Chiang Saen – Thailand

So I finally shot the roll of Velvia 50 that has been sitting in the fridge for nearly two years. As around 20 SGD from the shop plus 13 for processing, this does not come cheap so I was waiting for an occasion to put it at good use. It made the trip to Chamonix last year but flew back to the fridge due to terrible weather in french alps.

I finally used it during the recent trip in Sunny Thailand. I used a Leica M6 classic and most of the pictures here are done with the Summicron 28mm. The film was shot at box speed.

Scanning the slides does probably not give them justice, I think that slides are better projected or printed in Cibachrome (who remembers this?) Here they look like nice digital shots, what they are at the end of the day. Scanned on the Epson v500, they look very close to what I can get out of the M262.

For people my age (50+), shooting travel on slides, reminds or the time where our dad or uncle keen on photography was bringing tons or slides from exotics places he visited and embark us for then boring evenings or projections (including oddly synched soundtracks)

Nowadays I the slides are shoot are mostly Rollei; they are more affordable. Both Rollei and Fuji have color casts one scanned, Fuji in the pink , Rollei on the yellow. On this set of late afternoon pictures in Chiang Saen, the cast is quite pleasant and I did not try to correct it too much.

The meter of the M6 (with new batteries) is doing a good job as only one slide of the roll was badly exposed. Counter-intuitively, slides who are notorious for being picky with exposure are better shot under exposed, the opposite to print film which likes to be a little over.

Chiang Sen, is situated in the most northern part f Thailand inside the Golden Triangle notorious for opium trafficking and more. Situated 1 hour from Chiang Rai and 5 hours drive from Chiang Mai, it is  nice city along the mekong where the 3 countries (Laos, Myanmar and Thailand) meet.

I read once that in the 21st Century, slides are the only serious reason to still shoot film. This may not be totally true, but it is probably the type of film which competes the best with commonplace high end digital image.

Chiang Saen – Thailand

Singapore Photo Walk – March 2016 – Rochor Center

Rochor Center classic view

I joined Bernard Goh’s Singapore Photo Walk outing of March with my son.

Rochor Centre is group of buildings built by the Housing and Development Board of Singapore. It was built and completed in 1977 and consists of 4 blocks painted in vivid colors yellow, green, red and blue.

Rochor Center classic view

This is an iconic building in the east side on Singapore center that can be seen by tourists going to Arab Street or Little India.

The buildings comprise habitations, shops and hawkers ( food stalls). On the ground floor you still can find some religious artefacts.
Rochor Center classic view

Rochor Center classic view

The center has started closing as later this year it will be torn down to give way to a motorway joining the north to the south of the island. A lot of the shops have already relocated, but some are still open. The habitations seems to still be occupied if I can judge by the drying laundry.

Rochor Center classic view

The void desk is a classical feature of the HDB blocks, an open area for inhabitants to congregate and do activities.

Rochor Center classic view

Rochor Center classic view

Our friend Long Siew Leng aka Jumping girl.

Pictures 1 and 2 : Hasselblad 500cm+80mmF2.8, Rollei CR 200 slide film

Pictures 3,4,and 5 : Leica M6, summaron 28mm2.8, Kodak Portra 400

Pictures 6 : Hasselblad 500cm+80mmF2.8, Rollei RPX 100 film

 

Singapore Photo Walk – March 2016 – Rochor Center

Medium format on the Beach : “Le cabanon de la plage” and more

Summer holidays in France means for me taking an odd camera out of the cupboard in my parents house. I must say I am always tempted to take the Dacora Digna  which gives me quite some quite consistent results. Its lack of settings, its Lomo / Holga style rendering (yes but a Free vintage Holga mind you) always make it for interesting results.

Le Cabanon de la Plage is an extremely nice good restaurant with an amazing setting on the border of the beach in La Bocca just outside Cannes on the French Riviera.

La plage

I also became partial to using slide film with it. This makes the price per shot quite high indeed but actually I really like what I get in return.

Nice is nice I think “Nice is nice” is part of lyrics of a song, this made us laugh our heads out when we were teenagers.

Finally, a subtle hint of posts to come, picking one one of the “odd” camera was quite challenging this year as I carried from Singapore my beloved Leica M4 and also my new long awaited toy, a pristine M6 Classic black with a Summaron 35mmF2.8.

Medium format on the Beach : “Le cabanon de la plage” and more

Carnaval de Nice – Nice – France

Carnaval de Nice
Carnaval de Nice

Last month I went to the “Carnaval de Nice” with the Hassie and the second roll of Rollei Digibase CR200.

Carnaval de Nice
Carnaval de Nice

Nice is just 30 km from my hometown of Cannes, but this is just the second time in my life (about 48 years) that I go there. I have an excuse because I have been away since 1985. I went with my son Noé who also made some nice pics with his Coolpix.

Carnaval de Nice
Carnaval de Nice

Not so easy to catch action with the Hasselblad, I was also not very well positioned so there is a bit of back-light. I still think this film is great; the colors are very realistic and it is quite relaxed regarding exposition.

Carnaval de Nice
Carnaval de Nice
Carnaval de Nice
Carnaval de Nice
Carnaval de Nice
Carnaval de Nice

 

Camera::Hasselblad 500CM, Planar 80mmF2.8
Film::Rollei Digibase CR200

Carnaval de Nice – Nice – France

Rollei Digibase CR200 – PRO

Quai du large - Cannes - France
Quai du large – Cannes – France

This is probably the last film of 2013, all in all I think I shot 54 rolls not including a couple of complete lost ones, so I reached my target for the year: 1 roll a week. I am not sure I will do it again this year.

But back to the Rollei Digibase CR200. This is a slide film, formerly sold as Agfa Precisa, and now produce by Agfa in Belgium. I orderd a 5 pack a few month back and found it in the post box (so to speak) when I was back in Cannes for Xmas. I could not resist to try one of rolls.

My medium format of choice when in Cannes in the Dacora Digna. A german point and shoot made in the late 50’s with a single adjustment for apperture : F8 and F11 (this was all shot at F11) and a very simple shutter made of a single spring that works more or less at 1/50 seconds. The distance is set on the barel of the extensible lens with just 3 markings.

Back in Singapore it took a while to have the film processed: I was told that the guy doing slides was busy which I think is a good sign (or maybe he has so little work that he waits a few weeks to process a a couple of rolls in one batch). Anyway 4 weeks and 12 SGD (7.5 EUR) later I got my 12 shots. Talking about money I think the film goes for more of less 5EUR.

The shipyard - Cannes - France
The shipyard – Cannes – France

The film is easy to scan, although a bit curly, the colors are going out very well, very natural, unlike the last roll of Fuji that I scanned. There is probably more grain than on other slide films, but oh actually are there any other slide films available in 2014?

Le Moure rouge - Cannes - France
Le Moure rouge – Cannes – France

All considered I’m very pleased and cannot wait to try in with the Hassie.

Camera::Dacora Digna
Film::Rollei Digibase CR200

Rollei Digibase CR200 – PRO

The green corridor – Singapore

It’s already a coupe of years back since the railway station in Tanjong Pagar was closed moved to Woodlands close to the Malaysian border. To give an idea to the reader with no knowledge on Singapore geography, Tanjong Pagar in in the south side of the island and the border is at the north. For the small story the station, the tracks and the land below were Malaysian property. So a couple of years back, the station (see here) was closed, the tracks removed (and returned to Malaysia) and an exchange of land and other compensation was done. So was born the green corridor, the former railway from the south of Singapore to the border of Malaysia.

Sometime on August, after a brunch at Rider’s Cafe and a drive along the border with my friend Oliver, I was dropped at the former Bukit Timah railway station (in the middle of the corridor) and walked 10 KM south until I reach a “No trespassing” sign before getting to the old station area. I carried the Hassie with 2 backs and the Leica III (That will be for next post).

 

The bridge over Upper Bukit Timah road
The bridge over Upper Bukit Timah road

The bridge across Bukit Timah road and the railway station are the most interesting items to see, there lay the last meters of track.

The bridge over Upper Bukit Timah road
The bridge over Upper Bukit Timah road

After (or before) this point the green corridor is a dirt track between trees; very green and very blue this day as well.

The green and blue corridor
The green and blue corridor

The city is never far however and you can never forget the constructions nor the noise of the traffic. Maybe going upwards to Malaysia is different, but going south to the sea you can;t forget Singapore is a dense and busy city.

Habitation blocks along the green corridor
Habitation blocks along the green corridor

 

Color shots done with Fuji slides, 100 ISO. All scanned with Epson v500, adjusted with Lightroom 3.6.

Image

Bukit Brown Cemetery – The film shots – Singapore

Sikh Guard - Bukit Brown Chinese Cemetery - Singapore
Sikh Guard – Bukit Brown Chinese Cemetery – Singapore

Camera: Hasselblad 500CM
Lens: 80mm F2.8
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Scanner: Epson v500+Lightroom 3

The 3 films shot with the Hasselblad during out outing to Bukit Brown cemetery are are finally back from the lab. One of the best shots is this statue of a Sikh guard protecting a tomb (actually there are a pair of them). These were 3 different films, this one is an Ektar 100 which is probably the one that gave the best results, the portra 400 NC was not bad either, but I am disappointed with my first ever slide film, I’ll make another post on the subject.

Bukit Brown Cemetery – The film shots – Singapore