“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.
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.
It has been a year since I moved to London but it still feels like I just arrived and there are still so many things I have not done. But this is one I have done now : I took the Leica IIIC for a spin, and we had a great time.
The pictures have been taken over a few weeks, mostly in London, but actually I realised I even brought the little fellow to Paris. It all started the week of the “Secret Gardens” walk : a week-end of open gates in private gardens around London. An opportunity of long walks and discoveries.
The first pictures are not really garden like, but I found this beautiful beast parked outside a garden. I had loaded the camera with my last roll of Fuji Across 100 (the old version) expired since a couple of years now. A souvenir from Singapore. For that first day I brought two lens (I think) the VC 21 Color Skopar and the 50 Elmar F3.5.
I have a small choice of LTM lenses: the VC 21mmF4, the Elmar, a Summitar 50mmF2 and a Summaron 35mmF3.5. And also a poor 135mmF4 Canon Serenar. But I particularly love the Elmar because of its ease of use and very predictable results. The 21mm, I love because it is sexy, particularly with the VC 21-25mm Viewfinder.
I went to Paris that week end with the little fellow and I think that’s the first time he’s been there. I only brought the Elmar, a week end in Paris is not for fussing around.
The above scene is badly centred, I blame the viewfinder for this. I sometime wish I could have a 50mm external finder like the cool Leica SBOOI.
A choir was rehearsing in Saint Sulpice church and I capture the above is a beautiful subdued light, probably wide open 1/15s, slow lens and 100 ISO film can do that.
I was back in London to capture the most beautiful day of the life of the lady above, and indulge in my gothic tendencies in Brompton cemetery
But soon it was time for Wimbledon and tennis balls grew on trees
I finished the roll in Chelsea harbour, back with the 21mm with the two shots below.
Top picture is of a mural on Primrose hill, a portrait of Captain Sir Thomas Moore, more popularly known as Captain Tom, who was a British Army officer and fundraiser who made international headlines in 2020 when he raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Film was processed in Analogue Films is Shoreditch as usual.
So this is the second part of my second roll of Cinestill XX I started in Biarritz. I was not super satisfied with the scanning so I plugged the old Epson v800 and rescan the whole film. I did not like the scan for two reasons, first I forgot to ask for high res, and I though the pictures were a bit small. Second I thought it was too grainy and had too much contrast.
I quite liked the result of the Epson, if I recon correctly I scanned in 2400 dpi, saved as B&W JPG using the standard holders. The result is a bit smooth, that you may assimilate to lack of sharpness.
I think there is a bit on compromise between sharpness, grain and details. Well anyway I am not very technical, I like these scans better.
These shot are still part of the same trip so I think the lens is either the Summicron 50mm v5, either the Summicron 35mmF2 Asph v2, attached to the Leica M6 classic
After the second roll, its a bit difficult to make an opinion on the Cinestill XX, as I am not sure how properly my lab process it. As I said before a bit too much grain for my taste (remember my favourite film is the Rollei Retro 80), but maybe there is a ratio between the distance to the subject and the grain that makes it less suitable to my may of shooting (I usually do streets shots between 5 and 10 meters) ? Did anybody consider that?
Enough of the technical bit, Paris in the spring is a beautiful place to be. That’s a first for me in about 15 years so I was under the spell, and I thing that will be the same for the seasons to come.
Paris is not as eccentric as London, but there is a good mix of old and new, tourists and locals, fake and authentic, making you raising your camera every 5 minutes. Ok I am a slow shooter so that will be once every thirty minutes.
One last technical thing: I can see on forums the never ending question of bringing films through airports: remember that there are x-ray machines as well when you take the Eurostar. I never cared being worried about X-ray machines damage to film. I think if you are an amateur this is irrelevant. If you are a pro that’s different, but then you can always buy and process locally if its so important.
Thanks for reading.
All shots Leica M6 Classic, Summicron 35 or 50, Cinestill XX shot at 200 ISO, I put an indication of where the pictures were shot so you can plan a tour. This roll is older that the one displayed in My last roll of Ektachrome.
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.
Oh my Oh my. We are in March already and here is my last B&W roll of 2021, where was I? Well not shooting for sure, as I just brought my first roll of 2022 to the lab. Well time flies, photography is one of the losers in the adjustment to my new life.
Anyway, last roll of 2021, shot in December in France, first 4 shots in Paris, next 5 in Cannes, the others in Antibes.
This is a single roll of Ilford HP5+, still hand rolled from the 30 meters roll I bought last year in Singapore. Pictures were taken with the M6 classic with the Elmar 50F3.5 or the Summicron 35 Asph v2. Oh by the way that’s not my last roll of 2021, no no no sir, I quickly shot a roll of expired Portra 400 at the end of December, but I am not sure there are enough shots to share on that one, or maybe yes I ll do next week.
I am a slow shooter and a slower poster. So here is a roll shot in late October / November 2021 in London and in Paris for the last few shots.
I am sure the film was from my 30m meters roll of Ilford HP5, and shot with the Leica M6. I cannot se so sure about the lens.
The roll was processed by AnalogueFilms in Shoreditch again. I had to explain a bit that the film was not what was said on the canister, but I think the message passed across. They were also very kind and gave me a handful of empty canisters that I will replenish with more HP5.
The first three shots were taken during a long walk from Knightsbridge to Borough Market, the one above and the one below were taken another week around Covent Garden. The guy above was having some kind of practical joke with friends.
Then we went to Paris for the last week of November, from now on I used the Elmarit 50 only on the M6.
We are all kids in front of the Galleries Lafayette Christmas display.
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).
So this is my last post of the digital shots made with the M262 and the Elmar 50 or the Summicron 35.
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
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.
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…
Probably translate literally to “Boss pour us a little one, we are thirsty”. Paris and its bistro’s could fill a life of photography.
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 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.
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.