I was in Hong Kong in December 2017 and I wanted to shoot something that was unique to the city : the neon signs. They create a part of the atmosphere of the city at night.
I’m a fan of Cinestill, I shot many rolls of 800T and 50. I love the cinematic look which comes from the motion picture film Kodak Vision 3. The absence of the remjet filter makes it even more special with the halo coming from the lights and neons at night. When they announced that they would sell again the bwXX in November, I went everyday to their website to be the first to order. This film comes from the motion picture Eastman Double-X 5222/7222 Neg. Film. Which means the same concept as the 800T , but in black and white. That was very promising!The movies Raging Bull and Schindler’s List were shot with this film.
I received my rolls in December before going to Hong Kong… perfect timing.
In Hong Kong I had the chance to go on a photo walk with 2 friends who are film enthusiasts as well, Victor and Carmen from Annie Barton 1972 (high quality leather straps). We loaded our bwXX in our camera ; Carmen with the Leica MP, Victor with the X-Pan TX2 , and I had the Leica M6 and the Noctilux. We went to the harbour front of Wan Chai. This is a great location, with tourists and locals fishing or having a walk. We had a great time shooting, and when I got the film developed and scan, I was so happy with the result! The cinematic look is even deeper than the color films, it’s a little bit grainy, and sharp enough.The contrast is not too high, well balanced, and some pictures look as if they were coming straight out of a movie. This film has a strong character and the look is very special!
You can see below the video of the walk (soundtracks composed by the great Mijonju!) , and the pictures coming from the M6.
The festive season is very joyful in Bangkok. We can enjoy beautiful decorations inside and outside the hotels and shopping malls. One of the main attraction is CentralWorld where they have the most impressive Christmas trees and other funny decorations. That’s the ideal place to shoot Cinestill film 800T. This film is made from the motion picture film Kodak Vision 3 and has a nice cinematic look. The absence of anti halation filter makes the neons and lights even more special. I went there just after sunset with my Leica M6 and the Noctilux. I took a few classic shots of the global landscape, but the most interesting was to make some closer shots wide open at f/0.95. That makes more special and appealing pictures. For that I had to find a subject that I could get close to because if you are far from your subject you won’t get this creamy blurry background that we call bokeh. So I was hunting for funny statues or decorations. Everybody was in a festive mood, there was a good atmosphere and it was a nice experience. You can see below the video of the shooting and the pictures.
I was in Paris in November and I wanted to shoot a special film, to change from the usual brands that we often shoot. So I went to Nation Photo at Chatelet and I purchased a roll of Washi Film D “Sputnik” , made by a french company. This film was originally made for aerial surveillance and cartography, I thought it would be interested to try it.
I went to Montmartre and le Sacre Coeur, the basilic of Paris, and I shot street photography, monuments, cafés, and the painters of la Place tu Tertre.
Autumn is a beautiful season in Brussels, the foliage of the trees show multiples colours that we can see only at this time of the year. And when the sun shines, it’s splendid! That was the case last Sunday so I decided to shoot my roll of Cinestill 50d. This film comes from a motion picture film with the rem-jet/anti-halation layer removed is order to be developed with standard C-41. I choose to go to the Brussels Park, close to the Royal Palace, because I knew I would find the widest variety of trees and colours. I shot with my Leica M6 and the Noctilux lens.
Cinestill 800T is a special film which comes from the motion film Kodak Vision 3. Consequently it has a cinematic look and it’s amazing for night pictures. We often see this film used in Asia or chinatowns in western countries because there are a lot of neons and it looks great. We rarely see Cinestill 800 pictures of classical monuments from western countries, that’s why I wanted to try it in Paris to shoot the Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde, le Louvre and its pyramid. For this shooting I used my Leica M6, the lens Noctilux f/0.95 and a tripod. As it’s a fast film, I didn’t need very long exposures, however for 5 seconds I still needed a tripod to have sharp pictures. I had a cable release as well to be sure that the camera would not move.
For the first day of shooting with the Leica M6 and the Noctilux, I went to Chinatown Bangkok for street photography. The second day, I decided to test the lens wide opened, at 0.95, because that’s what makes it so special. I wanted a color film because a blurry background is often nicer in color. I needed a slow speed film because at F 0.95 there is so much light coming on the film, and the fastest shutter speed on the M6 is 1/1000. Kodak Ektar 100 seems to be a good choice.
I went out for a photo walk with my Leica M6 and the lens Noctiulux 0.95. It was the first time I used this camera. The first pictures were a little bit difficult, having to set everything manually : the aperture, the shutter speed, and the focusing. Hopefully, the M6 has a lightmeter and it was pretty accurate. I tried to document the life and the atmosphere of Chinatown (Yaowarat) Bangkok, a vibrant and lively neighbourhood, which continue the tradition of an ancient way of life.
I used the film Kodak Tri-X 400 which has a great contrast and a sharp look.