2019: Roll Two

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul. January 2019.

It isn’t often I get through two rolls of film in a couple of weeks. Normally I shoot about two rolls a month.

Why am I shooting so much?

It’s complicated.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

I guess the first reason is travel. I shoot a lot when I am going somewhere. I shoot photos in the same time that people read books or listen to music. I take photos to not be bored.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

I end up with lots of boring photos like this. That said, I think the main reason I shot a lot in the last two weeks was the excitement for being back shooting film. I’d used the M10P for a while and hadn’t shot any film.

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul, January 2019.

Lots of these photos too. They don’t always turn out well. Rarely do they in fact. That said, some of my favourite photos were taken through the window of a train or bus.

A long time ago in Canada I had my favourite lens stolen. Honestly, I change lenses a lot. People will say I have never stuck to anything. I used the 40mm Summicron exclusively for 4 years. I couldn’t afford anything else but I loves that lens. I recently got the chance to get another. I love this lens. Feels like coming home.

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul, January 2019.

All the photos here are Ilford HP5 at 3200.

This is a boring roll, I apologize. They aren’t always interesting.

I do really love the next photo though:

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul, January 2019. Ilford HP5 @ 3200.

This was early in the morning. The air quality has been terrible lately, so much so that it looks like fog. The field had just been plowed. One of my favourite photos in a long time. It was very much how I’d imagined it would be.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

I’ve been doing this a lot lately too. Cat photos are boring as well I guess. I love my cats though. I think I would be perfectly happy for a roll to consist only of photos of them. In this photo, Spoko is sitting in her favourite spot in our living room under a Nicholas Dominic Talvola print. He named her, so it is fitting that she loves this spot.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

Maybe the next roll will be more exciting. I have several trips planned in the next little while. Including one to Kyoto / Osaka. Looking forward to that.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

That trip will be with team Leica Korea, haha. More on that in the weeks to come ๐Ÿ˜‰

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.
Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

Other than that, I’m happy to say if you’re in Korea soon I’ll be opening an analogue photography class at the Leica Akadamie here. During the class I’ll cover all sorts of film related topics from the basics of loading film to developing and even perhaps some printing.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

I just realized half of this roll is photos of trees.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

No trees here. Sucks this photo. They were all looking at me a split second before. I was super bummed when I saw it.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

This was second last photo of the roll. It is boring but I quite like it. Iksan feels like this to me. It feels like Iksan.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

The last photo. It is usually of my wife or one of the cats. Wife wasn’t in the mood so Spoko stepped up.

That’s all for today.

Catch you next time ๐Ÿ˜‰


First Roll of 2019

Frame 1: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

This was the first frame I took this year. My cat sits on the air purifier while I sit at my desk. I guess she likes the fan. We should have called her Marilyn. The light from the window to her left was particularly strong. I’m happy I got a full frame from this considering it was first. My wife said “how can you make the cutest kitten in the world look so scary?..”

Frame 7: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

So my plan for this post was simply to go through most of the photos from my first roll of the year. I had a bit of a contemplation during the end of last year. One thing that continually came to me was how much I needed to shoot film. I don’t know what it is honestly. It isn’t some hipster nonsense “look” or anything of the sort. It just works for my brain. I was sitting down last night scanning these mediocre photos and I felt near-on giddy.

Frame 3: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

These photos aren’t in any particular order. I’ll probably share 20 or so. The way I shoot film is I shoot 4 to 5 frames of most scenes. Even mundane stuff like my lunch (the Soju bottle actually houses sesame oil ;)). I got in the habit of doing this because I shoot without a meter. I guess you can call it self bracketing.

Frame 5: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

Would I benefit from a camera with a meter? Maybe. I never end up using them after the battery dies. I never agree with the meters either. Maybe I’m weird. I end up second guessing myself with a meter. I prefer to just trust that I’m right.

Frame 18: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.
Frame 19: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

My way of developing is quite strange too. I develop a roll based on my brain’s version of what it thinks the roll was shot like. For example, if I feel I slightly over exposed the more memorable photos in the roll I will develop the roll slightly less than I might normally do.

Frame 9: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

People hate watching me develop because I don’t use a thermometer, don’t clean my negatives, and only use a wall clock for timing things.

Frame 10: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

As I developed this roll a friend from Seoul was watching me. He was cringing the whole time constantly saying I’m crazy. I changed the developing time midway because I remembered something from the roll. He wanted to bet with me that they wouldn’t turn out.

Frame 24: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.
Frame 25: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

I don’t want this to come off as I’m some kind of mad genius. In fact, I’m quite lazy, hate maths, and lost my thermometer years ago. The fact of the matter is, black and white film is so forgiving that it is a joke to care so much. At least for me.

Frame 27: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

One thing I’d say is clean your negatives before you develop. I never do aside from a slight dip in my magic sauce (classified information and no dirty ideas it is safe for work ;)). This is basically the reason for the cloudy look of my negatives.

Frame 14: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

Well, that is what has been hypothesized by those whom have watched me develop. Who knows. I just keep doing the same thing. I hate being introduced to new developers or fixers. I’m too lazy to learn something new.

Frame 15: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

Ah, I guess then I should tell you what I do use. I use T-max developer and Ilford fixer. I love Tmax with Tmax film but these days it has just become too expensive. It is also okay with HP5 like this roll was.

Frame 21: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

I didn’t shoot much street on this roll. It was the first roll with a camera I wasn’t used to. Wish I would have shot more “normally” though considering every frame (exposure / focus wise) came out great.

Frame 22: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

Forgot to mention some big news! Yesterday I started shooting the introduction for my YouTube channel. I know I’ve promised this many times. I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever taken it seriously.

Frame 23: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

I even hired someone to take care of the filming outside. Yesterday was supposedly the “practice” session but there was lots of useable footage from the day.

And yes, I know you video guys are going to tell my the Olympus camera I have sucks for video. I’m sure it does. Basically it is what I have and it works. The footage looked fine to me. Maybe later I’ll get something “better.”

Frame 30: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

That’s about it for today.

What’s up next?

Well, I’m waiting on my 40mm Summicron to come back from service to shoot another roll of film. In the meantime, I’ve got two reviews coming up. One of the Leica C-Lux and another of the Google Pixel 3.

You can expect the Pixel review by the end of the week. Small spoiler, the camera is really, really good. Really good. Like, really. The Pixel has never been available in Korea so I’d never even held one until recently. I don’t know how I can go back to anything else.

Friends in Japan wanna be on call to send me one when needed ๐Ÿ˜‰ ?

Anyway, kitten picture to end the day.

Manbo. Google Pixel 3, Portrait Mode.

Peace kids.


Cherry Blossoms and a Girl

Gyeongju, South Korea. Leica M4, Canon 35mm 1.8 LTM.

I noticed her. The park was full of tourists. The cherry blossom season in Gyeongju is a big event in Korea. The small lake had a winding path circling it. Strangely, no one walked up to the lake.

She did, though. Wearing a hanbok (traditional Korean dress) like out of a dynasty far removed she walked up to the edge of the lake. Simply taking a break from walking perhaps. I don’t know. To me, she almost looked a ghost of a time long past. Remembering the time playing in the blossoms as if they were snow with her friends.

A different time.

I followed her, and she stopped several times. Always looking as though remembering. Always seeing something I wasn’t.

A different time.

Gyeongju, South Korea. April 2017.