Paris in the spring

Batmaid (Boulevard Beaumarchais)

So this is the second part of my second roll of Cinestill XX I started in Biarritz. I was not super satisfied with the scanning so I plugged the old Epson v800 and rescan the whole film. I did not like the scan for two reasons, first I forgot to ask for high res, and I though the pictures were a bit small. Second I thought it was too grainy and had too much contrast.

City of Romance (Rue Amelot)

I quite liked the result of the Epson, if I recon correctly I scanned in 2400 dpi, saved as B&W JPG using the standard holders. The result is a bit smooth, that you may assimilate to lack of sharpness.

Fun in Paris (Ile de la cité)

I think there is a bit on compromise between sharpness, grain and details. Well anyway I am not very technical, I like these scans better.

Ready maestro (Rue de Buci)

These shot are still part of the same trip so I think the lens is either the Summicron 50mm v5, either the Summicron 35mmF2 Asph v2, attached to the Leica M6 classic

Glorious food (Rue du pas de la mule)

After the second roll, its a bit difficult to make an opinion on the Cinestill XX, as I am not sure how properly my lab process it. As I said before a bit too much grain for my taste (remember my favourite film is the Rollei Retro 80), but maybe there is a ratio between the distance to the subject and the grain that makes it less suitable to my may of shooting (I usually do streets shots between 5 and 10 meters) ? Did anybody consider that?

Public transport ( Rue Saint Antoine)

Enough of the technical bit, Paris in the spring is a beautiful place to be. That’s a first for me in about 15 years so I was under the spell, and I thing that will be the same for the seasons to come.

A l italienne (Boulevard Saint Germain)

Paris is not as eccentric as London, but there is a good mix of old and new, tourists and locals, fake and authentic, making you raising your camera every 5 minutes. Ok I am a slow shooter so that will be once every thirty minutes.

Lost if thoughts (Rue de la petite boucherie)

One last technical thing: I can see on forums the never ending question of bringing films through airports: remember that there are x-ray machines as well when you take the Eurostar. I never cared being worried about X-ray machines damage to film. I think if you are an amateur this is irrelevant. If you are a pro that’s different, but then you can always buy and process locally if its so important.

For the ladies : the firemen of Paris (Bords de Seine, quai François Mitterrand)
Lost ( Quai des Grands augustins)

Thanks for reading.

All shots Leica M6 Classic, Summicron 35 or 50, Cinestill XX shot at 200 ISO, I put an indication of where the pictures were shot so you can plan a tour. This roll is older that the one displayed in My last roll of Ektachrome.

Paris in the spring

When the archives are floating back

Browsing through my storage room ahead of my move to London, I went through my boxes of old pictures and binned most of the prints, but naively kept negatives, probably something like 20 to 30 rolls that were never scanned and spent most of the past twenty years in storage.

1993 Dereliction – Brussels

I really like browsing through old pictures because that’s why we take them in the first place right? Being able to watch them later. Most of the rolls were shot between 1992 and 2001, between my arrival in Brussels and my first digital camera.

What do you see when you look at old pictures? Well ok in this case what I saw first that the negatives, the Kodak Gold mostly, were pretty deteriorated and got yellow stains that wont go away.

1993 Chez Guillaume Villers sur Mer

Beyond this, with nearly 30 years of decantation, not many picture pass the bar of being shareable. I smiled at my old self, look thoughtfully at departed family members and lost friends. It is more walk down memory lane than an art exhibition. But a lot of pictures are frankly crap, and there are always lessons to take from this. The saddest thing is all those scenes which are not shot correctly and for which I only took one shot. Maybe an extra shot or a third and the memory would have been golden. My lesson here is to try to concentrate and if you can’t well at least try to multiply the chances.

1993 – Amsterdam style wedding

In 1993 I already bought my Nikon F3 with a 35-70F3.5 zoom, and offered my wife an Olympus mju-1, I think most of the shots here are done with the Olympus. 10 years before digital cameras hit the consumer market, I loved this point and shoot. When I arrived in Brussels my area of the city was quite derelicted and I was looking for a camera that would enable me to shoot pictures like the first one : abandoned houses viewed through a crack in a door or an opened window, showing the unseen, the essence of photography. Well ok, film was expensive back then so I did not overuse it…

1993 – Barcelona

Years before I learned the term street photography I was attracted to random stanger…

1993 – JF in Brussels

By then friends also had film cameras and there was no Facebook, so most of the time you never saw the pictures they took of you.

Hope you enjoyed this small reading, back form the time where film cameras where cameras, full stop.

More to follow…

Scanned with Epson v800, small correction in Lightroom

When the archives are floating back

ROLL 2021#15 FAREWELL, MY VERY LAST SINGAPOREAN ROLL

The uncle he is a busker

That’s public now , I am a quitter, after 14 years I am leaving Singapore. I am moving to new horizons but that’s a story for later. The recent tightened measures are not facilitating farewells and the mood is not to party.

Last Sunday, I wen out but my shooting buddy Ez, founder of the Hasselblad User Group Singapore (HUGS), for a last photo walk. We met in Joo Chiat and then walked to Kalang MRT along Geylang road. Quite a walk under the hot sun.

Camera of choice was the Hassie, loaded first with a roll of Ektar (Still to be processed) and here with my fav film : the Rollei Retro 80s, processed in Caffenol.

Its been a very satisfying morning, walking with my friend along the charming Joo Chait road, then turning into what used to be the last red district of Singapore (Still a bit seedy in 2021).

Geylang has a very rich architecture, remains of better days.

Why does the uncle cross the street
Eggs business

A rare close up shot, never really satisfactory to my taste.

The house with the Sikh guards on the pillars.
HUGS man.
A closer look at the HUGS man with a wrong T-shirt though.

I could not have dreamt of a more satisfying last roll and Ez promised I can keep posting on the HUGS groups even when overseas, so all is good; it just a goodbye.

ROLL 2021#15 FAREWELL, MY VERY LAST SINGAPOREAN ROLL

ROLL 2021#13 TEKKA MARKET And More

The Umbrella Hat

As my Ilford roll only had 22 shots, I loaded my last roll of Tri-X into the Nikon F3 while we were still in Tekka Market. I could not resist running after the guy with the umbrella hat, even I did not really got a really good shot.

316

316 on the bowl is probably the number of the stall so the staff attending to the hawker center know where to bring it back after picking up and cleaning. I felt really hungry at that time, but it was way too early to get a second breakfast.

Me time

It was still raining outside and this guy was playing with his phone inside a wheelbarrow.

The mini mart opposite Tekka market

At that point we had stepped in the street, and faced the last few drops of rain. I have a hood on my 50 which does a good job at protecting him from small rain (although that’s a metal hood for a 28mm)

Ez was still with me of course. At this point you would have realized that the pictures are not as sharp as usually, for instance compared to the last post. I have several options to explain this.

Action shot, Stef on his Oxley bike

First option is that the Tri-X is notoriously difficult to process in Caffenol. I have used my usual Delta recipe scaled for 500ml. BUT because I think my films are usually over processed I have decided once again to try to lower the temperature.

The throw

I feel that usually the time for processing is 4’40” and that does not give much leeway for control (I may be wrong), so I decided to keep the same time but cool a little bit the mix by using 10% of water from the fridge (probably 3 degrees) and 90% of tap water (29 degrees) to get a mix around 26 to 27 degrees.

The Corgi’s umbrella

Of course I have no thermometer and the reason you have not seen roll 2001#11 yet is because I quite screwed up by making the mix too cold back wen I processed it. But I must say that this time, looking at the film drying it has gone in the correct direction, showing more contrast than my usual processing’s.

1,2,3, go!

So what could have gone wrong ? Err not sure, could the difference of 3 or 4 degrees between the developer and the rinsing water caused an effect similar to reticulation?

Surprised in selfie action

.. or shall I just blame the Tri-X and look for another recipe for this film the next time?

I could simply finish my bulk roll of HP5plus and keep things simple what do you think? It’s a pity as I was quite happy with the content of the film ; that will teach me to try experimenting. This is also probably the last roll of the F3 for a little while.

The correct usage of the mask

The little fellow made 3 turns ( understand rolls ) and will now go back to the box. Yielding a SLR, even the not so bulky F3 with a 50mm, to the face of people is a bit gross. I’ll go back to the rangefinders for a little while

What’s up doc

I realized this Saturday that these old folks are hanging around in that place because the are polls nearby ; you can expect more shots of this place soon.

Waiting for the cobbler to finish his job.

All these shots were done in Aperture Auto mode with the F3, very convenient. A facility I don’t have on the M6. It looks the shots were properly exposed, I had some difficulties as I thought that holding the shutter button would store the speed. I may get it wrong by 20 years or so. I think after these 3 rolls and the two ones form last year, I can happily conclude that the F3 focuses properly. With the 50mm at least, I did not bother trying other lenses.

ROLL 2021#13 TEKKA MARKET And More

Roll 2021#8

I know I am late, weather is not so great, it starts to be a bit boring shooting constantly the same thing and I am ashamed to say am a bit busy at mom.

Local seafood restaurant with Buddha Tooth relic temple in the background

Anyway, I this is week 12 and I am at roll8, so not too far from my usual 1 roll a week. So a couple of weeks back I loaded the good old M6 again, with a roll of manually rolled HP5+. Just 24 shots.

Street action in front of the etna

The Teas Chapter shop was already there when I first visit Singapore in 2006. I particularly like the contract of this shot and the shades of the bamboo leaves.

This stroll in Chinatown was during the end of Chinese new year period of Chinese new year, and a few autels where set-up like this one.

or this one

In Chinatown the uncles are still playing chess

Meanwhile on Orchard Road

Maids in uniform
Stunning picture of a teddy bear
The lady with the running nose

I hope you enjoyed the walk.

Roll 2021#8

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

A nice day out

Sunday at Marina South and Marina Barrage with the Hasselblad 500 CM and a roll of Rollei 80s. I processed the roll in two or three weeks after shooting it. There is couple of problems (like the dost on the bonnet of the Beetle) but I think this is due to teh film being old and the having taken in and out of the fridge a few times

A bit more defects are visible in the shadow area. lets blame the age of the film. Also at the bottom the part of of the picture missing is due to the film starting too early, probably some adjustment to make to the back of the hassie.

Wifey with Helix bridge in the background

Hope you enjoyed.

A nice day out

2020 a year in film

The weather has been very bad in Singapore recently so I did not shoot anything since the first of Jan. Good opportunity for my usual reflective post on 2020. The COVID has of course reduced the photo opportunities this year, no travels since February, less local events. Anyway, I still managed to spend some time on my hobby : burn some film.

Camera #1 : Chau Long Market Hanoi one year ago

Below is a breakdown of my 52 roll in film types:

Row LabelsCount of Film No
Fuji Across8
Ilford HP5 Plus6
Rollei Retro 80s6
Kodak TRI X5
Ilford Delta 4004
Cinestill 800T3
Shanghai GP32
Ultrafine Xtreme 4002
Kodak TMY 4002
Polypan 502
Ilford hp52
Kodak Portra 4002
Kodak Ultramax1
Kodak Colorplus1
Ilford Delta 32001
Kodak Pro Image1
Kentmere 400 pan1
Fuji Neopan 4001
Ilford Pan F1
Rollei Superpan 2001
Film brandRolls
Ilford14
Kodak12
Fuji9
Rollei7
Cinestill3
Shanghai2
Ultrafine2
Polypan2
Kentmere1
Grand Total52

I mostly shot black and white again. Mostly because I converted to Caffenol in the middle of the year, and have now processed around 20 rolls using this method. I lost 4 rolls more of less in the process, but I have a good standard procedure now. I also bought a roll of HP5+. Both steps make me shot black and white film for a lot cheaper.

Camera #2 LeicaIIIc Arab Street Singapore

Ilford in getting to the top of the list this year, surpassing the usual Kodak. I think Kodak is very close only because of the color films. In term of black and white, Fuji is this year in front of Kodak. I bought some expired Acros 100 which gives super good results in Caffenol.

Below is the breakdown of cameras I used:

CamerasRolls
Leica M618
Leica IIIc10
Hasselblad 500CM7
Leica M46
Agfa Isolette III4
Nikon F34
Nikon F1
Heineken1
Minolta Himatic 7s1

No surprise the 3 Leica bodies and the Hasselblad are still trusting the top of the list. The M6 is really a picture making machine, actually I just had the joints redone and the crank fixed.

Camera #3 Hasselbad 500CM

I did not buy any new cameras this year still I made some nice additions to my kit. I bought a new Sekonic 308-X meter as the old one died, a friend offered me a Keks EM01 light meter, which fits on the cold shoe o fthe M4 or IIIc, a very nice add on.

Camera #4: Leica M4

I tried to fix the rangefinder of the Isolette III and managed to shot a few rolls with it, making it climb to the fifth rank.

Camera #5: Agfa Isolette III

Actually I bought a second body for parts which has a few issues, so I may play to fix it or send it for service.

Curiously I digged the Nikon F3 from the Nikon box (I have a Leica box, a Nikon box and a various box). I gad very pleasant results mostly with the 50mm F1.4AIS.

Camera #6: Nikon F3

Lugging a SLR around is not longer a pleasure and this guy is so beaten up that I am a bit ashamed to carry it in the streets, but amazing results this year.

Camera #6 : Nikon F Photomnic

I only shot one roll with the Nikon F, with the 50mmF1.4 Non AI, on Polypan 50. My two photomnic meters are no longer metering or I can t be bothered to buy new batteries to use them. Using the Sekonic is just as good.

Finally two rolls with the Minolta 7S, great performer, still flimsy and the underwater Heineken Camera whose housing is leaving his last days.

Also the nice discovery of the year is the Whampoa Color photo lab which does a great job for processing and scanning color films.

The first shot of the last roll of the week (Kodak Portra 160 slightly expired shot with Leica IIIc and Elmar 50F3.5)

2020 a year in film

Geylang Lorong 3 with the Hasselblad 500CM

Hello, here is the first post of the new year. So let me whish you a happy and prosperous new year, happy 2021 everybody, lets hope the situation will improve and I won’t spend the next 52 weeks shooting the same parts of Singapore again and again. And of course the same goes for everybody (Of course a lot more serious things need to be fixed first before our hobbies can be considered).

So these are pictures from roll #51 of the year 2020, another trip with Geylang Lorong 3 with the Hasselblad 500CM loaded with a roll of slightly expired Portra 400. The Roll was shot at 320 ISO, processed and scanned at Whampoa color center and slightly adjusted in Lightroom.

The sky was cloudy that morning, but colors are quite vivid. I forgot to bring a light meter so I used the Keks EM01 light meter that was on the Leica M4 and changed the ISO when switching Camera. It looks that I managed not to f*ck up any shots.

The last shot has a defect as I think thing the back has an issue with the spacing of the frames, so part of this shot went over the end of the film.

The blog got 4000 views n 2020: 2.5 tomes more that last year : thanks to all the readers for stopping by. Also on days to come, I have a nice roll shot with he M4 on the same location, and of course as every year the summary of what I shoot with which camera and some other silly stats.

Geylang Lorong 3 with the Hasselblad 500CM

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)