The Hakka Cemetery

I wanted to visit this place for a very long time : a cemetery enclosed in a housing block is the west of Singapore city center.

Hakka, are a Chinese population originating from the eastern part of Hunan, you can read more on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakka_people. They form about 8% of the Chinese population of Singapore.

The cemetery is home to about 3000 graves, below which urns of ashes are buried. Unlucky for me the place was closed when I reached there after a 40 minutes bus ride. I could still make a few shots, but there seems to be some very interesting views to catch so I will try to go back at a better time.

The Ying Fo Fui Kun cemetery as it is known, is part of a heritage trail that looks promising, I will dig into that in the near future. You can find further reading here https://lionraw.com/2014/03/18/the-hakka-cemetery/

Today’s pictures where taken on Ilford Pan F 50ISO film with the Hasselblad 500cm and 80mm F2.8. They were processed soon after in Caffenol using the batch I prepared last week, then scanned with the Epson v800. I had 3 shots left when leaving the cemetery, so I head back in town. I made a first stop at Tiong Bahru at QiTian Gong temple. It s the 100’s birthday of the temple this year and it has been renovated, but due to the Covid there are no celebrations this year. You can find pictures of past ceremonies there :

https://waex99photo.wordpress.com/2016/09/17/tiong-bahru-qi-tian-gong-temple/

or

https://waex99photo.wordpress.com/2016/09/17/tiong-bahru-qi-tian-gong-temple/

After this I head to the old railway station which is under work (no idea what is suppose to happen to it in the future) and finally to the small Hock Teck See Temple, a small Taoist temple surrounded by construction sites.

I hope you enjoyed the reading …

The Hakka Cemetery

A Roll of Rollei ATP 32

Rollei ATP11

Rollei ATP (Advanced Technical Pan) 1.1 is advertised as an extremely high-resolution black and white fine grain film. This film is characterized by fine grain, high sharpness and variable contrast. It has a nominal sensitivity of ISO 32/16°.

The roll was shot with the Leica M6 and mostly a Summicron 28.

It is a  (super) panchromatic film, ie have a sensibility to all the visible wavelength as opposed to orthochromatic which have a specific sensibility to red.

This is the second roll I shot in 35mm and as you can see from the label is has passed the expiration date by 2 years, but was kept in the fridge. As usual my rolls go to the shop (Ruby photo in Singapore) and do not get any special processing.

Back from the shop it is evident the roll is underexposed, blame the 2 years expiry or the failing batteries on the M6? I cannot say. But all in all a bit under.

The first 3 pictures were taken in the afternoon, on a rather sunny day, in Mac Ritchie reservoir in central Singapore. I really like the metallic rendering of these pictures, particularly the second one. The first one has something special in the richness of the grey tones which is very pleasing.

The picture above is very different, under midday sun a family scene a the skate park. Hard sun, not ideal conditions, but the contrast is not as harsh as with the Rollei 25 RPX. Very pleasing.

Same goes for the above; hard light, wide range of grey.

Above the heritage buildings on Petain Court. And below the Summicron wide open on an overcast day. Very nice definition.

Finally the last picture below, and the revelation of why I liked this roll very much : these negative scans (with the now outdated Epson v500) have a rendering close to a wet print. I think it is done to the total range but also something special in the depth of the blacks.

I checked the results of the first roll that I shot 3 years ago with the defunct NikonF4s. The pictures are showing the same smoothness, high resolution and deep darks, and a bit undeexposed. So, with the Rollei Retro 80s this is a very good choice of film for a change. I will order some Medium format rolls to check with the hassie.

Finally, what can you shoot at 32 ISO? On a sunny day with a F2 lens ? Anything. But when the sun goes out you better have another body at hand. So it can be quite frustrating at times.

Oh and where to get some? No idea where you can buy some in Singapore. In France I order mine from http://www.mx2boutique.com/ , there is also https://www.macodirect.de/en/ in Germany.

A Roll of Rollei ATP 32

Japan Camera Hunter – JCH 400 FILM

During my trip to Melbourne where I discover the FilmNeverDie  shop, I bought a couple of rolls of their SHIROKURO but also one roll of JCH StreetPan 400 film (why only one?)! I am always looking forward to try new or uncommon films, this is part of the magic of chemistry of film photography, to make me expected something new and exciting that does not depend on my technical skills (if I have any) to happen on the roll.

You can find the announcement of the film and read more about it there.

streetpan-400iso

This does not look to be  a re-branded film as the negs have the mention JCH.

This is not a technical review, I am by noway an expert, I understand that pan chromatic does not mean much other than a reproduction similar to human eye. Not sure what this means for black and white. This film is supposed to have a higher sensibility to red and a low grain.

I loaded the roll in the newly repaired Leica IIIc, and the following shots are done during Chinese new year in Singapore using a Summitar 50mmf2 lens. The Summitar is a bit back focusing so this is probably not a proper set-up to judge the quality of the film, but I have a soft spot for the IIIc.

Exposure is measured with a handheld Sekonic 308s lighmeter.

2017-4-iiic-3-040
Peanut stall

This picture is shot under a red tent and gives for interesting palette of grey, probably due to the sensitivity to red.

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There’s a cow behind the bins

For those who wonder, this was processed by the usual lab used by Ruby photo, no idea what chemical they use.

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Cookie stall

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Fellow film shooter, using a Canon 7s and Summar 50mm (but I saw he has more tricks in his bag)

The grain is actually quite controlled, and the sharpness, if you keep in mind this is shot with a vintage soft lens, is quite good. I am not a big fan of high grain film like the TriX (although I use it a lot), and always preferred the soft TMAX100 or Fuji Acros

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2017-4-iiic-3-028
Kueh shop

Actually the contrast is quite smooth, unlike the Rollei Retro 400s I used recently, so for higher contrast scenes it gives  nice gradation of grey.

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The ladies selling newspaper on Keong Saik Road

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Happy fellows

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Night shot in Chinatown, a Bakua shop

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Preparing for Chinese new year

Even this night shot with back-light could be salvaged and give a nice rendering.

All in all this is quite a satisfying experience, if I manage to get more rolls they’l deserve to be shot with a better camera like the M6 or the “never-fail” EOS 1N.

JCH has sold all his stock, so only retailers will have some rolls now, until more are produced. I don’t think anybody has some in Singapore but you can find a list of suppliers on the JCH web-site.

 

 

Japan Camera Hunter – JCH 400 FILM

Design Week-end – Singapore

10 to 22nd of March was the Singapore Design Week, and during the week-ends were some Design trails, taking visitors through Design landmarks in the city-state.

We join the trail on the last Sunday,and had a first stop around our house at the Lloyds Inn, a recently renovated boutique hotel around the corner from where we live. The inside of the hotel is out-of-bounds but the garden and outside architecture is worth a look.

Lloyds Inn

Lloyds Inn

Lloyds Inn

In a small portion of the garden is a kind or art installation, good opportunity for a close up with the Hassie.

Lloyds Inn

Lloyds Inn

The trail is quite well organized and a minibus was bringing visitors from one place to the next. This being sunday a couple of places were closed unfortunately. We head next to the Working Capitol on Keong Saik Road, near Chinatown. This is a very nice classic building converted into a shared working space for individual entrepreneurs and start-ups.

A bit more close up action on a showcased jewelry stand

Out final stop was up Pearl Hill, on what’ snow called number 195, but was called “the upper barracks” from the time it was housing the Sikh officers of the colonial police (I imagine the non officers were in the lower barracks). This is also a beautiful colonial era building, but which nowadays is more or less left to its own dereliction. Very close to the city center it would make a beautiful area for art display or as the Working Capitol for housing start-ups.

We met a very nice young couple doing calligraphy to the greatest joy of my son.
Al pictures taken with the trusty Hasselblad 500Cm and the 80mmF2.8. Some pictures (interior) with Kodak Tri-x 400, others with Ilford PAN 50.

 

References:
The Working Capitol
Design Singapore Council
Lloyd’s Inn

Design Week-end – Singapore

The first film with the LOMO KonstruKtor.

So I finally finished assembling the LOMO Konstructor last week end. I loaded it with a roll of Ilford Pan 400 ISO, my favorite low end film and went for a Sunday stroll with the family around Singapore.

The camera is fun, light, small. Cracking is not obvious so I had a few overlapping frames “lomo style”. It looks like 1 to 10 meters is the ideal range to take shots, as further out the lack of sharpness shows and lacks of interest. Framing is a bit random, an I did not manage to take a vertical shot. Finally the shutter is a bit difficult to press, causing frequent camera shake.

Asahi
Asahi

 

 

 

 

Asahi beer pump on club street, shot in the shades, probably one meter distance. My favorite shot.

Lomography

 

This is a bit unfair to shot Lomography so close to the bin, but…

Mrs B

 

Mrs B. in the sun

Young photographer Noé

 

I think this picture of my son is also quite good, a bit of frame overlap on the left, enough detailed on the center. Hey I’m a lomographer.

 

B-Side

 

 

Singapore B Side: more card board recycling in a small alley in Chinatown. More frame overlap to the right this time.

The lomographer

 

Oops the lomographer lomographed. Even wife and children can use the Konstructor. With an aperture of F10 you really need ISO 400; maybe a bit overexposed in broad daylight but perfect as soon as there are a bit of shadows and not enough inside. Probably a bit of camera shake is involved here as well.


Gentrification

“Potatoo Head”a new place in Keong Saik road, in Chinatown, another example of the gentrification of the area where a new “trendy”place replaces the old corner coffee shop. The lack of sharpness really shows heere

Camera:Lomo Konstruktor, 50mm F10

Film: Ilford PAN 400 ISO

The first film with the LOMO KonstruKtor.

The uncle he is a painter – Singapore

 

 

 

 

This old folk was renovation some mural paintings along Keing Saik road near chinatown.

Facebook-2

Facebook-1

 

Facebook-3

Facebook-4

Facebook-5

 

All shots with the Leica IIIc with the Jupiter 12 35mm f2.8; I used the Ilford Pan 400ISO.

Still 4 or 5 shots going wrong on the film, but the rest is ok, but in short the Leica is not 100 operational.

The Jupiter is not bad after all but it back focuses a bit, it is definitely embarrassing of closer shots.

I just bought a Helios viewfinder for 35,85 and 135 mm so there will be more exploration of the Jupiter but also the Canon 135mm soon.

 

The uncle he is a painter – Singapore

Misadventure in Caffenol – take 1

2 years ago I have been very happy trying to process my black and white film at home with the Caffenol recipe. I did 7 rolls at a time, and some produced some very fine pics.

To make sort, you mix washing soda and instant coffee, add a bit of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and Bob’s your uncle.

This summer I imagined that back in Singapore for a couple of weeks without the family I could replicate this success. Alas, on the 4 films I have processed, none came out very good. My original recipe was  dosed for the washing Soda that can be found in France, and I am not sure the one I can find here is dosed the same way. What about the quality of instant coffee? And the temperature of the tap water?

So I tried to process  4 films and this is what I got:

film num.1: TMAX 100 from holidays in France: I used the original recipe, film goes out bad but I could scan it and post some of the picture in flickr or in my 24th of July post here

film num.2: ILFORD PAN 400 from photo-tour in Arab Street with Singapore Photo Walker group, taken with the Kiev IV : I reduce the soda and used 60-70% of the original: the film is almost unusable and you’ll find the pictures below. I could not scan it, I had to shot the negatives with my DSLR using a flash gun to back-light the film.

film num.3: Fuji Neopan 100 : supposed to be Caffenol friendly: I shot the film (only 12 shots in Medium Format) in Chinatown one afternoon with the old Agfa Isolette III. Film goes out very dark, but when digitized with the DSLR method, pictures are ok; unfortunately the focusing of the Agfa doe snot works ! Argh!

film num.4: Rollei RPX 100: my lastfilm of the holidays in France: I try another recipe and got a total black film. Bouh ouh

Not much lessons to take from this. But I’ll try again sometime

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Misadventure in Caffenol – take 1

A tour at Wessex Village – Singapore

A few weeks back an Art Walk was organized in  Wessex Village here in Singapore.  Wessex Village  is an area of  old colonial style apartment blocks. Originally they were used to house British soldiers, but a few years back they have been offered as residential and studio space for artists.

The buildings are apartment blocks with an external design similar to Singapore black and white colonial houses. The blocks have name of cities, regions or countries. I suppose they are name of regiments or cantonment cities of the British army.

Aden

Aden is one of these magic names that sparks ideas of exoticism and 19th century adventurers to my mind.

Noé was posing for this Japanese painter whose apartment / workshop we visited.

Aden – Arabie

A very easy homage to Paul Nizan book “Aden Arabie“.

What do we seek when we travel? Do we need to go to Aden to seek the truth about where we live? Aden is here anyway.

More down to earth you can imagine this is the score of a soccer match !

Marne

This was the week before the International Commie Camera Day, so I took the Kiev IV loaded with an Ilford PAN 400ASA with the Jupiter 8 50mmF2 and Jupiter 12 35mmF2.8. As you can see on my post about the Kiev I had to tape the body to avoid light leaks; got a couple funny looks.

Mons

I love the black and white of this set of pictures; particularly the black of the tire on this one.

Camera: Kiev IV
Lens: Jupiter 8- 50mmf2
Film: Ilford Pan 400 ASA
Digifilm:Epson V500+Lightroom

A tour at Wessex Village – Singapore

International Commie Camera Days 2013

So May Day came along and a Flickr group organized International Commie Camera Days 2013; a day of celebration for the workers united and an opportunity to get your Russian camera out of its box. So the choice is between the Zorki or the Kiev or both, but at this time I already have received the LeicaIII and some new LTM and have a few rolls on for testing so I’ll keep it simple and pick only one camera and it is the Kiev. The Zorki rangefinder is still not repaired so until then it way stay in the box.

I picked up the unloved Ilford Pan 400 ISO for this “assignment” and In order to get ready for it I have sealed the leaks of the Kiev 4 with masking tape as shown on the last post and made a bit of decoration after loading the film of course.

Discussion on the group gave a bit of flexibility on the definition of May Day and the range was extended from 1st to 9th of May; but I decided to try stick to the 1st of May and/or work related stuff.

Workers Party of Singapore

Bad Comrades – working on may day

 

No Illegal workers – in many languages

I can recognize English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil; the last one I hesitate between Thai and Burmese

Worker at rest

This one is with the 50mmF2 Jupiter 8 nearly wide open, probably F2.8 1/60s seconds in the office.

 

All in all this is only the 3rd film for the Kiev and I must say I am quite pleased with the result; including the B&W quality of the Ilford PAN. I’ll post next the first part of the roll shot in old buildings in Wessex Village in Singapore of which I find the B&W just amazing. Ah and I think I am nearly on target for “a film a week in 2013“; another stupid and funny exercise.

 

International Commie Camera Days 2013

Thaipusam 2013

The wheel of time made another full circle and the Hindu festival of Thaipusam is back again. as it is based on the lunar calendar it falls on a Sunday this year which is just great for having a look and taking pictures.

I wrote in the past about Thaipusam and you can find on Wikipedia some information about the meaning of the the celebration. Let’s just say that in Singapore it is a 4 km pilgrimage between Serangoon Road (in little India) to Tank Road, that devotees walk to thank the gods or to ask them for a favor (and then they will do it the following years to thank them). Pilgrims generally carry burdens, from simple pots of milks to heavy Kavadis. The most spectacular aspect of Thaipusam is that the Kavadis often pierce into the bearer’s flesh, but also some other piercing rituals are performed.

Beyond this, Thaipusam is a great opportunity to actually see faith in action. Apart from photography I am looking forward to this event for its atmosphere and just being there. A lot of spectators attend the event, and in Singapore it is a big photography circus.

The event follows generally this schedule:
– the day before, the Silver Chariot carrying a statue of the god, is traveled in town and comes back in the Tank Road temple, where people gather to pray.
– very early in the day itself, devotees go to the Serangoon road temple where they prepare themselves before the pilgrimage, involving the complex construction of Kavadis
– the pilgrimage itself is a 4 km walk to tank Road, Kavadi bearer dance to the sound of music and are supported by relatives
– In Tank Road, pilgrims go inside the temple to ge the blessing
– outside the temple is the area where Kavadis are disassembles and pikes removed from chicks, tongues, and other body part.

This year i was lucky enough to be able to go to Tank Road on the Saturday, then in the Sunday morning to see the first Kavadis being disassembled, then to Serangoon Road and then back to Tank road in the afternoon.

Serangoon road, between 8 and 10 AM is the best spot for me. Nicer atmosphere, enough light, same photographers I see every year.

This year I brought the Hasselblad and these are the Hassie shots you see with this post. It’s not so easy to shot moving people, but I think the keeper ratio for the 2 rolls is fantastic. I used some Rollei RPX 400 ASA film which I find also just great, the grain is so thin.

I also carried the D700 with a couple of lenses, that will be for the next post.

Camera: Hasselblad 500cm
Lens: 80mm F2.8 Planar
Film: Rollei RPX 400 Pan
Digifilm: Epson v500+Adobe Lightroom 3.6

Thaipusam 2013