A morning in Myanmar

During our trip to Chiang Rai one of the most exciting activities available is to walk into Burma, for a few hours only. Driving one hour from our resort in Chiang Saen (already one hour north of Chiang Rai), we arrive in the Mae Sai checkpoint where it is possible to cross the border and enter Myanmar at Tachileik.

This in the Shan State; Tachileik boasts 50000 inhabitants.

Crossing the border is allowed provided that you leave your passport at the border and pay a nominal fee. Overnight stay is not permitted and I read that guesthouses in the border areas of Myanmar are not allowed to host foreign tourists.

The area close to the checkpoint has a busy market where Thai and Chinese tourists like to shop, for cheap counterweight of handbags, watches and so on. We rode a tuck tuck outside of this area in a more rural side of the city with its food market.

Aside from the usual colorful street life, a nearby covered market, shows more food stalls.

But also some fashion shops; tailors, housewares,…

A few streets from there, a Buddhist monastery, hosts young and old monks who were having their lunch when we arrived. There we could witness the ceremonial of meals, who its first, who last who eats what is not eaten by the others.

The main attraction in Tachileik may well be the replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda. Situated on a small hill. There are a few tourist / devotee stalls outside and food stalls on the parking.

One of the food stalls around the pagoda.

I tried one of these sweet pancakes, delicious. Grilled for you on the spot on the ground of the parking.

Our guide was very knowledgeable or the area and spoke fluent Burmese which made the experience very enjoyable.

3 hours in Myanmar, a new Stamp on our passports, time to head back in Thailand.

All shots with Leica M262 and Summicron 28mmF2.

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A morning in Myanmar

Warorot Market in Color

Toy stall

Same day different camera in Warorot Market in Chiang Mai, the Leica M262 and the Summilux 50mmv2.

Outside the market the watch repair stall

I do not have a lot to say since the last post of film pictures on the same subject, I think I still prefer the film shots. But the flexibility of the M262 in term of ISO is much appreciated. Can go high and low on demand, it looks so obvious, but not really for a film shooter.

It is also here that I realized the Summilux is seriously back focusing and that maybe I

should get a proper 50mm.

 

This family was rolling some kind of cigarettes.

Serious negotiation (above) about dry goods, looks like everybody was happy in the end.

The coffee shop around the corner, is quite busy and like all the upper section of the market has decent light.

This man is manually making some religious artifacts used as offerings in temples. Below one of the flower stalls doing offerings as well. There are many flower shops  there, some are doing offerings some looks to be casual flower shops.

Warorot Market in Color

Warorot Market – Chiang Mai – Thailand

Last holidays trip was in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. This is my second trip there and I love place. This is the second time I travel with a Leica kit both Film and Digital. I have two bodies a M6 and a M262, a 28 Summicron, a 35 Summaron F2.8, an old Summilux 50 v2 and an Elmarit 90F2.8.

2 Bodies, 4 lens that sounds a lot and actually I packed the big Crumpler 8 Mio dollar bag. It is a bit over-sized, but then I have room for papers, wallet, reading and sun glasses and on the flight I can pack in a book, you can probably pack a tablet as well. I am proud I resisted the urge to buy a new bag.

I shot 4 rolls of film and a few hundred (but less than 1K) digital frames; this first set was done inside the Warorot market with the M6 and mainly the Summilux; film is the Kodak TMY 400.

I like the TMY400 for its low grain and slightly lower contrast that the Tri-x. I think all in all these shots turn out to be quite pleasant.

The Summilux is suffering from back focusing on the M262 but that does not show at all on the film shots.

People in the market are quite friendly, actually it is quite a touristic spot so the view of a tourist with a camera is not news.

I try to follow the advice of pro photographer Bobby Lee : let people know you are here, that you want to take a picture of them or their activity, but once they agree (or ignore you) don’t just snap and run away; as they don’t bother the least you can do is hang around until you have a good shot.

All scanned with the now antique Epson v500

 

Warorot Market – Chiang Mai – Thailand

A Landmark on the go – Lavender Food Square – Singapore


The famous Lavender Food square is now closed and demolition work has began. It will be replaced by a 30 levels commercial and habitation building. At the moment it is the opportunity for street artists to show their talent.

Camera: Agfa Isolette III (85mm F3.5)
FilmKodak Portra 400NC

A few weeks before I happen to be there already; at the right place a the right moment. I just pass by the Lavender food square when the demolition work started, but I was still able to walk through.

This was my first Roll with CineStill 800. It’s not bad, I think I like it. But a bit expensive for casual shooting though. Also the AF of the Nikon F4s seems to be broken so I had to use a manual focus lens which defeats the purpose of having such a huge camera.


A last customer for the Mixed vegetable rice

The olf famous fish ball noodles shop.

The film was shot at 640ISO and processed at 800; colors are a bit funny as it is a tugsten film, but it has its charm.

For those who are interested I bough the film in the Lomo Shop in Chinatown (16 dollars yuck!)

CameraNikon F4s

LensNikkor 50mmF1.4 AIS

Film CineStill 800T

A Landmark on the go – Lavender Food Square – Singapore

Hoi An – Street life – The film shots

Hoi An, is a beautiful and very touristy; but it is still full of local life. Street food, food stalls, … there is a lot of photo opportunity and you may well pretend you are the only tourist around. This is selection of film shots done with the Hasselblad 500 CM. Color shots with Kodak Portra 400 and black and white with Kodak tri-x. I have two backs and I think it is safer to carry same sensibility film to avoid messing up with the exposure on the heat of the moment.

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Actually talking of the hit of the moment, it happened a couple of times already that in the excitement of having taken what I believe was a good shot I hit the rewind crank instead of the winding knob and end up my roll after just a few pictures. Silly me ! Well as least now I have identified the issue and will try to behave in the future.

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On a side note, as in Cambodia, the conic hats does not make it easy to picture people faces.

Hoi An – Street life – The film shots

A roll with the Nikon F – part 2 : around town

Not much talk today, just 3 more pictures of the first Nikon F roll of the year. As usual I spend some time weekly around the popular yet central area between Lavender MRT and Serangoon road (Little India).

Below one of the stall  in the ground floor of the public housing building opposite lavender MRT.

The shop fruit a Lavender MRT

Just before Serangoon road, on Marne street s small Chinese temple lies in a patch of greenery that will soon be used for more constructions. I do not know his name and but two of the horse statues were guarding the entrance (closed). These are something temples and shrines, I must find someone to explain me one day.

Horse statue at a small temple on Marne Street

Another day, another place. Hong Lim Complex is a public housing building at the border between  the CDB (Central Business District) and Chinatown. These are a lot of shops selling food, Chinese medicine items, and so on. I liked the scale they use in that one.

The Scale – grocery store – Hong Lim Complex
A roll with the Nikon F – part 2 : around town

Walk around Jalan Besar in Singapore

The film of the latest walk around with the Leica is back from the shop. There are a few shots from the Jalan Besar a bit outside the center of Singapore; 3 MRT stations from the city center; supposing that the shopping and business district is the city center. It is quite a popular area with coffee shops at the corner of streets, old folks sipping coffee, small hidden, karaoke bars and semi-industrial workshops. Very “last time” as we say here.

I am a victim of a GAS attack ! Never hear of Gear Acquisition Syndrome ? Well the name says it all. Suddenly with no particular need you feel the urgent need to get a new piece of gear. C’mon you know what I’m talking about. The worse is that you don;t need anything do you? Don’t I? Well after a couple of sleepless nights I think I found something that I can direct my lust to… wait and see, Ouch that’s a nasty attack!

Camera: Leica M4
Lens: Summilux 50mm F1.4
Film: Kodak TMAX 100ASA
Processing: Epson v500+Lightroom 3.3

Walk around Jalan Besar in Singapore