The Church of the light is Osaka, is one of the most famous designs of JapanesearchitectTadao Ando and it was the highlight of our first day is Osaka.
Built in 1989, is it located 20km from the center of Osaka. It is a quite small building the chapel which is the original building is only a bit more than 100 sq meter.
When the parish approached Tadao Ando, the most important point was the lack of funding that was available for the building. That suits the minimalist approach of the architect who also chose to use some recycling planks for instance to built the bench.
The most iconic feature of the building is the wall of the chapel at the back of the altar wit its hollowed cross from which the light pours.
Bare concrete, narrow spaces, the emptiness is expected to make room for the spirituality.
The chapel also contains an organ (with rear view mirrors)
10 years later a second building, the Sunday school, was added on the side of the chapel with similar architectural elements.
You will learn that the church is not open for visits every day and that you have to register online for the visits. (we did). The ladies there were so nice so I don’t think it is a problem if you forget to do it, but given the time to get there better be safe. The entrance of free but you are asked to do make a small donation for the maintenance of the building
Accessing the church from Osaka you have to take the train to Ibaraki station (30 minutes) and then the bus the church. All in all it should take 45 minutes to an hour. At the station there are not many signs, you have to take but number two which starts on the left most bust stop outside of the station when you face outside. There is a taxi stand there, you better ask than wandering for 20 minute like me.
The are plenty of excellent resources on the web of the church.
Color shots Leica M262, BW leica M6+Ultrafine Xtreme 400ISO lens – Summicron 28,35 and 50
Summer holidays have been over for a few weeks, and it is time to go back to this blog. As usual I did not shoot as much as expected during the holidays. One poor roll of medium format Rollei 80S with the old Kodak Autographic, and with the M6 a roll of Kodak Gold and the present roll of Rollei Vario Chrome.
The Rollei Varichrome is a reversal (slide) film, claimed to have high latitude and can be shot between 200 and 400 ISO, 200 being recommended for scanning. Although introduced in 2017 it seems it is a “new old” stock that will have a limited availability. some reading suggest this is altogether expired material already. Note this film can be cross processed in C41 as well.
My complete roll is a bit over exposed, in particular those of the Atomium, generally the dark areas are not dark enough.
Above shot of the botanical garden in Brussels is very pleasing, the lack of contrast gives a great mood.
The following street shots taken during the FIFA world cup final also work quite ok. The vintage look is overall quite nice, except maybe the picture of the two young ladies, but it may just be the exposure being off on that one.
I like very much the first shot and the one above taken in the vintage café “La Mort Subite”.
All in all this looks too much like an Instagram filter to me, some shots are very satisfactory, but it will become very gimmicky to use. The experience is quite expensive as well, I think the roll was like 18SGD and the processing 13 SGD, so more or less 1SGD a shot. Shooting a roll of Kodak Gold would cost half of this and Instagram filters are free. In conclusion it is worth giving it a try, but then it’s better have a subject on which you will shot your whole film, the gimmick effect being lost in the consistency of the subject. For instance I imagine a wedding photographer may like to shot a roll of this as a special feature. For me I don’t think I’ll use this again.
Finally two shots below on quite different subject :
All shots at 200 ISO with Leica M6 and one Summicron or the other (28, 35, 50) and scanned on Epson v800.
Hello, today a little pointless exercise consisting in reviewing the shots of an entire roll. You will see below keepers in a larger size that the dismissed shots.
I loaded the roll during the LUGS (Leica User Group Singapore) outing in Little India last month inside Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. This is always a good place for shooting.
Lesson from the first frame: always skip the first 1 or 2 frames, otherwise in the unlikely event you like the shot, it may be half burned.
It is quite rare that I shoot color films with the IIIc, actually I mostly shot Black and white film anyway, I feel very restricted by color film, I generally prefer to shoot digital for color.
So far no shot is great, maybe number 5 is ok, street activity, a bit of the documentary style, probably ok technically. I like the color of the Ektar for “street” photos.
There are many mural in little India now, this one is in a back alley, it is not so great , or maybe too much. The shot is quite bad, not sure its even in focus.
Probably an Indian actor, the first good shot, nice color. Taken bottom up with the 35mm, the vertical line are of course not straight, but that’s the name of the game.
Not as good.
Ok you get that it it about the plight of people making a leaving from urban scraps. Not such an uncommon sight in Singapore. Informative, but not necessarily a great pic.
I would find that picture quite uninteresting, but technically ok; color-wise it is another chance for the Ektar to rock.
Leaving Chinatown and moving toward city center, two visions of hotel 81 in Jalan Besar.
Second shot is better exposed an less traffic in the middle. Roughly ok, The Art Deco building is attractive, but not overwhelming.
In the street with a camera in hand it is tempting to catch passers by, in particular if they are charming.
Too far, would you even have noticed her?
Motion blur, Out of focus, bad framing.
Maybe yes, maybe not, that was just a try.
The same afternoon I walked into Chinatown
Quite a bad pic, maybe OOF ? Shame. I thinks it’s also not Ceno2’s best mural.
The two commercial buildings are quite ok, I would be happy to show the second one, the colors and details are good to my taste, and the composition not so bad.
Second version is probably an ok street shot, movement, color and overall an umbrella.
Buddha tooth relic temple, one random shot
I tough the light was great and worth capturing
I quite like this one, unusual.
Another random shot, not great angle, too far, not showing much.
Ok ok we can try.
Next great spot is the Merlion Park, it is always endless fun shooting people taking selfies there.
It would have work with better light, the subject here is a bit lost in the background.
This one is really random.
Something was going on, but it was not the right moment yet.
I think that one is ok, just average but ok. Nice light, funny pause and all.
Nothing easier to ask somebody who pause if you can also take a shot. Too contrasty but probably OK.
These three Muslim ladies remind me of the good fairies in Walt Disney’s Cinderella. They were very happy to oblige. I like he colorful bags, maybe a second closer shot without the bags would have been a nice complement.
The new building on Beach Road in the evening light. Nice tourist shot.
Finally the next 5 shots were taken during the next LUGS outing in Tiong Bahru, on my birthday.
Ok I think I took enough fish stalls so far not to call this one a keeper.
I would keep this one, framing is nicer, action is clear. technically I think it’s ok, may need to be overexposed a little bit.
The lens was attracted by the lady in the center, but one week later it does not look like it is enough.
So where am I a the end of the exercise? I managed to shot 36 and half frames on this roll, all exposed properly and focused reasonably well (two are debatable), the only thing you can take from this is that my IIIC works reasonably well and, probably, produces a comparable result to a modern camera. One picture out of three, I will probably share on one of the Facebook groups I partake in. Real keepers (going on Flickr), will be “Working Class Hero“, “Strangers with brolly“, “the three good fairies“, maybe the “Other fish stall“.
At this point in time he Leica IIIc is my favorite 35mm film camera : it is small and sexy and over the time it get slightly improved : by the addition of the a 35mm Summaron (f3.5), then by the one of a 35mm finder. I always dismissed the 35 finders as being not useful, but in the end this accessory proved very good for composition. Over the years I had the curtain changed, there is still a a small defect when shooting at fast speeds, the right side exposure is a bit under exposed, but it looks like using it more often, at least one roll a month, it seems to be less obvious.
Hope you enjoyed the reading and viewing, to later
A follow up of the last post , I showed pictured made with the Hassie 500 CM on Cinestill 50D, but that was the Leica User Group Singapore outing after all, so I carried along a Leica M4 for film shots (here) and a M262 for Digital.
On the recommendation of fellow members of the group I brought my longer lenses, the 90mm Elmarit and a Canon Serenar 135mmF4 (the bad version). I did not use the Serenar on the M4, it is too unpredictable no use to throw away valuable shots.
It is easy to see here what shots are taken with the 90mm and whose with the 50mm.
Shooting with the 90mm is very unusual for me, specially on film. The Elmarit often comes with me on holidays but only for a couple of digital shots. The results are quite pleasing, it offers very different point of view.
The film is another roll of my bulk Ultrafine Extreme 400 hand-rolled. The processing from the lab was a bit below the usual quality, that’s life.
You see mostly men in these pictures, but there were many women as well, they just did not come on the frame at the right time.
Beginning of the year and excitement to try the Ultrafine Xtreme 400 that I am bulk loading, I am taking the odd camera from the treasure box.
A couple of weeks back it was the turn of the 1970’s Minolta Himatic 7s. Actually the 7s was released in 1966 same year as me. The Himatic is a rangefinder camera with a sharp, fast 45mm F1.8 lens, and in-camera metering.
Ok I don’t quite like the the Himatic too much : it is heavy feels clunky compare to the German rangefinders; it is not that fast to operate, and also the metering died on mide during a bike tour.
I also the viewfinder to be not that bright and having too many signs inside; there are just three visible sides of the frame, so I always wonder how to frame the fourth.
BUT when I got the roll from the shop I must say that I am impressed by the result, the lens is fast and sharp and the 45mm give a bit of air to the shots.
This is my 3rd roll of the Ultrafine Xtreme 400 bulk and I quite like it. I am new to handrolling, the picture below is the last of the roll, so the first from the bulk that I attached to the canister and I think it was exposed to light. Pitty I like this shot.
I think I like the film, it is now 3 rolls I shot this year and 2 last years, it is on the contrasty side but nothing too extreme, so it makes a good replacement for TRI-X or TMY 400. The shot below is quite smooth as I like it. Actually tones quality reminds me of a proper wet paper print.
Mmm also I fell the Epson v800 gives immediately better results that the v500, but this may be just because I paid so much for it.
There will be no declugging for the Minolta, it belonged to one grand uncle, so that’s a keeper even if it goes out of the box only once a year.
So here we are on the last day of our trip, on the road to visit the Capitol Complex; the heart of Chandigarh, designed (partially) by Le Corbusier in the late 1950’s. An ode to modernist architecture that we have been longing to visit for years.
Well not quite; aside from the bad planning (in my own opinion) of our travel agent, visiting Chandigarh is a bit more complicated than we thought. So apart from the 3 sites cited in my last post, there is nothing organised to visit the habitations buildings and finally you have to go through a guided tour to visit the Capitol Complex.
This is not quite all : the two main buildings on the Capitol, the High court and the Assembly are in use (why should they not be after all?). So you cannot enter the High Court and you are lucky (we were) to enter the Assembly ( but no photos inside).
Add bye the time the guide assembled the small crowd of tourists we started our visit by mid morning, time was starting to be short and the light was quite bad for taking pictures.
As you can see above the high court is in use with layers in their work outfits.
In the opposite site of the plaza from the Hight court, the Palace of Assembly has a better lighting. It is overseeing a large pond and offers a spectacular view.
The holes in the front walls give nice perspectives and see through views.
Patterns on the assembly walls, reminding that man is the scale of the construction.
Getting out of the Assembly House the inevitable Ambassador car, now a civil servant official car, which used to be common taxis.
Our visit was accompanied by Mister Mohan, from the tourist Police who turned out to be a friendly person.
A few more things:
For the habitations buildings there are no restrictions to go and visit them, ask inhabitants,… we met some passionate french people who were spending a full week there. But Chandigarh is a big city so you better plan for what you want to see.
You can “pass by” on a road at the back of the Open Hand monument, in a certain distance, without getting into a tour and then be able to take picture at better moments (I did not)
The tour of the Capitol Complex is a bit rushed through, you are not welcome to wander around or take too long with your photography nonsense,
You do not see on the pictures, the parking lots, the vans, the 20 Spanish tourists of our tour, the barriers,…
How did I manage to take so poor pictures of a site I longed to visit for decades? It shows (if needed) that some skills need working on.
Camera geekerry : color shots Leica M262, black and while Leica M6, Summicron 28 and Summicron 50
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.