“Paris est une fête” as goes the say (Paris is a party) ; I am not 100% sure about it but Paris in summer surely put me in a great mood, and I enjoy shooting in the streets that I am rediscovering after so many years.
— Asian tourist checking a Korean restaurant —
This is summer 2022, probably my 5th or 6th trip in a year, carrying the M6 (The old one) and the Summicron 50v5 and a roll of Kodak TMA100, my favourite film very appropriate (I think) to the summer time. This is my 16th film of the year, so I am now far from my past One-roll-a-week diet, but ok this is not a competition.
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.
I still keep track of my rolls and sort them by date and year and enrich in Lightroom, the camera, film and lens ( Often an estimate). But when I used to boast of my one roll a week productivity, I must say I have now fell below one roll every second week.
I would like to shoot more but I don’t have time and may lack enthusiasm / drive / inspiration. This roll was shot in June 2022, with the Leica M6 classic, over a week end in Paris and the next one back in London.
This is a roll of Kodak TMAX 100, a film I really love for its high contrast in sunny weather, I bought a couple of rolls from Analogue Labs a few weeks before.
Most of the shots were taken with the Summicron 35mm Asph v2, really my go to lens. I love it for the perspective, but the 35 makes the pictures a bit too wide for me, my subject is always a bit lost in the frame, as I tend to avoid confrontation when I snap in the street with my wife/family.
On the other hand I frame my shots with just a couple of different styles, I think I manage to build a consistency in my flickr photo stream. I like my subject centred most of it.
We are so much into candid and street photography nowadays that sometimes I find it difficult to shoot non human subjects. They form a big part of urban poetry nonetheless.
Back in London it was Wimbledon and Mayfair offered public screening, with desk lounge chairs and drinks (of course)
Above shot is a bit missed, I thought the shadow would be more obviously funny/interesting, maybe I should reframe, but I rarely do too radical reframing just put upright a bit.
Heading to Soho always gives some opportunities, I met an American photog when shooting the above also carrying a M6 and a TLR.
Soho I said is always offering some opportunities.
As the light was going down, with 100 ISO the shutter speed had to go below 1/30’s hence the slight blur above.
No worries : this is only the last roll of Ektachrome in my box. It expired sometime in early 2021 and travelled in a container from Singapore to London, and probably made a couple back and forth on airplanes without being shot.
It all started by the Secret Gardens open days in London, where I loaded the M6 Classic with the said roll, and attached the Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mmF4 and the famous 21-25 viewfinder. It was a very lovely day and we headed first to the Tower of London where we visited the garden of All Hallows By The Towergarden, where Nic the gardener grows plants he saves from the streets.
We walked back along the Thames , for the very touristic shot above, we also visited the Nomura building with its rooftop garden but I managed to screw-up the shots.
A bit of panning on passing vehicles is never lost, above on Lower Thames street.
Catching up with the city, we visited the Lincoln’s Inn, as they put on their website a “thriving society of barrister”, I am totally ignorant of this, but there were beautiful grounds and I could shot a few birds. Getting there we crossed the London’s Naked Ride, for which I made a couple of shots but not so funny with 21mm, so I’ll pass. Use google if you have no idea what I am talking about.
We continued the game the next day, spotted the nice vintage vehicle above.
We finished sometime Sunday afternoon around Notting Hill visiting some private gardens.
As I am a slow shooter, I finished the second half of the roll in Paris. Which I find very inspiring since my return to Europe. By then I had changed the lens to the vintage 35mmF3.5 Summitar LTM.
In Saint Sulpice church, a German Choir was practicing, the light was wonderful and I regretted not having a better set-up, but I think the above shot gives an idea of what was going on.
This was my first E6 roll processed and scanned by Analogue Films. Good job as usual and I was nicely surprised they were able to do it in the same one week period as they do for C41 or black and white.
And here is the second roll shot with the Hassie in London last month. Kodak Ektar 100 shot at 100, with Hassie 500CM.
Friendly climate activist (Aren’t they all?)
I use a handled Sekonic L-308X, that is overkill for the job, but I had to change my last one after 10 years of service, some soldering broke, and I though about finding it a new home and treating me to a new meter.
I am impressed by the 3D pop on this shot. The hassie is a great ice breaker. I really like these first two shots.
A bit of Easter spirit was still hanging around.
We bumped into Malaysian students around Borough Market, chit chat about Singapore and Malaysia and took a few pics and weefy.
I was quite intrigues when I arrive din London to see these street shops selling food for cabbies and probably the general public also. I never tried though.
A colourful block near Victoria station
Film processed and scanned by Analogue Lab in Shoreditch.
So the good news is that yes the Hassie made it to London. It looks a bit more used than I remember, from when I used it last in Singapore, last year un June. A different time a different place.
For those who picked this blog recently , my Hassie is a 500 CM with the classic 80mmF2.8 lens. I am lucky enough to own the hood for this lens, but also an original strap 9or a knock off) and a second back plus a couple of filters.
I picked up the Hassie probably 8 years ago when I wanted a bit better medium format that my usual folding Agfa. I used the Hassie quite nicely and carried it quite a bit around the world : France, Italy, India, Sri Lanka and more.
The Hassie is a great camera but I kind of fail out of live with her. Well first I invested so much in the Leica system that I have to justify spending the money. But also as I was warned the Hassie is a big, heavy beast, not super fast to use when you are walking around.
I think its pretty good for an outing with photog friend or a photo-walk on your own, definitely not a carry around camera when walking 15K a day on weekends with my wife.
Anyway… this is however a great camera, I I still enjoy using it, and also I shave a few films around, particularly a box of Ektar 100 that I bought before leaving Singapore.
I like the particularly vibrant colours of this roll (and the next). Processing was done by Analogue Lab in Shoreditch once again.
One thing the Hassie is for sure is a conversation starter.
My posts since July are like a pinball : London – Paris – Cannes – London – London – London – Paris – Cannes – London. There are worst things in life particularly by the time being.
I have tried many times to shot the water on pebbles and finally above is a picture I like. Probably the only picture with amazing colors.
This a roll of expired Portra 400 shot on the French Riviera during the Christmas season.
I missed Santa but the Christmas trees were growing very close to the sea this year. I used the faithful Leica M6 and either the Summicron 35mm Asph v2 or the Elmar 50 F3.5.
I found the seaside less inspiring that the city, but if you look closely there is always something to capture.
Older gents playing chess with their Covid masks on or not. I generally prefer to shoot Black and White on film, as I think the digital M renders more live like colours and the picture are popping more.
The misaligned sign of the “pétanque” club…
Nice is nice as goes the song, not too far away from Cannes, a big 30 minutes by train, and a bit more city like.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Years before I learned the term street photography I was attracted to random stanger…
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
So after Roll15, here is Roll14. This one is a bit late as I had to bring it to the lab and it took me the whole week to do it. Well so here is a beautiful roll of Kodak Ektar, processed and scanned by Whampoa color. The roll was shot with the Hasselblad 500CM with the kit lens (Planar 80mmF2.8), as last Sunday I stick to the rule, one camera one lens.
So these are 12 shots done when I met Ez in Joo Chiat, you can see him in one of the shots.
It was a beautiful morning, with a lot of light (and very hot), I shot the Ektar at 100 measure with the Sekonic 308x. As usual there was not a single AA battery in sight at home, so I started my photowalk by scouting for batteries.