So this was the first day of the holidays; after the long-haul flight from Singapore to Nice and a night or rest, here I am driving up 2 hours from Cannes to Allos in the Parc of Mercantour in the southern french alps, a couple of boys day’s out with my son and my dad.
I had a couple of ideas of things to shoot on the way, including a stop at the railway station in Thorame Haute a stop on the “Train des pignes” that link Nice to Dignes-Les-Bains.
To our amusement, when we stepped out of the car a vintage steam train was parked along the station. It appeared it had to make a stop to let the regular train pass by as there is only one track in this area.
The people attending the train were very nice, happy to have a chat and camera friendly, hell they had 2 hours to kill
This train is kept by a non profit association it travels from May to October on Sundays.
For the last post of the year, I will show you pictures of a small walk I did at Dakota Crescent estate in Singapore.
Like Rochor Centre, Dakota is supposed to be demolished at the end of this year (so pretty soon). The estate belongs to the public housing administration (HDB), it was built in 1959 during the British area.
The blocks have some interesting feature, some inherited form modernist lines. The most well known feature is the “dove” play ground.
The estate is made of 17 blocks, some high rise, some lower rise, located closed between Old Airport Road and the Kaland river. Old airport road s the road that was leading to the airport that was used prior to the opening of Changi in the 1990’s I think.
As this time the buildings are more or less empty, ready to leave way for a new development (I ignore which). There will be more pictures of Dakota as I went there again last week. But that will be for 2017.
Color shots done with Leica M262 and Summaron 35mmF2.8; Back and white with leica M4 with Voightlander Color Skopar 21mmF4 or Summitar 50mmF2 on odak TMY 400 film.
So this is it 3 years after borrowing a M9, 2 years after renting a M240 and deciding it was not for me and I better buy a M6 (Which I did), I just turned 50 and offered myself a beautiful M262 and a Summicron 28mmF2.
On the first day I went out to the Kong Siak road festival and managed to catch the following shots with the Summilux 50mm VII.
A more elaborated review will follow shortly, but it was time to share those.
This is a small follow up of my last post where I related the purchase of the E-PL2. Since the I took the camera out a few times and actually for something “obsolete” is is not so bad.
The 4 shots in this post have been taken with the Canon Serenar 135mm F4. This is a quit ebay piece of kit I got from the web from 80 USD. It is likely to have been built between 1948 and 1952, and mine has a scaler in feet, which means it is an export version.
On the E-PL2, thanks to the crop factor of 2, this becomes a 270mm lens, by far my longest lens.
Despite my short sight focusing with reading glasses and the zoom feature is possible. I wonder is the EVF (Electronic view finder would help).
I still think that looking at full size there is some noise reduction happening and I prefer not to have it. But it may also just be the lens which is not that sharp and a bit hazy.
All shots taken in “auto” mode, the lens is best used at F5.6 or F8, ISO200, speed 1/640 and above
The first place we wanted to visit was Ayutthaya an ancient capital, which also happen to be a very busy industrial city, 90 KM north of Bangkok. We decided to sleep close the the airport (at the Novotel, so actually in the airport), and hire a driver and a guide for the day.
Ayutthaya has many interest, but mostly the Royal Palace and many temples. I have not posted any pictures of the Royal Palace, but actually it is not uninteresting. The vast compound is still supposed to be used today by the Royal Family. Constructions are of varying styles, and if your guide is knowledgeable and chatty as ours this makes for a nice visit.
Now more interesting are the temples; as in many big Thai city there are dozens of them; but due to time constraints we only visited 4; each very different.
After the visit of the Royal Palace, we headed to Wat Phanan Choeng. This is a big temple, famous for its (very) large, statue of sitting Buddha. This is a very busy temple specially on week ends; I am not sure if it is permanent but the day we visited the temple devotees were offering new orange robes for the Buddha. A extraordinary occasion to experience the devotion of Thai people.
Next we headed for lunch but nothing worth mentioning.
Someone at the photo lab tipped me that Saturday that the next day, there will be an alms ceremony at Wat Palelai, a Thai Buddhist Temple located in Bedok, in the east of Singapore.
Devotees stood around the yard of the temple and gave their offerings to the monks who made a procession around the yard.
Later the monks gathered at their dining room.
There was 30 to 50 monks for the ceremony but I think only 5 are permanently staying at the temple. Others are going through a temporary monk-hood.
This day was the fiftieth Singapore National Day, happy birthday Singapore. The ceremony was interrupted by the singing of the national anthem at 9am.
It was very nice to discover this temple and be able to attend this ceremony. I also met two people who always hang around the photo lab, so we could have coffee and chit chat a moment after the ceremony was over.
All black and white pics with Leica M6 and either 35mmF2.8 or 50mmF1.4. Film is Rollei RPX 400ISO. Scanned at home with Epson v500.
Color pics with the old faithful Nikon D700 with either the 85mm F1.8 or the 17-35 F2.8.