Armenian Church in Singapore

The Armenian church was created by the first Armenian families that settled in Singapore.It was designed by George Coleman, the architect of many of Singapore’s early buildings. The church is dedicated to St Gregory the Illuminator, the first Patriarch of the Armenian Church.
The Armenians were among the earliest merchants and traders to arrive in Singapore after Sir Stamford Raffles established it as a trading port in 1819.

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Washi Film V a special emulsion made from Gampi Japanese paper

Washi Film is a French company created in 2013 and based in Saint-Nazaire. They are specialized in handcrafted film making and industrial film conversion.
Washi (和紙) in Japanese literally means “Japanese (wa 和) Paper (紙 shi) ”. It is handmade from local wood that makes it stronger then standard paper. Usually used for traditional arts like origami, Washi Film created an emulsion from this special material.
The Washi V is handcoated on artisanal Gampi paper made by Awagami Factory in Japan. This is a delicate film and you have to be very careful when you load, advance, and rewind the film. You can shoot 16 pictures per roll.
I shoot with a Leica M6 and the Noctilux 50mm . When I shot my first roll, everything went all right until I rewinded it. The film broke inside the camera and then I made a huge mistake : I opened the camera instead of asking the lab to open it in the darkroom to remove the film. However, I was lucky enough to save 6 pictures.
I love the rendering of this film! I’m crazy about it! It looks like an ancien ink painting on silk.
So I decided to shoot another roll in Paris. And this time everything went all right. I brought it to the lab Friday, the 4th of January 2019 and I’m still waiting for the scans.

Update : 16th of January 2019

I received the scans from my second roll . They are great except some stains on almost all the pictures. I asked the owner of the company Washi Film about that. He told me that the emulsion was applied manually on the paper and this explains that it’s not 100% regular on the film. Besides the film is hand-coated in the dark with infrared glasses so he can not see all the flaws. Let’s say that these irregularities make the charm of the film. However I decided to remove the stains with photoshop. You can still have a idea of what the stains look like because I didn’t remove them on some pictures.

Well, despite the stains I still love this film and I’m looking forward to shoot more pictures with it.

Update 29 of January 2019

I’ve received the scans from my 3rd roll. I shot it in Paris, early January. This time, there were no stains, it came out clean! I’m very happy with the results. I went to the Arc de Triomphe, on the roof top and and had some panoramic views of Paris. It was foggy so the Eiffel Tower is not really visible. I went as well around the Ile Saint Louis to finish the roll.

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Paris Photo 2018 through the Leica Noctilux and Kodak film TMax 3200

Paris Photo is the most prestigious gathering of art galleries in the world of photography . It takes place at the famous museum Le Grand Palais in the heart of Paris. This year, the 22nd edition hosted 166 galeries and 31 publishers, from the 8th to the 11th of November. 68 000 visitors attended the event, 40% of them came from abroad.
Visiting this unique exhibition is very inspiring, considering the diversity of the galeries coming from 30 different countries. The atmosphere is special, this is a place where you can meet people and share your passion for photography.
In order to take original pictures, I choose to document my visit by shooting with film. I tried for the first time the film Kodak TMax 3200 . It is quoted at ISO 800 so in reality, they push it 2 stops when you meter at 3200. You can meter it at 800 or 1600, but you have to tell it to the lab. They have a chart indicating the different requirements of development corresponding to the ISO.
I shot it at 3200 because it was indoor. After a few shots, I realised that there was enough light to shoot at 1600. As you can not change the ISO after starting the shooting, I shot everything at 3200.
I’m very happy with the result. There is some nice grain, expected at such a high ISO, and we have a lot of details in the shadows. It is sharp and clear.
I used my trusted Leica M6 TTL and the lens Noctilux f/0.95 . I shot most of the pictures around F5.6-F8 , in order to keep a descent shutter speed.

Here are the pictures :

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Rollei 400 infrared, Hoya filter R72, Leica M6, Noctilux : Singapore

I was in Singapore a few days and I tried for the second time the film Rollei 400 infrared with the Hoya filter R72. I shot it with my Leica M6 and the lens Noctilux. Following my first experience with infrared, I knew how to expose it : you have to add 6 or 7 stops to the shutter speed of a standard reading. I used the app My Lightmeter Pro. I selected the ISO (400) , the aperture (f8), and the app gave me a shutter speed for a normal film. Form this, I added 6 or 7 stops. For exemple, if the app indicated 1/2000s, I would shoot at 1/30 or 1/15. After shooting half of the frame, I realised that I could get the same result by following the internal lightmeter of my M6. Because the M6 TTL takes into account the light coming through the lens, it takes into account the filter. The filter blocks a lot of light, but at the same time the Rollei film doesn’t have an anti-infrared filter as the other films or as a standard digital sensor. With a standard digital sensor you would have to add 14 stops of lights.

So I went to the Supertree Grove gardens at Marina Bay because there’s a lot of plants and trees and that’s how you get the most of your infrared shots : if your exposure is correct, they must appear white and that’s beautiful! I shot as well in other parts of the city and from my balcony to have some landscapes.

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Bokeh Challenge f/0.95 in Paris : Leica M6, Noctilux, Kodak Portra 400

The “Bokeh Challenge f/0.95” series consist of shooting an entire roll of film at the aperture of f/0.95 , which is the widest aperture possible with a lens as of now. This is a difficult task :
1- first you need a find an interesting subject that you can shoot closely ; the closer you are the better the effect.
2- then you need to find a background that will melt properly to form a nice bokeh
3- finally, you need to nail the focus precisely because at 0.95 the depth of field is very shallow and with film you don’t see the result immediately. and consequently you can’t start again if you fail.

The point of these challenges is to take advantage of the capacities of one of the most legendary lens ever made, the Leica Noctilux. Wide open, this lens produce unique and outstanding images. Being able to separate the background from the subject makes your picture more “understandable” to the public. They will understand immediately the concept of your photograph and won’t be distracted by another element in the frame. Beside, in a pure artistic and aesthetic point of view, it makes the picture more beautiful and eye catching.

I was in Paris in January for this photo walk. I had my Leica M6 TTL loaded with a roll of Kodak Portra 400. As it was a cloudy day, the shutter speed didn’t need to be so fast to compensate the huge amount of light coming through the lens. It was 1/500s in the morning then 1/250s and 1/125s in the evening. Anyway, overexposing of one stop or two a color film doesn’t hurt.
I started the day in Le Marais, then I walked to Saint Michel and I finished at Place de la Concorde with the illuminated giant wheel which makes a great blurry background.

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Rollei 400 infrared Hoya filter R72 Leica M6 Noctilux : review in Thailand

I was in Hua Hin this December, a beach resort in Thailand and I thought it was the ideal place to try for the first time the film Rollei 400 infrared ; sea, beach, green space, bleue sky. I had a Leica M6, a Noctilux 0.95, and of course a Hoya filter R72. I previously tested the filter on my Sony A7R2, with the 35mmF2.8 . According to Hoya, this filter blocks 14.5 stops of lights. So I added 14.5 stops to the exposure and it worked. This was my digital experience. With film, it’s a whole different story. I read the forums and they said that we need to add only 6 or 7 stops. So I didn’t know if I had to follow Hoya or the forum. I choose to bracket. For each frame I took 3 pictures : +6 stops, +10 stops, + 14.5 stops. I metered with an app on my iPhone, myLightMeter pro, and I had the tripod Manfrotto 190.
You can see all the pictures below, so you can check which exposure is the best.

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Polaroid 250 & Fujifilm FP-100c in Paris : the most beautiful monuments

I shot with my Polaroid 250 and Fujifilm FP-100c the first time this September 2017. The weather was nice most of the time, with clouds and a little rain sometimes. It is difficult to control the exposure with the 250. It is automatic, you have to rely on the internal lightmeter ; there is an optical sensor close to the lens. As my model tends to underexpose the pictures, I placed a piece of paper on the sensor and made a small hole in the middle. This way, the camera think that it’s darker than it really is, and make a longer exposure. There is as well a dial around the lens “darken-lighten” that you can adjust. I used this dial usually to darken when my pictures were overexposed.

It was a really fun to shoot with this camera and the peel apart film. Every time you pull out the picture from the camera, there is a surprise, you never know how the picture is gonna look like. and when you start to peel the negative apart from the positive , when the picture is sharp, well exposed and well framed, it is a delight to see the result showing slowly. When you succeed, the result is usually beautiful, the FP-100c is one of the best instant film ever made. Unfortunately, they are not produced anymore and they are difficult to find and expensive.

you can see below the videos that I shot during the photowalk, the scan of the pictures, and the scan of the negatives that I reclaimed.

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Linjie Zhou, curator of Subhashok The Arts Center gallery in Bangkok

After a degree of Art Administration and Cultural Management at Chulalongkorn University, Linjie Zhou worked at the HOF Art Space Gallery for several years. Then she became curator for Subhashok, an influential gallery in the art world in Thailand. Linjie tells us about her work as a curator, her relationship with the artists and the public, how she choose the concept of an exhibition and the corresponding art pieces. She presents as well the next exhibition of a fascinating Thai sculptor…

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Interview with Xavier Jamaux, composer of the music for Johnny To films : Sparrow, Accident, Three…

We met with Xavier Jamaux in his Paris studio where he composed the original sound tracks for Johnny To’s best Hong Kong films: Sparrow, Accident, Mad Detective, Three and more…
Xavier told us about his love for Hong Kong, his encounters with Johnny To, his trips to Japan and Taiwan and his upcoming collaborations with Jay Jay Johanson and top model and singer Tatiana Platon.

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