The Feast Day of the Heavenly Jade Emperor

Singapore Yu Huang Gong celebrate the Feast Day of the Heavenly Jade Emperor (Yu Huang Shang Di).

Sunday the 17th of February 2013 was the 9th day of the year of the snake. The 9th Day of Chinese New Year Festival is the Birthday of King of Heaven aka the  Jade Emperor the main deity of Taoism.

This day we went for a walk in Telok Ayer Street, to see if there was any activity in Thian Hock Keng temple. The temple itself was pretty quiet, but it gets us the opportunity to take better notice of the neighboring Yu Huang Gong Temple of Heavenly Jade Emperor.

This temple is actually attached to the Thian Hock Keng temple to the right when you face the entrance. The building has been under renovation for a long time now, and I have not seen any signs that it could be visited. Outside however, activities are regularly undertaken, like of that day.

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As explained by the Presentations of Monuments Board Website this building also known as “Keng Teck Huay, was founded in 1831 by  Hokkien Peranakan merchants from Malacca . … The rear building still serves as an ancestral hall and the Pagoda is used for the worship of the Jade Emperor, the main deity of Taoism”

So that Sunday  a celebration was held outside of the temple, a tent was set-up in the side that goes to the small park to Amoy Street.

We arrived at the point where after prayers the devotees were purchasing (it seems) offerings and bringing them to the place to burn them. Burning the offering send them to the afterlife where ancestors will receive them.

The altar on the side of the temple
The altar on the side of the temple

 

Devotees collecting offerings
Devotees collecting offerings

 

Bringing the offerings to the bonfire
Bringing the offerings to the bonfire

 

Bringing the offerings to the bondfire
Bringing the offerings to the bondfire

 

The bonfire - 1
The bonfire – 1

 

The bonfire - 2

 

The bonfire - 3

 

All pictures taken with the Zorki C, with the Industar 50mmF3.5, the rangefinder is still broken so I used the guess-o-meter. You can still spot the flare of the Industar and some potential light leaks.Film was Kodak TriX 400 iso and light measured with Sekonic 380; processing by the lab scanned with Epson v500.

A note for Taoist friends: I just wanted to give here rough indications of what is seen on the pictures and I’m not well versed in your faith. Please fell free to correct or complete the above.

The Feast Day of the Heavenly Jade Emperor

The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term)

I can never resist doing something foolish, so after having owned the Zorki for a few weeks, I googled a bit and flickered a lot and ordered an adapter to put the Industar 22 lens on the Leica M4.

Leica introduced the M mount in 1954, before this time the M39 (LRM or screw mount) was the norm with some variations on the on the thread. Since 1954 it is possible to mount older LTM lenses on M bodies using adapters. Adapters have 3 functions:

  • allow mounting the LTM lens on the M body (the reverse is not possible)
  • enable the usage of the view finder for focusing
  • trigger the display of the correct frame lines in the M viewfinder. This means you need several adapters if you have several different lenses.
  • I found a very cheap adapter on Ebay (8 $ including port) and could attach the Industar on the M4. Hurrah ! I managed to replace a 50mm Summilux F1.4 genuine Leica lens that costs a 1000 bucks by a Industar F3,5 russian lens probably older that costs me 50 dollars at most. The 3 functions above work very well : the rangefinder displays the proper distance, the 50mm frame is shown on the viewfinder and needless to say that the lens is attached.

    I loaded a roll of Fuji Neopan 400ASA, so I can shoot at smaller apertures; we never know and a after a couple of days of waiting I got the results from the lab.


    Walking to the office, I came across this guy painting a very nice mural that can be found on my Flickr. I made a couple of shots at F3.5 and 1/30s; probably the Summilux would have come more handy.


    This lens has a terrible flare; I cannot see any special damage to my sample, so probably it’s a factory defect. I applied a bit of dodging in Lightroom to fix that one. I think the picture has a nice “old time” effect to it.


    This one is my favorite; nothing to add, I just like it.

    So all in all, that works, it’s good fun for 8$, plus the lens is very nice to focus but the aperture is a real pain to set. If you add the fact that the M4 has no internal meter it’s not so easy to take a pic. Or you have to play it but ear; very old style.

    But that’s not the end of the story. During a late Sunday night at home I ordered on Ebay (where else) a Canon LTM lens, a 135MM F4, called Serenar, for 60 USD including shipping. I also got the correct 135mm adapter. This one was a different ballgame:

  • It is not mounting on the Zorki because the thread is different, so it does not lock, plus it may get stuck with the Zorki Rangefinder prong.
  • And it does not couple with the M4 rangefinder prong. Basically once attached the M4 prong is at 12 o’clock and the lens one at 11AM: no rangefinder coupling. Ok I said I can use the guessometer, this useful tool I used for the Zorki, but damn the bloody lens distance scale is in imperial measurements!

    To be short there will be some DIY sooner or later, but however I made a few shots sitting at the terrasse of a Cafe and here is a sample below. Not mind blowing but that works.

    I think I like the 135mm.

  • The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term)

    Zorki S – the second film

    So the second film done with the Zorki is back from the shop.

    This is a roll of Ilford Pan 400ASA, the cheapest B&W film available here. This is the first time I use it so I have little point for comparison and as I may have pointed out elsewhere I am not a big fan of Ilford.

    Since the first roll, the shutter is now working 99% of the time and I just had one problem during the whole film. The rangefinder is still not working. I have tried different tips and/or actions but could not make it work. I may send it for repair sometime. This means all pictures are taken either by hyper-focal focusing method or by random guess of the distance. I generally try to use small apertures to be on the safe side.

    5am inside Golden Shoe Car Park hawker center, at the 2nd floor Mee Pok stall.

    My Friend Pat, at the coffee shop around the corner of Golden Shoe Car Park in Singapore around 4AM. Wide open (not so wide, f3.5 1/50s)

    This last picture is rather uninteresting/mundane, but of all the film it is one of the two less grainy probably due to good (at least better) exposure. They are the proof that tyhe Zorki can do it.


    Isaac and Friend that I met a Sunday afternoon and who is doing a project on photographers. Isaac TLR (a Seagull) is broken and he uses to shoot through with his DSLR… .

    Below the picture he took of myself with the Zorki and the quote of my quote:

      The self-proclaimed “photo hobbyist” Philippe Bertramo, 46, still enjoys shooting photos of the analog format. Armed with his Zorki-S, a 1955 Soviet-era camera, Mr Bertramo still enjoys this form of photography even in today’s modern digital age because it gives him a great sense of accomplishment when he finally gets the roll of film developed. “You have to make an effort; you have to wait to make a picture and generally that makes the photo more valuable.”

    Camera:Zorki-S
    Lens:Industar 22 50mm F3.5
    Film:Ilford PAN 400 ASA
    DigiFilm:Epsonv500, LightroomV3.6

    Zorki S – the second film

    The first Zorki Film

    If you missed the last episode, I bought a Zorki S for 40EUR in an antique shop and it turned out there are some quite obvious problems with it. Two days later, I tempted my luck with a 6 years expired Kodak Gold film. I shot the film on the way to work, using hyper-focal focusing because the range finder does not work, and I missed one shot out of 5 as the curtains of the shutter stay stuck most of the time. Meanwhile the mini-lab broke down so I had to wait two extra days to be able to have a look at this masterpiece.

    As expected, one picture in 5 to 6 turned out ok in term of exposure and the 4 below are the best of the lot. It’s very difficult to guess for the rest because of the very bad quality of the film (or because of it’s high artistic quality). Well that will need another try.

    In between I have lubricated the shutter by dropping some silicon lubricant on the shutter button and it seems that by firing 20 shots a day the shutter no longer get stuck: good news. Also a gentle fellow user gave me some information on the rangefinder issue so I may run a second roll very soon. Probably an unexpired B&W film.

    Graph at the sate park

    Appart from trying the Zorki out, I liked this mural very much down in the Summerset skate park; it changes from the usual things we see there. Hope I can shot it with a proper camera before its gone.

    Graph at the sate park
    Ice cream stall
    Signs

    Camera:Zorki-S
    Lens:Industar 22 50mm F3.5
    Film:Kodak Gold 100ASA expired 2006
    DigiFilm:Epsonv500, LightroomV3.6

    The first Zorki Film