Monthly Archives: July 2015

The good and the bad, the sweet and the bitter, don’t look a gift horse, in terms of photographic opportunity and business travel..

Sri Lanka is a really interesting place. I could spend days weeks walking the streets. I brought 3 cameras: my XA, Leica lll, and an old folding 6×6 (Agfa Isolette) that I’ve been dying to try and 15 rolls of film (mainly Acros)  in preparation for all the opportunity I would surely find.  Well at the end of it I found about 30 hectic minutes at dusk one day and one late afternoon, plus a couple snaps here and there.  The 6×6 didn’t get out.. That’s business travel for you:-)  Don’t complain.  It’s an opportunity- take what you can get.

I was there during Ramadan and although Sri Lanka’s population is predominantly Buddhist they declared a national holiday on the last day,and no alcohol was allowed in restaurants and in public places.  There were a lot of people down at the beach in Colombo that evening enjoying the holiday.

I ordered some HC-110 from Freestyle along with the bulk film a while back so I tried that out with these.  This was “Preparation H” which is diluted 1:63, 10″@20c. Easy with no pain.

Random stuff:

  • Sri Lanka felt safe and looked very clean:-)
  • There are a lot of tourists, particularly from Europe and China. Someone told me they expect 2.5 million visitors this year (population of Sri Lanka is about 20 million).
  • People overall seemed really happy and upbeat.  One person told me that it was because things had been really bad due to a war for so long everyone is so happy that it is finally behind them.
  • The food is delicious and there is a nice variety but it can be extremely spicy. Fire department emergency spicy.  Even when they say it is not so spicy.  Be careful.
  • The driving takes a bit to get used to. Crossing the street as well.
  • Set the price with the Tuk Tuk driver before getting in and going someplace.  This helps with “misunderstandings” and possible hurt feelings.
  • Bring your own black and white film.  I visited a couple major camera shops and there was none to be found.  “You want what sir?? Film??!” I did find some warm Kodak Colour 200 in one store.  Almost expired. Sri Lanka is firmly digital.
  • People start dinner late;  9 or 10 pm is common.
  • There is visible poverty, however Colombo doesn’t seem anything severe like Dhaka, Bangladesh or Manila, Philippines (I have been to these two places).

One benefit of Instagram

I have been on Instagram (note the use of “on” like a drug..) for about one year.  I don’t know why.  At first I just wanted to see what it was about, and then thought that maybe after some time I would find a reason perhaps.  While I think that it has been pretty well useless to me since I am not promoting a click farm or instant friends or various stuff for sale like t-shirts or hipsterish wallets and shaving kits, I haven’t bothered deleting the account or doing anything with it. I’m kind of letting it go, not really caring what I put up there, kind of half interested in what happens, and what doesn’t.  What does 20,000 followers and 1,000 likes on a photo really mean anyway??  There are some real rubbish photos out there getting thousands and thousands of likes.  Hmm maybe I’m doing it wrong?  I think my max is around 30 or 40 likes and nothing happened.  I didn’t get a check in the mail or a commendation from the National Institute of Instagram Photography or anything interesting like that, but that’s likely because I didn’t get enough likes. Recently I have been getting followers from the Russian speaking areas- mainly wedding type photographers.  I don’t know why.  Anyway I digress..

One thing I noticed is that when you look through your camera roll in Instagram it automatically crops them to square format and that has made me look at the composition and image differently from time to time.   I do shoot a lot of 120 film in 6×6 format but I regularly find something I like from my 35mm negatives in the square.  By the way I am not one of these negative purists.  I don’t feel the negative is sacred and the print shouldn’t be cropped.  I’m old school.  Do what you like to get what you want; whatever works.

Well there you have it: not a huge benefit, and not really a reason to keep using Instagram, but something:-)

By the way if anyone reading this, any “users” out there, have any interesting experiences or “benefits” to share I would be interested in hearing!


Bend, Daikoku-Futo. Leica lllf / Summitar / Acros / Caffenol