Spotmatic F + Ilford Pan F
My first film camera was a Spotmatic F that I purchased for a pittance on ebay. Because it had an M mount, I was spoilt for choices of lenses, and probably this was shot on a 50mm, but I couldn’t tell you which, now. It’s one of my earliest film shots, and it depicts a slew of posters calling for French left-wing protests against European policy, An odd reminder that what is happening in France today has its roots from older times (well, 2012 in this instance…)
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Agfa CT100
I really like Agfa CT100 slide, I think it’s probably my favourite colour film. Of course, its dynamic range is limited, but the colours are just gorgeous, as (I think) this seconds before sunrise shot shows. Makes for a beautiful yet quiet scene.
Minox 35ML, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 100
Film: Agfa CT 100
I don’t know if this street tailor is part of the Tai Hang ecosystem of garages (in other words, he stitches car seats) or just a street tailor that happens to be established in Tai Hang. I love the idea though. In Europe, finding a tailor is something very specific that you only do for custom made clothes. Here it has a broader appeal I guess (although street vendors offering tailor made suits are a dime a dozen in Kowloon!)
Fuji TX2, 45mm, f/8, 1/500s, ISO 1600
Film: Fuji Superia 1600
I have something of an obsession for this statue just outside the St Lazare train station in Paris. It’s called « L’Heure pour Tous » (Time for Everybody) and I shot it a lot a few years ago, trying to find interesting compositions and integrating the pigeons when I could. With the vertical panorama, I had to fill the foreground, which these two passers-by kindly did for me. Since the statue was refurbished, it’s now golden, which I don’t like as much as when it was black. But I have to say, with a bright color film, it certainly sparkles!
The Right Spot
Fuji TX2, 45mm, f/4, 1/100s, ISO 400
Film: Kodak T-Max 400
Shooting homeless people is both a testimony of something deeply wrong with our society and an invasion of their privacy which some of them legitimately find offensive. The way I approach this is to do it very openly so that if they object they have plenty of time to let me know. This guy didn’t object. I reframed the vertical panorama shot here, since I had way too much sky and pavement. Even though the ratio isn’t academic, I quite like the result.
(Click to Enlarge)
Je Suis Charlie
Fuji TX2, 45mm, f/5,6, 1/60s, ISO 200
Film: Kodak Ektachrome 200 (Expired)
Paris still bears signs of the traumatic events of early January and the upsurge of public support for freedom of expression. The slogan « Je Suis Charlie » can still be seen more or less everywhere, and I wanted to capture that. What I didn’t realize was how bad expired slide film could go. This is color slide film, believe it or not. Most of the shots in that roll were worthless and not worth working on, but this one had something. This is a heavily processed version to bring back contrast, but it retains the weird colour cast. I’ve also produced a B&W version below, but I think I actually prefer the weird purple.
(Click to Enlarge)
Nostalgie de Paris
Canon A2, 50mm, f/8, 1/250s, ISO 200
Film: Agfa Scala 200
Just before the summer I finished a roll of one of my favorite slide film: Agfa Scala 200. I remember walking back to St Lazare, past Trinité and thinking the alignment of the Metro sign with the Trinité Church bell-tower would make an interesting composition. Months later, after scanning the film, I have to agree with my past self. I’m in two minds whether the slight aperture blur of the Church is too much, just right or not enough, but I guess it’ll give me an excuse to experiment further next time I’m in Paris.
The Softer Side of Eric
Canon A2, 50mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, Agfa Scala 200 film
Eric is not only a good friend and a super-talented writer, he’s also a fantastic model. Every time I go to Dublin, his beard has grown longer and bushier and I cannot help but do a few shots. Last time I was there I shot Eric (The Viking) with my x100s, but I also had my film camera with me, and my favourite B&W film, the Agfa Scala. I’ve only managed to scan the results recently, and I absolutely love this portrait of his, a much softer one than the digital version.