Friday, 18 January 2019

A New World Order

I packed several rolls of 35mm film for my trip to Calcutta this winter, including a couple of unusual choices. One of them was CineStill 800T, a fast (ISO 800) tungsten-balanced colour negative film made from motion-picture film stock. I shot with it in a variety of lighting situations, including in daylight without the prescribed 85B filter, just to see the colour rendition.

I have to say I'm not a fan yet – or maybe (since I've seen some interesting photos by other photographers using this film) I just haven't figured out how best to use it. But I found it had an interesting psychological effect. While I had CineStill in my camera, I found myself looking out for "cinematic" shots (whatever that means). Later, staying with the theme, I cropped some of the photos to a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Here is one of the photos from the roll which I did like, taken from the balcony of Saldanha Bakery. I call it: Stray Cats and Upturned Chairs: A New World Order.

Friday, 4 January 2019


The Japanese term mono no aware (物の哀れ) is said to be untranslatable, but English-language Wikipedia contains a valiant effort:
the awareness of impermanence ... or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.
Some of the best books and TV/radio series can evoke this feeling in me, sometimes at two levels: existential mono no aware, as well as an awareness, even while I'm reading or watching, and consequently a gentle sadness, that the book or series will end.

In 2018, I was lucky to discover such an example in each of the three aforementioned genres: A Month in the Country (a 1980 novel by J L Carr), the Detectorists (a BBC TV series which ran from 2014–17) and Cabin Pressure (a BBC radio series, 2008–14).

You're welcome, and happy new year!