A photography journey – The tale of film and digital

Nikon FM3A

The next part of the photography journey that I would like to talk about is on the medium… film and digital. For the younger generation or those who just started photography in a more recent years, it is very likely for them to begin their journey with digital camera, and most of them will continue to stick with it throughout their journey. However, there are a curious bunch who are either started way earlier in the old days or deeply rooted into the art of creating pictures, who ended up ventured into something else… which is shooting with film.

For me, it’s more of a nostalgic feeling I get when shooting with film camera. It reminds me of the days when I used the point and shoot film camera and take pictures in my school. There are certain experience (and frustrations) that you will get when shooting with a film camera as opposed to digital. The well known quotes of “every shot counts”, “no more spray and pray” and “get it right in camera” are some of the key reasons why I felt shooting film, or the limitation imposed when shooting film, is actually a good training ground to hone your skill and craft.

I have enjoyed my time shooting with film cameras, be it rangefinder or SLR, and I have enjoyed the use of various film stocks, manual focusing, reading the light meter and so on. I don’t think it is necessary for everyone to go through the use of film camera, but for those who really enjoy photography, it’s a good way to experience the history and origin of it. And for those crazy one, they would go as far as developing the film themselves, hacking their scanner in order to get the best film scanning result and so on. Darkroom skill is a different territory all together, and I had been wanted to experience it but sadly have not been able to do so.

If you are on the fence considering whether you should try using a film camera, just do it. It may not be your cup of tea in the end, but I believe the experience is worth while for your photography journey. Till then.

A break from Analogue Photography

As 2018 approaching to an end (yes, it’s ending really soon!), as usual I’m taking a look at my stuff and trying to make some changes and tweaks in hope to improve myself, improve my life, reduce clutter, streamlining stuffs, getting closer to minimalistic and so on. 

This time around, my drybox gets a makeover. I sold off all my film related stuffs, from all the film cameras to scanner, all gone. Many people asked me why. Had I lost my interest in film and analogue photography? Is film dead? Is analogue not something worth to shoot anymore?

Well, not really. There’s a point of time in my life where I’ll need to make the decision, whether to stay or leave. Just happened that after some serious consideration, I decided that now is the time. I still love film, I still enjoy shooting with analogue camera. However, looking ahead, after completion of my study, I’m actually planning on something else, which will probably keep me busy again most of the time. I may end up having little time to shoot, let alone shooting with film.

Will I ever return to analogue photography? I don’t have an answer for now, but I think it’s pretty likely. As of now I still have a soft spot in my heart for films and film cameras. Hopefully after this break, someday… I will be back. I’m glad that I had captured some great photos with my film cameras, and I will cherish them for the days to come. Till then.

Goodbye Zeiss Ikon ZM

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The last film camera that leaves my hand. That should say a lot about this camera I guess? I can still recall the time when I was deciding what film camera to get, probably over 2 years ago. To go the SLR route or rangefinder route? If rangefinder route, to go with the Hexar, a Leica, a Voigtlander or a Zeiss? In the end, I had chosen to go with the Zeiss for all its excellent attributes, and I had never regret for doing so.

I sold off my Fujifilm GW690 III and Hasselbld Xpan earlier on, and was contemplating whether I should keep this camera with me as my only film camera moving forward should I choose to continue to shoot film. The camera feels good, much better than a Leica in my opinion. No nonsense, practical and just a pure joy to use. It had never let me down, not even once. Hence, I’m reluctant to cut away this emotional tie that I have with this camera.

I pulled out my last roll of film from my drawer, loaded up this camera and went for a shoot the other day. I enjoyed the feeling of using this camera, I really do. As the frames tickling down, I kept pondering in my head about “What’s next? What will our future be? What will my future be?” I was trying to think logically and rationally, without being influenced by my emotional connection with it.

As the last frame was shot, film rewinded, I made up my mind to put a pause to my journey on film photography once again. I want to take a break out of it, and I think now is the time to move on to something else. I might come back again in the future, just like how I did in the past. But for now, is time to take a break. I sold off my Zeiss Ikon. I hope the new owner will take good care of it. Till then.

Goodbye Xpan

Rochor Centre
Rochor Centre

I will start off this post by saying this: “I’ll probably regret for selling this camera in the future.” Why? Well, because this is really a one of a kind camera that you will hardly find elsewhere… this is the Hasselblad Xpan (or Fujifilm T-X1). I was equally in love and equally frustrated when using this camera. Due to its panoramic aspect ratio, it was extremely difficult to compose, and yet extremely rewarding when everything falls into place.

I had been shooting with this camera for close to 2 years, and I really enjoyed my times with it. And now I had decided that its time to move on. I sold it off to another guy who is doing cinematography, who plans to use this camera to practice his vision and framing under the panoramic aspect ratio. I believe this camera has found a good owner who will make full use of its potential.

I think I had shared about my love to this camera in the past, together with the frustrations of scanning the film etc., so there’s no need for me to repeat that again. After I think hard about it, I finally made the decision to sell it away. A painful decision, but then again, all good things need to end some time… some where.

For film camera, I’m left with only the Zeiss Ikon. Will I keep it? Will I sell it away too? I’m still pondering. We’ll see how things unfold in the days to come. Till then.

 

Bentong Getaway

 

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Last year’s December, I spent some time back home in Malaysia during the Christmas and New Year holiday. While lying around at home with nothing to do for about 2 weeks time, I decided to head on a short road trip with my friends to Bentong. It’s about one hour drive from where my house, and we get to indulge ourselves in some greeneries and nature and just walk around and relax.

 

We visited the so called “hot spring”, it’s pretty rundown actually but still, its a place you need to visit when you are in Bentong. Then we went to Bentong town for a walk, had a lunch, and shop for some local produce. We then spent our night staying over at Waterway Villa, which is quite a nice place for short staycation.

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The next day, we went to Bukit Tinggi and visited a few locations around such as the French Village and Japanese Village. We also got ourselves some durian and rambutan, though I’m not a fan of them. And the final morning, we went for a short stroll to the fruit farm nearby to where we stayed, wrapped it up with a trip to Genting Premium Outlet for final shopping before we head home.

It’s a nice outing with good old friends, where we get to talk to each other face to face, having fun, and most importantly, relaxing my mind, body and soul after a year of stress accumulation. For the whole trip, I shot 5 rolls of film (both colour and black & white) with my Hasselblad Xpan & 45mm lens, and Zeiss Ikon with the 50mm F/2 Planar. It’s been awhile since the last time I bring them out for some exercise, and I screwed up some settings on my first roll of film too, but luckily everything turned out fine.

All in all, glad that I had this lovely trip with my lovely friends. Hopefully we’ll get to do more of this in the future.