Hin Chua's Magnetic North

Magnetic North can be considered a base camp, a general point of reference for my wanderings and ramblings.

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14 posts tagged xs

My current film backlog: 102 rolls. Crap!!!

The opening picture of Gregory Halpern’s book “A”

When Stanley first showed me this book a few weeks ago, I remember he told me that this may be one of the all-time great opening photographs in a photography book. The longer I look at the book, the more I realise that he could be right.

Mailing List

Ok kids, I’ve gone and set up a mailing list to keep you in the personal one-to-one (ok, one-to-many) loop in case of future interesting Hin Chua-related announcements? Why? Because future interesting Hin Chua-related announcements are pending.

So sign up here!

Boso Peninsula, January 2011

Here’s a few little paragraphs on fototazo about a photograph I made in Japan earlier this year.

Reflections on my first day in Beijing

Before I arrived in Beijing, there was a period of a couple of days where I was feeling extremely apprehensive about returning to China. I had last visited Shanghai at the end of 2007, when my process of working was far less disciplined (it was almost completely free-form to be honest: turn up at a random location, walk around for several hours without any map or any idea I where I was going and then try to find my way back home). Since then, my practice has evolved considerably in terms of research: mapping of locations via Google Maps, utilising Street View for reconnaissance and plotting an appropriate path with suitable end point (so that I didn’t have to return home the way I came).

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It’s camera sale time!

I’ve procrastinated. I’ve debated the subject. I’ve agonised. But finally, I’m decided. Writing my last post was what prompted me to finally do it: I’ve resolved to sell as many of my cameras as I’ve can. 

Maybe it’s because I’ve managed to convince myself they’re irreplaceable, but I’ve always hung on to most of my cameras for an unnaturally long period. When I’m out photographing, when I stumble across some scenes in the field, I’m almost terrified to depart because of the knowledge that more often than not, I’ll never return to that particular rat-arsed corner of the world. 

Similarly, letting go of a camera represents to me the closing of a chapter. Once my Hexar RF departs, I’m quite certain I’ll never use another one ever again. It’s not like they’re a particular iteration of the latest wunderplastic DSLRs; I’ve never had any kind of attachment to any of the ubiquitous digital Canons I’ve ever owned. But the cameras and lenses listed below are very much more unique. 

Regardless though, clinging on to these objects doesn’t change the fact that I don’t use them anymore and that’s more than a little criminal given how nice they are. Besides, I swore to myself that I would never become a camera hoarder, or worse yet, a collector!

So here’s the initial list of equipment. I haven’t listed prices, but they’ll will be extremely competitive, priced to beat eBay. So if you’re interested, drop me an email!

Leica M8 (SOLD)

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Here’s my Leica M8, purchased in early 2007 and used actively for less than a year (before I committed fully to my Mamiya 7). The serial number is 3109346. It comes with all the packaging, the charger, the latest firmware, 3 original Leica batteries and I’ll throw in three Sandisk Extreme 2 gig SD cards . Other than a few scuff marks on the top and some stickiness where I decided to foolishly cover up the red Leica dot (I was in my dumb stealth-ninja street photographer phase), it’s in very good condition. The LCD was always covered with a screen protector. Oh, and it comes with a Tom Abrahamsson Minisoftrelease attached.

Konica Hexar RF (SOLD)

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This is the legendary Konica Hexar RF, the only Leica M compatible rangefinder with motor drive. I bought this in 2005 from a photographer who himself purchased it in 2004 but had to sell it as a result of parenthood. I remember sitting in his cluttered lounge in West London, almost salivating at the chance to get my hands on this beauty. This is a late-production RF (serial 1452370); by this time Konica had resolved all the niggles encountered during the initial production run. In addition, while I don’t have the receipt, the camera was serviced right after it was last used actively (you’ll just have to trust me on this). There are scuff marks on the bottom baseplate but beyond that it is in very good condition. It comes with all the original packaging.

Zeiss Ikon (SOLD)

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In my opinion this is the ultimate refinement of the M mount film camera. But hell, don’t take my word for it, check out some of the reviews. The viewfinder in particular is outstanding. I bought this in 2006 and am ashamed to say that it was barely used. To be honest, this is the camera I feel most guilty about neglecting. As a result, it is practically in mint condition and comes with all packaging and a Minisoftrelease. The serial number is 15590531.

Leica 28mm Summicron F2 ASPH (SOLD)

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This is the finest 28mm M mount lens in existence. Purchased with the M8 in 2007 (it functions as a 35mm lens on that camera), it was the last of my “ridiculous” purchases. The really interesting thing is that thanks to the depreciation of the pound and Leica’s price rises, this lens has appreciated considerably in value over intervening 5 years, but you can get it at a bargain price! The lens comes with all packaging, Leica lens pouch, Leica metal circular lens hood and a Leica UV filter. The serial number is 4007586 and you can see it is in great condition. 

Leica Tri-Elmar F4 E49 (SOLD)

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I bought this in 2005 and it’s one of the most interesting lenses Leica has ever made, with the ability to switch manually between 28mm, 35mm and 50mm focal lengths. The only compromise is the fact it is larger and slower than most M mount lenses, but during daylight, its flexibility is unmatched. I kept it at 35mm almost all of the time at F8, safe in the security that I could go “long” or “short” when the requirement arose.

Once again, it comes with all packaging, its associated lens pouch and a Leica UV filter. It didn’t come with a lens hood. The serial number is 3948546: this is the E49 version of the Tri Elmar, the third and ultimate refinement of the lens.

So in the chance anyone’s interested, let me know.

Speaking (in Brighton)

One of the things I’ve been doing a lot more of in the last couple of years has been talking about photography. I’ve always respected artists who have been able to talk eloquently about their work and spin an interesting story around their photographs. One occasionally feels the urge to call bullshit, but I’ll excuse most implausible justifications for making photographs if they’re at least clever or entertaining. Especially when you’ve experienced the painful counterpoint: the poor individual who struggles to contribute more than a couple of semi-meaningful sentences about their work.

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A 2011 Resolution

A New Years’ resolution for 2011 has been to write more about myself, for myself. I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill “personal press releases” designed to convince people how talented and wonderful I am (because hell, that’s stating the blooming obvious isn’t it?)

Instead, I want to perforate the impenetrable veneer of the professional artist, to discuss some of what goes on behind the scenes and to talk honestly and truthfully about my practice, its challenges and some of the moments of pure joy or terror that I often experience. Uncertainty is such a critical conceptual and practical component the way I make images, and I want to try better communicate that in textual form.

I’m not overly concerned about writing to build an audience or a brand and I’m under no illusions that anyone other than myself may be interested in this. But that’s the point: I need to hold myself accountable, I need to remind myself what I’ve accomplished and what still needs to be done.

Roll on 2011!

Britain versus Spain in Lithuania

If you happen to be in Kaunas, Lithuania over the next week, you’ll undoubtedly stumble across the Kaunas Photography Festival. Over the course of several nights, they’ll be showing a series of Photography Duels where selected photographers from competing countries will be pitted against each other in a battle to the finish (or more likely, gentle applause).

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My favourite “death of photojournalism” essay

Last month, Neil Burgess (a former head of Magnum and current head honcho of NB Pictures) caused a bit of a stir when he declared the death of photojournalism.

As Burgess himself mentions, people have been writing about the end of photojournalism for decades. Reading his piece reminded me of my favourite article on this subject.

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