Canon EOS M50 with Voigtlander 35mm/1.4 Nokton SC

Finally gave in and bought that mirrorless camera because it will help me save money. Haha.

Because with a few adapters, I could use my various Takumars, Leica mount lenses and Canon EF/EFS lenses. I accidentally bought a 28mm Industar…

The Voigtlander and a few others allow for zone focusing.

Though I wasn’t fast enough sometimes.

Looking and thinking with some focus peaking.

Human, nature.

A homely arrangement.

We all need to find home.

Thingification

What happens when you choose not to place people at the centre of things?

IMG_20150206_0010 640

It’s a bit unsettling when humans are placed at the periphery.

IMG_20150206_0011 640

We cannot help but still do so – the above is still a photograph about human activity.

IMG_20150206_0013 640

Keyboards are for hands, pedals for feet.

IMG_20150206_0017 640

We love our things.

IMG_20150206_0021 640

We frame ourselves with things.

IMG_20150206_0024 640

We wait for things.

IMG_20150206_0025 640

We work with things.

IMG_20150206_0023 640

We are things.

IMG_20150206_0016 640

Some things out-wait us.

 

 

Camera: Spotmatic F

Lens: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 35mm F 3.5

Film: Fujifilm Superia Venus 800

Things As They Are

Wallace Stevens: “You have a blue guitar,/ You do not play things as they are.”

IMG_20150206_0002 640

I suppose the whole point of the visual arts is to get us to see things as they otherwise are.

IMG_20150206_0003 640

And perhaps be unlikely.

IMG_20150206_0005 640

Wallace Stevens: “Things as they are/ Are changed upon the blue guitar.”

IMG_20150206_0006 640

This is not a bicycle.

IMG_20150206_0012 640

This is not a ladder.

IMG_20150206_0015 640

These are not sacks waiting to be moved.

IMG_20150206_0018 640

Things as they are not are directions and lines of force.

IMG_20150206_0019 640

Things as they are not are relationships between lines, textures, and light.

IMG_20150206_0020 640

With things as they are not, we learn the background of things.

 

Camera: Spotmatic F

Lens: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 35mm F 3.5

Film: Fujifilm Superia Venus 800

 

 

 

First Roll of Film from Spotmatic F (Part 2 of 2)

So – vision, shot precision, follow through.

IMG_20150126_0023 640

As with weapons training (see previous post), so it is with street photography.

IMG_20150126_0024 640

It’s giving me an insight as to what constitutes expertise.

IMG_20150126_0025 640

There is expertise that comes with knowledge of the field – where you’re situated, what you have to offer in relation to what other people in your field have to offer, how it all fits in with what society (and the market) demands, and whether or not (or how) you would adjust to that demand.

IMG_20150126_0026 640

Related to that, there’s the kind of expertise (i.e. skills) that can only come with painstaking preparation, training, multiple failures, as you move from naivete and self-ridicule to familiarity and finally (hopefully) to mastery.

IMG_20150126_0028 640

It’s a journey from innocence to experience.

IMG_20150126_0029 640

And with experience, hopefully, one could be innocent all over again.

IMG_20150126_0030 640

You don’t truly master anything. As you can see, I’ve read my William Blake.

IMG_20150126_0031 640

Do I dare disturb the universe? (I’m quoting T. S. Eliot here.)

The above gentleman spotted me right after I took the shot.

He put on his hat, walked right up to me, snarled, laughed, tapped my shoulder, and then walked away.

IMG_20150126_0034 640

So naturally I felt compelled to carry on.

IMG_20150126_0035 640

I stood at one spot and aimed at the wall.

IMG_20150126_0036 640

I’m really not sure why I do things like this.

IMG_20150126_0037 640

I suppose this is where art comes from.

 

Camera: Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic F

Lens: 24mm S-M-C Takumar F 3.5

Film: Kodak UltraMax 400

 

 

First Roll of Film from Spotmatic F (Part 1 of 2)

Holding a Spotmatic F reminded me of my first encounter with an M16 rifle.

IMG_20150126_0002 640

Could something that felt so clunky really work?

IMG_20150126_0006 640

After having learnt how to disassemble the rifle and put it back together, I felt no better.

IMG_20150126_0009 640

It looked suspiciously uncomplicated – I actually understood how the rifle worked.

IMG_20150126_0010 640

How could that clicking sound when I pull that trigger be taken seriously?

IMG_20150126_0011 640

As I eventually discovered, after zeroing that rifle (aligning the sights to my eye for projectile accuracy) at a 300m range, it was powerful indeed, and not something to be taken lightly. I’ve never forgotten that feeling (and the recoil).

IMG_20150126_0012 640

It’s the same with a camera – after all, it involves training, preparation, positioning, proper gripping, sighting and shooting.

IMG_20150126_0013 640

And you’ll need to control your breathing to maximize shot accuracy.

IMG_20150126_0014 640

The rifle (and camera) is supposed to be an extension of your self and will.

IMG_20150126_0015 640

Did I mention I was a marksman in my previous life (2 decades ago)?

IMG_20150126_0016 640

In case you think I’m some kind of gun-crazy nut, it’s actually a common experience, if you’re a combat-fit Singaporean male who had to do national service (30 months of it in my time).

IMG_20150126_0017 640

As you can see, I’m sublimating all that weapons training, channelling it into street photography.

IMG_20150126_0018 640

It’s all about vision, discipline and decision points.

IMG_20150126_0019 640

You are what you shoot.

IMG_20150126_0020 640

You are how you shoot.

IMG_20150126_0022 640

Street photography, especially with film cameras, have taught me to respect mechanical tools and appreciate the history that came with them.

The evolution of Leica, Asahi Pentax, Voigtlander, and so on, is a history of modern life.

It is this history that gave us our Henri Cartier-Bresson, Vivien Maier, Diane Arbus, Martin Parr, Bruce Gilden, etc.

Thanks for reading.

 

Camera: Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic F

Lens: S-M-C Takumar 24mm F 3.5

Film: Kodak UltraMax 400

 

 

 

 

 

Shamshuipo

Shamshuipo, as you can see, is my other haunt.

There’s enough bustle for street photographs.

_MG_4343 640c

The colours can be interesting too. The red and green combo is nice.

_MG_4344 640c

He didn’t even notice me.

_MG_4345 640c

In contemplation.

_MG_5009 640

I was testing out a generic rectangular lens hood on my lens to make sure there wasn’t any vignetting.

This is one of two flea market stalls selling film cameras.

_MG_5012 640

It’s a low volume high flow business. The offerings change every week.

Occasionally, you could see a few Leicas. I saw an X Pro 1 here once…

Thanks for reading!

 

Camera: Canon 600D

Legacy Lens: SMC Takumar 35mm f 3.5