… and some friends from the HUGS (Hasselblad User Group Singapore), just before we could not hug anymore. A very small mid week post, 10 shot of a Rollei Superpan 200.
This is taken with a Hasselblad 500 CM with the Planar 80mm F2.8 CF, processed at my usual lab and scanned at home with the Epson v800, and edited in Lightroom. I don’t particularly like the Superpan, but I must admit it was OK on this occasion.
Birthdays have the habit of coming back every year, so for the third time I think I find myself at the TIONG BAHRU QI TIAN GONG temple in the area of Singapore called Tiong Bahru for the birthday of the temple. One of my friends reminded me of the event and I was super happy it was at a time where I could attend.
This is a Taoist temple, a popular faith in Singapore among the Chinese population. I still don’t know much about the Taoist faith and practice, so i won’t try to explain it here. The spirits and gods have a great place in the faith and they are honored through offerings like Chinese Opera, joss paper bonfires, ..
The celebration involved lions dances, a dragon dance troop, musicians, as above and below. Singaporeans say that Taoist are noisy. I think I have some old shots of the gentleman below.
The person that looks to be the man in charge posing with the lions and some banners.
Meanwhile across the street, the porters of the gods sedan chairs are taking some rest.
I shot 2 rolls of Tri-x (one above, one below this paragraph), one roll or Provia 400H (in between) and hundreds of digital pictures using the magic combo, Leica M6 for film and the M262 for digital; for lenses I brought the 50 cron, mostly on the M6, the 35cron mostly the M262 then. I also brought along the 90mm Elmarit for a few digital portraits.
At that moment the gods starts to be carried in 3 sedan chairs to the place where the bonfire will be lit.
Below some of the carriers of the three sedan chairs.
I don’t know if they are really heavy but the guys are relaying each others regularly.
This write up is about the film shots and should be called “You are all my favorites”. It found very difficult to select between the shots. I have included the shots of the two Tri-x rolls, I will do another small article about the Provia roll which has its own story.
We now arrived at the field where the bonfire will be lit, a small crowed is gathered. Led the the Taoist priests.
One of the gods chair with the idol in the middle.
So what happened since the March Photowalk? No pictures ? Well a bit of the contrary, I have been in a film frenzy and I now average 2 rolls a week, but then this takes a lot of time to process and there is little time left to put this us in a post. Also of course has there’s been a bit of travelling, but that will be for other posts…
So at the week after the March photowalk, on a Wednesday morning, was the celebration of Panguni.
Panguni is a Hindu celebration similar to Thaipusam (you can see my post for this year here). In Singapore it is held two lunar months after Thaipusam, in the Yishun area, at the Holy Tree Sri Balasubramaniar Temple.
Like Thaipusam it involves body piercing, carrying Kavadis, music, friends and family support.
It is always amazing from the outside to see people going through this ritual. But you can also find some laughter there.
Panguni is a lot smmaller celebration that Thaipusam and it is less crowded. A lot less photographers and onlokers as well. Some of the people I spoke to pput the emphasis on the local dimension of the ceremony.
Pictures are done with Leica M4 and M6, with Summaron 35F2.8 and Summilux 50F1.4v2, using Kodak Tri-X. I also shot some colours pics but they did not make it through the selection.
As this was the first outing of the year, I could not resist bringing along a second camera, the Nikon F photomnic with the original 50mmF1.4 non AI.
When I did the write up of the film shots of 2015, I noticed the Nikon F only went out of the box once and this is not fair, I have some interesting lenses that can attach to it and it should hit the road more often this year.
The batteries from the stock seems to be still working; I pulled from the fridge a roll of Rollei retro 80s. This is the first time I use this film, I read you can shoot it at 100. This film is expired for a bit more than a year, but sitting in the fridge that probably does not matter. When I bought the Nikon F a few years back I grabbed two measuring prisms and both although far from mint provide accurate measuring, at least as good as the handled meter.
Same as for the Hasselblad shots, all the pictures are made handheld, the 50mm is the equivalent of the 80mm Planar on the Hassie, not the best for architecture shot, but both cameras are already quite heavy so I could not consider bringing another lens (anyway the wider I have with the connection prong is 35mm).
The Rollei film performed quite well. It has as expected fine grain, it is quite contrasty, the scanning is easy as the negs are quite flat, the film has an odd blueish tint. Some of the shots have some deep blacks, and nice grays. The measuring seems to be not always on, but maybe it is more due to the meter of the F than to the characteristics of the film. This film seems to show some character and I’ll get some more when I can. I’ll probably test with another camera, the EOS1M which has better metering capabilities.
There is not much more to add about the National Gallery from my last post, maybe that the place boasts a few restaurants (at least 3 or 4) and the prime minister of Singapore was treating a Princess of Thailand the way we visited.
Ok actually this is more over the sea than under. Part of the “big tour of the south pacific” holidays camera pack, I carried along the Heineken Toy Camera and its waterproof case. I had a great time and some interesting shots when I brought in on a company week end out in Phuket two years ago, so I thought it would be a nice complement to the DSLR and the Agfa.
To make things a bit more funny, I loaded it with Black and White Tri-X film. I think the colors generally sucks with such cameras and black and white will make a bit more special images. I think at 400ISO the Tri-X is a bit over exposed even given the F9, 1/60th of a second fixed exposure of the camera. The 100ISO shots at Phuket where a bit better.
Oh and the fixed lens is a 28mm.
Below is my aquatic family, mini me and wifey
And your servitor, shot by Noé the aquatic photographer.
Shots from our hotel in Tahiti, with the island of Moorea in the background.
Finaly a real underwater shot with fish included.
All of this is good fun. I missed having a digital submarine camera though, I must say the few underwater shots would have been nice. But not regret, i’ll do this again.
During last summer holidays my wife looked into an old card-box in the garage and found the Canonet 28 her dad offered her for her 10’s birthday. The camera was still boxed, with the never ready case, strap, manual, guarantee card and a film still engaged.
All looked in perfect condition at the time, but I did not have time to take it for a try and the wife did not want to bring it back to Singapore.
So last month we were back to France for Christmas holidays and I planned carefully to arrived with a roll of Tri-X and an Alkaline battery to make my test. Opening the box a second time was a different experience: the never ready case is very deteriorated, and some joint on the camera door are desaggregating as well. The battery contact shows some corrosion but my father in law was clever enough to remove the old battery before packing the camera. All in all the camera is in good shape, but bought in 1975 and packed probably since the middle of the 80’s (30 years ago), it is not in pristine condition.
After cleaning the contacts, I loaded the battery and the roll of film and the meter start moving when the aperture ring is set to auto mode. I went though the documentation but could not get the meter to give me a speed indication when I select the aperture manually; so all the shots are done in full auto mode.
Results are quite good I think. Quite good contrast if not sharp. There is a few limitations ISO is limited to 25 to 400 range and speed from 1/30th to 1/600th. When it is getting dark, the camera will take pictures at 1/30th F2.8 which cause some motion blur or under exposure. Focusing is easy and seems quite accurate.
I saw the fence and just thought about Geoff Dyer’s book “The ongoing moment” that I am finishing at the moment. He makes a relationship between a 1916 shot of a fence by Paul Strand and a far later picture by Michael Ormerod echoing to it. And here I am in the next century, 100 years later indeed, in front of the fence… really I have no shame
And now for those who read carefully the start of the post. What of the film that was engaged in the camera? This was Konika SR-V 100 color print film; manufacture in the late 80’s; so this is probably expired for 20 odd years. I rolled it back carefully, loaded it in the Nikon F3 and shot it at 50ISO and brought it to the lab… absolutely nothing was shown on the negs when I collected them. Too bad….
Let’s have a small break from the pictures of Vietnam.
Last week end we had a company outing in Phuket, Thailand and I was asked what camera i will bring. I have a pretty bad record for this type of activities as I broke my D80 last time as well as a Fuji Instax. So this in mind, plus not wanting to have a proper camera in the middle when having some funny activities (some involving water and some even stronger beverages) I ended up picking up the Heineken Toy Camera. A plastic 35mm camera that was given free a couple of years back with the purchase of 15 bottles of Heineken.
I loaded the thing with some Ilford 400 PAN, which turned out to be as its worst but also when we went to a beach on an island with a roll of Rollei RPS 100ISO. The pictures below were taken from this film. I really really enjoyed it, specially the ones under the rain. Of did I mention the camera came with an under water case? I don’t really shoot with toy camera’s, only with battered old ones, but I like the dreamy effect of the plastic lens very much.