My last roll of Ektachrome

Lady in Red

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.

Nic G, The friendly gardener at All Hallows By The Tower Garden

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 Tower garden, where Nic the gardener grows plants he saves from the streets.

London Bridge

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.

Panning action

A bit of panning on passing vehicles is never lost, above on Lower Thames street.

Harry and Edwig

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.

A Jag in London

We continued the game the next day, spotted the nice vintage vehicle above.

Singing in the park

We finished sometime Sunday afternoon around Notting Hill visiting some private gardens.

Le Pont-Neuf

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.

Boarding
l’Ile de la cité
Photoshoot for a Japanese wedding, place Dauphine
The queue for essential goods
Saint Sulpice

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.

In France everything end with cheese.

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.

I hope you enjoyed the reading.

My last roll of Ektachrome

Twelve a dozen

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.

Unhappy campers

I am impressed by the 3D pop on this shot. The hassie is a great ice breaker. I really like these first two shots.

Market Magic

A bit of Easter spirit was still hanging around.

Hassie is for making friends

We bumped into Malaysian students around Borough Market, chit chat about Singapore and Malaysia and took a few pics and weefy.

The Cabbies café

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

Battersea station

Film processed and scanned by Analogue Lab in Shoreditch.

Twelve a dozen

The Hassie made it to London

Wellington Arch

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.

Sakura in Saint James Park

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.

Tulips game

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.

Out of focus daffodils but lovely colours

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.

Saint James Park

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.

Southbank central

One thing the Hassie is for sure is a conversation starter.

Car boot coffee stall.

I hope you enjoyed watching

The Hassie made it to London

French Riviera on Portra 400

Mare Nostrum

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.

High FLyer

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.

L’estérel

I found the seaside less inspiring that the city, but if you look closely there is always something to capture.

The masked gamers

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 “pétanque” club

The misaligned sign of the “pétanque” club…

Or the first bathers of the year (actually not quite but they will do for today)

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.

Holidays !
Individuality
Topolino forever

The Michelin Building at dusk

Finally back in London.. thanks for watching

French Riviera on Portra 400

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#14 COLORFUL JOO CHIAT

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.

ROLL 2021#14 COLORFUL JOO CHIAT

ROLL 2021#11 The Nikon F3 was back

Marina Bay Sands (who said “again?”)

This is bit back to the future as I already posted about rolls 12,13, and 15, but rest assured roll 10 will come in due time. I was complaining last week about life in Singapore being less photogenic since the Covid started last year. Man I did not knew what was coming.

Stands of the floating stadium

For one week now we are in Heightened alert mode, basically we are back in a quite strict mode, mostly : non essential workers are asked to stay home, it is not possible to eat or drink outside (eateries can thankfully to take away), quarantine form most countries are extended to 3 weeks in selected hotels and coming into Singapore is quite difficult (even for residents).

The Padang

Having enjoyed a lot more freedom than most countries since last July, we feel taken a bit aback by this new deal. So my color roll shot a couple of weeks before this soft lockdown 2.0 seems quite joyful and interesting for the place in time where I write from.

Tan Si Chong Su Temple

We were discussing our last holidays abroad, which were in March 2020, when we could still fly (in half empty planes though) and I remembered that I brought the Nikon F3 to Thailand and shot only two or three rolls before putting it back in the box. So it was time to pick it up again and give it another go.

Lonely smoker

I will explain a bit later this month but I am downsizing a few things, so I am shooting what’s left in the fridge rather than go and by fresh film. So I picked up my last roll of Portra 400, which is a bit overkill for just walking around, but ok I an clearing my fridge. The roll was shot over two days around Singapore.

Drink stop

I put the 50mmF1.4 on the F3, because my other lenses are too big for just walking around. I must say I have always been a big proponent of the 50mm, claiming the 28 / 50/ 135 were the trinity of my generation, and only young punks would walk around with a 35 as their normal lens. But I think I have moved my point of view a little bit…

The yellow Burmese girl

I have used many 35mm on the Leica system (film or digital) and I finally came quite used to it (I own 3 😦 ). The versatility of the 35mm, with a field of view larger by more than 30% is quite impressive and I think I really appreciate it on the Leica’s to the point that I find the 50mm narrow. Off course you have to step closer to your subject, but that’s not so much or a problem with a small rangefinder.

Sunday silliness

Getting closer with a SLR, even a small old fellow as the F3 is a bit less easy. Also (I am happy to be corrected) it seems the offer in term of 35mm (Vintage of course) is a bit lesser that the offer in 50mm, where Nikon has a few outstanding lenses.

Sunday Party – Tik Tok style

So ok I feel now that the 50 is a bit narrow but at the same I don’t think I will invest in a new (even a new old) lens for the Nikon at this point) (And remember I am decluttering).

Fishy business

The roll was processed at Whampoa Colours, scanned by their good services, and shared on the web. Damn I still have not collected my negs. The combo F3 + 50mmF1.4 AIS + Porta did a fairly good job. I shot most of the time in Auto mode, meaning the speed is controlled automatically by the aperture I selected, quite easy with a 400 ISO film (shot at 320).

Thian Hock Keng Temple (Really tight shot)

It seems the focusing of the F3 with the 50 is quite ok, I would need to try with the original 35-70 F3.5 AI Pro see if I have any problems. But that’s a heavy lens, not for casual walks.

A well deserved treat.

A final though for the road, a lot of my pictures from 25-30 years suck, I feel very bad, because souvenirs from this time are scarce, but on the upside It looks like my photography has progressed.

Hope you enjoyed the reading, stay safe.

ROLL 2021#11 The Nikon F3 was back

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

CNY 2021 ON KODAK EKTAR

The Buddhist lodge on Kim Yam Road

So when I brought my last roll of Portra to the lab the uncle coaxed me into buying some Ektar 100, not wanting to look mean I bought not a roll but a box of 5 rolls. I must say this is a decent deal as it comes with five coupons of one dollar to be rebated of their processing. If I remember correctly this is 52 dollars for the 5 rolls and they do processing + super decent scanning at 11 dollars (Singapore Dollars).

Monkey God Temple in Tiong Bahru

I shot Ektar before, but mostly in 35mm, I must say it pays credit to the claim that it is the finest grain film. So I loaded the good old Hassie 500 CM with my first roll and hit the road to give it a try.

Chinese Lantern Tiong Bahru

12 shots on a 120 roll is not much, but walking through overshot areas on a Sunday afternoon, it can be quite a challenge to finish a full roll.

The ex-Majestic Hotel, now the Straight Clan asscoation

We walked from home to Tiong Bahru, then headed to Chinatown. The Straight Clan is where the Majestic hotel used to be. I spent 5 weeks in this hotel in 2006 and have some interesting shots from the construction site period, when it was converted. Maybe I’ll share this some time.

Buddha tooth relic temple

We moved to the Buddha tooth relic temple where I notice the Buddhist flags which where not there last week ( you can check the post) and I though it was a nice opportunity for color sampling and smooth grain demonstration.

A peanuts stand in Chintaown

In Chinatown every year temporary stands selling goods for the occasion the Chinese New Year appear and disappear in a mater of a few weeks. Generally they close late on the eve of the New Year day. This year everybody was masked, there were less stands as the people coming from other countries could not enter Singapore. If you want to ne picky, the focus is on the cage bars, not the seller.

Welcome to the year of the Ox

Exiting Chinatown, I took this shot of the Ox silk paper statue. This is not the best angle as it is quite busy with the traffic lights posts and cars. The best angle is diametrically opposite I think. But you can see here how nice and bright the colors are.

Substation on Armenian street

Nice mural on Substation, an art center on Armenian Street, close to the Peranakan museum. Substation used to host gigs and has a broad program, with what seems to be a focus on the street / youth culture.

Rendez-Vous Hotel

The last shot in order to finish the roll : a mundane view of the Rendez-Vous Hotel at the bottom of Orchard Road. Totally uninteresting but very nice blues.

I you missed the links in the text you can check the post CNY 2021 in Chinatown with the Hassie 500CM to compare similar shots with Portra 160.

All shots: Hasselblad 500 CM with standard 80mmF2.8
Kodak Ektar 100 shot at 100
Processing and Scanning : Whampoa Color

CNY 2021 ON KODAK EKTAR

CNY 2021 in Chinatown with the Hassie 500CM

Saturday morning a small outing was organized by one of my friends and we met in Chinatown to capture the atmosphere of this every special Chinese New Year.

The God of fortune

I brought the Hasselblad 500CM with the standard lens (The only one I have), loaded with my last roll of Portra 160.

The Buddha tooth relic temple

The film was processed and scanned in Whampoa Color. And I am quite happy with the results once again. I think from the roll are missing picture of the bottom of my bag and a redundant picture of the Sri Mariamman Temple.

The Buddha tooth relic temple

Shooting with the Hassie is very slow, and I brought multiple films but could only shot one.

Difficult crossing
One of the many murals describing last time Singapore (Here a Chinese Opera)
The usual decorations depicting the zodiac signs hanging on South Bridge road
Chinese lanterns in from the hindu temple of South Bridge road

Singapore racial harmony (official term) finds a perfect example with the display of Chinese lanterns in front of this Hindu temple and the sign above the entrance wishing to all a Happy and prosperous Lunar New Year.

Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore

I waited 15 good minutes to take this shot to finally get a mopped in the middle and miss the top of the roof.

A group of Urban Sketchers drawing Chinatown as we shoot it
Chinatown complex hawker center

CNY 2021 in Chinatown with the Hassie 500CM