June is a great time to shoot Street Photography in Paris. The weather is beautiful, many tourists are visiting and there is a lot of action in the city. I choose Montmartre and le Sacré Coeur to try for the first time the TechArt Pro adapter for shooting street photography. I had the Sony A7R2 and the Leica Noctilux. In order to add some fun to that I shot all the pictures wide open at the aperture of f/0.95. It’s rare to see this kind of pictures at this aperture. Usually people use the zone focusing technique with an aperture around f/8. As I don’t like to do like everyone else, I did the contrary, I shot wide open! At this aperture you need to nail the focus perfectly. That’s where the autofocus function of the Techart Pro is essential. The depth of field at 0.95 is so shallow that too much time would be necessary to manual focus and I would miss the shot. Obviously people won’t pose for you. The concept is to catch a slice of life, to capture a special moment, to document street life. To do that you need to focus quickly otherwise the scene will change and you miss the picture.
The adaptor worked perfectly! Sometimes the face detection was working, but not always. When the face couldn’t be detected it was not a problem because the focus points could detect my subject and I just had to shoot. I was really glad to have it and try this experience because street photography makes more sense at this aperture. As only your subject is sharp, it draws easily the attention on it and immerses instantly the viewer into the story.
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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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The concept of the Bokeh Challenge 0.95 is to shoot an entire roll at the aperture of f/0.95. I was in Singapore and I went to Chinatown with my Leica M6, Noctilux and a roll of Portra 400. I started by the Sri Mariamman indian temple and I was very lucky because there was a special ceremony, a Puja. It was very lively, colourful, musicians played a typical indian music and the priests were performing the ceremony. Then I went to a taoist temple, Thian Hock Keng, build for the worship of Mazu, a Chinese sea goddess. I was a quiet atmosphere , very inspiring, with beautiful details of decoration to capture.
Doing these challenges is very interesting because you need to take pictures which fit the special aperture of f/0.95 with a very shallow depth of field. The photographe is then encouraged to find a special inspiration, to look for original angles, and to shot subjects that you might not think to shot usually.
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I was in Paris in January and I went to Montmarte and the Sacre Coeur to shoot some street photography. It’s a very lively neighbourhood with many cafés, restaurants, musicians, painters, street sellers. In January there are not so much tourists compared to the spring and summer , but it’s still busy and entertaining.
I shot with the Leica M6 TTL, the lens Noctilux, and a roll of Kodak TX 400. I choose to push the film 1 stop at 800 because it was not very sunny and I wanted to have a descent depth of field for street photography.
You can see below the video and the pictures.
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I was in Hong Kong for a week in December and a friend told me that a movie that I love, Accident by Soi Cheang (Milky Way production) with Louis Koo, was shot near the wet market of North Point. For those who know the movie that’s the famous scene when they kill the pawn shop owner at the tramway station. Last year I went to this market, without knowing this anecdote, and I shot pictures with my Sony A7R2.
So I decided this year to go there again to check if I would recognise the scene from the movie. And this time I was shooting with the Leica M6, Noctilux f/0.95, and Kodak Tri-X 400. I was not disappointed. The atmosphere is really special in this neibourhood and I understand why they shot a scene there. For example, he famous tramway “ding ding”, is passing through the market and people have to step aside every time they hear it…
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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