Photoessay: Monochromatic life in Kathmandu

The first part of an ongoing series of the streets and people of Kathmandu, Nepal. Shot in mid-2011 with a Nikon D700, 24/1.4 G and 85/1.4 G lenses.

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Photoessay: The Jaeger Le-Coultre Master Ultra Thin Moon

From the horological files. MT

Set shot with a Nikon D800E, several SB900s, the AFS 60/2.8 G Micro, and one shot with a Leica 35/1.4 ASPH FLE via adaptor – see if you can spot which one!

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Photoessay: Around the temple at Tanah Lot, Bali

Tanah Lot is a rock formation on one of the Balinese beaches on the western side of the southern tip of the island, facing the Indian ocean. It’s also home to a famous temple to the Balinese sea gods, purportedly set up by the 15th century priest Nimrata. During the 1980s, subsidence and erosion threatened the temple’s survival; a comprehensive restoration and stabilization program saw about a third of the ‘rock’ replaced with artificial rock and concrete – courtesy of the Japanese Government. Today, it’s a popular site for both tourists and pilgrims. MT

This set was shot in 2006 with a Panasonic TZ3.

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Photoessay: In the pit lane at the Super Japan GT

Shot in 2011, from the pits during the Super Japan GT500/GT300 race at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia. Had to make do with the 28-300 VR – which was extremely challenging for moving vehicles. Since I don’t regularly shoot wildlife or sport, I also don’t have any long fast glass. Still, an interesting experience. MT

Series shot with Nikon D700, D5100 and AFS 28-300/3.5-5.6 VR

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Photessay: Thean Hou temple by night

Thean Hou temple is a famous Buddhist location just outside Kuala Lumpur, popular as a place of worship during the new year and various lunar festivals. It’s also home to various martial arts groups. The temple belongs to the Selangor and Federal Territory Hainanese association, and was constructed from 1981 with funds donated by the community.

This set shot with an Olympus E-PM1 Pen Mini.

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More street images from the Leica M-Monochrom

This series shot with a Leica M-Monochrom and the 35/1.4 ASPH FLE.

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POTD: Construction site cubism, and a minor site organization change

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Construction site cubism. Olympus OM-D, 45/1.8

I’ve also archived the most interesting posts for each category under their respective headers, so it should be much easier to find older articles/ posts in future. Let me know if it works or doesn’t work for you. MT

Photoessay: Landscapes with the Leica M-Monochrom

Sadly the M-Monochrom had to go home on Wednesday, but I did get a chance to make another quick set of images with it. Landscapes with the MM are slightly tricky, as the subtle tonal variations that normally make a nice landscape don’t work in luminance-only B&W. Instead, you have to force yourself to look for those extremely contrasty scenes which you’d probably normally be avoiding with a color camera and conversion.

I also want to address one of the major criticisms I saw on my earlier review regarding lack of mid-gray tonal variation: given limited time to shoot and lots of rain, I only managed to get the camera out around midday – which in the tropics, means extremely harsh light. This is of course the enemy of nice mid tones; there’s only so much you can do here under these conditions. Furthermore, web compression is not doing the images any favors – the subtle differences are being crushed into those 8×8 pixel JPEG blocks. The files do look a LOT better at full size, uncompressed on a good monitor. I suspect they will print even better still, but I haven’t had time to do this yet.

Now here’s a thought: Why doesn’t Leica do an X2 Monochrom for people who want B&W-only resolution, tonality and acuity, but would also like AF and a more compact package? MT

This set shot with the Leica M-Monochrom, 50/2 APO and Zeiss 28/2.8.

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POTD: After lunch

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Stall owner washing and packing up utensils after the lunch rush, Kuala Lumpur. Down some grimy, dirty, little back alley whose name has been long forgotten by all except those whose lives revolve around there. Beautiful light from the holes in the roof and gaps between the buildings, though.

Leica M-Monochrom, 35/1.4 ASPH FLE. Look out for my full review (in three parts) starting from tomorrow.

POTD: Primary colors

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Primary colors. Nikon D700, 28-300VR.

Here’s a good example of an image that wouldn’t work at all in black and white…to be the subject of an upcoming article! MT