Adox Color Implosion

 photo 001_1.jpg

 photo 002_1.jpg

 photo 008_1.jpg

 photo 010_1.jpg

 photo 033_1.jpg

 photo 042_1.jpg

 photo 043_1.jpg

 photo 044_1.jpg

for the past 3-4 years, i haven't been picking up new rolls of film as much as i used to back in my heyday of film photography. the most i've purchased in said number of years were a roll of the LomoChrome Purple XR and a roll of CineStill 800 - of which i've yet to expose. a very spontaneous purchase of the Adox Color Implosion film was the result of a few random shots discovered on Flickr, which led me to ebay and ultimately punching the purchase button for not one, but three rolls! i was mostly attracted to the warm yellow hue that reeks of film nostalgia, but little did i expect that this was one tough film to crack.

most users recommend over-exposing the film to obtain the desired warm colour cast characteristic of the Adox Color Implosion film. out of the two rolls i shot, only one frame came out with the yellow colour cast - the rest features a gloomy and dull blue tint that were incredibly underexposed for some reason. i was mostly baffled and disappointed after viewing the scans, initially. had i not metered the shots properly? did i not adjust the ISO setting appropriately? weren't the scenes in London and Paris generally bright and contrasty (to a fault)? or was my Canon AE-1 finally giving up the ghost? considering the last time i shot with it and came away with a mixed bag of results, i was inclined to believe that the AE-1 was running on fumes. it'll probably take a fresh roll of film to confirm the camera's shutter accuracy, but for now i'd like to believe that the AE-1 is still functioning, albeit not being used as frequently as i would like. even then, i still love my cameras to bits, despite how they're not always the easiest (and cheapest!) to use lately.

after weeks of denial, i've come to terms with the results of my usage of the Adox Color Implosion films - i need to experiment with my final roll. while the present resulting images lack the yellow tint i sought after, one could argue that the blue tint served some of the photographs well enough - particularly the shots of Hyde Park and London in general. it does convey a sombre and gloomy mood (like how most Londoners like to describe themselves as). the photographs from Paris fared a little bit better, although the subject matters are nothing to shout about as i wasn't in the best of mind frames to be taking photographs at that time (a story for another day, perhaps). what i could salvage, i'm rather happy with. it's a shame, because film photography isn't getting any cheaper, and my batting average has significantly dropped over the years. perhaps it's time to rekindle my affair with film photography, maybe challenge myself and hopefully resharpen my skills along the way. perhaps.

Canon AE-1
Adox Colot Implosion


MONO Played KL Performing Arts Center, KL

 photo 2017-01-19 10.16.05 1.jpg

if there is one band i can trust to consistently tour this region that isn't a dadrock band, it is MONO. for the past 10 years, they have toured Kuala Lumpur at least four times. their first show i ever attended was held in the abysmal Zouk club where the sound system simply wasn't suited for MONO's dynamic sound palette. needless to say, it was a disappointing show mostly because the venue was shite to begin with. their next show i attended was in KLPac - which was a significant step up from their Zouk show because the sound for the most part had a better dynamic range. plus, the band employed a string quartet to accompany them for a number of songs, adding more variety to their setlist for that stop in their tour. it certainly was a better show, coming off the release of their latest LP, the magnificent "Hymn to the Immortal Wind" which they had been promoting in that tour. the fan favourites came pouring out, and i for one couldn't be happier with the overall show. the band had toured this region another time to support their "For My Parents" LP some four or five years ago, though i wasn't around to attend their show at the Bentley Auditorium.

fast forward to 2017, and the band makes their way once more to KLPac - playing a setlist that sounds very much like a greatest hits show. the band opened with "Ashes in the Snow" and immediately segued into "Death in Reverse", a cut from their latest LP, "Requiem for Hell". the entire show was a nice balance of MONO's ferocious tracks ("Requiem for Hell", "Recoil, Ignite"), and also their more sentimental tracks ("Pure As Snow (Trails of the Winter Storm)", "Dream Odyssey"). glaringly missing are the band's older works prior to "Hymn...", including the fan favourite "Yearning" from their "You Are There" LP. setlist aside, Pentas 1 has proven to be the comfiest venue i've ever attended a gig in. second front row with numbered seats may sound rather un-rock, but for MONO's brand of music, there's no better way than to partake in the music other than being seating, closing your eyes, and letting the feedback carry you through the setlist. my previous gripes with subpar sound system are finally quashed, as Pentas 1's dynamic sound system was certainly capable of differentiating even the most hushed of guitar pluckings. or maybe its because my ears are not trained directly in front of a wall of speakers like in their previous shows? the band bookended their show with another cut from "Hymn...", the lovely "Everlasting Light" which if i recall correctly was  also played to close their last show in KLPac.

while the entire show lasted a mere one and a half hours, the voyage through MONO's latter day body of work was satisfying as the band played all my favourite tracks from their respective LPs. even the meandering title track from "Requiem for Hell" was hard-hitting and delivered with great fervour. i admit that MONO's output this past few years have been somewhat lackluster, but for a band that soundtracked a great deal of my undergraduate college years, they will always have a special place in my music library. here's hoping the band will continue to make music and tour the South East Asian region again.


31 days of Christmas

 photo 06_1.jpg

 photo 09_1.jpg

 photo 25.jpg

 photo 30.jpg

 photo 12.jpg

 photo 03_1.jpg

continuing my somewhat yearly tradition of taking a December-themed photo set, last month saw me brandishing two rolls of expired Kodak Plus X-Pan 125 black and white films in an attempt to photograph the 31 days of December in the year 2016. the attempt wasn't that big of a deal - mostly exercising my patience and diligence in taking on average two photographs a day. the hard work, however, did not pay off. out of the 75 odd shots, i reckon only 7 or 8 shots are exposed properly. this is hardly surprising, given the expired nature of the two rolls. it does break my heart though, that the time, effort, and money spent to take the photographs and getting them developed is completely flushed down the tubes. it is the sad inevitability of playing with expired films. in hindsight, had i known the photos would turn out this ghastly, i'd have experimented with push/pull developing those films. alas, what's exposed and developed is history. i cannot pin it entirely on problems with the camera's light meter. on the contrary, with years of exposure to photography, the red lights should have been apparent to me when the camera tells me to shoot with a shutter speed of 1/60 with an F-stop setting at F/2.8 in a dimly lit room! on ISO125 for that matter! in fact, the last time i used the Canon AE-1, the photographs turned out rather decently for an expired colour film. i doubt that it is the camera's fault, but these X-Pan films did expire sometime in the early 2000's (or was it the late 90's?).

a harsh lesson learned. enough with the expired films in my dry cabinet. the next time i am hit by a wave of film nostalgia, i either toss out RM30 for a fresh roll of film, or weather out the storm and return to my trusted full frame DSLR. but in all honesty, sometimes a little flushing of film nostalgia out of my system is healthy for the photography enthusiast in me. it does help me take my camera out with me everywhere i go - if i ever go out, even. i don't blame the films. the risks were there, i just decided to take my chances and hope that i get some good pictures. next time, we'll take the road well traversed.

Canon AE-1
Kodak Plus X-Pan 125 (Expired)