroom. The negatives are thick but scanned ok as you can see. There are some marks due to the residuals of the fixer I think.

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Her (distant) reflection

So this is a roll of Ilford Delta 400, supposed to be a fine grain film (compared to HP5), a bit cheaper than the usual TriX. The film lacks a bit of contrast  in my opinion.

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The photographer’s family

This was shot with the Leica IIIC and Voigtländer 21mm F4. With the 21mm the subject is always so far away.

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Anish Kapoor miror

Unless you come very close

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Martin and his Mamiya

In which case you make friends, or at least you have to engage.

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Social Distancing Ambassadors

I engaged the social distancing ambassadors, as I think they deserve to be remembered for their service to the community and that hopefully one day they will only be memories and we will look back at this picture to make sure this was not just a dream.

 

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Wefie

The shots around Marina bay were made by a very bright day and some are done at higher speeds for which I suspect the Leica III to be a bit lazy, hence the mild darker right side (or brighter left).

I included a few more shots back to my usual habit of burning film randomly.

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Starbucks-nol anybody?

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Soon to go Liang Court / Novotel building

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Good looking lad

I am still not so good at hip shooting, it seems I constantly aim too high. Luckily I realized I am not the only one.

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Coffee again

I am a bit better at pre-focusing and aiming from the eye level. Particularly with my VC 21-25mm finder.

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The last walk of the Ents

I hope you enjoyed the reading. The next roll is not very far away.

Stay safe.

CAFFENOL REBIRTH : WEEK 5 : SAME PLAYER SHOOT AGAIN

When humans were roaming the streets

Well the situation in Singapore is not too much at celebrating and I did not find yet the way to represent the poetry of empty streets. So this posts start with reminding the not so distant past when Humans were roaming the streets.

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Why did the bus move?

At that time, a couple of weeks ago, I put one of my last rolls of Polypan F50 in the Leica M4 and hit the road with the Summaron 35mm F3.5 ltm.

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Not really a crowd

I have a nice Leica LTM to M adapter which provides proper focusing, and bring the 35mm framelines on the M4, so I can frame accurately.

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Resting

The roll of Polypan was given to me two years ago, and is probably expired, but shot at ISO 50 it still looks fine.

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Napping in back alleys will soon be a luxury

Shooting ISO 50 with a 3.5 max aperture lens in overcast light is a bit challenging.

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The careful walker

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Chinatown even had Caucasian tourists at that time

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Grab drivers at rest

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Mobile worship has no limit of race or religion

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Shades of grey on the old Polypan are amazing, so are the details.

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I had a couple of disappointing roll recently. First I shot a roll of Kodak Tri-X with the Heineken toy camera that shows reticulation. This was a small boat trip with friends for a birthday celebration, so I am quite annoyed.

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Ramming speed

The camera works superbly, and ISO 400 by the see on a bright day is plenty for the F10 plastic lens.

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Our captain

Even in the shadows as above, but it was screwed up at processing as you can see below.

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Is it a call for self processing in the future?

The next roll, is the evening birthday party of my friend Paul, shot with the Leica M6, and still the Summaron 35mm F3.5 LTM. This was a roll of Ilford Delta 3200 shot at 3200. The M6 meter is always very accurate so I am very surprised that the roll turned out so underexposed.

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The film was not expired. My only guess is that the meter was fooled by the very bright patches at the table, and even more easily that a 35mm gets a wider range), probably for such event its better to meter from close and keep it fixed.

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You can find more articles on this blog about:

I hope you enjoyed the reading and the pictures.

 

 

 

When humans were roaming the streets

Christmas in Vietnam (Roll 1)

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I think this one  is a great cover.

So off to Vietnam for Xmas 2019, for a bit of chilling time over Christmas. In the bag, the usual kit, M262, M6, 28,35 and 50 crons and of course a couple of Tri-x rolls.

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Hanoi is a great place to shoot. People are friendly and generally not photo  adverse. There are so many pictures to take, that if you cannot take one, just walk to the next.

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As usual, the M6 is most often mounted with the 50 cron, that ensures a reasonable distance for candid shots.

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Street side food vendors and their patrons are still a great subject.

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I was last in Hanoi 10 years ago and the traffic has not changed, crossing the roads still feels like an adventure and motorcycles are omnipresent.

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We arrived late on Christmas eve, so our first outing was a walk to Saint Joseph Cathedral on Christmas day. The mass was already going on when we reached and people were standing outside of the church. 2019-38-M6-23-12

After the service an orchestra was playing outside.

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A good opportunity for selfies.

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We walked down to the Metropole hotel, where the two Citroen below are standing guard. I stayed there 10 years ago, and at that time  they could be sent to fetch you from the airport in style.2019-38-M6-23-17

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Grab delivery men are ubiquitous through the city

We then walk north in direction of Long Bien bridge, going through the old quarter.2019-38-M6-23-21

Among many, I met these local photographers and we took shots of each others.

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Finally we made it to Long Ben bridge.

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Where I met the two young film photographers below.

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Hey this was a long post. Be reassured the next roll is not as good.

Christmas in Vietnam (Roll 1)