Biarritz in Black and White

So holidays were not over by then and I was still in Biarritz with the Leica M6 and a couple of Summicrons (35 and 50) when I loaded my second roll of Cinestill XX ( purchased in Aperture UK shop in London).

The Market

I think I changed the roll around the market, so some pictures of this place can be found on my previous post.

Markets are different that in Asia a Singaporean friend told me, Same same but different I reply. Goods, people, food, money,… all the same.

I found this set a bit flat to my taste, although the light was great that day, and it was still reasonably early.

I made the mistake not to ask the lab to scan in high res, so this format is the one at which I got my negs. I will have to rescan them but probably not immediately. I think the low res scan adds to the grain, but maybe I am wrong.

To go or not to go that is the question

Biarritz has a market and also a seaside famous for surfing.

Nah not enough waves
Baywatch

It has sometime a bay watch vibe.

Surf is family thing here
Cal look

Biarritz in Black and White

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

On the French Riviera

After leaving Paris, I travelled to my hometown of Cannes, famous for its festival, the beaches and its beautiful weather.

It did not disappoint its son. The weather was perfect, mostly bright blue skies all the time and a far warmer climate that Paris (or London).

Cannes also boasts two main harbours, filled with oversized yachts but also with fishermen’s boats as in the two pictures above showing some traditional fishing boats called “pointus”.

The end of the bay on the east side is called la Pointe Croisette and hosts the casino named “Palm Beach”, whose name is sometime used to designate the area. The casino is under renovation, and for those with a culture in French cinema, the crane you see is located where the famous swimming pool of “Melodie en Sous Sol” was located.

Cannes is not just for stars : locals still play the “petanque”

And not all drive Rolls Royces.

A tiny Autobianchi can be found on the harbour (in excellent condition)

And a 1950’s Peugeot 203 can be found driving around (slightly less good condition).

There was a lot of activity along the beach this year. Some relax, some have to work, thats life.

The sunsets on these winter days were often breath-taking.

All shots with Leica M262 and 35mm Summicron Asph v2 or Elmar 50mmF3.5 ltm, what else do you need?

On the French Riviera

May throwback

When life is slow and shooting slower, or when life is too fast to shoot, isn’t there an opportunity to look back at the albums ( ie Lightroom folders) for recent or not so recent pictures?

The Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam

I don’t’ know how you sort your pictures, for me the digital shots end up being sorted in monthly folders (unless there is a very special event and I group them into that folder). I also end up putting the scans of each film roll in a separate subfolder under each monthly one.

Working 24/7

I originally load these images in my working hard drive, but then move them to an externals one always attached to my PC plus a couple of backups. Its not fool proof but it means all my pictures are both at arms reach and reasonably safe. I do not have an off site backup though.

Sentosa Concrete Jungle

That also ensures I can “focus” on the images that are recent (or not so ) and that I have not shared.

Sentosa by night

Well lets say that when shooting gets slow and I need something to share I know where to look at. SO today these are some shots done around Singapore in May 2021, nearly 6 month ago.

Tibetan Buddhist temple in beaty lane

Another time another place says the song. Walking around a few places I liked carrying around the Leica M262 and I think the 35mmSummicron Asph v2.

Bugis

It is getting colder in London and there is some satisfaction looking at pictures from a warmer place.

Waiting for you

Don’t worry I am not turning all sad and nostalgic, I have ordered some Ilford Fixer and some Vitamin C for the next round of Caffenol and even invested in a Thermometer so I can work properly. I have to Washing Soda at the moment but that will come soon.

May throwback

New place, new life, new photos?

So that’s it after 14 years in Asia I am moving back to Europe, UK to be precise. I have now been 6 weeks on the old continent, and a first post is long overdue. While all my stuff is in transit, I have carried in my hand luggage the M6 and the M262 with 3 summicrons, the 28, 35 and 50.

I have finished my first roll of expired Fuji Across 100 and had it process at the first shot I could find for the whooping price of 16 GBP. I could hardly believe it, but I will be back to Cafenol soon so this is a one off. It seems however that prices of film are a bit higher that in Singapore.

Shooting in a new country is both exhilarating and inhibiting : I can see so many new things to capture but also I am a bit camera shy these days, and don’t really know how people will react to the camera. I have engaged a couple of photographers in the street and they assured me there was no problem with this, but I have to get into the mood.

Strange enough, I don’t see many people with cameras in the street and I am yet to meet a Leica shooter, but I am keeping my eyes open.

The shots were scanned by the shop (Snappy Snap), it seems they did an ok job at it.

I hope you’ll enjoy the reading, my second roll is nearly done and I start having a backlog of digital, so get ready for more posts. All shots Leia M6 + summicron 28 Asph v1

New place, new life, new photos?

ROLL 2021#14 Just walkin’ around

A short post with not many words for the roll 14th of the year 2021. This is a roll of Ilford HP5+ hand-rolled from a bulk roll. I thought I counted 30 frames but it looks It did not count well and could just fire 25 shots.

I dug out the Leica M4 from the box and screw the Voigtländer 21mmF4 Color Skopar in front of it, set the 21-24mm finder, put a battery in my Sekonic light meter and hit the road.

The roll was processed at home in Caffenol Delta. I put a 6th of the water from the fridge to cool down the very hot tap water ( 29 to 30 degrees), and used the usual dev time (4.41 minutes) for the delta recipe. It looks it had a positive effect as the negatives were not as dark as usual.

The film dried overnight and was scanned today. After scanning there are a few dusts specs and white spots, but all in all a pretty successful processing.

A pretty mundane set of pictures : after 15 month without leaving Singapore, I start to be a bit bored. No big celebrations are happenings, it s a bit more of the same every week ends.

I shall not complain too much as the weather was pretty good that day, instead of the usual downpour we get on afternoons these days.

Luckily sometime the unexpected steps into the frame

Or you have lunch with friends

And suddenly when you feel you are finally in the mood, the film ends.

I hope you enjoyed the post, stay safe.

ROLL 2021#14 Just walkin’ around

KosmoFoto Mono

Passing my favorite photo shop the other day (Ruby Ye in Excelsior Plaza basement), I noticed a stack of an unknown (to me) boxes of film. I was told it is Kosmo Foto Mono. I heard of the brand before but never tried it. So I could not resist, parted from 14 SGD and walked home.

Next day was an unformal outing of the HUGS (Hasselblad User Group Singapore) and I brought both the Hassie (see last post) and the Leica M6 loaded with the said Kosmo Foto Mono and mounted with the 50mm Summilux v2 (My first ever Leica Lens). We met in Chinatown, to capture the Chinese New Year atmosphere.

That day was also the outing of the Urban Sketchers group, which gave us (me) plenty of pictures opportunity, I like shooting random strangers, but strangers in action is even better.

The Mono is a 100 ISO film, the weather that morning was quite ok for outdoor shots with normal speed and aperture. Except the below, inside the Chinatown complete, probably full open and 1/60 sec.

When I reached home after lunch the tricky question came : how do I process this film? Querying the Caffenol Facebook group I learned that this is some rebranded Kentmere 100, so I looked up processing time. But when I removed the label to take a nice scan of it for my collection I noticed the canister actually says Fomo.

Who to believe? Anyway checking the Massive Development Chart I noticed both the Kentmere 100 and the Foma 100 have the same development time for the same Caffenol formula. My vitamin C stock is a bit depleted but I still could find enough to process one roll with the following formula:

500 ml water. 27g Washing Soda, 8 g Vitamin C , 20g Netscafe classic

My room temperature here in Singapore is 28 Deg, so I scaled the time and processed for 6 minutes, with agitation the first 20 seconds then 3 inversions every minute.
Using Ilford method to rinse, Ilford rapid fixer and dishwashing soap in the last rinse batch.

The negative is a bit over but the scams are looking good. There is a certain softness to them which is quite pleasant. 14$ is a bit expensive for a standard 100 ISO film, but I quite like the results so I may give it another try (oh yes maybe I have to finish by 100ft roll of Ilford Delta first, I probably have the equivalent of 12 rolls left in there)

The HUGS gang that day.

KosmoFoto Mono

A roll a week keeps the doctor away

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Ok I am not sure if that is exactly true, but that keeps me busy and entertained. So last week, I loaded a hand rolled of HP 5+ in the Leica M6, still having the Summicron 35 Asph v2 attached and when out shooting during our family stroll. 

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Usual subjects of a week-end stroll, vehicles, back alleys and passers by. I really like how the motorbike on the first pictures renders. This is a handy 24 shots roll, shot at 320 ISO.

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Ah I have not said it yet but this if processed in caffenol again. I finally had an epiphany yesterday : my weekly roll does not need 750mm or solution, 500mm is probably more than enough. That will save me even more money. You will notice a small lighter band horizontally in the two next shots, I think something’s not right in the M6, maybe time for revision.

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So I scaled down my Caffenol Delta recipe from 500ml and it worked pretty well. The film looks ok, the pictures are easy to scan, there is little dirt on the negs. My fixer also comes close to the max number of rolls, but I cannot notice any difference, maybe I’ll do another couple of rolls before doing a new mix.

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I met this young lady by chance, and asked if I could take her picture, we she looked very happy to. I shot the week before another stranger with half blond half dark hairdo and I found it worth doing a second one.

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I learnt, to take more that one shot when people are happy for me to take their portrait, but two is not enough,  I should have done 3 or 4 , different metering, different framing. Sill a learning curve.

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Vespas parading in Haji lane. And below bit more personal my friends at the coffee shop in Keong Siak Road

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Than you very much for the courtesy of the drivers at the pedestrian crossing.

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City life seems to be a lot about waiting.

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More waiting

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And more waiting

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Chinatown at dusk

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Italian fashion buff.

I hope you likes the reading, Caffenol rocks! I went over some old roll of films processed by a lab and actually they are really comparable to what I do not in Caffenol. Oh and what about last week roll then ? Well maybe I will post it a week where I cannot shot an entire roll. But rest assured the M6 is already loaded with a roll of the newly packages Kentmere 400 … to follow

A roll a week keeps the doctor away

Around Singapore in November 2020

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.

Around Singapore in November 2020

A rainy sunday morning

Patience

I am not sure if we are officially in the rainy season but we are definitely heading for it. After a very wet bike ride Saturday morning, I joined some fellow photographers last Sunday. What started as a very cloudy morning ended being very wet as well.

China square

I went armed with the Leica IIIc now paired with the Elmar 50mmF3.5, and as it was rainy I loaded a roll of Shanghai GP3 400. This is supposed to be a new film, I could not find much information on the web.

Sam at the Kopitiam

We spend quite a while at the Kopitiam close to Circular road waiting for the rain to stop

The wild bunch

Finally we set out as the rain stopped and walked around the area.

If you read so far and wonder what happened to the pictures, I will inform you that I am currently in a Caffenol frenzy and my process is currently not working so well after some initial success.

Slowly the city wakes up

My last roll was a disaster (you can read here ), this one is quite close, I have made steps to improve my process thought:

  • I have invested in a changing bag
  • I bought some proper fixer (the images on this post are relatively clean)
  • I learned to bleach my spirals to help loading the film ( it is a breeze now)
  • I realized that my recipe was for 1 liter but my bottle was 0.75 so I reduced the doses of chemicals
  • and I ordered some pure vitamin C to have a more predictable result (but I don’t have it yet)

So the result is crap, but I scan still make a post with it : yeah! Ok there is no information anywhere on this film, left alone about Caffenol processing. I processed 5’50” at 28 degrees. As it’s over cooked I reduce by one minute this morning for my film of this week and … its not developed at all. I am a bit clueless.

Many take away from Lucky Cafe some years ago

As usual there is no lesson, lets do better next time. Maybe go back to 100 ISO films. Or start cooling the developer.

After the party
Good bye (Cruel world)
A rainy sunday morning