January 2021 Photo overview

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

2020 was a horrible year for me, I did almost no work and the crazy lockdown conditions in China, left me feeling very down and I lost almost all motivation to shoot. I am the kind of person who works well under pressure and having deadlines or projects that must be completed, helps keep me focused. At the start of 2021, covid-19 started to pop-up again in China, so almost all cities are heading back into lockdowns again. I don’t want a repeat of last year so I have decided to do a month rundown of all my shooting in a month to help me stay a little bit focused and to give me a little bit of motivation to get up and go shooting. If I have more than three photos for any particular day in the month, then I will just choose the best three shots from the day to post into the monthly roundup. That’s the plan at least.

 

1 January

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Just a quick early morning walk to test out the Ricoh GRiii low light capabilities. It was freezing cold, around -10 C so I didn’t want to stay outside for too long. As soon as the sun was up, I went home to get warm and drink some coffee.

 

2 January

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Another cold morning walk. I liked the LED lights with the lantern but I wasn’t very happy with the composition so I need to go back and shoot it again sometime soon.

 

3 January

 

My birthday, so I went out with some friends and drank some beer. No shooting today.

 

4 January

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

I went back to shoot the LED and the lanterns again, I took both my Nikon Z6 with a 28mm 1.8G and the Ricoh GRiii along this time but I mostly used the Ricoh GRiii. The Ricoh GRiii is a really a nice compact little camera. As long as I keep the ISO under 2000, the images are nice and clean. Anything higher than ISO 2000, and I need something better to shoot with.

5 January

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

This school bus shocked me a little. I have never seen a school bus like this in China before.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Early morning breakfast in China. Mostly steamed buns and dumplings sold here.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

Another quick day shooting with the Ricoh GRiii.

 

6 January

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

This is a fully automated store with no people working inside. You scan a QR code to go in, select what you want and then scan your items at the automated teller and pay with your mobile phone. I have no idea how they would stop thieves in the store but it is pretty cool.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

Hotel entrance

 

Another early morning walk. It is simply too cold during the day to do any shooting at the moment, but I am dying to get out and shoot some film again.

7 January

 

Terrible weather outside so I just shot some product photos for the blog today.

 

8 January

 

The weather was much better today so I took my Olympus μmju-ii for a walk with a roll of Ilford pan400.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

9 January

Some new filters and a shutter release cable arrived this morning so it was time to go take some test shots. I also wanted to run a roll of film through my new medium format camera, the Mamiya 645pro.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Really happy with the first roll coming out of the Mamiya645 pro. The only problem I am having with the camera is the A/E prism finder. It doesn’t have a diopter built into it so I have to shoot with my glasses on and I hate shooting with my glasses on.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Did a quick test with the fake shutter release cable that was sent to me, it worked just fine but I dislike using fake or third-party accessories. On a positive note, the new Kase filters seem to work really nice. It was too cold to stay at the river for too long but I plan to come back to this location In the future again.

 

10 January

 

I took my Nikon F2 out for some exercise today. Once again I was shooting pan400. It is my favorite film for my 35mm cameras in china.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

I must admit that I am slightly obsessed with powerlines here in China. I keep shooting them all the time. There is just something about the symmetry of them that attracts my eye.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

I am getting slightly worried as small alleyways are getting sealed up now in China again. This is a  sign that the virus might be coming back. I really can’t afford to sit a second year at home again with no work. Well, nothing I can do about it right now but prep and stock up on food.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

A new photo book arrived today. I know nothing about the book or the photographer but the cover caught my eye online so I decided to take a chance and order it. Hopefully, there are some good night time images from Tokyo in it.

 

11 January

Another cold morning, so I took my Olympus μmju-ii and a roll of pan400 out again. The Olympus μmju-ii is easy to shoot with gloves on so I like to use it when it is cold.

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Unfortunately, the Olympus μmju-ii died on me, half-way through the roll of film. Not sure if it was the cold or maybe the film jammed but I only got around 15 shots on this roll. Changed the batteries on the Olympus μmju-ii and loaded another roll into the camera a few hours later and it seems to be working now. Shooting 36 shots in a single walk is very difficult at times. I think this is one of the things  I enjoy about medium format, fewer shots per roll so it is easier to shoot and develop. One good thing that happened today is that I got about 8 calls from different bands in Europe, looking to come to China in 2021 if the vaccine works. So maybe business will pick up.

12 January

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Went to go shoot the sunset this afternoon but it wasn’t a great sunset. No clouds and lots of pollution in the air don’t lead to pretty sunsets here in China. Getting a good sunset shot in winter is very difficult in China as the factories are running 24/7, trying to meet all the international orders before the Chinese New Year.

13 January

 

A full day of shooting today. I woke up at 5 Am and went for a walk with the Ricoh GRiii.

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Later in the day,  meet up with a friend to shoot the sunset together.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Another roll of Pan400 shot with my Nikon F2

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

I decided to return to the river to try a long exposure of the city at night. I wanted to test the new Night light filter that I ordered from Kase.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

14 January

 

Finally, my Nikon shutter release cable arrived, so I can stop using the third-party cable that was sent to me. I went with another friend to go shoot in Nanshan park this afternoon and evening. I wanted to get some long exposures in as I am still not sure how I feel about the new Kase filters that I bought.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

While shooting the long exposure with the Nikon Z6, I used the Ricoh GRiii to take some snapshots of the trees framing the pagoda. I think my obsession with Michael Kenna photo books is rubbing off on me as I keep looking for interesting trees to shoot now.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Long exposures with the Kase Night Light filter. Still not sure if this filter was worth the money, but I will keep playing with it for a while and see what results I get with it.

15 January

 

I went exploring along the Changjiang river today with my Mamiya 645pro and a roll of Shanghaifilm. Not sure if I like the film yet but I bought 20 rolls of it so I need to use it. I remember the film having a lot more contrast than what I am getting out of the film right now.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Shot the sunset with my Nikon Z6 as I was walking around. Nothing great but this is the type of Sunsets we get in winter here in China.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

16 January

Terrible weather so I did some product shots for the blog again.

 

17 January

 

I have decided to try and get used to shooting the Mamiya645 with the waist-level finder so I don’t need to wear glasses when I shoot. Once again I am shooting with Shanghaifilm.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

still don’t like the look of Shanghaifilm. I might try pushing it one stop and see if the contrast improves.

 

18 January

 

Met up with another friend to do some long exposures this evening.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Street food vendors are very unique in China. Not sure I would want to eat from this vendor though.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Long exposure at XiJinDu in Zhenjiang China. I would have thought that all the yellow lights on the roofs of the building would have made a nice shot but I couldn’t find a single composition that I was happy with. The shot above is the only shot I took with the Nikon Z6. After this, I put the tripod away and shot with the Ricoh GRiii for the rest of the evening.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

19 January

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Tried to shoot the sunset at Jinshan Lake today but once again the sky was very bland. I have been living in this city for nearly 15 years now and I have yet to get a good sunset photo at Jinshan temple. You would think that a yellow temple at sunset would make for a great shot, but the photography gods have never smiled down fondly at when shooting from this location.

 

20 January

 

I felt like taking the drone out for some exercise today, so I headed off towards the river.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

I haven’t flown the drone in a while but it was fun to do something different for a change. After flying I decided to go back to the city skyline and see if I could get some better long exposures at night. I wasn’t very happy with the first shot I got there.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

This was somewhat of a surprise to me. Two years ago, you seldom saw single birds in China, so seeing a whole flock of birds was exciting.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Another sunset at this location. Sometimes it is good to visit the same location a few times and try to extract as much as you can from it. Especially when you are in lockdown in your city and you can’t leave. Right now all I can do is to try and find unique photos at the locations that I have visited many times in my life.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Finally, I got a long exposure of the city that I am happy with. No blue filter this time, just the standard 10 stop Kase filter.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

I also shot a roll of Shanghaifilm through my Mamiya645pro while I was waiting for the sun to set but I messed up my exposures and my negatives came out way too thick. I wasn’t sure about the repository failure of the film and with my shutter speeds around 4 seconds, I thought I would compensate around 1 and a half stops but it was clearly way too much. The only reason that I got some kind of results was the fact that I was digitizing the film with my Nikon Z6 camera and a macro lens. I am 100% positive that my flatbed scanner would have given me nothing to work with. I need to do some research into Shanghaifilm and see if I can find out more information about its repository failure rate.

 

21 January

 

Rainy weather again so just shot some more product shots for the blog. Decided that I needed to finish the review of the Nikon Z 24-200 lens review. I started writing the review a while ago but never got around to finishing it. Write lens reviews is boring as hell. I would rather be outside shooting than sitting in front of my computer, typing away on my keyboard.

 

22 January

 

The horrible weather has remained so I shot some more product shots and played around with the Pentax 67 to Nikon Z adaptor.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

I have always enjoyed the film shots that the Pentax67 105mm f2.4 lens has produced and it seems to give very nice results on the Nikon. I need to test out the Pentax 67 to Nikon F mount adaptor more in the future.

 

23 January

 

The horrible weather seems to be set in for a few days. Such is the nature of winter in China. Cold, wet days are no fun to shoot in. I spent most of the day taking product photos of the FlashQ Q20ii flash for the blog review today.

 

24 January

Another day of dreadful weather but at least a new photo book arrived today. I didn’t expect this book to be so big, but at least it is something to keep me occupied while the weather is so bad.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

After my first quick look at the book, I am not really sure how I feel about this book. Previous books by Sebastiao Salgado have been incredible, with some amazing photos of people in incredible situations. This book seems to be missing that “OMG moments” that I am used to seeing with his work. I will take some more time to slowly go through the book and absorb it, as there is no way you can go through such a big book quickly and form a good solid opinion on it but my first impression is that the hype of this book is overblown and that some of his previous books have been much better. I do know that he switched from film to digital for this book so maybe that is why his pictures just feel a little different.

 

25 January

 

Winter is terrible in my base city in China at times. So no outdoor trips today but I need to shoot some product photos for the FlashQ Q20ii review that I need to post onto my blog soon.

 

26 January

 

Although the skies have cleared a little, it is still freezing cold outside today so I left my apartment quickly to collect some deliveries but I did find something interesting on my way to the delivery collect station in my community.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

Every year around the Chinese new year, a lot of the old people will hang up cured meat outside this like. It is one of the indicators to help me tell when the Chinese new year is approaching as the date changes every year. When I see meat hanging outside people’s homes and in the street, then I know that I need to prepare for the Chinese new year. Chinese new year is the only time that almost everything closes down in China.

 

27 January

 

More product photos for the blog today, I really hate taking product photos. This type of photography is soul-destroying.

 

28 January

 

It is a lovely day today so I went to go shoot my Mamiya 645pro with another roll of Shanghaifilm. I am trying to get used to using the Mamiya.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

On the last shot of the roll of film, the film jammed up on the Mamiya 645pro and I couldn’t advance the frame. I took the back off the camera and opened it in a dark bag so I could get to the film. I cleaned the film back and made sure nothing was jammed up. I hope this will be a one-time event. I am not sure if it is the body or the back that is giving me a problem but this is the first time that it has happened so hopefully, it won’t happen again.

 

29 January

 

Really nice weather so I grabbed my Nikon Z6 and went for a walk along the river. I didn’t want to carry a camera bag today so I just the Nikon Z6 and the 24-200mm lens.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

The water is really low along the port banks right now, so I will come back here tomorrow with my Mamiya and shoot some shots if the weather remains nice and clear.

30 January

 

Just a quick shoot with the Mamiya 645pro today with a roll of Fomapan400. I went back to the same location yesterday to shoot.

 

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

DSC_4759-Edit-1024x576 January 2021 Photo overview

 

The Mamiya 645 jammed up on me again, but I managed to keep it going and complete the roll of fomapan400. Fomapan400 is has a lot more contrast compared to Shanghaifilm but I am still having problems with spots on the Fomapan film. I am still not sure what is causing the jamming but I have a feeling that it might be the back that is having problems right now. I will buy a second back for the Mamiya 645pro after the Chinese new year.

 

31 January

 

No shooting today, the last day of every month is reserved for data backups and cleaning of gear. Having good data management habits is very important, even during quiets times like we have been having recently. Overall it was a very quiet month, no work came in which was to be expected as China is going back into lockdowns and I didn’t do as much shooting as I had hoped for. February is a notoriously quiet month in China as the Chinese new year usually takes place towards valentines day so everything closes down and with the Covid-19 lockdowns coming back, I am not sure how much shooting I will get to do but I will continue to do one of these daily updates through the next month to help keep myself accountable and hopefully force myself to go out and shoot some more when I see I haven’t been very active.

 

Shaun

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