My posts since July are like a pinball : London – Paris – Cannes – London – London – London – Paris – Cannes – London. There are worst things in life particularly by the time being.
I have tried many times to shot the water on pebbles and finally above is a picture I like. Probably the only picture with amazing colors.
This a roll of expired Portra 400 shot on the French Riviera during the Christmas season.
I missed Santa but the Christmas trees were growing very close to the sea this year. I used the faithful Leica M6 and either the Summicron 35mm Asph v2 or the Elmar 50 F3.5.
I found the seaside less inspiring that the city, but if you look closely there is always something to capture.
Older gents playing chess with their Covid masks on or not. I generally prefer to shoot Black and White on film, as I think the digital M renders more live like colours and the picture are popping more.
The misaligned sign of the “pétanque” club…
Nice is nice as goes the song, not too far away from Cannes, a big 30 minutes by train, and a bit more city like.
This is bit back to the future as I already posted about rolls 12,13, and 15, but rest assured roll 10 will come in due time. I was complaining last week about life in Singapore being less photogenic since the Covid started last year. Man I did not knew what was coming.
For one week now we are in Heightened alert mode, basically we are back in a quite strict mode, mostly : non essential workers are asked to stay home, it is not possible to eat or drink outside (eateries can thankfully to take away), quarantine form most countries are extended to 3 weeks in selected hotels and coming into Singapore is quite difficult (even for residents).
Having enjoyed a lot more freedom than most countries since last July, we feel taken a bit aback by this new deal. So my color roll shot a couple of weeks before this soft lockdown 2.0 seems quite joyful and interesting for the place in time where I write from.
We were discussing our last holidays abroad, which were in March 2020, when we could still fly (in half empty planes though) and I remembered that I brought the Nikon F3 to Thailand and shot only two or three rolls before putting it back in the box. So it was time to pick it up again and give it another go.
I will explain a bit later this month but I am downsizing a few things, so I am shooting what’s left in the fridge rather than go and by fresh film. So I picked up my last roll of Portra 400, which is a bit overkill for just walking around, but ok I an clearing my fridge. The roll was shot over two days around Singapore.
I put the 50mmF1.4 on the F3, because my other lenses are too big for just walking around. I must say I have always been a big proponent of the 50mm, claiming the 28 / 50/ 135 were the trinity of my generation, and only young punks would walk around with a 35 as their normal lens. But I think I have moved my point of view a little bit…
The yellow Burmese girl
I have used many 35mm on the Leica system (film or digital) and I finally came quite used to it (I own 3 😦 ). The versatility of the 35mm, with a field of view larger by more than 30% is quite impressive and I think I really appreciate it on the Leica’s to the point that I find the 50mm narrow. Off course you have to step closer to your subject, but that’s not so much or a problem with a small rangefinder.
Getting closer with a SLR, even a small old fellow as the F3 is a bit less easy. Also (I am happy to be corrected) it seems the offer in term of 35mm (Vintage of course) is a bit lesser that the offer in 50mm, where Nikon has a few outstanding lenses.
So ok I feel now that the 50 is a bit narrow but at the same I don’t think I will invest in a new (even a new old) lens for the Nikon at this point) (And remember I am decluttering).
The roll was processed at Whampoa Colours, scanned by their good services, and shared on the web. Damn I still have not collected my negs. The combo F3 + 50mmF1.4 AIS + Porta did a fairly good job. I shot most of the time in Auto mode, meaning the speed is controlled automatically by the aperture I selected, quite easy with a 400 ISO film (shot at 320).
It seems the focusing of the F3 with the 50 is quite ok, I would need to try with the original 35-70 F3.5 AI Pro see if I have any problems. But that’s a heavy lens, not for casual walks.
A well deserved treat.
A final though for the road, a lot of my pictures from 25-30 years suck, I feel very bad, because souvenirs from this time are scarce, but on the upside It looks like my photography has progressed.
Saturday morning a small outing was organized by one of my friends and we met in Chinatown to capture the atmosphere of this every special Chinese New Year.
I brought the Hasselblad 500CM with the standard lens (The only one I have), loaded with my last roll of Portra 160.
The film was processed and scanned in Whampoa Color. And I am quite happy with the results once again. I think from the roll are missing picture of the bottom of my bag and a redundant picture of the Sri Mariamman Temple.
Shooting with the Hassie is very slow, and I brought multiple films but could only shot one.
Singapore racial harmony (official term) finds a perfect example with the display of Chinese lanterns in front of this Hindu temple and the sign above the entrance wishing to all a Happy and prosperous Lunar New Year.
I waited 15 good minutes to take this shot to finally get a mopped in the middle and miss the top of the roof.
Covid or not, Chinese New Year 2021 is upon us : a lot less feisty than usual, with masks and social distancing, here we go again.
CNY 2021 will be on Friday, 12 February, but for a couple of weeks now, some stalls have open in Chinatown, and people start to go do their shopping. Yes there are less stalls than usual, and Chinatown has lost quite a few businesses these last months. Also there will be no Lion dance this year
You will see more of it surely, Chinatown is always happening and picturesque. Above some shots of an aquarellist, and in the top middle an art exhibition part of SPIF (Singapore Photography International Festival).
Shots were done on Kodak 160 slightly expired, shot with a Leica IIIc and Elmar 50mmF3.5. Filem was processed and scanned at Whampoa photo. Whampoa does an excellent job as usual, but the pictures seems a bit underexposed, maybe the roll was a bit more expired that I thought.
On a more technical note, I always wonder why people use 50mm finders for the Barnack Leicas, as its suppose to be what the viewfinder window is doing. But actually I found when shooting this roll that the I missed a few shots because of framing. In the absence of framing lines using the border of the viewfinder is quite uneasy.
Hello, here is the first post of the new year. So let me whish you a happy and prosperous new year, happy 2021 everybody, lets hope the situation will improve and I won’t spend the next 52 weeks shooting the same parts of Singapore again and again. And of course the same goes for everybody (Of course a lot more serious things need to be fixed first before our hobbies can be considered).
So these are pictures from roll #51 of the year 2020, another trip with Geylang Lorong 3 with the Hasselblad 500CM loaded with a roll of slightly expired Portra 400. The Roll was shot at 320 ISO, processed and scanned at Whampoa color center and slightly adjusted in Lightroom.
The sky was cloudy that morning, but colors are quite vivid. I forgot to bring a light meter so I used the Keks EM01 light meter that was on the Leica M4 and changed the ISO when switching Camera. It looks that I managed not to f*ck up any shots.
The last shot has a defect as I think thing the back has an issue with the spacing of the frames, so part of this shot went over the end of the film.
The blog got 4000 views n 2020: 2.5 tomes more that last year : thanks to all the readers for stopping by. Also on days to come, I have a nice roll shot with he M4 on the same location, and of course as every year the summary of what I shoot with which camera and some other silly stats.
A very quick post of shots done earlier this month on an expired roll of Kodak Portra 400 with the Leica M6 and the Summicron 35mm Asph v2.
The roll was processed and scanned at Whampoa Photo. I find the scanning job they do of equal quality (or better) than what I do myself, so no point wasting time. The first set above was done around Marina Bay, over a couple of different week ends, one being just before Halloween.
Second section comprise photos of Little India around Deepavali celebration and the first shot was in Chinatown during a meet up with fellow film photographers.
Third section contains some shot shots fort Siloso in Sentosa, and a couple of random shots from a walk around Newton.
Finally a shot of fellow film photographer from Japan who has been around in Singapore for quite a few years and always carry his two pristine Nikons F2. He will go home soon for good, so farewell.
This was roll number 42 of the year, and the 11th with the M6, I hop eyou enjoyed the ride.
This is one of the last rolls of 2019, finished on the 31st December morning.
It is a Kodak Portra 400, shot with the Sumaron 35mm F3.5 lens on the Leica IIIc.
As usual I shot the roll over two weeks, I was lucky on the first day to stumble upon a ceremony at Hong San See temple around the corner, where deities coming from China to be worshiped here were sent back home by the lion head lorry. A few moments later I went to Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple in Chinatown for a the temple consecration ceremony after its renovation.
December is a wet month in Singapore, umbrellas are out (and colorful).
Pre-Christmas the Orchard road shopping area was busy.
At the “wings” watering hole in Clark quay I finally managed a decent picture of girls in uniform. I just printed it for them, to give away next time I walk by. This was shot wide open at 1/60 or 1/30.
The newly opened Funan mall with its climbing wall is just around the famous Peninsula shopping center with its many cameras shop and my fav lab.
I like the Portra for many reasons, I think it is very good for shots as above with muted colors.
Christmas is also an opportunity to visit churches for office or to watch the Christmas cribs.
Finally on the 31st of Dec, I carried the M4 along, to finish the roll. This was to Chinatown again with a group of photographers. Weather was just great.
I must say I also love the Portra for its saturated colors.
All shots, Leica IIIC, with the Summaron 35mmF3.5 LTM lens and assorted 35mm Viewfinder. Kodak Portra 400
Scanned at home with Epson v800
Dropped for processing at Ruby Photo (not sure who does the actual processing)
This is a follow up of my first write up YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE (ABOUT THE VC COLOR SKOPAR 21MM F4) For those who don’t feel like digging back in the archives (pitty, there are a couple of nice shots there and probably my best piece of text in a while), this is about picking the Voigtlander Cosina Color Skopar 21mmF4 back from the dry box and putting it back to work.
Very quickly, the 21mm had two terrible defects for me: the color fringing in digital and the difficulty to frame in general. I decided in June to invest into a proper viewfinder to try to overcome the second issue : I picked a 21-25 VC metal finder.
The viewfinder did a really good job, it very bright and accurate, well built and on top of it it is super sexy (I have to post pictures of the Leica IIIc with it).
All pictures here are from a single roll of Kodak Portra 400 shot with Leica M4 and VC Color Skopar 21mm F4 with the now famous 21-25 VC metal finder. Even vertical framing is accurate now.
Horizontal framing works as well. As I am a slow shooter these were probably taken over a few week ends in different areas of central Singapore.
To shoot portraits the 21mm requires you to get very close to your subject, and still you will get some distracting details in your frame. Also you may get funky perspectives even if you frame correctly your subject (thanks to the perfect new viewfinder)
When yout wan to put a lot in the frame as the Tan Boon Liat Building, actually it goes in. Colors with the Portra are quite rich, and vignetting is limited.
Or when you are close to buildings and want to put them in the frame as above, this is a great ultra wide angle.
I did not do many “street” shots on this roll, but the 21 gives an amazing dynamics to the shots like above.
I was very convinced by these first 2 or 3 rolls, and this has slightly changed my photographic practice recently. I use the M262 and M6 with the summicrons for holidays or events, the M4 and IIIc with older lenses for fun( or street, or burning film name it as you want) and recently the 21 is glued to them.
So expect more posts like this one, but as you know that I found love with the VC21 again, so i will have to find out new titles.
I spent a week in London recently with my family and brought the usual travel kit (Leica M, M262 and the Summicrons 28mm Asp, 35 Asph v2 and 50mmv5), I brought a nice set of films but in the end I did not shoot much, only a roll of TriX and half a roll of Portra 400. And on digital as we are here I took a mere 300 shots.
Looking at the TriX shots I am quite pleased; as usually they have been dropped for processing at Ruby photo in Singapore and scanned at home ; but when I was there I was a bit puzzled about what or who to shoot.
On one hand I am so used to travel in Asia that I am a bit lost in European cities, I am not sure about people reactions to the camera (I like candid shots), but also I think the whole way the big city works need so getting used to. So a bit of frustration. Maybe also my expectations were a bit too high, who knows.
London as changed a lot since I was last there 14 years ago. The south bank area is so lively now, also packed with tourists and street performers.
Asian tourists selfy-ing themselves are everywhere, but that’s the same all over the planet. Here at the Borough Market, a place that I never saw before, this is definitely a good area to shoot.
There are many food stalls there.
Some attractions on South Bank are using old lorries that are worth a shot imo. I only realized today that the London eye was reflecting on the bonnet of the lorry, I would have framed it better if I have known.
A morning stroll in SOHO, is also a nice opportunity for people shooting.
Or just window shopping.
In the places I never visited before was Ealing Broadway, home of the Ealing Studios who produce(s/d) cinema and television shows.
Finally another happy discovery was Old Spitalfields Market that I visited the day of the vintage records market.
This is a set of pictures of the colorful public housing blocs situated on Circuit Road in Singapore.
Circuit road is accessible via Mc Pherson MRT, and is located in the east part of town, 20 minutes ride from Orchard Road.
This estate dates back from the early 1970’s and has recently received a face-lift, becoming the Lego or Mondrian estate. Apparently the “upgrade” as we say here was not only cosmetical as the area used to be a bit shabby from what I gathered.
The outing was organized by Low Che Eng from the “Lets Shoot Film SG” Facebook group. We were nearly a dozen freaks walking around the estate, with cameras ranging from various Leicas and medium formats to a view camera (Chamonix ?).
I carried around the Hasselblad 500CM and 80mmF2.8 loaded with a slightly expired roll of Portra 160vc (nearly two years I think) shot at 200iso and the Leica IIIc with the Voigtländer 21mmF4 loaded with a roll of Rollei retro 80s.
The film was processed at the usual lab and scanned at home with the Epson v800.
I did a bit of post processing in light room but even without it the film turned out quite well.
Finally meet a resident, this gentleman used to a be a guitarist at the raffles hotel back in the days where hotels had musicians and is now keeping fit in his old age. This is the last shot of the roll hence the slight issue on the top of the frame.
The hassie keep on having problems shooting 12 complete frames, but this time I got lucky.