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

ROLL 2021#15 FAREWELL, MY VERY LAST SINGAPOREAN ROLL

The uncle he is a busker

That’s public now , I am a quitter, after 14 years I am leaving Singapore. I am moving to new horizons but that’s a story for later. The recent tightened measures are not facilitating farewells and the mood is not to party.

Last Sunday, I wen out but my shooting buddy Ez, founder of the Hasselblad User Group Singapore (HUGS), for a last photo walk. We met in Joo Chiat and then walked to Kalang MRT along Geylang road. Quite a walk under the hot sun.

Camera of choice was the Hassie, loaded first with a roll of Ektar (Still to be processed) and here with my fav film : the Rollei Retro 80s, processed in Caffenol.

Its been a very satisfying morning, walking with my friend along the charming Joo Chait road, then turning into what used to be the last red district of Singapore (Still a bit seedy in 2021).

Geylang has a very rich architecture, remains of better days.

Why does the uncle cross the street
Eggs business

A rare close up shot, never really satisfactory to my taste.

The house with the Sikh guards on the pillars.
HUGS man.
A closer look at the HUGS man with a wrong T-shirt though.

I could not have dreamt of a more satisfying last roll and Ez promised I can keep posting on the HUGS groups even when overseas, so all is good; it just a goodbye.

ROLL 2021#15 FAREWELL, MY VERY LAST SINGAPOREAN ROLL

ROLL 2021#13 TEKKA MARKET And More

The Umbrella Hat

As my Ilford roll only had 22 shots, I loaded my last roll of Tri-X into the Nikon F3 while we were still in Tekka Market. I could not resist running after the guy with the umbrella hat, even I did not really got a really good shot.

316

316 on the bowl is probably the number of the stall so the staff attending to the hawker center know where to bring it back after picking up and cleaning. I felt really hungry at that time, but it was way too early to get a second breakfast.

Me time

It was still raining outside and this guy was playing with his phone inside a wheelbarrow.

The mini mart opposite Tekka market

At that point we had stepped in the street, and faced the last few drops of rain. I have a hood on my 50 which does a good job at protecting him from small rain (although that’s a metal hood for a 28mm)

Ez was still with me of course. At this point you would have realized that the pictures are not as sharp as usually, for instance compared to the last post. I have several options to explain this.

Action shot, Stef on his Oxley bike

First option is that the Tri-X is notoriously difficult to process in Caffenol. I have used my usual Delta recipe scaled for 500ml. BUT because I think my films are usually over processed I have decided once again to try to lower the temperature.

The throw

I feel that usually the time for processing is 4’40” and that does not give much leeway for control (I may be wrong), so I decided to keep the same time but cool a little bit the mix by using 10% of water from the fridge (probably 3 degrees) and 90% of tap water (29 degrees) to get a mix around 26 to 27 degrees.

The Corgi’s umbrella

Of course I have no thermometer and the reason you have not seen roll 2001#11 yet is because I quite screwed up by making the mix too cold back wen I processed it. But I must say that this time, looking at the film drying it has gone in the correct direction, showing more contrast than my usual processing’s.

1,2,3, go!

So what could have gone wrong ? Err not sure, could the difference of 3 or 4 degrees between the developer and the rinsing water caused an effect similar to reticulation?

Surprised in selfie action

.. or shall I just blame the Tri-X and look for another recipe for this film the next time?

I could simply finish my bulk roll of HP5plus and keep things simple what do you think? It’s a pity as I was quite happy with the content of the film ; that will teach me to try experimenting. This is also probably the last roll of the F3 for a little while.

The correct usage of the mask

The little fellow made 3 turns ( understand rolls ) and will now go back to the box. Yielding a SLR, even the not so bulky F3 with a 50mm, to the face of people is a bit gross. I’ll go back to the rangefinders for a little while

What’s up doc

I realized this Saturday that these old folks are hanging around in that place because the are polls nearby ; you can expect more shots of this place soon.

Waiting for the cobbler to finish his job.

All these shots were done in Aperture Auto mode with the F3, very convenient. A facility I don’t have on the M6. It looks the shots were properly exposed, I had some difficulties as I thought that holding the shutter button would store the speed. I may get it wrong by 20 years or so. I think after these 3 rolls and the two ones form last year, I can happily conclude that the F3 focuses properly. With the 50mm at least, I did not bother trying other lenses.

ROLL 2021#13 TEKKA MARKET And More

More Chinese New Year spirit and a bit more

The love of the two oranges

These two auspicious oranges offered during CNY period, here at the entrance of a restaurant in Clarke Quay. As often I make associations in my mind which are quite irrelevant, why think of Serguey Prokovief Opera The Love for Three Oranges where actually I just have two? Maybe the essence of photography : showing what’s not there.

Posing for CNY the Buddha Tooth Relic temple

I started this roll in Chinatown a while back, and as we were during CNY period, people came around the Buddha Tooth Relic temple to take selfies.

A Bak Kwa shop

CNY is also about food, and the Bak Kwa (sliced barbequed port meat) shops are busy. There are queues outside some of the most famous who generally have sold all their goods by lunch time on week ends.

Traditional Cosplay

I was very happy / lucky a couple of weeks later when coming back to Chinatown I saw this group of youngsters dressing up in traditional Chinese costumes, for a fun photo shoot.

Urban sketchers at work in the shade
Caution fierce look

This is a roll of Rollei retro 80s, shot with the Leica M6 and the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm lens.

The lady with a fan
The lady in the shadows

The film was processed in Caffenol CM recipe at 28 degrees for 5minutes. Some shots are great, but the ones with big dark areas like above are showing some marks in the dark parts. Fingers marks? Fogging ? Effect of the expired film? I don’t really know. The effect is even more noticeable below:

Japanese restaurannt

It is not super easy to shoot indoor with 100 ISO setting and a 3.5 lens. I quite like the result, regardless of the marks.

Play

A big thank you to Louis Vuitton for this fashionistas playground giving opportunities for a few candid shots. Once again it was 7pm the light of the day was fading so the shots are taken at 1/60 or 1/40 and F3.5

More playground

A few random shots to finish

A pile of bar stools, the blacks and the contrast are really specific to the Rollei 80s, so I am happy this can be rendered in Caffenol.

Some sculpture in a back alley, I think it’s the entrance of a club or a bar.

A bit if tragedy to finish this is the place where 5 party goes met their fate when driving into coffee in the late night hours a couple of weeks back. You can still see the burned façade of the building. A few days (maybe 1 or two weeks) after the incidents, offerings were placed for the deceased.

More Chinese New Year spirit and a bit more

Geylang Lorong 3 with the Hasselblad 500CM

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.

Geylang Lorong 3 with the Hasselblad 500CM

A roll a week keeps the doctor away

2020-46-M6-13-03

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.

2020-46-M6-13-02

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.

2020-46-M6-13-05

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

2020-46-M6-13-23

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

When the coffee is good

Yes this is a about Caffenol again: after a few rolls ranging from total failure to barely acceptable, I finally got two rolls who turned out pretty good yesterday. I must say that I finally received the pure vitamin C powder so this brew is more deterministic that the others. I also stick to reducing the ingredients by 1/4th as I use a .75L bottle to store it. I used the times derived from past experiences and the Massiv Dev Charts site. So for this Rollei 80s I used the mix at room temps ( about 28/29 Degrees) and 5’25” from when I started pouring to the time I poured out.

The result is pretty good, contrast is fine, there is little dust on the negatives and scanning goes without problem.

I ll keep doing this a few time before maybe trying to cool the mix a little in order to have more leeway in playing with the dev time.

All shots with Agfa Isolette III on Rollei Retro 80s. Oh it is noticeable on some shots that markings from the film backing paper can be seen, but this roll (I have 2 more) are 2 years expired are spent the last few years in the humid climate of Singapore so it may explain why.

When the coffee is good

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

When its so bad it s almost good

Today’s roll of film has been perfectly ruined, the experience showing that I am not yet the master of Caffenol.

Busy

This was a roll of Fuji Across 100, shot with the Leica M6 and a mix of Summicron 50mm and then my “new” Elmar 50.

I processed the roll with my second batch of Caffenol which is now 4 weeks old, and my dodgy Fomapan fix expired for 5 years and used for the 9th roll. A recipie for disaster you call it. The only new variable on the batch of Caffenol was the addition of table salt to act as restrainer for higher ISO films, could this cause the problems seen here? It did not seem to improve the processing of the Ilford Delta 400, so I wont try it again.

I decided not to clean the negs in photoshop, but just to enjoy the artistic look after the usual adjustement. I have a mixed feeling, because the processing looks to be working quite well, the quality of the greys and finesse of the grain below is just great to my taste.

Marina Barrage

Finally the Elmar is working just fine, focusing and all seems good as you can check below. This is a great addition for my LTM kit, lets check the next roll.

Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple

Dont worry I have taken good resoltutions: I binned both the Caffnol and the Fixer and will shop for some new fixer this week. I also ordered some pure ascorbic acid to replace my lemon flavoured vitamine pills.

A mundane shot to show of the Elmar quality

On this note I whish you a good week, happy shooting and maybe next week a good roll for a change?

When its so bad it s almost good

Walking around with color film

A quick post about last two weeks walking around with the Leica M6 loaded with a roll of Kodak ProImage 100 and paired with a Summicron 50mm V.

This is a bit awkward in the middle of my Caffenol frenzy, but it helps changing perspective. Also I brought the film to Whampoa Photo, and the scanning is very nice. I usually scan myself, but that time I decide to give it a try and the result is surprisingly good.

Walking around with color film