There is no Planet B

This is not a piece of sci-fi write up, just a few shots from a protest about Climate Change on Trafalgar Square in London in early November.

It seems to become a recurring pattern in my posts (check here ), but this is a reality : some people wants to let the others know that climate is changing and its time we do something about it.

I don’t necessarily do enough myself (oh that business trip to Asia makes me guilty) , but maybe sharing pictures is a small action I can do?

It cannot be less productive than wearing an extinction rebellion tie ūüôā . Ok ok and what about the impact of film processing? Frankly I don’t know. This was shot with my Leica M4 from 1967, with an even older lens, so probably it has less impact that a digital sensor made in the recent years. Tough question, a bit like electric car battery impact vs thermic engine oil consumption.

This guy’s accordion is probably not younger than the M4, he kindly started playing when I asked to take his portrait, but even in 2022 the M4 is still not capturing sound. I used the KEKS EM-01 Light meter , it is nice and light and quite accurate, but I still have problems reading the measure.

This is another roll of my 100ft HP5 roll that I still have not finished, it is not so old, so I don’t think age has deteriorated it that much but I am not really enthralled by the grain. Well another 4 rolls to go. It seems it never finishes, but all in all it should be about 18 rolls overall. I think I’ll buy something else next. Maybe some Ultrafine 400, but it seems the Extreme is sold out. They now have a different product, Finesse, I have to dig a little before engaging me for another 18 rolls, but also that is just 60USD for 100ft roll.

Rebels at rest

By the way this is roll 23 of this year, all in all better than last year (in term of number of rolls anyway) but far from my 55 rolls from a few years back.

Oh I have decide to go back to Caffenol, so watch this space for badly processed pictures in the coming weeks.

I hope you enjoyed the pics, and remember : “There is no planet B”

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There is no Planet B

The happy people party in the park

A few time last summer we bumped into this lot of happy skaters, who were engaged in what can be described as a party.

Good atmosphere, disco music and smiles all around, all lead by the above MC.

Hurry up Alice or you ll be late to the party.

The sun was going down and available light was no much, but good enough for the Summicron 50 and the roll of HP5 loaded in the M6.

A bit of line dancing.

I m just passing by, please ignore me.

The happy people party in the park

Hare Krishna Celebration in Trafalgar Square

A strange sadhu

Here are a few shots of a Hare Krishna celebration in October in Trafalgar square in London. Is stumbled over the party by complete chance.

Hare Hare its all in the flare

I was armed for the occasion ( well not for the occasion then as it was by chance) with the Leica M6 classic and the Summicron 50mmV5.

Hare Hare its all in the flare

For once I had a Kodak TMAX 100ISO film loaded, not the usual Ilford HP5 coming from my endless bulk roll.

Cling cling
And the band kept on playing

Very friendly atmosphere, an opportunity to remember and share our love of India and its culture.

Some may still be lost…

Hare Krishna Celebration in Trafalgar Square

4 month in the back of the Hassie (The colour version)

Two weeks ago I took my courage in my hands and pulled the Hassie out of the box. When I say the Hassie I mean the Hassie and my second back. Because after my first outing with the Blad in London (here and here) I was so happy that I put a colour (Kodak Ektar 100 slightly expired) film in one back, and a roll of Ilford HP5+ in the other.

One back has a label “400” which is supposed to make things easier. Well anyway, back in May, and this Ektar roll, that was the Chelsea flower show and the sun was shinning and everything was perfect for a stroll in Chelsea.

I even found a Chinese artist doing whatever he was doing

and a dummy representing Vivienne Westwood close to where her iconic shop was in the 70’s.

Charles Eames plastic chairs are always a colourful delight (some of these are vintage fiberglass ones)

And then the hassie went in the cupboard for summer and went out two weeks ago. And on a beautiful autumn day, I dragged it along regents Canal, where the afternoon light was warm and beautiful.

All of this is water under the bridge. I used the Sekonic 380x as a light meter. A great piece of kit, but no so easy when switching backs.

And of course you are now expecting the catch at the end of the story. So we finish walking around Regents’ Park, went back to the Freeze open air sculpture exhibition, shot the final two frames, roll the roll .. et voila. The back labelled “400” is of course the one containing the Ektar roll. So assuming I had all my head for the first half of the roll, the second half was over exposed by one stop without visible effect on these shots.

You will also notice that there are only nine shots : apart from a portrait of my lovely wife that I keep to myself, there are two incredibly sh!t shots : the floor at my feet and a misfocused Austin mini as the beginning of the film. That’s easily 4 ¬£ lost … errr

I hope you enjoyed the reading, get ready for the other roll soon.

4 month in the back of the Hassie (The colour version)

The Queen is dead (The film edition)

There are a few inconvenient living close to Buckingham palace, one good thing is that its easy to drop buy when something is happening, even an unfortunate event as the passing of queen Elizabeth II.

It was easy to go a couple of times over the fatal week end, shoot a bit of film, with the M6 and the Summicron 50v5.

Oh we are 20th of October 2022 today, so from now on I have to specify that my M6 is an original classic one with alloy body, not the new version with mate paint over brass body, as it seems these things matters to camera makers.

This is part of a roll of Ilford HP5, hand rolled from the 30 meters spool I bought nearly 2 years ago, processed at the usual Analogue Films Lab in Shoreditch.

The two days were quite different, the Friday being is, may I say, more interesting and laid-back, we could even see the King getting out of the palace. The area before the palace was easy to access, and I circled it a few times.

Saturday, the place was packed to the point of not being accessible (no interest if you ve been here the day before), and the crowd was mostly laying flowers in Green Park.

It was a heyday for photographers, even for smartphotographers from Asia.

Talking about the event with my wife we remembered that we witnessed the passing of King Baudouin of Belgium in 1993 while we were living there (sorry I don have any pictures) and the one of Lee Kwan Yew in Singapore in 2015 (you can find some of my pictures here), but don’t go imagining things.

The Philippino ladies kindly agreed to have their pix taken
Are you ok?
The Queen is dead (The film edition)

Paris in the spring

Batmaid (Boulevard Beaumarchais)

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.

City of Romance (Rue Amelot)

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.

Fun in Paris (Ile de la cité)

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.

Ready maestro (Rue de Buci)

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

Glorious food (Rue du pas de la mule)

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?

Public transport ( Rue Saint Antoine)

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.

A l italienne (Boulevard Saint Germain)

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.

Lost if thoughts (Rue de la petite boucherie)

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.

For the ladies : the firemen of Paris (Bords de Seine, quai François Mitterrand)
Lost ( Quai des Grands augustins)

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.

Paris in the spring

My first roll of Cinestill XX

London, where else?

A bit more than a month back I bought two rolls of Cinestill XX in the Aperture UK shop in London. I have read about this film, but its the first time I saw some available for purchase, so I picked two rolls to see what it is like, keeping in mind that I will have a road trip in France a few weeks down the line.

I loaded the first roll soon after and started shooting in London over a couple of very sunny week-ends we had in late April.

The XX box claim to be a variable speed motion picture, but on a conservative move, I set the M6 speed dial to 200, and put a 50mm lens in front of it, most likely the Summicron v5 or the Summilux v2 with a yellow filer.

Balthazar’s bride

It is very difficult to tell which one I used from the pictures.

Twins
Off the wall

So a good first part of the roll was shot in London, the weather was nice and my brain clicked in shooting mode.

Fashion addicts

When holidays started, I spent a day in Paris, with not much shooting action, then drove to the Loire valley, where frankly I felt more compelled to use the digital M and 28 mm cron.

But here are three shots of the park of the Chenonceau castle.

At this point we drove to Bordeaux witch I never visited before and seems to be a good place for street photography, just enough people, and specific places.

A street in Cite Fujes built by Le Corbusier

Worth visiting for modern architecture buffs : the cité frugès built by Le Corbusier, one house is a museum and can be visited upon appointment.

The market
The blue oyster cult
Street life

The film was processed by my usual lab here in London : Analogue Films in Shoreditch, it seems they were not very familiar with the film at first. They managed to do their usual good job as processing and scanning.

The last part we moved to Biarritz in the Basque Country, capital of surfing in France.

Life is a beach

I always found very odd to shoot sea side in black and white, but hey why not, my parents did this ages ago.

Bay watch
Local artists
The market

I found the XX a bit too grainy for my taste, maybe blame the processing, who knows? Lets see how the second roll turns out.

Oh yes, the cost. The film was 11£ a roll ( almost 13 Euros, 14 USD, 19 SGD), mmm I think I still have some HP5+ in my 100ft roll. And Analogue Films charge about 8£ for process and scan.

Hope you enjoyed the ride.

My first roll of Cinestill XX

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

Last black and white shots of 2021

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.

Hope you enjoyed watching…

Last black and white shots of 2021

LONDON 2021 ROLL#3

The painter

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.

She was there is the sunlight

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.

Planking

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.

Select your Chanel (Harrods London)
Martin Margiela window
Back from another later afternoon walk

Then we went to Paris for the last week of November, from now on I used the Elmarit 50 only on the M6.

A vigil for Virgil Abloh in front of Louis Vuitton

We are all kids in front of the Galleries Lafayette Christmas display.

Inside the Galleries Lafayette
Good Bye, two more rolls to process to finish 2021!

Hope you enjoyed the reading.

LONDON 2021 ROLL#3