The Leica User Group Singapore (LUGS) organized an outing last week (7 April 2008) to the Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club.
The Hassie came to the party loaded with a roll of Cinestill 50D. Here is the result. The Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club is place in Amg Mo Kio, central Singapore, where bird lovers have their pets compete. In both singing and look competition.
It is a beutiful places with both shadow areas with low hanging bird cages but also a wide open space with high poles were cages are hoisted by a pulley system.
(The above rectangular shot is due to an issue with the Hassie back frame spacing)
On competition days judges are walking between the birds and give notes.
Gurdwara Ber Sahib is situated in the Sultanpur lodhi town of Kapurthala Distt.
It is situated on the bank of the rivulet Kali Bein, half a kilometre to the west of the old town; Guru Nanak performed his morning ablutions in the Bein and then sat under a Ber (Zizyphus jujuba) tree to meditate.
Guru Ji meditated at this tree daily for 14 years, nine months and 13 days. While Bathing here one day in Bein River Guru Sahib disappeared and was missing and returned after three days. Upon returning enlightned Guru began his life long mission of preaching Sikhism. (http://www.sikhiwiki.org)
I was most impressed by the pond, the contrast of its green color and the white stones around under the harsh midday sun. The black fish adding to the scenery, but I am afraid I did not manage to capture it properly.
As in every Gurdwara, we had to visit the langar hall, which was quite empty at that time. But being one of the most sacred place for Sikh it is quite big and can host quite a crowd.
The man poured us some massala tea with the device below; which is quite a clever invention to serve the usual crowd.
As an eminent foreign guest after having our tea we were hushed into the kitchen, where a group of volunteers were making chapatis.
A beautiful light was pouring from the windows.
We had to decline the invitation to make chapatis ourselves.
Back in the Langar hall.
Around the pool a enclosed bathing areas for women only.
The living quarters.
Outside the Gurwara, volunteers shining the shoes you have left before entering the temple.
India is a feast for the street photographer, photo friendly people, a lot of color, everything is so different, so many things happening all the time. The tea merchant with his yellow scarf is one of the first pictures I took. Through the window of the car stuck in the traffic jam.
Soon we had to step out and walk to the golden temple as the traffic was so bad on Sunday. I stumbled on one of the many horse carts with the driver standing up gauging the traffic.
After the temple visit looking for our car, I came across this friendly rickshaw driver.
In the afternoon we went to Wagah border ceremony; here also the crowd after the ceremony on the way out offers many photo opportunities.
The crowd after the ceremony is eager to partake in ice cream, pop corns
It gets dark quickly, and there is nearly one km of little stalls stretched along the car parks.
There is not enough time to stop at every stall to take some shots of vendors and their patrons. In this early evening, the lights, the fumes and the colors of the stalls make a beautiful composition every meter.
In the Golden Temple community kitchen an average 75,000 devotees or tourists take langar daily; but the number becomes almost double on special occasions.On average 100 Quintal Wheat Flour, 25 Quintal Cereals, 10 Quintal Rice, 5000 Ltr Milk, 10 Quintal Sugar, 5 Quintal Pure Ghee is used a day. Nearly 100 LPG Gas Cylinders are used to prepare the meals. 100’s of employees and devotees render their services to the kitchen.Everyone is welcome to share the Langar; no one is turned away. Each week a family or several families volunteer to provide and prepare the Langar.All the preparation, the cooking and the washing-up is done by volunteers and or by voluntary helpers (Sewadars).The community kitchen in the temple shows the Sikh ideal of charity : A Sikh is under a religious obligation to contribute one-tenth of his earnings for the welfare of the community.He must also contribute the service of his hands whenever he can, service rendered in a langar being the most meritorious.It has ensured the participation of women and children in a task of service for mankind. Women play an important role in the preparation of meals, and the children help in serving food.The Community Kitchens gives a great demonstration of equality between sexes and social backgrounds.
All shots with Leica M262 + Summicron 28 or 50. I used a higher ISO for those, the light being a bit random. People in the kitchen are very photo friendly; as long as you are not in anybody’s way you can take your time. But be careful you may be dragged into making some chapatis.
Last holidays trip was in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. This is my second trip there and I love place. This is the second time I travel with a Leica kit both Film and Digital. I have two bodies a M6 and a M262, a 28 Summicron, a 35 Summaron F2.8, an old Summilux 50 v2 and an Elmarit 90F2.8.
2 Bodies, 4 lens that sounds a lot and actually I packed the big Crumpler 8 Mio dollar bag. It is a bit over-sized, but then I have room for papers, wallet, reading and sun glasses and on the flight I can pack in a book, you can probably pack a tablet as well. I am proud I resisted the urge to buy a new bag.
I shot 4 rolls of film and a few hundred (but less than 1K) digital frames; this first set was done inside the Warorot market with the M6 and mainly the Summilux; film is the Kodak TMY 400.
I like the TMY400 for its low grain and slightly lower contrast that the Tri-x. I think all in all these shots turn out to be quite pleasant.
The Summilux is suffering from back focusing on the M262 but that does not show at all on the film shots.
People in the market are quite friendly, actually it is quite a touristic spot so the view of a tourist with a camera is not news.
I try to follow the advice of pro photographer Bobby Lee : let people know you are here, that you want to take a picture of them or their activity, but once they agree (or ignore you) don’t just snap and run away; as they don’t bother the least you can do is hang around until you have a good shot.
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.