Two weeks ago I took my courage in my hands and pulled the Hassie out of the box. When I say the Hassie I mean the Hassie and my second back. Because after my first outing with the Blad in London (here and here) I was so happy that I put a colour (Kodak Ektar 100 slightly expired) film in one back, and a roll of Ilford HP5+ in the other.
One back has a label “400” which is supposed to make things easier. Well anyway, back in May, and this Ektar roll, that was the Chelsea flower show and the sun was shinning and everything was perfect for a stroll in Chelsea.
I even found a Chinese artist doing whatever he was doing
and a dummy representing Vivienne Westwood close to where her iconic shop was in the 70’s.
Charles Eames plastic chairs are always a colourful delight (some of these are vintage fiberglass ones)
And then the hassie went in the cupboard for summer and went out two weeks ago. And on a beautiful autumn day, I dragged it along regents Canal, where the afternoon light was warm and beautiful.
All of this is water under the bridge. I used the Sekonic 380x as a light meter. A great piece of kit, but no so easy when switching backs.
And of course you are now expecting the catch at the end of the story. So we finish walking around Regents’ Park, went back to the Freeze open air sculpture exhibition, shot the final two frames, roll the roll .. et voila. The back labelled “400” is of course the one containing the Ektar roll. So assuming I had all my head for the first half of the roll, the second half was over exposed by one stop without visible effect on these shots.
You will also notice that there are only nine shots : apart from a portrait of my lovely wife that I keep to myself, there are two incredibly sh!t shots : the floor at my feet and a misfocused Austin mini as the beginning of the film. That’s easily 4 £ lost … errr
I hope you enjoyed the reading, get ready for the other roll soon.
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.
It is very difficult to tell which one I used from the pictures.
So a good first part of the roll was shot in London, the weather was nice and my brain clicked in shooting mode.
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.
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 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.
I always found very odd to shoot sea side in black and white, but hey why not, my parents did this ages ago.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Then we went to Paris for the last week of November, from now on I used the Elmarit 50 only on the M6.
We are all kids in front of the Galleries Lafayette Christmas display.
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 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.
It was still raining outside and this guy was playing with his phone inside a wheelbarrow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
.. 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 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
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.
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.
During the last outings of the Leica User Group Singapore (LUGS) of 2019, I had the good idea to carry the Hasselblad 500CM loaded with my favorite film: the Rollei Retro 80s
I love the range of grays and the profound black that this film can produce. This is not all art but a nice walk with friends at a time when this was possible. I put the full roll, no censorship and some edition in Lightroom. Film was was processed at the usual lab (Ruby Photo) and scanned at home of Epson v800.
So after the Road Side vegetables market of Toa Payoh we are heading north to Senoko fishery port. There is wholesale fish market providing stock from local fish trawlers, in-shore vessels and fish farms as well as imported sources, and distributes to markets, supermarkets, food courts and restaurants across Singapore
The market is located at 31 Attap Valley Road, Singapore 759908; east to Woodlands checkpoint. It is lucky hat one of my friends was driving otherwise it would have been difficult to get there and back.
Around midnight the market starts to be busy. Individuals come here for cheaper seafood particularly in this time coming up to Chinese new year.
But the market is also preparing orders for hawkers, wet markets and the restaurants of Singapore.
The place is busy, the ground slippery, that’s a nice small adventure.
You can find different products types, like crabs, prawns and fish from all types.
Each company have its own delimited concrete square , with scales and a boss, noting down orders
The work of others is always a nice show to behold.
People are quite friendly, I did not really go asked not to take a picture, but the place is very busy so mind not standing in the way.
Prawns or shrimps arriving and being thrown to the ground. They will be sorted manually later.
Situated at the southeast end of Howrah Bridge, between the Ganges and the railway, the flower market is a fascinatingly colorful attraction.
This is a wholesale market, not one where you are supposed to buy flowers as a tourist.
The morning we were there the place was reasonably busy, it gets a bit cramped in the covered area, but not to the point of being unbearable (although I can imagine this can be the case from time to time).
There are plenty of nice spots inside or outside where you can stay without being too much on the way and take pictures. This is a business place, but I think people are ok to have their photo taken, maybe do not shoot at money exchanges.
On the way from the avenue to the market itself, you can see the makeshift shacks where many workers live in, but also some small workshops (workshacks maybe?) where people are mending cyclecarts, or making wooden boxes to transport the flowers.
The first stop of our fourth trip to India was Calcutta, or Kolkata as it is called now.
At first I was very excited to go to India at the period of Diwali the festival of lights, but it turned out that is is more a private event celebrated at home than something you can experience in the street. True, the cities were all lighted-up and people were busy shopping for lights and decorations for their homes. Actually, that week was just after the Durga puja which is a popular celebration in West Bengal, but also the week of Kali Puja which is another big celebration in the area. And particularly in Calcutta.
If we were first struck on the night of our arrival by the number of people sleeping in the street, we were also very surprised to see number of bamboo structures being erected across the city. This, were we told, was for the construction of temporary temples for the upcoming Kali puja.
The next day one of the highlights of our tour was the “potters colony” or Kumartuli. I did not do much research before and was afraid to be inflicted one of the pseudo artisanal attractions you see from time to time. It turned out that the potters colony is the place where these craftsmen are building statues of deities (or idols as our guide reffer to them) for the various celebrations of the hindu year. That week all the colony was busy making statues of Kali for the upcoming festival.
The highly decorated statues present Kali, with a necklace of severed demons heads that she defeated but also stepping on her husband Shiva, she generally has her tongue sticking out. The explanation we were given can also be found on wikipedia:
Once Kali had destroyed all the demons in battle, she began a terrific dance out of the sheer joy of victory. All the worlds began to tremble and sway under the impact of her dance. So, at the request of all the Gods, Shiva himself asked her to desist from this behavior. However, she was too intoxicated to listen. Hence, Shiva lay like a corpse among the slain demons in order to absorb the shock of the dance into himself. When Kali eventually stepped upon Shiva, she realized she was trampling and hurting her husband and bit her tongue in shame.
It is difficult to imagine that so many statues will found someone to buy them; but they actually do. Strolling through the colony you can see statues of various shapes, colors and sizes; but all describing the same scene. You will see idols at various stages of their completion, from gross straw shapes, to fully finished ones. Most of the statues will have their head covered if they are not finished. Artists are painting the fine details of eyes or decorations, some even using spray paint for shades.
All pictures with Nikon D700 + Nikkor 17-35F2.8D, I use a polarizing filter mostly all the on this lens.