Happy 52nd National Day, Singapore!

I took a walk around my neighbourhood and managed to snap some pictures with my Fujifilm XT-1 and the 35mm 1.4. Thank God for a safe, clean and fruitful country. I pray that we, the citizens, do not take these things for granted. After all, if we do not help each other, who else will?

Thank you Singapore for being great!

May you continue to shine on the map of the world and unite others around you.

I want to give a shout out to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. For paving the way to making Singapore what it is today, a safe, clean and green country for all its people to live it.

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I may not have lived in the past before the major changes but I was here when Woodlands MRT was not built yet, where a jungle once covered the land, where buses were non air conditioned and we always had to lift up and pull down the windows. Those were the days when we had no internet, we were downstairs playing at the playgrounds and making friends with the neighbours all around.

These days, all we Singaporeans do is to complain about how terrible our lives are. How this person is bad or how that place is terrible. Not realising how blessed we are living here. Many others out there have had it worse than us to be honest. I have friends from all around the world (Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Pakistan, China, UK and more). Although we don’t have the best of the best when it comes to scenery and an outdoor mountain or valley, I believe the people make the country great.

Let us unite as one and really help make it a wonderful place to live in. Let us protect it with out lives so that no one can drive us out. Let’s keep it clean and green so that our future generations can be blessed. Let us continue to pray for its prosperity and safety so that we can sleep in peace, knowing tomorrow will be a lovely day for not only the young, but also the old.

Enjoy the pictures.

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The day I lost it…

I finally managed to squeeze some time to go out into my neighbourhood to try to finish a roll of 36 exposures. The morning was nice and bright and I took my Nikon F3 downstairs. The walk about was decent, a few nice finds,but it came crumbling down

When I wanted to transfer the roll into my tank for processing. I had switched on the aircon to reduce sweating, I tried to take my time so as not to ruin this roll like I did the last time. Yeah, I had difficulty opening the bloody roll (Good job Kodak for keeping it really tight). After struggling for a while, I finally managed to get the cover off. By then, I had already tried to rip off the opening seam of the roll itself and rolled it back again thus losing the tongue of the starting lead.

I managed to remove the film from its body and have happily transferred the roll onto my pinkie, noting that might have had my fingerprints on the first few images (never mind, sacrifice the first for the better few I thought to myself) but I tried to feed it into the 135 roller of the patterson reel but it would not swallow my film for some reason. (Did I put it on wrongly? I thought to myself) Turned the reel the other side and tried feeding it again, but like a stubborn horse which refuses to drink from the lake, it still would not feed. What did I do wrong? I kept thinking and trying to try another method. When I eventually managed to get it to swallow, it started choking up…

I had to remove the whole reel apart just to restart again and again. Twice it choked like a fishbone down the oesophagus, regurgitating like fur down a kitten’s throat. That was when I lost it. I threw out the first reel, thinking that it was faulty and started to work on the other reel (this was a double reel tank) Sadly, it still would not feed. After several attempts, I found out that I had not screwed on the reel to lock it into position. Letting out a loud sigh, I slowly fed it into the reel as it swallowed like a good boy who is hungry for nice food. Then once again, it puked. The turning was not smooth and I felt it getting caught into the reel. I tried to remove it once more and try again and there it was, puking once more with a rough feel when turning the reel. I tried for three times and finally gave up.

I removed the film from the dark bag and there it was… The problem was staring right in front of me. A part of the film was crumpled, which led to the rough turning of the reel. Sad to say, the film was lost as it was exposed to light. I tried once more in open light to reel in the roll and after a little more turning, it finally went down like the last spoon of ice cream, the reel had swallowed the 35mm film at last. But all was lost indeed.

There is much more to learn when it comes to developing my own film. I am just beginning my journey but I guess the 35mm proves to be a challenge for me. Perhaps I should stick to my medium format and lose the 35mm both film and equipment. Some how the hasselblad won’t seem to let me down so far so good. There is much to think about.

Much indeed

My thoughts on home negative development and the outcome

I was excited to get my rusty hands back to film photography. Found my old stash of expired film and even took out the old film cameras that was left on the shelf for a walk and some exposure. Turned out that I had left a roll of film, the Ilford Pan 400 in my Rollei35 that Zhi Yao had sold me many years ago.

Where else to go but the lovely Lower Selatar Reservoir

As I watched the sun rise, I knew that basking the rollei wasn’t gonna be a great idea, so I waited till the sun was up and about before I went for a mini walk about. It’s a beautiful day and I managed to finish up the roll of 36, not knowing what else I had taken before when I left it on the shelf.

I managed to try my hands on home negative development and boy oh boy, it wasn’t easy because it takes precise time and effort to get it done right. Of course, there is always room for improvement because I’m still green to this.

Kodak HC110 (1+31), water as stop bath, Ilford fixer 1+4, no wetting agent and then 10mins of rinsing as advised by the massive dev chart app.

Here is a photo that came out after the whole fun agitate and pour and refill episode in the bathroom.

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As you can see, there are so many spots in the negative and there are also scratches. I’m guessing it’s because of my ill handling during the development. This tells me that there is much to learn and improve. I however, do love the lone fisherman and the edge of the bridge if I may call it that, alongside the reflection of the waters dancing under the morning sun. It’s also the composition that I really like. I won’t get old taking this picture over and over again because every image becomes a whole new experience.

pic 29 spot removal

Here’s the same picture after using spot removal in photoshop CC with no other edits.

pic 29 post LR

I’m not exactly the best post editor in the world, but I guess I’ll suffice for this, for now.

Let me know your thoughts on how I can improve myself.

I’d love to hear from all of you wonderful readers.

Thank you!

Ezekiel Kok

Photography unites the world: Travellers from Bangladesh

I was just collecting my film yesterday when 2 guys came to me for directions to Marina Bay Sands (MBS). I ended up bringing them from Triple D to MBS. They introduced themselves as Hassan and Nayem, both from Bangladesh who came to Singapore to visit before heading to KL and to Thailand. Both were very thankful that led them there. Sadly, I had to leave them there to go have my dinner.

Photography does unite the world because everyone is happy and everyone is enjoying themselves. I won’t mind showing friends around Singapore even though I’m not familiar with all of its attractions.

Here are some pictures I took with my Fujifilm XT-1 and 12mm Samyang lens. Photos have been edited in Lightroom.

esplanade edgeesplanadehassan esphassan merlion 2hassan merlionmbs hassanmbsmbssnayem espnayemwalkway

Olympus OM1 & Ilford Delta 100 135 film: My thoughts.

Blessed by the Olympus OM1 with a 50mm 1.8 zuiko lens, I threw in a test film, the Ilford Delta 100 135 film and I’m glad to have the scans back from Mike (owner of Triple D, Singapore) His shop is at Burlington Square, just opposite Sim Lim Square, nearest MRT is Rochor MRT station. Do drop by his shop for films (both 135 and 120 formats).

cleaner
Edited in LR
clouds mbs gbtb
Edited in LR
gbtb
Edited in LR
mbs
No edits done
skytrees
No edits done
sockets
Edited in LR
sweeper
Edited in LR

Overall, I’m quite happy with the results. Out of 36 images, only 30 came out and out of 30 images, I have selected 7 of them to be featured here. Pictures were taken around Gardens by the bay and Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

The Olympus OM1 is a beautiful, lightweight camera that can be easily brought around easily. It has a solid build and feels like a tank. It operates mechanically and is not very expensive to find. I got mine from Ebay.

The Ilford Delta 100 is quite a nice film that has grain which is very much noticeable but it does add a certain mood to the final image. Apart from those of which I have indicated edited in LR, the rest are straight out of the negative, with no edits at all.

I hope you enjoyed the images posted. Let me know which other kinds of films you would like me to test out if any.

Special thanks to Chester Chen for joining me in this adventure 🙂

Have a lovely day ahead!

God bless!

Gardens by the Bay

 

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6 shots taken using

Camera: Fujifilm XT1 with

Lens: Samyang 12mm

Settings: F11, ISO200 and a

Props: haida 3 stop filter,

thrown into photoshop CC and this was what came out.

Edited in Lightroom CC.

Enjoy