STPI Open day and Takashi Murakami: From Superflat to Bubblewrap

This year the STPI in Singapore had its open day during the Takashi Murakami exhibition “From Superflat to Bubblewrap“, this was the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

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No need I think to introduce the iconic Japanese artist who uses manga like practice to depict modern Japan. I only had B&W film that day so I did not took many pictures of the art works.

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Open days at the STPI (Former Singapore Tyler Print Institute) are always enjoyable, if you have young children they can discover and experiment various print practices, that also work it seems for  teenagers and young adults alike.

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For guys (or gals) with a camera, it is a nice opportunity to captures willing models engaged in not so common activities.

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The STPI now positions itself as a gallery, aiming to promote the usage of print and paper mediums.

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Artists shown in the gallery often have a collaboration with the print makers.

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The smiling lady at the printing press has been working there for years, she is now an independent architect ; time flies.

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All shots were done with the Leica M6 and Summicron 50mm on Kodak Tri X, at 400 ISO.  genarally shot between F2 and F4 and 1/60s ro 1/12s. The film was processed by Ruby photo (or rather their usual contractor) and scanned at home on Epson v800 with Silverfast.

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I generally convert the images to grey-scale and remove dust spots in Adobe Elements and adjust the contract and brightness in Lightroom.

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The workshop can also be a treasure where odd objects can be found and pictured for eternity.

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One of the DIY items of the week end was an STPI apron.

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You can see picture of the last workshop I went to 4 years ago STPI at that time pictures were shot with Canon EOS 1N and 1.8 Canon lens.

 

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STPI Open day and Takashi Murakami: From Superflat to Bubblewrap

London on Film

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I spent a week in London recently with my family and brought the usual travel kit (Leica M, M262 and the Summicrons 28mm Asp, 35 Asph v2 and 50mmv5), I brought a nice set of films but in the end I did not shoot much, only a roll of TriX and half a roll of Portra  400. And on digital as we are here I took a mere 300 shots.

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Looking at the TriX shots I am quite pleased; as usually they have been dropped for processing at Ruby photo in Singapore and scanned at home ; but when I was there I was a bit puzzled about what or who to shoot.

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On one hand I am so used to travel in Asia that I am a bit lost in European cities, I am not sure about people reactions to the camera (I like candid shots), but also I think the whole way the big city works need so getting used to. So a bit of frustration. Maybe also my expectations were a bit too high, who knows.

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London as changed a lot since I was last there 14 years ago. The south bank area is so lively now, also packed with tourists and street performers.

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Asian tourists selfy-ing themselves are everywhere, but that’s the same all over the planet. Here at the Borough Market, a place that I never saw before, this is definitely a good area to shoot.

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There are many food stalls there.

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Some attractions on South Bank are using old lorries that are worth a shot imo. I only realized today that the London eye was reflecting on the bonnet of the lorry, I would have framed it better if I have known.

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A morning stroll in SOHO, is also a nice opportunity for people shooting.2019-22-M6-15-22

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Or just window shopping.2019-22-M6-15-27

In the places I never visited before was Ealing Broadway, home of the Ealing Studios who produce(s/d) cinema and television shows.

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Finally another happy discovery was Old Spitalfields Market that I visited the day of the vintage records market.

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A couple more Portra shots below:

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London on Film

Ceremony in the street in Hua Hin – Thailand

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This a somewhat long post (30 shots) of a ceremony I came across in the streets of Hua Hin in Thailand during Christmas break. Getting of the main temple in the center of the city we came across the person above dancing of a building at the sound of loud reggae type music. 02

This happen to be in the honor of a your man turning 20, the one you can see with a shaved head in some shots after.

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I am not a specialist, I believe this guy is going to become a monk for a certain  time. Kids in Buddhist countries often spend some time in monasteries for their education but in Thailand they cannot spend any time as a monk until they reach 20 and it seems this is quite mandatory in a man’s life.

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The parade involved a group of people walking the whole city center area around the temple. Carrying alms as above.

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Dancing as the sound of a band, plating from the top of a lorry.

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There i some support for the guy carrying alms or umbrellas, the pink bucket is for quench his thirst.

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The birthday boy and the older lady below are paraded on cycle rickshaws.1415

More dancing …

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The auntie had a lot of energy and  good sense of rhythm.

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I am not sure if they are strictly singers or also MC’s my command of Thai is very poor.

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That was a very enjoyable moment, I really love shooting these events, and the lovely Thai people seemed not to matter my presence.

  • Color shots: Leica M262+Summicron 35mmF2
  • Black and White shots: Leica M6+Summicron 50mmF2 + kodak tri-x
Ceremony in the street in Hua Hin – Thailand

A Chinese Thanksgiving – Singapore

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There was a Chinese Thanksgiving in front of Ngee Ann City on Orchard road in Singapore. That was a good occasion for the test roll of the The Leica IIIc which is back from the shop with a new curtain.

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A Chinese Thanksgiving - Singapore

These are small sculptures on a boat, I am not too sure (how Singaporean) of the meaning.

 

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Uncle watching the musians

 

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Old people folding joss paper to be burned later in offering to the ancestors. I asked once about the significance of the folding and was told it is to make it easier to burn. But there may be another meaning.

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Camera:Leica IIIc
Lens: Summitar 50mmF2
Film:Kodak trix 400ISO

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The Leica IIIc is back from the shop

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The Leica IIIC has shown some defects in the summer after 6 or  rolls shot. One of rolls was showing a white line 3/4 horizontally and one roll from Taiwan was half black. Both defec

ts were characterized by the web and the repair man as issues with the curtains. The repair man was quite frank and told me that well this was a nice camera, but not as much though after as a IIIf, so I may consider if I want to repair it or not. But after much thoughts and a bit of walking into various shops I finally decided to have it done.

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I am not sure I would dare give the price of the repair; but let’s say that it is more than what I paid for the body. 2 long weeks to wait (Time ) and here is the beast. The old curtain sure shows some holes and the new one looks …. like new. The body is uber clean and the guy has cleaned the rangefinder and the viewfinder and it’s a pleasure to peep through them.

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Now for the story I went to my lab next door and bought a roll for test (Kodak trix, what else) but when I started asking for a pair of scissor to proceed with cutting the lead, one “specialist” showed me the proper way to load the film without cutting … 2 hours and 36 shots later I realized the operation failed ! Damn’it

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Also after 36 missed shot and two films (including these pictures) the trigger is locked in depressed position and I have to bring it back to the shop (still waiting for the verdict, but I suspect this may be either something that went wrong during the repair or related to the savage loading).

Anyway, I did a bit of way around with the Summitar 50mm F2 for the first roll and here are some shots.I really like this small camera, but I hope I will get it in a better shape soon.

Below taken wide open at dusk, probably 1/60s F2.2

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First picture in Chinese Thanks Giving on orchard road in Singapore

Three next are taken during the night at a restaurant in Chinatown Singapore

The Leica IIIc is back from the shop

Thaipusam 2012 – A shot in the dark

Time flies and here it comes again, as sure as Christmas in December, Thaipusam the Hindu festival of Singapore falls every year around the end of January. Unfortunately this year I have very little time to go, so I just popped in at night for half an hour. I fancied myself putting a roll of tri-x in the F4s and take a fast autofocus lens and shoot at 1600 ISO. Well that proved to be a wrong choice; my F4 is no longer what it used to be (or never was) and autofocus in the dark is not great. So that day the ratio of keepers is pretty low, 3 pictures only are worth looking at.
Lessons of the day:
– I would have been better taking the D700!
– The best pictures of the F4 were done with manual lenses! Maybe its AF has a problem…

For older shots of Thaipusam click here.

Camera: Nikon F4s
Lens: Nikkor 50mm F1.8D
Film: Kodak Trix 400 pushed 1600ISO
Scanner: Epson v500

Thaipusam 2012 – A shot in the dark