Christmas in Vietnam (Roll 1)

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I think this one  is a great cover.

So off to Vietnam for Xmas 2019, for a bit of chilling time over Christmas. In the bag, the usual kit, M262, M6, 28,35 and 50 crons and of course a couple of Tri-x rolls.

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Hanoi is a great place to shoot. People are friendly and generally not photo  adverse. There are so many pictures to take, that if you cannot take one, just walk to the next.

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As usual, the M6 is most often mounted with the 50 cron, that ensures a reasonable distance for candid shots.

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Street side food vendors and their patrons are still a great subject.

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I was last in Hanoi 10 years ago and the traffic has not changed, crossing the roads still feels like an adventure and motorcycles are omnipresent.

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We arrived late on Christmas eve, so our first outing was a walk to Saint Joseph Cathedral on Christmas day. The mass was already going on when we reached and people were standing outside of the church. 2019-38-M6-23-12

After the service an orchestra was playing outside.

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A good opportunity for selfies.

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We walked down to the Metropole hotel, where the two Citroen below are standing guard. I stayed there 10 years ago, and at that time  they could be sent to fetch you from the airport in style.2019-38-M6-23-17

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Grab delivery men are ubiquitous through the city

We then walk north in direction of Long Bien bridge, going through the old quarter.2019-38-M6-23-21

Among many, I met these local photographers and we took shots of each others.

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Finally we made it to Long Ben bridge.

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Where I met the two young film photographers below.

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Hey this was a long post. Be reassured the next roll is not as good.

Christmas in Vietnam (Roll 1)

Back to the monkey god temple

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Quality Lion dance that afternoon

Birthdays have the habit of coming back every year, so for the third time I think I find myself at the TIONG BAHRU QI TIAN GONG temple in the area of Singapore called Tiong Bahru for the birthday of the temple. One of my friends reminded me of the event and I was super happy it was at a time where I could attend.

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This is a Taoist temple, a popular faith in Singapore among the Chinese population. I still don’t know much about the Taoist faith and practice, so i won’t try to explain it here. The spirits and gods have  a great place in the faith and they are honored through offerings like Chinese Opera, joss paper bonfires, ..

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The celebration involved lions dances, a dragon dance troop, musicians, as above and below. Singaporeans say that Taoist are noisy. I think I have some old shots of the gentleman below.2019-29-m6-18-40

The person that looks to be the man in charge posing with the lions and some banners.2019-29-m6-18-372019-29-m6-18-35

Meanwhile across the street, the porters of the gods sedan chairs are taking some rest.

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I shot 2 rolls of Tri-x (one above, one below this paragraph), one roll or Provia 400H (in between) and hundreds of digital pictures using the magic combo, Leica M6 for film and the M262 for digital; for lenses I brought the 50 cron, mostly on the M6, the 35cron mostly the M262 then. I also brought along the 90mm Elmarit for a few digital portraits.
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At that moment the gods starts to be carried in 3 sedan chairs to the place where the bonfire will be lit.

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Below some of the carriers of the three sedan chairs.2019-30-m6-20-2

I don’t know if they are really heavy but the guys are relaying each others regularly.

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This write up is about the film shots and should be called “You are all my favorites”. It found very difficult to select between the shots. I have included the shots of the two Tri-x rolls, I will do another small article about the Provia roll which has its own story.2019-30-m6-20-9

We now arrived at the field where the bonfire will be lit, a small crowed is gathered. Led the the Taoist priests.2019-30-m6-20-142019-30-m6-20-15

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One of the gods chair with the idol in the middle.

 

(You can read an oldest post here )

 

 

 

Back to the monkey god temple

The Kiev IV is still alive

The end of 2016 was fast approaching and looking at the treasure chest (and my spreadsheet of films shots during the year), I looked at camera who had not went to the field.

The Kiev IV is one of them, and I felt the next trip to Dakota was a good opportunity to take it for a spin. I loaded a roll of Tri-X and pocketed (so to speak) the body, the 50F2 and the 35F2.8.

My Kiev now has a new skin (no more mummy look), and no more light leaks (fingers crossed). So it does not look to shabby anymore and is quite a usable device.

The light-meter on mine is dead, or maybe is it too complicated to use. I find the speed control very difficult to use, and difficult to read with my poor eyesight at close range. The rangefinder with its lighting window below the shutter is not great as I always have a tendency to obscure it with a finger or the other.

I always like the images that the Kiev produces, my two lenses are very sharp, the rangefinder when not blocked, is very accurate. The speeds on my copy are quite on as well. But this fellow stays in the cupboard (actually a giant Tupperware) because of its not so friendly controls (speed change, shutter button, lens change, winding, loading of film). I think it even compares negatively to the Leica III.

This says I love the pics, I may get rid of my set this year, it may be a cheap entry  level rangefinder for someone else, who knows.

About Dakota Crescent estate, you can read more on other posts, around mid-December the place is quite empty now.

This is a roll shot with the Kiev IV Camera, Jupiter 35 or 50 lens on Kodak TRI-X.

Scanned at home on Epson v500.

The Kiev IV is still alive

Panguni Celebration – Singapore

So what happened since the March Photowalk? No pictures ? Well a bit of the contrary, I have been in a film frenzy and I now average 2 rolls a week, but then this takes  a lot of time to process and there is little time left to put this us in a post. Also of course has there’s been a bit of travelling, but that will be for other posts…

So at the week after the March photowalk, on a Wednesday morning, was the celebration of Panguni.

Panguni is a Hindu celebration similar to Thaipusam (you can see my post for this year here). In Singapore it is held two lunar months after Thaipusam, in the Yishun area, at the Holy Tree Sri Balasubramaniar Temple.

Like Thaipusam it involves body piercing, carrying Kavadis, music, friends and family support.

It is always amazing from the outside to see people going through this ritual. But you can also find some laughter there.

Panguni is a lot smmaller celebration that Thaipusam and it is less crowded. A lot less photographers and onlokers as well. Some of the people I spoke to pput the emphasis on the local dimension of the ceremony.

Pictures are done with Leica M4 and M6, with Summaron 35F2.8 and Summilux 50F1.4v2, using Kodak Tri-X. I also shot some colours pics but they did not make it through the selection.

Panguni Celebration – Singapore

Over and Under the sea with my Heineken Camera

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Ok actually this is more over the sea than under. Part of the “big tour of the south pacific” holidays camera pack, I carried along the Heineken Toy Camera and its waterproof case. I had a great time and some interesting shots when I brought in on a company week end out in Phuket two years ago, so I thought it would be a nice complement to the DSLR and the Agfa.

To make things a bit more funny, I loaded it with Black and White Tri-X film. I think the colors generally sucks with such cameras and black and white will make a bit more special images. I think at 400ISO the Tri-X is a bit over exposed even given the F9, 1/60th of a second fixed exposure of the camera. The 100ISO shots at Phuket where a bit better.

Oh and the fixed lens is a 28mm.

Below is my aquatic family, mini me and wifey
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And your servitor, shot by Noé the aquatic photographer.

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Shots from our hotel in Tahiti, with the island of Moorea in the background.

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Our neightborhoud

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Finaly a real underwater shot with fish included.Facebook-5-2

All of this is good fun. I missed having a digital submarine camera though, I must say the few underwater shots would have been nice. But not regret, i’ll do this again.

Over and Under the sea with my Heineken Camera

The Agfa Isolette goes to the end of the world

Moais quarry at Rano Raraku

A once in a lifetime trip, done for the second time : April – May we went on a family trip from Singapore, to Auckland, to Tahiti, to Easter Island and back. In total more than 30 thousand kilometers or travel. And on top of packing both swimsuit and polar jumpers (Auckland and Easter Island are on the cold side compare to our usual 30 degrees), the eternal question. What camera do I take.

Moais quarry at Rano Raraku

Of course the Nikon D700 is part of the trip, with the perfect travel combo: 50mmF1.8, 17-35F2.88 amd 80-200F2.8, a few filters, several cards in my new Pelican Case CF card holder, a spare battery, charger, flashgun, and Tripod (barely used). For film I immediately settled for the waterproof Heineken Camera loaded with Tri-x for fun and beach and then I pondered what serious film camera I should bring.

Moais quarry at Rano Raraku

Although I have a kind of return of love for the Leica, I think it is too fragile for this trip. The Hassie is too big for the hiking part in Easter island, the Nikons are a bit too unpredictable (although it would have been fun to bring the F3 back there after 20 years). Finally I decided for the Agfa Isolette, it is small enough not to be a pain to carry so I can eventually forgive bad results if any.

Ahu Akivi: the only moai facing the sea

The Agfa still has a problem with the rangefinder, so I have to guestimate the distance and report it on the lens but all in all with Tri-X and bright sun most of the pictures are taken around F11 so focus is not an issue.

Moais quarry at Rano Raraku

I only shot two rolls, all in Easter Island also called Rapa Nui in local dialect.

Ahu Tongariki - Easter Island
One day on the Anakena beach I met a nice Chilean lady with a Rolleiflex taking shots of the beach and the statues who are sitting on its background. I was as so happy to meet a charming fellow film photographer that I offered us a roll of Rollei RPX 400 to try.

On top of Terevaka - Easter Island Highest pic

We stayed at the wonderful Explora Hotel, unforgettable experience there; we made a couple of hikes with the new manager Francisco as above on top of the highest peak of the island.

The Moai Quary - Easter Island

Did I mention that this is our second time there? We went in 1995, 20 years ago for our honeymoon; I was carrying the Nikon F3 then, so this is why I considered bringing it back. I had a couple of old shots on my phone and inquired about people on them. Unfortunately on the three identifiable person, 2 have passed away; but the young boy visible on one, is now thirty and a father of two have I been told. I did not manage to meet him though.

The Agfa Isolette goes to the end of the world

Good bye Mister Lee – Day two

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On the second day or the mourning, the body is mister Lee was visible in the Parliament house. A large crowd attended the transfer itself early in the morning. From then the body of mister Lee was visible for the public inside the parliament.

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A large queue started to form and when I stepped outside of home and head to the river, by 3pm the queue was zig zagging along more than 6km to end up around Clark Quay.

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People with flowers were trying to reach the start of the queue

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The queue was turning along new bridge road up to Hong Lim park. Luckily there was shade for most of this stretch.Facebook-7

Not so lucky were the people still on the bridge.Facebook-14

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The police organized the queue, but everybody was polite and patient it seemed. No the policeman is not pointing at me.

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Some more far-sighted people have brought umbrellas and seats.

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Staff from Song Fa Bak Kut Teh shop were distributing water to people in the queue passing by their shop.

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I made it to Canvenagh bridge in 30 minutes, probably it will be 4 hours minimum for the people in the queue and from here a good one to two hours extra to get the parliament. I could not cross so I walked back along the queue.Facebook-17

Opposite the Fullerton hotel, some guys were distributing water.

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Another refreshment point in front of Maybank

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The queue passed with Marina Bay Sands in the background, the latest Icon of the capital city.

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I really hope this woman did not have to go back all the way to Clarke Quay to queue. People I met at this point had no idea how far the start of the queue was.

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Today’s walk from the back of the queue up to Cavenagh bridge, took me a good hour.

All pictures with Leica M4

Summilux 50mm1.4
Rollei RPX100 or Kodak Tri-x

Good bye Mister Lee – Day two