Exploring Kranji Beach

I was once again blown away by Jon Chiang’s cityscape photos when he recently posted on fb. That lit the flame in my fujifilm XT1 and the not so often used 12mm Samyang lens. So i asked where he was heading today. Kranji Beach he said. Can i join you? Sure he said. Let’s meet 0630hrs there.

Long ago, i joined him and a few landscape hunters from SG and i totally forgot how far they would have gone to get a shot. In this case, it was close to half a leg deep.

Guess what i wore? Jordans. Yes you read me right people. Jordans to the muddy waters it was. Go hard or go home i told myself. Where Jon was far out getting all the good shots, here i was slowly taking foot by foot further out.

Yes, i managed to get a few shots. I guess shooting from the same point would not really be useful right? Afterall, we all want our own shots to be special. So here are mine.

Fujifilm xt1, 12mm samyang lens

Cute branch for my foreground. I also had my Haida 3 stop filter.

Silhouette is also beautiful don’t you agree?

Even my hasselblad 500cm needed some exercise.

This was taken using my hp. Edited with instgram.

So these are my beautiful Jordans.

I had fun even though it was all muddy and wet. I will come back again with better preparation. Always a next time isn’t that right Jon?

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Why Film Photography?

I believe many people have asked me this question, Why film photography? We have advanced in technology so much that film has become time of yesterday.

I did ask myself this question as well. These are my opinions:

  • It’s really all about the Journey.

I told myself that I would want to complete the journey. From taking the image, to developing the negative and finally to printing it onto paper. So far I have done all this and I must say that I have made friends during this journey who also enjoy this process as well. It’s very rewarding as it involves a lot of hands on, time but it really pays off because the end result is priceless.

  • Film makes you think through your shots

Indeed, one would counter and say I can take endless shots with my CF card/ SD card/ hp storage capacity. True, but out of the 1000 shots you take, how many do you have to delete or edit? Of course if you are shooting a wedding or some important occasion, feel free to press the digital shutter till you finger drops but film to me really makes you think a lot more than just pressing the shutter. Everyone can press a shutter, not everyone can take a good picture. You can say a downside is that I am limited to 12 shots on my 6×6 or 24/ 36 shots with my 35mm film. I’m also glad I am limited as well as I know I have done enough for what I’m shooting and it’s time to head home to develop the negative.

  • You can actually save money!

Yup, for those who like to try their hands, you can actually do a comparison between buying digital and film. The is no lie when you have to send your film to the photo labs to have them process your negatives for you. What if I told you that you could save money developing the negatives at the comfort of your own home. (No, you don’t need a darkroom to just develop negatives) All you need it just a dark bag, a lightproof tank and the necessary solutions to develop your negatives. That’s all!

  • It’s Exciting!

When was the last time you really opened your mouth wide enough to put a can of beans in? You now can when you bring your negatives into the darkroom! Yes, this step is not really for everyone I believe. Thanks to Safra, which has a darkroom, I can now go there to turn my negative into a print. You do need to sign up as a member though (safra members pay less than $40sgd for 2 years, non safra members pay less than a $100sgd). If you think it’s wow-derful (wow and wonderful) [Did I just create a new word?] to see the negative come to life from your own home, wait till you try your hands printing them into paper. I am thankful to learn it from a good friend. I am still learning to improve my printing process but so far, I am blown away from what I have printed so far.

 

 

So why not challenge yourself, put down your digital camera and give film a shot. Feel free to ask me any questions, if I can answer them, I would. Afterall, I am no expert. I am just a passionate film photographer who loves to share.

Sayonara Safra Mount Faber Darkroom…

I’ve recently picked up darkroom printing and have never looked back. Unfortunately, the location is all the way at Safra, Mount Faber which is quite far from my residence.

Then came the notice that they would be moving over to Safra Toa Payoh and I jumped for joy! Sad to see this lovely place for the last time so here are some photos just to remember this quiet but wonderful place.

Thank you for the memories!

See you in Safra Toa Payoh!

Film photography -The Journey.

Yes, I still capture images using film as a platform to express what beauty God has for me, what my eyes can see and acknowledge as beauty. You see, I started film because I knew it would be a very adventurous journey. From loading the film into my Holga N (my very first film camera), to taking pictures using the various cameras I’ve been blessed with, to developing them at the comfort of my own home and finally to printing it onto paper.

That’s the journey I was looking for, that, my friends, was what I wanted. The full circle that completes my passion as a film based photographer. No doubt, digital has taken over the world, in fact, my handphone camera takes very nice shots! Trust me, I use a Samsung Note 8 (you guys know how good it’s camera is) However, you can’t beat the experience of shooting film, developing it and pulling it out of the film tank and looking at your images under the light. It’s a feeling of satisfaction, as if you’d pat yourself on the back for a job well done (when images turn out well exposed of course)

Initially, I had negative experiences. I over developed a roll of film, I placed it wrongly into the developing tank and it was half developed, I’ve made my mistakes, but only to learn from them and become a better home developer. Now, it is almost perfect with less time spent on trial and error. I can focus more of capturing images and exposing them correctly.

There are so many films types to try. Please note that I home develop black & white negatives only. I somehow enjoy the contrast and the beautiful colors of black and white. They seem to stand out more in my life.

Interested to give it a try?

Lemme know and see if we can find a day to go out for a walk and you can give it a shot. I’m very sure you would enjoy it very much!

Throwback Sunday

One of my favourite street shots taken in Hong Kong with my Hasselblad 500cm.

This was an expired Hp5 plus film.

Yashica GT test roll @ Woodlands Town Centre

I finally had a chance to bring my butt down to Woodlands Town Centre which I had been procrastinating for the longest time ever (This was taken about 2 weeks ago). What better a time to bring along my Yashica GT with me. Ever since I bought it, I was actually waiting for the battery to come from eBay, however, it didn’t come in the end. This leaves me with 1/500 through out.

It was a sad sight as the once bustling town centre is now a ghost town as we call it. The only people there were the hardworking construction workers breaking down walls and removing debris. I ran a Kodak Tri X 400 roll using the sunny 16.

Youtube video: Yashica GT video

Camera: Yashica GT

Film: Kodak Tri-X 400

Developer: Kodak HC-110 (1:50) @29degrees celcius

Photos are scanned using an affordable film scanner at 10mp.

Here they are:

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This might looks like a normal picture, but I used to work at the back (covered with wood now) Yes, that was the KFC that was once there.

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The old hawker centre on the 2nd floor

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The old cinema

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Woodlands point was a late add on through the years but I guess it didn’t really do well.

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The doors of the old cinema

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My favourite ice kachang brothers once had their stall here. That’s what’s left now.

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Below the hawker centre were many rows of shops selling watches, clothes, shoes and more.

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Small staircases that led to the once bus interchange.

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On the right once was the 24 hour muslim food stalls. A girl was walking by.

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A hardworking construction worker walking by

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The old flats that once housed many residents.

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I never had the chance to sit here and admire the view. This was once the bus interchange.

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The walk way that led to Shing siong

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The bridge that led to once popular (yes I bought slam dunk comics from there. Then it was only SGD$2.50 per comic)

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I hope you enjoyed them.

Review:

I had fun shooting with the GT, it was quiet and photos came out nice. The challenge is to shoot at 1/500 constantly. You just have to move the aperture constantly to ensure correct or at least near correct exposure. Otherwise, it is a fun camera to play with.

God bless!

Ezekiel Kok

Experimenting with film adaptors 135-120

I recently purchased a film adaptor from eBay that allowed me to use 35mm film on a medium format camera. This not only allowed me to shoot using my favourite Hasselblad 500cm, but I also get to see sprockets (something I like to view especially when using film. It just gives me a good feel, doesn’t it to you?)

I spent about two days to finish the roll of about 11 frames. These are the few selected ones that I felt were nice to me.

Film: Polypan 50 (shot at iso 100)

Developer: Kodak HC-110 (5mins @ 20deg)

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Note:

  1. Photos were taken straight from the negatives, thus no editing was done.
  2. Photos were placed on a white light background and inverted using an app.
  3. Photos were then taken using my note 8 camera and cropped to see all sprockets.

Hope you enjoy them!