Fadzly's blog on his photography

Landscape

Operating a leica lens at its full capability

Untitled by elias.and.theresa.carlson
Shot by Elias and Theresa Carlson (graphic designers) in Seattle with their Leica III and Leitz Elmar 5cm 3.5 on Fuji Provia 100F transparency film

The outstanding optical performance of the lens is so apparent and it performs at its full capability when it gets coupled with a good photographer.

From my personal experience, a Leica lens, due to its superb light gathering power, can produce nice photographs even at difficult lighting conditions, twilight hours and dim light rooms. It provides full details for the shot and offers remarkable experience. It gives a clear view in the viewfinder and works impressively in every aspect. The critical lighting conditions like disturbing reflections, stray light and unwanted exposures are perfectly eliminated.

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Hope, a fading glow

Gears: Leica R6 and Leitz Wetzlar Elmarit-R 90/2.8, on Kodak Gold 400
Location: Gas Processing Plant, Kerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia

The hotter temperatures make plants become net emitters of carbon dioxide instead of net absorbers of it. It seems that as temperatures get hotter plants risk losing water through evaporation and respiration. In order to prevent water loss they reduce the size of their pores, and that in turn reduces the amount of carbon dioxide that the plants may take up.

LESSON LEARNED HERE: If you underexpose print films, you will not get the necessary shadow details. But given the wide latitude of print films, you can overexpose print films by 2 stops and yet get great results.

This ability for color neg films to be over-exposed and still reproduce decent images also accounts for the ability of print films to record much more brightness range than slides.

We often refer to this as “dynamic range”. In a slide, highlight information is stored as clear parts of the film that at a point contains nothing more than blank film base. Color negs continue to stack up increasing density (highlight) information until the film simply can’t record any more information.

Overexposing color negative film also makes it easier for most labs to get decent prints or scans, because more info is recorded. How much exposure compensation is needed? This probably varies with film but start with +.3 to+.5. Some film, maybe even one full stop.

This latitude doesn’t mean you’ll get an optimal result. It just means that within these ranges you can get a useable (depending on your purpose) result. Over- and under- exposure are mistakes. Film latitude should not be relied upon to cover mistakes in exposure.

Many people will intentionally reduce exposure of slide film by between a 1/2 stop and a full stop to increase colour saturation, retain detail in highlight areas and reduce grain. Some will also intentionally increase exposure on negative film by 1 to 1 1/2 stops to increase colour saturation and preserve details in shadow areas as well as reduce grain (grain can become very noticeable in underexposed areas of print film).


The swampy lagoon in Kuala Marang

The swampy lagoon in Kuala Marang is probably at it’s most beautiful in the late evening just as the sun is setting and the creatures of the night begin to stir their shift.

Gears: Leica R6 and Leica Summicron 35mm F/2.0, on Fuji PRO 160S Location: Marang Fishing Village, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Gears: Leica R6 | Summicron 35mm F/2.0 | Fuji PRO 160S Location: Marang Fishing Village, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

In this post I’ll tell you how I discovered a beautiful swamp in Kuala Marang, about the crystal clear water that was full of real beauty, but the kind of beauty that you look at but don’t see unless you open your eyes and your heart.

Gears: Leica R6 | Summicron-R 35/2.0 | Fuji Superia 100
Location: Marang swamp land, Terengganu, Malaysia

Much of the area is a mosaic of wetlands and mesic flatlands subject to seasonal flooding. Flood and small bushfires largely govern the composition and distribution of vegetation, creating a distinctive mosaic of natural communities. Flooding also limits intensive agriculture and large-scale development, resulting in one of Terengganu’s most significant natural areas.

This is what the camera sees, so it has to be there, and it is! But often we don’t see the beauty because we are “beauty blind”. People are always in a rush, always rushing about, I guess that comes naturally when you live in big cities. I am just as guilty sometimes but not very often now my eyes are open.

Do you remember when they say, “see it through the eyes of a child”. Full of excitement and desire to explore. I truly feel that is how we should view the world around us.

Unfortunately often the case is the greed for land and money from the people of the past has endangered beautiful places like this. I often say “beauty is everywhere”, so try to see it and it will enhance your life like you would not believe. Just try it right now, look at something and try to see the details, the colors, the textures, the shapes see it differently than you did before.

Gears: Leica R6 | Summicron-R 2,0/35 | Kodak Gold 100
Location: Kuala Marang Fishing Village, Marang, Terengganu, Malaysia

The fools spent millions of dollars trying to built what they call progress and the damage they did may even now be irreversible. Thus beautiful swamps like this one we have here in Kuala Marang may be dying a slow death many and many species of plants, animals and birds are are on the endangered list they are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Gears: Leica R6 and Leica Summicron 35mm F/2.0, on Fuji Velvia 100 (RVP100F) Location: Marang Fishing Village, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Gears: Leica R6 and Leica Summicron 35mm F/2.0, on Fuji Velvia 100 (RVP100F) Location: Marang Fishing Village, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Interestingly, of course there are alligators in these swamps. I did not see any in the water but I was told by the old folks in Marang about the legend of the massive alligators. The alligators would certainly camouflaged very well and its hard to be see. The natural beauty of the area is beyond words.

If you get a chance to pass through Marang while you’re on your way to Kota Bharu to the North or going south to Kuala Lumpur, please take your time! Please go slow, please stop at overlooks, please take the time to hit a trail or two, it would be a real shame to drive by everything this awesome roadway has to offer.

Gears: Nikon D50 and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO Location: Oyster farm, Marang Fishing Village, Terengganu, Malaysia

Gears: Nikon D50 and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO Location: Oyster farm, Marang Fishing Village, Terengganu, Malaysia


Bokeh Schmokeh Fish Cart (36810028)

Leica R6 | Summicron-R 35/2.0
Teluk Ketapang Beach, Kuala Terengganu (2006)

IMO, the fewer the lens elements, the more you have to stop down to get adequate sharpness in the plane of focus. This results in less blitzed out backgrounds in actual use. This applies to 3 element lenses vs. Tessars vs. Planars.

These are the findings of Mr Rick Denney which I find very useful and which you can also read at length on his site

1. Bokeh has several components, including edge effects around out-of-focus highlights and false edges in the rendering of out-of-focus details.
2. Bokeh rendering is not the same in all situations, and some lenses will be better than others in some situations and worse in other situations. The Vega in this test has produced some really ugly bokeh, not consistent with these results. Lens bokeh is not a single value, and each lens requires considerable experience to understand where it is good and where it is not.
3. Wider apertures do not necessarily improve bokeh.
4. Specular highlights and other out-of-focus bright spots don’t tell the whole bokeh story.
5. Longer focal lengths improve bokeh. If smooth rendering is important, get a longer lens and back up.
6. Double-gauss designs aren’t necessarily bad, but the bad ones are really bad.
7. Sonnar designs don’t necessarily have better bokeh, but they have the potential.
8. Reputation for good bokeh (e.g., the Jupiter) don’t always show in actual results.
9. Lens complexity seems to have little bearing on bokeh. Lens design, however, is paramount.
10. Apertures shapes are not really an issue with bokeh, especially near wide open. In none of these tests was aperture shape the main determinant in apparent bokeh quality. So, we should stop counting aperture blades. The lens with the most aperture blades was the B&L Tessar, but it had uniformly the worst bokeh.
11. Bokeh is subjective, but it is not an illusion.
12. Canon knows how to design a zoom lens. Nikon didn’t do too badly, either.
13. The Biometar is NOT better than the Vega, at least in these tests.
14. The inexpensive Zeiss Jena Sonnars provide a lot of bokeh quality for the buck.

Copyright © 1999, 2009 R. W. Denney, Jr.


Twilight by the Chinatown jetty (36890024)

Leica R6 | Summicron-R 35/2.0
Teluk Ketapang Beach, Kuala Terengganu (2006)

Just imagine this for a moment…
You’re on vacation. You’ve spent a fair bit of cash getting here, and arranging to have time off work.

The first place you are compelled to go to is a magnificent scene with the most beautiful landscape. You excitedly get your camera out. You don’t rush into ‘snapping away’ as soon as you see the scene anymore.

You stop and look at the light, the weather, and a few things around you. You visualise how the landscape will look as a photo. Then you apply a few secret landscape techniques that only professionals know and then….click.

Then you eagerly press the preview button on your digital camera and… Ooops! You forget something, this is film and there’s no preview and there’s no certainty that you’ll get on film what you just seen.


Coming Home (36810027)

Do you ever think what orientation suits best for the subject you are trying to capture or do you just press the shutter release button and try your luck?

Orientation can greatly affect how and what image is presenting.

Most novices shoot everything horizontally – well it is much easier to hold and shoot in horizontal mode – especially the compact cameras, no?

Gears: Leica R6 and Leica Summicron 35mm F/2.0, on Kodak Colorplus 200 Negative
Location: Tok Jembal Beach, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia


My favourite spot under the bridge has never let me down (36850021)

Gears: Nikon FM2 with Nikon AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on Kodakcolor GOLD 400
Location: Under the bridge in Kuala Hiliran, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia


Gears: Nikon FM2 with Nikon AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on Kodakcolor GOLD 400
Location: Under the bridge, Losong


Are you afraid of the dark? (DSC_3887)

Gears: Nikon D50 and Sigma 70-200/2.8
Location: Oyster farm, Kuala Marang, Marang, Terengganu, Malaysia

Gears: Nikon D50 and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO
Location: Oyster breeding spot, Marang Fishing Village, Terengganu, Malaysia
Processing: White Balance, Contrast


Invasion of The Shopping Cart (36790011)

Gears: Leica R6 and Summicron-R 35/2.0
Location: Mydin Mall, Padang Hiliran, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia


The shopping cart or trolley, a very useful item in its place but otherwise a pretty uninteresting harmless wire basket on wheels, right? Right, but how come they seem to be taking over the world? No matter where I go I seem to come across one lurking in some darken corner of the street or poking out from an unexpected place.

The human fascination with dumping trolleys goes on and has made the innocuous shopping cart a common sight and an integral part of urban life.

So it’s not surprising that they have crept into our photography in one way or another and I am always continually amazed at the ingenuity of the photographers ability to use them so creatively in their work.

On Flickr a group also gives an ode to shopping trolleys and the endless torment they endure…being left by the side of the road, on freeways, in parks, in fact in all manner of weird and wonderful situations – usually far from their rightful home.

There at The Original Abandoned Shopping Trolley Project they pay homage to the trolleys and their tireless servitude..


Not much of a shed (36850012)

Gears: Leica R6 with Summicron-R 35/2.0
Location: The beach in Ladang, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Though not much of a shed if you consider the scale of the monsoons we get annually, however it serves more as a half-done-garage for fishermen to hang their fish nets. Despite the humbleness of things that you can find by the beach, let us not forget that it is the sea which gives the fishermen life. Likewise, the sea gives new life to some of our depressed spirits.