Leica M6 TTL & Eeyore’s Birthday Party 2015
By Khunya Lamat Pan
Hello all! Some might recognize my name and you may attribute it to my extreme loyalty to the Pentax K1000 and the Super-Takumar line of lenses. While I still LOVE the hell out of those, I finally made a big purchase on my dream camera and bought a nearly mint Leica M6 TTL body with a Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 lens. I chose the M6 due to its pure mechanical nature, with the exception of the light meter. Much like the K1000 actually! I like having the option of using a light meter, but if it fails or the battery dies, I can at least keep on shooting without any hiccups.
Not long after I bought the new setup, the annual festival in Austin, TX known as Eeyore’s Birthday Party took place. For anyone not familiar, the festival is a celebration of the character Eeyore created by A.A. Milne. Most everyone probably knows him from Winnie-the-Pooh. The festival has live music, egg toss, yoga, drum circles, food/beer, a real donkey, etc. It’s an all day event held in a beautiful park, and while it can get quite intense, the best thing to do is to find a nice shady patch on the hill within the trees and set up camp to watch all the interesting people walk by.
The M6 performed flawlessly. Like any Leica, it didn’t attract attention to itself in a horde of people. And while nearly everyone at the festival had a DSLR with them, I still felt relatively discreet. For the intensity of the festival, I felt the M6 was the perfect tool. I never felt like I had to worry about it, it just always works and feels smooth and precise. Even changing film on it in a crowd of people was easy, and I was expecting the worst since many people seem to hate the M6’s loading system. It was a very hot and sunny day, so I chose Ilford Pan F+ 50 and Efke KB 25 film. Efke is not longer in production, but I have stockpiled a lot of it in my freezer for special occasions like this. My style has always been to shoot more wide-open, so these two films are perfect for me, especially since I reside in sunny Texas. I developed them using Rodinal and Ilford Stop/Fix baths, and scanned myself using the Plustek Opticfilm 8200i 35mm film scanner.
On to the pictures! You can follow me on Flickr here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/khunya
You can also check out my website here: http://www.khunyalamatpan.com/
Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoy!
While it’s not a style I personally like or would use myself, I grant that the photographs are strong and well composed. Anyone who would argue differently should look at Salgado’s book Genesis. You’ve captured much of the same look and style. If some of the people above have a problem with you style, what would they thin k of a photographer like Moriyama? I do find the very busy bokeh of the Nokton 50mm distracting, especially in picture 6, but again that’s a personal preference. My congratulations on a bold and striking body of work. Not what I would have done, but very different and striking.
Richard, your comments are much appreciated. I value constructive criticism and personal preference like you just stated, instead of some others who will simply say I wasted my film and chemicals, therefore devaluing the time and energy I put into it. Nothing is a waste, unless I were to dump gasoline all over unused Tri-X film and set it on fire, then that might be a waste ;).
Thank you for directing me to Moriyama as well. And again, much appreciated.
Me gustaban mucho mas tus fotos mostradas anteriormente,hechas con la pentax.
I don’t see any reason to make images like this with film. Any digital camera would be enough. Just import the files and abuse the clarity slider up to 60-90 and enable the high-contrast B&W preset in Lightroom and this is what you get. There’s absolutely no film look to these images. Nor any of the film’s signature look. What a waste.
I think you lost the beauty of the film with the processing , you could have shot these on digital and achieved these results .
Khunya, set is superb. As usual, somehow you manage to see things differently.
I like your work allot congrats and thanks for posting
Being born and graduating college in Austin, I’d say you’ve captured the essence of the place and the people. I know you know what I mean. Some really wonderful ones here.
Thanks and good to see at least one person comment that knows about Eeyore’s! Always a fun time of year.
I really like the “heavy handed” processing.The deep blacks, the contrast and the limited depth of ield, with “bokeh”. Magical as is the event.
As someone who crushes blacks all too frequently, I like your take on processing.
Personally, I like the processing. I like the images too, as I get a ‘party’ feeling from them. At the end of the day, they are your work – so it’s really up to you what you do with it!
Much appreciated. I hope photographers continue to do different and unique things with film and digital, other than what is “traditional”. Like you said, at the end of the day, always do what YOU like.
Very good compositions and write up – enjoyed it. The processing – how’d you do it? I’ve used those films with that dev and scanner too – but I’ve never seen the Pan 50 or Efke ever come close to this unles there’s been some radical digital darkroom work.
I’m having a really hard time getting past the intense contrast being used. The images have nice composition, interesting and unique but it’s lost in the extreme use of blacks and whites…IMHO
Very nice pictures and interesting processing. I think you have something original here. Thank you for sharing.
Interesting photos but bad processing. M6 and Elmarit can give excellent results if you are careful with the increased contrast of the lens on film. For sure a better scanning will help. Try to scan them as RAW which will give you a negative on the screen which after adjusting you will reverse it into PS for final refinements.
Wish you all the best.
Hi: I second some of Dimitris’ comments. I’m loosing the nice composition because my eye goes to the intense blacks that don’t have an esthetic reason for being so prominent in your images. Given the intensity of the deep tones, I’m sure it was a purposeful intent on your part. I just don’t agree with that direction.
I used a Voigtlander lens, not a Elmarit. The photo of the M6 that was posted at the top is not mine.
Additionally, I always scan in RAW at 16bit grayscale. My guess is the processing just isn’t for you, but that’s ok!
…what happened after development? This is very, very bad editing. Too much clarity, sharpness and contrast, simply to much of everything. I’m sorry, this is not what Efke and Pan F film should look like.
Lovely B/w photos. I ownd a Leica M6 TTL for a long time and loved it, but i finally gave up as it became to much of a bother.
Thanks for sharing and happy for you
Congrats on your new setup. However that’s the extent of the complement. All these pictures leave a bad HDR-ish taste in my eyes. Too much contrast, too little interesting subject. Such a waste of film and chemicals.