Book review: Vivian Maier: Street Photographer


Born in 1926 and died in 2009, Vivian Maier has led a rather quiet life. Or at least, that was how others saw her. However, the view through her lens shed a different world that only Maier saw.

John Maloof came across a box of negatives in 2007 while researching for images for a book, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he scanned the negatives and discovered the incredible world of Vivian Maier. I won’t go on with the history of Maloof and Maier. You can read more of that here.

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@1 year ago

Camera Restoration: Canon QL25, Part 1

Of late, I’ve been rather obsessed with the idea of restoring old film cameras. More specifically, analogue rangefinder cameras. Not SLR. But rangefinders like the Canon QL series, Yashica GS family, or the Minolta Hi-matic line. Working in a company that produces the world’s best film-based rangefinder cameras really perked my interest. It doesn’t help that I spend a bit of time with the technicians and appreciate the fine mechanism that goes into a rangefinder camera. 

But for a start, I will not dive right into a Leica. There are really too many fine details that I am not aware of yet, and opening one up is bound for disaster. Hence, the first camera that came to mind was the Canonet QL25 which I have acquired some weeks ago. 

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@1 year ago

Thanks, Mom


One of the last pictures that my mom took with the family. 

It’s been exactly 3 weeks since my Mom passed away. A solemn fact, but very real. 

Now, my parents haven’t been the academic kind. They didn’t have much education, but boy, did they have a lot of life experiences. As a couple, my parents went through a lot throughout their marriage. Of course, there were good times, and bad ones. I wasn’t born yet when the worst time hit, but I have heard of them. 

While my parents cannot teach me advanced mathematics or how the universe works, they created an environment for me to flourish. While I am no scientist now, I love science and maths, and I cheered when the Higgs Boson particles were affirmed to exist. 

But most importantly, my parents taught me how to be a good person. 

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@1 year ago

Trippin’



I’m a sucker for vintage cameras, and over the weekend I took the plunge and bought a good-condition Olympus Trip 35. I had always wanted to get one of these, but I heard scary stories of units which selenium cell meter didn’t work anymore. Hence, I put off the purchase for this inexpensive camera for a long while.

I came across a post online last week for this Trip 35, and the seller posted pictures of the actual camera. It looked really good, almost brand-new. But what really got me interested was the fact that he said the meter on this camera was still working.

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@2 years ago

Got the moves like Moriyama

I won’t say I am the No.1 fan of Daido Moriyama, but I think I am one of the more fanatical fans of his works here in Singapore. 

Recently, I managed to catch the documentary which he did with B.B.B. titled Near Equal Daido Moriyama. The alternate title of this film is also Stray Dog of Tokyo, which is quite apt, considering that one of his most famous images is that of a dog looking back at him.
 
The 2001 documentary was available on DVD, but from what I understand, it has since been discontinued. So, the method which I got the film was rather unorthodox, but a Moriyama fan got to do what a Moriyama fan has to, right?

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@2 years ago with 7 notes
#photography #daido moriyama #black and white #leica #d-lux5 #photoshop 

An S2 by Another Name

The first rangefinder camera I used was the Voigtlander Bessa T, which was modeled closely after the Leica III series. Subsequently, I acquired a Canonet QL17III (the poor man’s Leica). Through the years of reading up on rangefinder cameras, I stumbled across the Nikon S series. 

The first time I saw the Nikon S was over at Cameraquest, a great trove of resource on rangefinder cameras, and a wonderful library on anything Leica III and M related essays. When I set eyes on the S, S2, SP, I knew I had to have one. 

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@1 year ago

Years later, it’s still sharp

Some time ago, I bought a Olympus Trip for cheap (hey, it rhymes!). Yet, I haven’t had time to shoot with it often, since I’m using my D-Lux 5 half the time. Recently, I managed to finish the roll of Tri-X inside it, and sent it off to the lab for processing. 

I’m blown away by the results. 

Even after so many years, the sharpness and contrast of the lens, together with the rough texture of Tri-X, created lovely images. I’m really lucky to have managed to snag this great bargain, since the Trip’s meter is still working well. Without a working meter, it would be hard to get properly exposed pictures. 

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@1 year ago

Imagine Love

Imagine there is a picture within the frame. A picture that you took, but will never show the world. A picture that means so much to you, that you fear that by showing it to the world, it would lose its magic.

I have such a photo in my phone, taken just yesterday.

I won’t show it because it is way too personal, but I will describe it.

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@2 years ago

When old guards don’t matter anymore

Recently, I attended a talk by a few photographers. Among those presented was a photographer whose name was once synonymous with “celebrity”, “A-list” and “high-profile”. 10 years ago, this photographer was very sought after by major international publications. But about 5 years ago, his name was hardly hanging off the lips of the industry anymore.

At the talk, this particular photographer talked a lot. It felt as though he was trying to make up for lost time. The time when he was forgotten, he had the chance now to show that he is still relevant.

I turned to a friend beside me, and told her: “That’s an old guard trying to stay relevant”.

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@2 years ago with 3 notes

[Poem] The hunter

The hunter gathers his tools
and, loads up.
He heads out alone
for fear that the noise of a crowd
will break the silence of his thoughts
and that, of the surrounding.

He walks long distances,
taking short breaks and,
occasionally sitting down for a coffee.
His eyes, however, doesn’t rest, and,
neither does his mind.

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@2 years ago