Category Archives: Ricoh GR II

Denmark

For those not interested in tech stuff and computers just jump to Denmark

I’m writing this while sitting in a corner of my living room. In front of me an old Samsung Syncmaster P2370 monitor in high-definition. A very old Dell keyboard, very noisy. And a mouse.

On my right side, on my desk, my iMac 27” with all the whistles and bells needed to write and work on my photographs.

I’m listening to my favourite CD, “Push The Sky Away” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It is playing on the same computer I’m writing on and I’m using VLC to play the music. Video is something else though. Haven’t gotten more than a black screen. Sound is okay though.

A cheap 20$ single speaker gives an acceptable quality but pushing the sound through my very old amplifier and equalizer would give a better sound. But these analogue devices are hooked up to my iMac.

No fancy Microsoft Word but LibreOffice Writer. I’m not even sure if there is a spellchecker available.

In fact, I am writing this on a 35 $ computer (screen, display, SD-card and mouse not included). I wanted to reconnect with Linux and decided to get a Raspberry Pi 3b. Although it cannot be compared to the sheer power of my iMac for normal work this configuration has not let me down yet. I am pleasantly surprised but on the other hand Linux does not have a huge footprint either.

So the Raspberry Pi is just a side project but also a plan B whenever my main system should die. Maybe, during the winter, I’ll be passing time with some electronics experiments.

Denmark

Sweetheart and I enjoyed our holiday very much. It was Sweetheart’s first flight. All went well except that her luggage ended up in Portugal. An error at the luggage check-in. She got her suitcase the next day. Sweetheart loved seeing the sun coming up above the clouds. It was magical.

Morning Sky (2016) Ricoh GR II
Morning Sky (2016)
Ricoh GR II

We had great weather. Sunny and not to warm. The rental Renault Clio okay. The hotel cosy and well situated at walking distance of the station of Helsingør, the ferries to Sweden and the centre of the town.

Food was delicious but very expensive. People friendly. Culture and art seem to be very important as there are museums and cultural centres everywhere. Higher incomes are taxed up to 65% but wealth is redistributed. School system is different, there is more space for personal development. Alcohol is extremely expensive and there is a rightful zero tolerance for drivers.

Helsingør Castle (2016) Ricoh GR II
Helsingør Castle (2016)
Ricoh GR II

We arrived at 08:20 at Copenhagen airport on Saturday, September 17. When it became obvious Sweetheart’s suitcase was not travelling with us we picked up the car and on our way to the hotel, 47 kilometres from Copenhagen, we shopped for some basic stuff for Sweetheart. I had chosen for the coastal road.

After checking in we visited Helsingør and its castle used in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

On Sunday we drove along the coast and on Monday we took the boat to Helsinborg, Sweden. A whole different city when we looked at the buildings and the general architecture.  Specialized shops selling only wine, beer and liquor. A stand on the street was an alcohol bar.

Despair (2016) - Helsingborg, Sweden Nikon D300 with 24-120
Despair (2016) – Helsingborg, Sweden
Nikon D300 with 24-120

Unfortunately, Stella, Sweetheart’s eldest daughter, was not feeling well, texting Sweetheart with a zillion messages. Shortly after I held a crying Sweetheart in my arms. It was only the 2nd to 3th time in our 5 years I saw her crying.

In the afternoon the lower grades did not have school but the parks were filled with their laughter.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch. On a huge public square with flowers and pergola’s the underprivileged were drinking and shooting drugs. Sweetheart gave me some space so I could do some street photography. I was spotted quickly though and was confronted with an aggressive drunk so I backed off.

Shadows & Light (2016) - Black Diamond, Copenhagen Ricoh GR II
Shadows & Light (2016) – Black Diamond, Copenhagen
Ricoh GR II

Between Helsingør (Denmark) and Helsinborg (Sweden) lies 7 km of water. Somewhere in between the border. So while the ferry is in Danish waters you can buy as much booze in the tax-free shop as you can carry. When the boat crosses the border you are not allowed to buy any alcohol any more but you can spend all your dough on tax-free tobacco.

On September 20, our 5th anniversary and the start of our 6th year we took the train to Copenhagen. It was very cheap because the ticket was 24 hours valid and gave access to bus, tram and metro.

Copenhagen is cold but beautiful. Gorgeous architecture like the Opera or the Black Diamond (Royal library). A zillion bicycles who won’t stop even if you want to try to get off a bus.

The Opera House - Copenhagen (2016) Nikon D300 with 24-120
The Opera House – Copenhagen (2016)
Nikon D300 with 24-120

We walked for a while and then Sweetheart suggested taking a hop on/hop off bus. So we visited the Danish capital by bus and then by boat (included in the price).

Later that evening we had dinner, found our way to the station and took the train back to Helsingør. I guess we had another 2 stops before arriving when the train stopped. Something was said through the intercom but we do not understand Danish. Everybody got off. Then an official saw us sitting there, puzzled. He made us clear we had to leave the train.

While we walked to the other side of the station a voice said “the train to Helsingør is going nowhere”. There we stood, waiting in the dark. It was cold and it was raining. About 20′ later a train arrived and another 30′ we were at out hotel.

The next day we drove to the other side of the Danish Sealand Isle. The beach there was desolated. We enjoyed the sun lying on huge rocks and then we had even some more fun while the sun warmed our bodies and a gentle breeze caressed our skin. It was a magnificent moment.

Graffiti (2016) - Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen Ricoh GR II
Graffiti (2016) – Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen
Ricoh GR II

Then our holiday was over. We drove back to Copenhagen and I found an expensive parking space in the center. We walked to Christianshavn and straight to Freetown Christiania, an 84 acres city within a city. Hippies, own flag and currency and an anarchist community. The smell of hash and weed was omnipresent and we regretted not having visited it earlier but we did not want to get on a plane stoned.

Street at night (2016) - Copenhagen Ricoh GR II
Street at night (2016) – Copenhagen
Ricoh GR II

I loved Christiania and its apparent freedom.

Later on I gave the car back and then it was really over. Sweetheart and I enjoyed the night and the world and its small lights.

We landed at 22:50 in Charleroi and Sweetheart phoned The Boy to find out where he was. We walked to the underground parking but we did not find The Boy.

He was waiting for us in Zaventem, Brussels Airport. It was a miscommunication with Sweetheart. So we waited 45′ minutes before he finally showed up.

Much later we were finally back home.  We slept well and the next morning, when I dropped her off at her place I knew our holiday was really over.

We had a blast. I loved being with Sweetheart. We had an incredible holiday.

Railroad tunnel at night (2016) - Copenhagen Ricoh GR II
Railroad tunnel at night (2016) – Copenhagen
Ricoh GR II

 

Light Post

I made this shot with my Ricoh GR II while composing another with the Sinar.

Just before setting up the Sinar the Ricoh  I started a 30 second exposure with the Ricoh and the camera add another 30 for noise reduction.

I love working with limitations. The 28mm on the Ricoh and the weight of the Sinar Norma.

When I set my mind to a camera I see images that work with that specific camera. It is something hard to explain though.

Light post (2016) Ricoh GRII at 30"
Light post (2016)
Ricoh GRII at 30″

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Shooting with the Sinar Norma

Sunday, August 7.

After dropping Sweetheart at her place I drove back to mine and prepared a quick meal. Gnocchi with pesto. While the water was warming up I cut a template of  6 x 7 for the Sinar Norma. I don’t have any 4×5″ cassettes yet nor film. A Toyo 120 roll film back was a deliberate choice. I want to get to know the Sinar Norma and for the moment I can’t afford spending more dough on cassettes and expensive film.

I also need a new ballhead for my Manfrotto for the Sinar. Today I did it without a ballhead, adjusting the legs of the tripod if necessary. No big deal.

The Toyo 120 roll film holder gives you eight 6 x 7 negs.

I drove to Reimerswaal, a few clicks over the Belgian/the Netherlands border. I needed a spot where I would not be disturbed, with enough photographic opportunities.

I had a blast using this camera. Looking for a scene, setting up the camera, composing, looking at the light, measuring the scene with my Pentax Spotmeter V, interpreting the readings and doing the math in my head for obtaining the best result with the Ilford HP5 Plus I was using. Hell, I even made notes, an absolute first one.

It did not take long before I started seeing from the Sinar and the 6 x 7 POV and boy, what a change. So much fun taking your time to compose and make a shot. I even tried some tilt & shift shit. Closing the aperture before inserting the film, setting F-stop and speed. Cocking the shutter.

It was only at image 6 that it started to dawn on me. Back at home I had tried a bunch of stuff but I had not checked out how to insert the Toyo Back properly. I had been making 5 images without being sure I had inserted the back in a correct way. I tend to lose myself in eagerness sometimes.

So I spend image 6, 7 and 8, a beautiful composition with the Doel Nuclear Power Plant on the horizon and a handful of windmills on the foreground, to try different things with the back.

Then I drove back home, I wanted to shoot more but on the other hand I was quite curious.

Sinar Norma (2016) Ricoh GR II
Sinar Norma (2016)
Ricoh GR II

Yesterday I also acquired a Jobo CPE development tank with continuous movement. The tanks itself have a different closing system compared to the Pattersons I use.

I decided to develop a film I shot with the Olympus Trip 35 and that was a good decision because I did not close the tank very well so light fucked up the film.

I developed the 120 HP5+ manually and was glad to see that image 6, 7 and 8 are well exposed but I am not sure if the other images are worth something as they suffered from some light because I had not correctly inserted the roll film holder.

The film is now drying and I am not sure I’ll be able to scan it today.  4 negatives look quite gorgeous, the others suffer from a not correctly inserted back.
So I’ll add some images I shot with the Ricoh GR II.

Anyway I very much enjoyed using the Sinar Norma. It redefines photography for me and slows me down, putting me in an almost Zen kind of mind-set.

Shooting with the Sinar Norma (2016) Ricoh GR II
Shooting with the Sinar Norma (2016)
Ricoh GR II

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Car Wreck

The other day I accompanied two of my colleagues. They are also avid photographers.

During our lunch break we went for a walk in a nearby social area. The three of us have different fields of interest when it comes to photography.

There was quite some garbage and the buildings had degraded over time. Most of the habitants are elderly people or immigrants. One of them asked, in not a very friendly way, one of my friends what we were up to.

My colleagues walked by this car wreck without paying attention to it as they were in a different mindset. I saw an opportunity as the situation tells something about the conditions in this area.

Afterwards my coworkers were astonished when the saw this image as they not only liked the photography but hadn’t seen potential in the situation really.

Car wreck (2016) Ricoh GRII
Car wreck (2016)
Ricoh GRII

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Railway Signal

I am not sure if it is the right description for this warning light.

I visited this spot two days in a row. The first day the sky was not great and the results, after 2 and 4 minutes exposures not very good, kind of bleached out.

The next day the sky was more interesting, there was more wind too. Unfortunately the light had a tendency to change dramatically over a period of 4 minutes so some images were to dark or to bright.

This one came out as the best albeit I am not really convinced it is a good one.  Composition might have been better but anyway, I am showing you this one.  Not every shot we make is an absolute winner.

I’m still having my doubts about getting a 4×5″ camera. I have already decided that I’ll get a 6×7 back so I can use the cheaper roll-film to get acquainted with the camera.

I would love to get a 4×5 as a challenge, to learn something new and to adapt to. I was thinking of learning to do more still life at home. After all I have a studio flash system I almost never use.

Does anyone have a tip for me why I should get a 4×5 camera? Or why it would be like throwing my money away?

Railway Signal (2016) Ricoh GR II in 35mm crop mode and 2x ND 1024 filters with a exposure of 4'

Railway Signal (2016)
Ricoh GR II in 35mm crop mode and 2x ND 1024 filters with a exposure of 4′

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