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Ruins and formations

Not sure what this is.

Ruins of a former village shed?

Another one, with a nice view.

Dreamy landscape.

I’m not the only one enjoying the landscape.

He said he didn’t mind when I asked to take the photograph.

Had a nice chat with his wife and him about the view. His wife showed me sunset photographs on her phone.

Secret passage to Narnia…

The Shoot Shadow Master Speaks

Why do you take pictures of the same scenes around the village all the time, asks the wife.

Because the light is different, says the shoot shadow master.

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Also because the camera is different. (It’s a Leica M3 this time.)

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It’s a different film. It’s Venus 800 of a particular vintage (expired 2016).

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The shoot shadow master is wise.

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The clouds are luminious – the shoot shadow master looks and looks again.

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The shoot shadow master finds different things to look at.

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The shoot shadow master frames nature.

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The shoot shadow master dreams of people.

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All hail the shoot shadow master…

Village Garden

Wifey and I met up with a fellow Singaporean who lives a few villages away.

She takes cultivation to a whole new level of commitment.

This is not quite street photography but still…

She spoke of dealing with international suppliers and import licenses.

Her husband and I talked for a bit. But mostly we were listening to our wives’ conversation.

Pretty flowers.

Interesting plant thing.

It takes discipline and patience.

Some more pretty flowers whose names I don’t know.

Pear or lemon?

Work in progress.

Pretty pink flowers.

Nice red things… er… chilli?

Garden table.

Sunflowers!

Wifey took home a plant called limau kasturi.

There’s another one called laksa plant. For making laksa – this I know.

Pandan! For making desserts and chicken rice.

This must be chilli.

Even the plant outside her gate is pretty.

Leica M3 – First Roll

So – I finally bought a 1960 Leica M3 with my wife’s blessings and paired it with a 1957 “feet only” rigid Summicron.

There’re a few places in Tsim Sha Tsui within walking distance you could go to when you’re in search of a film Leica.

There’re generally 2 price ranges. The insane one is for collectors looking for pristine shrink-wrapped Leicas with original boxes and papers. The saner, within-reach price range is for cameras with some signs of use. Let them know you’re a user and you’re sorted.

I bought a clean-looking “user” camera.

My other lens, the Voigtlander Nokton 35mm SC f1.4, now lives with the Leica M6 which I’ve been using for the past 9 years.

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Do I need a Leica M3? I don’t need it. Any camera is good enough for street photography.

The Leica M3 is a few steps backward from the M6 (and hence a step forward in terms of the skill required.)

It’s about not having a built-in meter and having to rely on my judgement.

In my writing and work and all that, I need something to push against so as to stay sharp.

Of course, all I have to do is remove the battery from the M6 to disable the meter. The M6 then becomes an M4.

You can see I had this conversation with myself many times, prior to buying the M3.

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Taking pictures without a meter is easier than expected, if I keep in mind the Sunny 16 rule.

If in doubt, overexpose by a stop and we’re still fine. From what I’ve read, you can underexpose by a stop and overexpose by 3 stops with film in general, so there’s some leeway.

The Ilford XP2 Super film is very accommodating.

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As I wear glasses, I can’t fully see the 50mm view in the M3 viewfinder but that’s fine.

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The 50mm focal length allows for comfortable distance from people and it includes their environment.

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I’m noticeable but not in their faces.

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I thought the texture was nice.

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I like to shoot photographers.

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At rest.

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I looked up.

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I looked ahead.

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I’m the shoot shadow master. (That’s the Chinese characters for “photographer”.)