London 2021 Roll#2

That’s it Roll#2 is finally back from the lab. Thanks to some film fotogs I met in town, I finally find a more affordable lab, although I must say the over all price is still steep, but I am down to 10 £ for processing and scanning down from 16£ for my first roll.

Still a long way to go to beat Singapore prices. On a side note, I have ordered some Vitamin C and a thermometer so I can go back to Caffenol, as soon as I find some Soda wash.

Good job from the last, scanning is quite ok, I chose the high res JPG option for the price. I must say that after 18 month of Cafenol, I really cannot make the difference. More grain, less grain? I am not very technical.

Definitely London offers different scenes that Singapore, I still don’t feel at ease shooting random strangers, but there is enough going on to make useful subjects.

Roll 3 is under way, but as I mentioned somewhere else being grounded 10 days with Covid is not helping my photographic activity.

Size matters

London 2021 Roll#2

ROLL 2021#14 Just walkin’ around

A short post with not many words for the roll 14th of the year 2021. This is a roll of Ilford HP5+ hand-rolled from a bulk roll. I thought I counted 30 frames but it looks It did not count well and could just fire 25 shots.

I dug out the Leica M4 from the box and screw the Voigtländer 21mmF4 Color Skopar in front of it, set the 21-24mm finder, put a battery in my Sekonic light meter and hit the road.

The roll was processed at home in Caffenol Delta. I put a 6th of the water from the fridge to cool down the very hot tap water ( 29 to 30 degrees), and used the usual dev time (4.41 minutes) for the delta recipe. It looks it had a positive effect as the negatives were not as dark as usual.

The film dried overnight and was scanned today. After scanning there are a few dusts specs and white spots, but all in all a pretty successful processing.

A pretty mundane set of pictures : after 15 month without leaving Singapore, I start to be a bit bored. No big celebrations are happenings, it s a bit more of the same every week ends.

I shall not complain too much as the weather was pretty good that day, instead of the usual downpour we get on afternoons these days.

Luckily sometime the unexpected steps into the frame

Or you have lunch with friends

And suddenly when you feel you are finally in the mood, the film ends.

I hope you enjoyed the post, stay safe.

ROLL 2021#14 Just walkin’ around

CNY 2021 ON KODAK EKTAR

The Buddhist lodge on Kim Yam Road

So when I brought my last roll of Portra to the lab the uncle coaxed me into buying some Ektar 100, not wanting to look mean I bought not a roll but a box of 5 rolls. I must say this is a decent deal as it comes with five coupons of one dollar to be rebated of their processing. If I remember correctly this is 52 dollars for the 5 rolls and they do processing + super decent scanning at 11 dollars (Singapore Dollars).

Monkey God Temple in Tiong Bahru

I shot Ektar before, but mostly in 35mm, I must say it pays credit to the claim that it is the finest grain film. So I loaded the good old Hassie 500 CM with my first roll and hit the road to give it a try.

Chinese Lantern Tiong Bahru

12 shots on a 120 roll is not much, but walking through overshot areas on a Sunday afternoon, it can be quite a challenge to finish a full roll.

The ex-Majestic Hotel, now the Straight Clan asscoation

We walked from home to Tiong Bahru, then headed to Chinatown. The Straight Clan is where the Majestic hotel used to be. I spent 5 weeks in this hotel in 2006 and have some interesting shots from the construction site period, when it was converted. Maybe I’ll share this some time.

Buddha tooth relic temple

We moved to the Buddha tooth relic temple where I notice the Buddhist flags which where not there last week ( you can check the post) and I though it was a nice opportunity for color sampling and smooth grain demonstration.

A peanuts stand in Chintaown

In Chinatown every year temporary stands selling goods for the occasion the Chinese New Year appear and disappear in a mater of a few weeks. Generally they close late on the eve of the New Year day. This year everybody was masked, there were less stands as the people coming from other countries could not enter Singapore. If you want to ne picky, the focus is on the cage bars, not the seller.

Welcome to the year of the Ox

Exiting Chinatown, I took this shot of the Ox silk paper statue. This is not the best angle as it is quite busy with the traffic lights posts and cars. The best angle is diametrically opposite I think. But you can see here how nice and bright the colors are.

Substation on Armenian street

Nice mural on Substation, an art center on Armenian Street, close to the Peranakan museum. Substation used to host gigs and has a broad program, with what seems to be a focus on the street / youth culture.

Rendez-Vous Hotel

The last shot in order to finish the roll : a mundane view of the Rendez-Vous Hotel at the bottom of Orchard Road. Totally uninteresting but very nice blues.

I you missed the links in the text you can check the post CNY 2021 in Chinatown with the Hassie 500CM to compare similar shots with Portra 160.

All shots: Hasselblad 500 CM with standard 80mmF2.8
Kodak Ektar 100 shot at 100
Processing and Scanning : Whampoa Color

CNY 2021 ON KODAK EKTAR

Around Singapore in November 2020

A very quick post of shots done earlier this month on an expired roll of Kodak Portra 400 with the Leica M6 and the Summicron 35mm Asph v2.

The roll was processed and scanned at Whampoa Photo. I find the scanning job they do of equal quality (or better) than what I do myself, so no point wasting time. The first set above was done around Marina Bay, over a couple of different week ends, one being just before Halloween.

Second section comprise photos of Little India around Deepavali celebration and the first shot was in Chinatown during a meet up with fellow film photographers.

Third section contains some shot shots fort Siloso in Sentosa, and a couple of random shots from a walk around Newton.

Finally a shot of fellow film photographer from Japan who has been around in Singapore for quite a few years and always carry his two pristine Nikons F2. He will go home soon for good, so farewell.

This was roll number 42 of the year, and the 11th with the M6, I hop eyou enjoyed the ride.

Around Singapore in November 2020

I am a full time barista

Here is a new post with a roll dating from a few weeks already. During a very long walk (12.5 km) where I carried both the Leica M4 and the Agfa Isolette. I posted already about the Agfa roll here https://waex99photo.wordpress.com/2020/09/27/when-the-coffee-is-good/

National Aerated Water Co Pte Ltd

The National Aerated Water Co Pte Ltd was the actual goal of my walk. I went there with public transport and walk my way back home via Marina Bay. The old factory is going to be part of a new development, but almost two years after my last visit this is still a work in progress.

Geylang Bahru industrial estate

This is the first time I pass by the Geylang Bahru industrial estate. It looks like a promising area, with small workshops, like here a Rattan Basket factory.

The indian master saloon.

Heading down into town towards Boon Keng MRT, is a very lively areas

I am nearly a full time barista because this is another roll processed in Caffenol. As the Agfa one it turned out very fine with the new Vitamin C. This is a roll of Ilford Delta 400 by the way.

She had a spring in her steps

The roll was shot with the Elmar 50 mm F3.5 on the Leica M4.

I took a close up on this little paper flag used for prayers or offerings and I am very pleased on the sharpness and overall rendering.

Opposite Jalan Besar stadium are a few workshops creating tarpaulins. I made many shots over the years but this is one off the best.

Vietnam the world tour mural

Opposite Jalan Besar food center the mural is still there, read more about this amazing work there http://vietnamtheworldtour.com/

Moving Ladder

Following are a few portraits in Haji Lane / Arab Street area.

Finally in front of the Marina Bay Sands Apple shop, with fellow film shooter Anthony and his Mamiya Press.

The shop below, shot with the 21mmF4 Voigtlangder.

I hope you enjoyed the trip.

I am a full time barista

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

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 6

Time of the week again!I think I just took the camera with me three times this week, and I did not made a single shot today.

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Deserted Clark Quay

The weather is still indecisive but we have some nice moments, and some late afternoons with beautiful lights. I started the week with the old Summitar 50 that is on the M262 for a couple of weeks now.

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Strange lights on this office building (or is it a hotel?)

Despite its back focusing issues, it performs quite well.

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Hair Dressers are re-opening

… enough to capture the event of the week : the re-opening of hair dressers.

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Clark quay still empty

Saturday, I decided for a change and picked from the magic box the 28mm Cron Asph v1. You can think how nice the old lenses are, and you can challenge me to tell objective differences between the two shots of Clark Quay, but the newer Leica lenses rock, they are the one who justify owning a digital M body. I always recommend to everybody who wants to go the digital M way to get at least one newer lens.

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I have set the M body in auto aperture mode, but as much as it generally work, I always end up shooting at a too low speed. You will tell me this mode should be used with auto ISO, but yeah OK, it really needs some practice to be put to good work.

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A human

Yes I managed to shoot a human, that was a while since last one.

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An eateries at Chinatown MRT

I think it is always easy to take random pictures and rather difficult to shoot something that means something to you and on which you want to express something. I wanted to shown the blocked Chess game area where a lot of old folks gather usually.

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The area is now locked as you can see. I hope you get the feeling

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Finally a shot of Potato Head, in a very quiet Keong Siak Road as night was falling down,

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A very quiet potato head

Good night, keep safe.

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 6

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 3 and 4

The soft lock down was extended two weeks ago until 1st of June, so all in all that will be 8 week of lock-down.

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No swing!

Conditions are a bit more strict, but all in all I cannot complain. I can work from home, we have plenty of hardware here so we don’t fight over PCs, and we can within reason go out if we wear a mask.

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Fort Canning at dusk

We are allowed to go out for shopping in the neighborhood or for exercise, which is flexible enough and can be used without abuse. We generally walk an hour at the end of the afternoon, go for our food shopping and go home.

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Anderson bridge

The photographic practice is a collateral victim of the lock-down, I am quite busy with work, so I have no leisure to (re) invent a “shoot at home” activity, and while going out, there is not so much happening and we always roam the same aeras.

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The Summitar Swirly Bokeh

I have stopped shooting film after the first week : I do not process at home so there is no incentive until the labs open again. I am carrying the Leica M262 Body (Coming to its 4th birthday soon)  and some vintage lenses : the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm on the first two shots and the Summitar 50mmF2 for the others.

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Exercise by the Merlion

The Summitar is back focusing a bit, but its quite easy to adjust after a couple of shots. Wide open it gets this “swirly” Bokeh, which is funny.

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The colors for both lenses are quite nice, but unfortunately the weather is also pretty nasty, it generally rains lightly when I can go out.

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The philatelic museum

What to shoot to show the emptiness and halted activities? Not much really. Although activity is very quiet and the traffic is noticeably smaller, it is rare to be able to picture a usually busy street that is empty.

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Singapore Management University

But surely there are a lot of signs like the public areas where seats are blocked as above.

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Window shopping at Camera hospital (not for sale)

Or below, bar areas who are wrapped away.

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orchard road

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Chinatown

Empty parking places in the city center are definitely a sign that something is going on.

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This seating area seems to be still functionning

 

 

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Hairdresser

Hairdressers which were ordered to close two week ago, will now reopen before the rest of the businesses.

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Circular road was pretty quiet today

 

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Finally when reaching the river on the way back home today, there was a very nice light on the buildings of the city center.

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Central

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Court of justice

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Once George Street

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 3 and 4

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 2

Yeah, we made it through another week. I my case work from home means being super busy, so I just have the time to go out shopping for food everyday and take a bit of fresh air and exercise a bit, generally I walk 3 to 6 km. Only today, Sunday, did I found the courage and energy to go fur a quick ride.

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unattended bar

So this week I did not had much time for photography, Friday I did not even stepped out of the house. Saturday we had a long walk (for food) and I brought the camera along, under the disapproving eyes of the family.

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No sitting

Clark Quay was our first stop and a funny (funny as in strange, no as in Ha Ha) sight, no bars, no boose, no tourists, no waitresses : just joggers and cyclists.

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The picture that does not work

Some pics do not work : I found the juxtaposition of Ice Cream and temperature check funny (funny ha ha) , but that is unreadable.

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We continued to the Fullerton

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The memorial to Joseph Konrad

Who remembers that the author of “Into Darkness” was once  a sailor heading to Singapore?

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On Raffles place the sound of advertisements is still playing full blast for no crowd, except maybe this uncle.

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The Providore is open as most food businesses trying to take their chance with take away food.

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The Arcade passer by

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The Quadrant, once hosted the Bank of China (Or a Bank of China of some kind)

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Maxwell good market

Through Telok Ayer and Club Street we head to Maxell and then to Kon Siak road.

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We said no sitting

Above the picture that works.

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No fear of avian flue

Finally a real street shot from Orchard road today!

All pictures taken with the Leica M262 and the Summaron 35mmF3.5 LTM.

 

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 2

You can’t hurry love but you can try (More about the VC Color Skopar 21mm F4)

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One George Street in Singapore CDB

This is a follow up of my first write up YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE (ABOUT THE VC COLOR SKOPAR 21MM F4) For those who don’t feel like digging back in the archives (pitty, there are a couple of nice shots there and probably my best piece of text in a while), this is about picking the Voigtlander Cosina Color Skopar 21mmF4 back from the dry box and putting it back to work.

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Ice cream parlor near Singapore river

Very quickly, the 21mm had two terrible defects for me: the color fringing in digital and the difficulty to frame in general. I decided in June to invest into a proper viewfinder to try to overcome the second issue : I picked a 21-25 VC metal finder.

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Walk down the bridge

The viewfinder did a really good job, it very bright and accurate, well built and on top of it it is super sexy (I have to post pictures of the Leica IIIc with it).

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Keong Saik road corner with Teck Lim road

All pictures here are from a single roll of Kodak Portra 400 shot with Leica M4 and VC Color Skopar 21mm F4 with the now famous 21-25 VC metal finder. Even vertical framing is accurate now.

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“MY CHINATOWN HOME” by  Yip Yew Chong 30 SMITH STREET

Horizontal framing works as well. As I am a slow shooter these were probably taken over a few week ends in different areas of central Singapore.

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The guitar hero

To shoot portraits the 21mm requires you to get very close to your subject, and still you will get some distracting details in your frame. Also you may get funky perspectives even if you frame correctly your subject (thanks to the perfect new viewfinder)

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Tan Boon Liat Building – a commercial / industrial building

When yout wan to put a lot in the frame as the Tan Boon Liat Building, actually it goes in. Colors with the Portra are quite rich, and vignetting is limited.

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The Monkey God temple in Tiong Bahru

Or when you are close to buildings and want to put them in the frame as above, this is a great ultra wide angle.

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Don’t go away

I did not do many “street” shots on this roll, but the 21 gives an amazing dynamics to the shots like above.

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Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple in Little India

I was very convinced by these first 2 or 3 rolls, and this has slightly changed my photographic practice recently. I use the M262 and M6 with the summicrons for holidays or events, the M4 and IIIc with older lenses for fun( or street, or burning film name it as you want) and recently the 21 is glued to them.

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Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple in Little India

So expect more posts like this one, but as you know that I found love with the VC21 again, so i will have to find out new titles.

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The Singapura Club – Little India

 

 

You can’t hurry love but you can try (More about the VC Color Skopar 21mm F4)