The Leica III goes out for a spin in London

Captain Tom Moore ( Primrose Hill)

It has been a year since I moved to London but it still feels like I just arrived and there are still so many things I have not done. But this is one I have done now : I took the Leica IIIC for a spin, and we had a great time.

Old 120

The pictures have been taken over a few weeks, mostly in London, but actually I realised I even brought the little fellow to Paris. It all started the week of the “Secret Gardens” walk : a week-end of open gates in private gardens around London. An opportunity of long walks and discoveries.

The first pictures are not really garden like, but I found this beautiful beast parked outside a garden. I had loaded the camera with my last roll of Fuji Across 100 (the old version) expired since a couple of years now. A souvenir from Singapore. For that first day I brought two lens (I think) the VC 21 Color Skopar and the 50 Elmar F3.5.

Nature
Light
The choir in the ultimate garden.

I have a small choice of LTM lenses: the VC 21mmF4, the Elmar, a Summitar 50mmF2 and a Summaron 35mmF3.5. And also a poor 135mmF4 Canon Serenar. But I particularly love the Elmar because of its ease of use and very predictable results. The 21mm, I love because it is sexy, particularly with the VC 21-25mm Viewfinder.

Ride in Piece.

I went to Paris that week end with the little fellow and I think that’s the first time he’s been there. I only brought the Elmar, a week end in Paris is not for fussing around.

Swing in Paris

The above scene is badly centred, I blame the viewfinder for this. I sometime wish I could have a 50mm external finder like the cool Leica SBOOI.

Saint Sulpice

A choir was rehearsing in Saint Sulpice church and I capture the above is a beautiful subdued light, probably wide open 1/15s, slow lens and 100 ISO film can do that.

Chelsea Old Townhall

I was back in London to capture the most beautiful day of the life of the lady above, and indulge in my gothic tendencies in Brompton cemetery

But soon it was time for Wimbledon and tennis balls grew on trees

I finished the roll in Chelsea harbour, back with the 21mm with the two shots below.

The pub around the corner, I love the tones.

Top picture is of a mural on Primrose hill, a portrait of Captain Sir Thomas Moore, more popularly known as Captain Tom, who was a British Army officer and fundraiser who made international headlines in 2020 when he raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Film was processed in Analogue Films is Shoreditch as usual.

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The Leica III goes out for a spin in London

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

LONDON 2021 ROLL#3

The painter

I am a slow shooter and a slower poster. So here is a roll shot in late October / November 2021 in London and in Paris for the last few shots.

She was there is the sunlight

I am sure the film was from my 30m meters roll of Ilford HP5, and shot with the Leica M6. I cannot se so sure about the lens.

The roll was processed by AnalogueFilms in Shoreditch again. I had to explain a bit that the film was not what was said on the canister, but I think the message passed across. They were also very kind and gave me a handful of empty canisters that I will replenish with more HP5.

Planking

The first three shots were taken during a long walk from Knightsbridge to Borough Market, the one above and the one below were taken another week around Covent Garden. The guy above was having some kind of practical joke with friends.

Select your Chanel (Harrods London)
Martin Margiela window
Back from another later afternoon walk

Then we went to Paris for the last week of November, from now on I used the Elmarit 50 only on the M6.

A vigil for Virgil Abloh in front of Louis Vuitton

We are all kids in front of the Galleries Lafayette Christmas display.

Inside the Galleries Lafayette
Good Bye, two more rolls to process to finish 2021!

Hope you enjoyed the reading.

LONDON 2021 ROLL#3

On the French Riviera

After leaving Paris, I travelled to my hometown of Cannes, famous for its festival, the beaches and its beautiful weather.

It did not disappoint its son. The weather was perfect, mostly bright blue skies all the time and a far warmer climate that Paris (or London).

Cannes also boasts two main harbours, filled with oversized yachts but also with fishermen’s boats as in the two pictures above showing some traditional fishing boats called “pointus”.

The end of the bay on the east side is called la Pointe Croisette and hosts the casino named “Palm Beach”, whose name is sometime used to designate the area. The casino is under renovation, and for those with a culture in French cinema, the crane you see is located where the famous swimming pool of “Melodie en Sous Sol” was located.

Cannes is not just for stars : locals still play the “petanque”

And not all drive Rolls Royces.

A tiny Autobianchi can be found on the harbour (in excellent condition)

And a 1950’s Peugeot 203 can be found driving around (slightly less good condition).

There was a lot of activity along the beach this year. Some relax, some have to work, thats life.

The sunsets on these winter days were often breath-taking.

All shots with Leica M262 and 35mm Summicron Asph v2 or Elmar 50mmF3.5 ltm, what else do you need?

On the French Riviera

Bye Bye Paris

Paris by night

If you read the last two posts, you get that I fell in love with Paris for the second time (or the third maybe, one shall not count when it comes to love).

Palais Royal

So this is my last post of the digital shots made with the M262 and the Elmar 50 or the Summicron 35.

Goldilocks was here

You guess by this last sentence that there are indeed some analogue shots of Paris but that will be for another post.

Goldilocks’ car a pre WWII Citroen Rosalie I think

To each his (her) own

6 or 7 weeks after these pictured le M11 is out and the M262 really feels like an antique. But I still really like it, faithful device, my goto camera.

The model and her phographers.
False hopes?

I did not go camera shopping in Paris. Err, ok I went to the Leica shop on the Faubourg Saint Honoré, to check on the film MP prices in France. This camera is a beauty, but do I really need it? Ah let’s wait a bit longer…

That week Josephine Baker made it to the Panthéon. A bit of history captured here.
Patron un p’tit coup on a soif

Probably translate literally to “Boss pour us a little one, we are thirsty”. Paris and its bistro’s could fill a life of photography.

Paris by night again and again
Bye Bye Paris

Bye bye, but don’t be sad I will be back soon.

Bye Bye Paris

PARIS – LA BOURSE DU COMMERCE – NOVEMBER 2021

One of the new things I wanted to visit in Paris was the recently opened (Summer 2021) Bourse du Commerce. Very briefly : this building which was originally a place to trade grain, has been leased by French billionaire Francois Pinault to host the art collection of its group (well a part only as he also owns similar exceptional place in Venice, you can check back my post about the Venice Biennale of 2017 and also some of the 2011 Biennale).

Beside its exceptional architecture and location in the hear of Paris, the bourse du commerce as it is today, also boasts two major attractions to my eye. A work by Tadao Ando, under the form of the concrete cylinder at the heart of the main exhibition hall. I have made a few posts about Tadao Ando in the past, you can for instance read about the church of light in Osaka here.

But also in this same hall is a masterpiece by swiss artist Urs Fisher, that I already saw in Venice in 2011.

On the outside the concrete cylinder, forms a galley where work of arts by
Bertrand Lavier

The double spiralled staircase

The glass ceiling

All shots were done with the Leica M262 and I think the Elmar 50mm F3.5 (otherwise that’s the Summicron 35mm Asph vII, but Lightroom tells me its 50mm). One of the constraints I feel when shooting in big cities it to limit the kit I am carrying : I feel like it is a bit silly (lack of style, overly touristic, …) to carry too much gear in such occasion so I often carry a single body and a single lens for the day.

PARIS – LA BOURSE DU COMMERCE – NOVEMBER 2021

Paris – November 2021

I travelled to Paris in November last year for the first time in more than 10 years, the main reason being that I left the last 14 years on the other side of the planet. We were blessed with nice weather for the first part of our stay.

It was real fun being a tourist in a city I leaved for in the late 80’s. Like London, it takes me a little time to adjust and turn my eye to the local subjects and actually press the shutter, but there are really plenty of subjects here.

I carried my usual set in Paris, the M262 and the M6, but due to some luggae constraints I only carried two lenses : the Summicron 35mm Asph v2 and the vintage screw mount Elmar 50mmF3.5.

The Summicron is as always a great performer, and the Elmar is very pleasant. I must say the aperture adjustment at the front of the lens is a pain on a film camera without meter, but with the M6 or even better with the M262 set on auto mode, its no longer a problem.

Yes subjects are plenty in Paris, the sites, the people, the tourists, there is always something to shoot. I found there are also a lot of smaller shops that in London, which are making nice subjects.

Of course I was blessed being there during Christmas season where a lot of decorations are making the city even more attractive.

Below a few more random pictures. I have a couple more sets on Paris to come and in a few weeks, some analogue shots will come up.

If read until now you deserve me to whish you a happy new year, keep on shooting and may the light be with you.

Paris – November 2021

Chinese New Year 2021 is upon us

Covid or not, Chinese New Year 2021 is upon us : a lot less feisty than usual, with masks and social distancing, here we go again.

CNY 2021 will be on Friday, 12 February, but for a couple of weeks now, some stalls have open in Chinatown, and people start to go do their shopping. Yes there are less stalls than usual, and Chinatown has lost quite a few businesses these last months. Also there will be no Lion dance this year

You will see more of it surely, Chinatown is always happening and picturesque. Above some shots of an aquarellist, and in the top middle an art exhibition part of SPIF (Singapore Photography International Festival).

Shots were done on Kodak 160 slightly expired, shot with a Leica IIIc and Elmar 50mmF3.5. Filem was processed and scanned at Whampoa photo. Whampoa does an excellent job as usual, but the pictures seems a bit underexposed, maybe the roll was a bit more expired that I thought.

On a more technical note, I always wonder why people use 50mm finders for the Barnack Leicas, as its suppose to be what the viewfinder window is doing. But actually I found when shooting this roll that the I missed a few shots because of framing. In the absence of framing lines using the border of the viewfinder is quite uneasy.

Chinese New Year 2021 is upon us

At the end of the year I feel expired

I am just trying to make a catchy title for this roll of Fuji Neopan 400 that expired in May 2014 and that I processed in Caffenol Delta. I very rarely shoot film that is so expired, that roll was entrusted to me by young fellow film photographer Brian Teo a few weeks back.

I shot the roll with the Leica IIIc and mostly the Elmar 50mm F3.5, but a couple of shots were also done with the Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mmF4. I processed the film with my Caffenol Delta recipe adjusted for 500 ml.

The recipe consist of 500 ML of water to use :

  • 16 g of Arm and Hammer washing soda
  • 10 g of pure Vitamin C
  • 20 g of Nescafe Classic

At my average 28 Degree Celsius I process for 4’40”, 20 seconds inversion and then 3 inversions every minute.

I fixed with my first mix of Ilford Rapid Fixer for 11 minutes, this is my 18th film fixed with this batch, I’ll mix some new one next week. I don’t use a stop bath and use Ilford method for rinsing the developer and the fixer.

The result is quite grainy, which I blame on the age of the film. The film was also very clean, not much dust cloning was required. I think this is going to be my last roll processed in Caffenol this year, but I still hope to shoot a bit more before Friday.

The shot really shows my usual subjects when walking around Singapore : mostly passing strangers. I have added a couple more themes this time:

I stumble across a couple of weddings, actually only two shots turned out ok, but I met two other couples these last weeks.

I also made a short trip to Coney Island on the north shore. This popular leisure spot is also a good photo opportunity.

More random stranger below

Finally a bit of news

Santa was here
Lliang Court mall is dressed to go down
Robinsons shops are closing.

I hope everybody will have a great end of the year. See you in 2021, until then keep om shooting

At the end of the year I feel expired

Geylang Lorong 3 on Film (or nearly)

The church

You can read the about the context of the post here A rainy walk in Geylang Lorong 3

I managed to go to that place on Saturday and back on Sunday and I managed to f*ck-up two rolls of film in two separate days.

As I did not really knew the place I rode there Saturday for a scouting tour ahead of a potential further photo outing. I don’t like carrying a camera on the bike, but I still packed the Leica M6 with the Elmar 50mmF3.5 loaded with a half roll of Kentmere 400. I found the place quite easily and a group of urban sketchers where at work on the late morning sun. You can check there Facebook group there : https://www.facebook.com/usksg

Mike Fellow Hasselblad user

As per my last post the area, without lacking of interest, looks more like a slum than a rural village. There is surely a certain esthetic to it, and a small sense of history in the houses hosting places of worship.

The essence of moving places

So why did the film turn that bad? I was a bit stressed with by the fact that this was the first time I processed the Kentmere 400 in Caffenol and I could not really find any indication of processing time. I decided to try the Delta Recipe with the usual timing but even before starting the processing something was smelling fishy: my Caffenol mix did not have the usual smell, but was smelling as plain coffee. I pursued in pouring the mix … et voila: a very undeveloped film. I am surprised that the scanner (Epson v800) can make images of it at all.

Bis repetita Sunday : I went with the Leica M262 (hence the first post) and the Hassie 500. The weather was very bad, but I made a roll of Ilford HP5+ which I though could have been half decent

Lord Ganesha’s shrine (Hasselblad 500 CM)

I mixed the Delta recipe when I reached home and that one smelled fine. So I definitely mixed something incorrectly Saturday. Alas having a problem loading the film on my plastic spool, I split the spool in the dark bag and decided to pull it out and clean it, but in the movement I also pulled the film out of the bag. By the time I could put it back, the roll as been exposed to light and only 3 shots are exploitable.

The roll was mostly of frontal shots of the houses that I found geometrically interesting, this one shows the light leaks.

A village street under the rain.

Lessons learned: once again if is smells fishy it surely is, less haste, nothing is worth than the pictures you will never see.

Nevermind, I still have faith in Caffenol and home processing.

Geylang Lorong 3 on Film (or nearly)