Street Food Chef

More often than not, my Ricoh GR10 is loaded with Fujifilm Neopan 400, one of my favorite film stocks. Sadly, sourcing this stock is becoming harder with each passing month.

The rest of the shots on the Travelomo Facebook page

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So last Sunday I took a walk around the Tahanan Village park to test the Loreo 3D lens. It was a pleasant late afternoon, a bit of a nip in the air with the sun already low in the sky.

The usual groups of parkgoers were there, the Korean football players, the ultimate frisbee fanatics, the dog walkers and the au pairs with their wards, lots of different folks, doing the many different things you can do in a park.

Here are a few shots in both anaglyph and stereo pair formats. To view the anaglyphs in 3D, you will, of course, need red-cyan 3D glasses. For the stereo pairs, you will need a special viewer, or, you can try to free-view them, a la Magic Eye posters.

Handstand

Handstand Anaglyph

Headstand / Handstand

Headstand / Handstand Anaglyph

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Walk On

No trip to Beijing is complete without a visit to the Forbidden City, which truly deserves a day or two (more even) in your itinerary. Unfortunately we only had a couple of hours to walk through the site’s vast grounds. Better than nothing, of course, and I took the opportunity to practice street photography, which candidly frames human subjects within their environmental context.  It’s quite the challenge for me, a natural introvert, to take photos of strangers in public but I manned up and just did it.

The best advice from experienced street photographers I’ve put to practice is to smile while you’re taking photos. A natural smile, mind you, never creepy. Meter for ambient light and set your camera’s aperture and shutter speed well in advance, so you don’t waste time fiddling with your dials just when you see a shot coming together. When you find a backdrop you really like, compose the shot in advance, pre-focus on a sweet spot and just wait for a subject to walk into the frame. You can also keep your aperture as narrow as possible for maximum depth of field to keep things in sharp focus.

For these shots I used my vintage Olympus PEN S.  It’s small and discreet, and hardly makes a sound.  Its 30mm lens is wide enough to capture huge chunks of scenery and gives great depth of field. Perfect for street photography.

Fashion Rampage

(Okay, for this shot above I cheated: these aren’t strangers.)

Forbidden Walk

Open Window

Courtyard

I’ve yet to figure out if WordPress has a Readmore function, so I’ll cap this at five shots. If you want to see more from this set, feel free to view the collection at my Flickr account. Add me as a contact and I’ll add you back. Good night!

Lately I’ve been obsessing on vintage Olympus PENs. You know, the ones that use FILM? About a month ago I managed to purchase one of the more sought after PENs, a PEN W from 1964. I found someone selling it online locally and, after running a test roll through it, I bought it for about $60, really cheap considering one of these babies just sold on Ebay for $450.

The test roll wasn’t too promising. All the shots came out fuzzy, mainly because of all the crud on the camera’s glass. I bought it on the hope that I could get this thing cleaned, lubricated and calibrated well enough for it to shoot decent shots at least. From the most excellent blog Manila Camera Style I found someone skilled enough to do the job. A couple of weeks later, and the beautifully refurbished Olympus PEN W was in my eager clutches.

The Olympus PEN W is one model among the full manual versions of the compact half frame series, which includes the original PEN and the PEN S. It was built and sold from September 1964 to May 1965, which accounts for its relative rarity. There is no onboard meter – you have to either estimate using your experience or bring along a light meter to measure for exposure. Total control over the aperture, speed and focus means you have to think before you shoot.

I can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting much from the refurbishing – the lens and viewfinder were just too damn cloudy, so imagine my surprise when post-cleaning test shots came out like this:

Not bad for a 46-year old camera, eh? The lens is terribly sharp and captures colors that really pop out. Looks like I’m parking my Ricoh Auto Half on the shelf for the near future.

When I get around to it, I’ll shoot macro shots of the Olympus PEN W and a camera porn video and post them here. Be patient.