A Royal Week-end

Last week end (2nd to 5th of June) was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a celebration giving some picture opportunities.

Friday, all started by the air parade shot from my window with the crappy Canon Serenar 135F4 mounted on the Leica M262. The lens was already mounted on the camera, I was just playing around last week.

WWII planes, I think a Lancaster bomber and four spitfires

The city was generally dressed up in national colours and royal memorabilia’s. Here the newspaper kiosk on Sloane Square, shot with the Summaron 35mmF2.8, the M version with goggles. I really went al vintage lenses this week,

A couple of “street parties” happened through the kingdom over he week end, mostly involving food and drinks, here in Mayfair Friday.
Paul Smith window in Marylebone.
I was expecting more silliness in the street, but ok some people really played the game.

Friday a steel band was playing on Kings Road, a couple of ladies made their best to warm up the atmosphere.

The queen of the afternoon

But they were not alone.

Even the Chelsea Pensioners were out.

Some people were rushing to parties in the hood.

The party went on until Sunday.

Chinatown

People rushed to the Mall on Sunday morning to see the parade.

But I met Stan Laurel.

and actually walking against the flow, we reached Hyde Park Corner and met the parade, with no crowd at all.

Sunday I changed the lens for the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm, a better choice as it is easier to focus without the goggles.

After watching so many horses, we moved to the Belgravia street party on Elizabeth street (the well named).

God save the queen
The queen

And all finished with a bit of music (and beer)

If you are not bored by now, I will have some film shots from Saturday to post as well.

All shots with Leica M262, with in order the Canon Serenar 135mmF4 ltm, the Summaron 35mmF2.8 M, the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm

A Royal Week-end

On the French Riviera

After leaving Paris, I travelled to my hometown of Cannes, famous for its festival, the beaches and its beautiful weather.

It did not disappoint its son. The weather was perfect, mostly bright blue skies all the time and a far warmer climate that Paris (or London).

Cannes also boasts two main harbours, filled with oversized yachts but also with fishermen’s boats as in the two pictures above showing some traditional fishing boats called “pointus”.

The end of the bay on the east side is called la Pointe Croisette and hosts the casino named “Palm Beach”, whose name is sometime used to designate the area. The casino is under renovation, and for those with a culture in French cinema, the crane you see is located where the famous swimming pool of “Melodie en Sous Sol” was located.

Cannes is not just for stars : locals still play the “petanque”

And not all drive Rolls Royces.

A tiny Autobianchi can be found on the harbour (in excellent condition)

And a 1950’s Peugeot 203 can be found driving around (slightly less good condition).

There was a lot of activity along the beach this year. Some relax, some have to work, thats life.

The sunsets on these winter days were often breath-taking.

All shots with Leica M262 and 35mm Summicron Asph v2 or Elmar 50mmF3.5 ltm, what else do you need?

On the French Riviera

Bye Bye Paris

Paris by night

If you read the last two posts, you get that I fell in love with Paris for the second time (or the third maybe, one shall not count when it comes to love).

Palais Royal

So this is my last post of the digital shots made with the M262 and the Elmar 50 or the Summicron 35.

Goldilocks was here

You guess by this last sentence that there are indeed some analogue shots of Paris but that will be for another post.

Goldilocks’ car a pre WWII Citroen Rosalie I think

To each his (her) own

6 or 7 weeks after these pictured le M11 is out and the M262 really feels like an antique. But I still really like it, faithful device, my goto camera.

The model and her phographers.
False hopes?

I did not go camera shopping in Paris. Err, ok I went to the Leica shop on the Faubourg Saint Honoré, to check on the film MP prices in France. This camera is a beauty, but do I really need it? Ah let’s wait a bit longer…

That week Josephine Baker made it to the Panthéon. A bit of history captured here.
Patron un p’tit coup on a soif

Probably translate literally to “Boss pour us a little one, we are thirsty”. Paris and its bistro’s could fill a life of photography.

Paris by night again and again
Bye Bye Paris

Bye bye, but don’t be sad I will be back soon.

Bye Bye Paris

PARIS – LA BOURSE DU COMMERCE – NOVEMBER 2021

One of the new things I wanted to visit in Paris was the recently opened (Summer 2021) Bourse du Commerce. Very briefly : this building which was originally a place to trade grain, has been leased by French billionaire Francois Pinault to host the art collection of its group (well a part only as he also owns similar exceptional place in Venice, you can check back my post about the Venice Biennale of 2017 and also some of the 2011 Biennale).

Beside its exceptional architecture and location in the hear of Paris, the bourse du commerce as it is today, also boasts two major attractions to my eye. A work by Tadao Ando, under the form of the concrete cylinder at the heart of the main exhibition hall. I have made a few posts about Tadao Ando in the past, you can for instance read about the church of light in Osaka here.

But also in this same hall is a masterpiece by swiss artist Urs Fisher, that I already saw in Venice in 2011.

On the outside the concrete cylinder, forms a galley where work of arts by
Bertrand Lavier

The double spiralled staircase

The glass ceiling

All shots were done with the Leica M262 and I think the Elmar 50mm F3.5 (otherwise that’s the Summicron 35mm Asph vII, but Lightroom tells me its 50mm). One of the constraints I feel when shooting in big cities it to limit the kit I am carrying : I feel like it is a bit silly (lack of style, overly touristic, …) to carry too much gear in such occasion so I often carry a single body and a single lens for the day.

PARIS – LA BOURSE DU COMMERCE – NOVEMBER 2021

Paris – November 2021

I travelled to Paris in November last year for the first time in more than 10 years, the main reason being that I left the last 14 years on the other side of the planet. We were blessed with nice weather for the first part of our stay.

It was real fun being a tourist in a city I leaved for in the late 80’s. Like London, it takes me a little time to adjust and turn my eye to the local subjects and actually press the shutter, but there are really plenty of subjects here.

I carried my usual set in Paris, the M262 and the M6, but due to some luggae constraints I only carried two lenses : the Summicron 35mm Asph v2 and the vintage screw mount Elmar 50mmF3.5.

The Summicron is as always a great performer, and the Elmar is very pleasant. I must say the aperture adjustment at the front of the lens is a pain on a film camera without meter, but with the M6 or even better with the M262 set on auto mode, its no longer a problem.

Yes subjects are plenty in Paris, the sites, the people, the tourists, there is always something to shoot. I found there are also a lot of smaller shops that in London, which are making nice subjects.

Of course I was blessed being there during Christmas season where a lot of decorations are making the city even more attractive.

Below a few more random pictures. I have a couple more sets on Paris to come and in a few weeks, some analogue shots will come up.

If read until now you deserve me to whish you a happy new year, keep on shooting and may the light be with you.

Paris – November 2021

May throwback

When life is slow and shooting slower, or when life is too fast to shoot, isn’t there an opportunity to look back at the albums ( ie Lightroom folders) for recent or not so recent pictures?

The Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam

I don’t’ know how you sort your pictures, for me the digital shots end up being sorted in monthly folders (unless there is a very special event and I group them into that folder). I also end up putting the scans of each film roll in a separate subfolder under each monthly one.

Working 24/7

I originally load these images in my working hard drive, but then move them to an externals one always attached to my PC plus a couple of backups. Its not fool proof but it means all my pictures are both at arms reach and reasonably safe. I do not have an off site backup though.

Sentosa Concrete Jungle

That also ensures I can “focus” on the images that are recent (or not so ) and that I have not shared.

Sentosa by night

Well lets say that when shooting gets slow and I need something to share I know where to look at. SO today these are some shots done around Singapore in May 2021, nearly 6 month ago.

Tibetan Buddhist temple in beaty lane

Another time another place says the song. Walking around a few places I liked carrying around the Leica M262 and I think the 35mmSummicron Asph v2.

Bugis

It is getting colder in London and there is some satisfaction looking at pictures from a warmer place.

Waiting for you

Don’t worry I am not turning all sad and nostalgic, I have ordered some Ilford Fixer and some Vitamin C for the next round of Caffenol and even invested in a Thermometer so I can work properly. I have to Washing Soda at the moment but that will come soon.

May throwback

A rainy walk in Geylang Lorong 3

It has been quite commotion recently in Singapore, when the news hit the headlines that the area of Geylang called Lorong 3 will have to be handed back to the state by their owners.

Like in UK, there are many schemes of property ownership in Singapore: you can own the land of your property of just have a lease for a certain time (generally 99 or 999 years). In that case the owners of the properties had a 60 years deals and they have been informed for a while. Most of the houses are sublet to foreign workers, and some also house some places or worship.

This is not a walk down memory lane with charming old houses presenting architectural interest, home of families and smiling old folks. This is rather a set of shabby terraced housed built in 1960, in various states of dereliction. Of course the areas as a historical and Social interest and is worth documenting.

You can read more on the news here https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/housing/most-residents-of-terrace-units-in-geylang-lor-3-have-found-new-homes-ahead-of-dec

I am not a specialist of these types of subject, so feel free to correct me if I did any incorrections.

All shots with Leica M262 and Summicron 28mm Asph v1, I also have film shots for another post.

A rainy walk in Geylang Lorong 3

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 8

Oh geez another week gone. But this week is different, because this is the last before we start exiting the lock-down and enter phase 1 of the rest of our lives.

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Do not sit. (or can I sit between the crosses?)

This week I also resume shooting film, not really knowing when I will be able to process the roll. I took 20 odd shots with the Leica M6 (400 TX) around Balestier area, where not much action was going on.

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Look how much the grass has grown in from of the Victoria theater… (I have corrected the perspective of this shot in Lightroom).L1009915

and the nice light going through Anderson bridge.

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Some stalls at the Interim Food market (moved from Golden Shoe) still have goods delivered.

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Matching shirts for these people delivering good in downtown area.

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Slim silhouette wearing what seems to be the new outfit for ladies going out shopping in the new normal.

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Pure lust

All shots with Leica M262 and Summicron 28mmF2 Asph v1 : two old friends that I actually bought together, 4 years ago in June 2016. Time flies.

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 8

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 7

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It is hard to believe this “new normal” has already been in place for 7 weeks. A quick heads-up for the near future : a phased “unlock” will start from first of June, the only sure thing is that schools will reopen on on a rotational basis. So it looks I will be able to write a few more of these posts.

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I did not take the camera out of my bag this week, or did not even took a bag. Finally today, I decide to put the M262 + 28mm Cron around my neck on my walk to Chinatown to collect my dinner.

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Excellent light when crossing from People’s part to Chinatown

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The old Samsui woman seems lonely without any tourists around. I hesitated taking pictures of the stalls of Chinatown, all curtains pulled down, but the light was not great.

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On the area in front of Chinatown Complex a few old folks were hanging around in relative self distance.

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In front of the Buddha tooth relic temple, the incense burner was covered with a cloth, an unusual sight,

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Finally I think I managed to capture the new life of the F&B outlets adapting to the crisis by offering take away and delivery, Above in front a a Korean BBQ, delivery men waiting on social distanced chairs.

And below patrons waiting outside the popular  Kok Sen local eatery in Keon Siak Road.

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Or a Japanese restaurant spelling out loud.

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It seems that the female figures will be masked for a while on the pictures

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So long…

 

All shots Leica M262+28mm Summicron Asph V1

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 7

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 6

Time of the week again!I think I just took the camera with me three times this week, and I did not made a single shot today.

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Deserted Clark Quay

The weather is still indecisive but we have some nice moments, and some late afternoons with beautiful lights. I started the week with the old Summitar 50 that is on the M262 for a couple of weeks now.

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Strange lights on this office building (or is it a hotel?)

Despite its back focusing issues, it performs quite well.

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Hair Dressers are re-opening

… enough to capture the event of the week : the re-opening of hair dressers.

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Clark quay still empty

Saturday, I decided for a change and picked from the magic box the 28mm Cron Asph v1. You can think how nice the old lenses are, and you can challenge me to tell objective differences between the two shots of Clark Quay, but the newer Leica lenses rock, they are the one who justify owning a digital M body. I always recommend to everybody who wants to go the digital M way to get at least one newer lens.

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I have set the M body in auto aperture mode, but as much as it generally work, I always end up shooting at a too low speed. You will tell me this mode should be used with auto ISO, but yeah OK, it really needs some practice to be put to good work.

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A human

Yes I managed to shoot a human, that was a while since last one.

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An eateries at Chinatown MRT

I think it is always easy to take random pictures and rather difficult to shoot something that means something to you and on which you want to express something. I wanted to shown the blocked Chess game area where a lot of old folks gather usually.

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The area is now locked as you can see. I hope you get the feeling

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Finally a shot of Potato Head, in a very quiet Keong Siak Road as night was falling down,

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A very quiet potato head

Good night, keep safe.

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 6