Take me to the Parmigiani blog!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Experimenting with MFT

Some readers may know that I recently bought into the micro four thirds the Panasonic GH2 with the kit 14-140 lens. I just added the Panasonic Leica 45mm f/2.8 macro. And have been experimenting with it.

Here is the first picture...stacked from 13 images...the lighting was natural light streaming in from my west facing window...with the afternoon sun almost beating down...and a quick and fast stack using Helicon Focus.

Seems like a fun little lens...its amazingly light and from first looks, seems to be very sharp. And at minimum focus distance, 2X magnification is possible...about similar with the H3D with the 120 macro and two extension tubes stacked.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

GO Pano Retro Graph

Glashutte Original's factory is almost right next door to Lange's at Altenberger Strasse in Glashutte. The brands do share some common origins, both pointing to Ferdinand Aldophe Lange.

Amongst the watches GO produces, some are very nice, but none nicer to my eyes than the Pano Retro Graph...a beautiful movement...

The movement is nicely laid out, and well finished.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Giant Sequioia at Mariposa Grove

The Giants Sequioias at Mariposa Grove is one of the natural wonders of the world. Nestled at southernmost tip of Yosemite National Park, Mariposa Grove is a treasure of the Sequioias.

These magnificent trees, can grow up to several hundred feet, and at Mariposa, two of the largest trees in the world reside.

The challenge of photographing this magnificent grandeur is different from the vast expenses of the Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. But because the trees grow in a forest like environment, shooting distances are much nearer...and even with my HC28, I am not able to capture the entire tree without pointing the camera up.

Or just shoot the foot of these magnificent plants:

The Grizzly Giant, is the oldest tree in the grove...some 34,010 cubic feet (963m3) of wood.

The light streams through the tree tops makes things interesting...

We were told these trees do not have a natural lifespan, some are already some thousands of years old. They only get destroyed by humans or die because they are struck by lightning and burn. We see evidence of this quite clearly around the park.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pictures at an exhibition

with apologies to Mussorgsky

On the occassion of Lange bringing the entire Pour le Merite collection to Singapore and doing an exhibition of the watches at L'Atelier by The Hour Glass at ION Orchard, I also launched my most of you regular readers would know by now. I also took the opportunity to do an installation first solo exhibition! of 7 prints taken from the book. These are done A1 sized, and printed with the new Canon ipf8300 12 colour printer. I am quite amazed by the print capability of this large format printer, especially conparing to the colour proofs I got from the printers who were using the Epson 4900 printer.

Anyway, here is a glimpse of the exhibition, with my prints as installations within the exhibition. As the exhibition is within the shop, which is carrying out regular trading during the exhibition hours, I think the installation of the prints as part of the decor works.

Many of the visitors are highly appreciative of the large, detailed prints, especially the owners of the timepieces remarked that it is much easier to view and appreciate the workmanship, beauty of the watches by looking and examining the large prints than peering through a loupe. Most of the prints, especially the movement views are printed at a higher than 5 magnification (the magnification of most loupes), so that helps well as being able to see all the movement as compared to a tiny section viewable on the loupe.

The prints are done as a very small edition size of only 10 prints in A1. Please do contact me if you would like a copy of any of the prints exhibited, or any other photograph in the book.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lange Connoisseur Akademie: Lektion Zwei

posted on Lange Forum on July 12

I was reminded my M...yes, as in Bond's being the intrepid 00P...:-) that I have not yet reported on Lektion Zwei. My apologies, as the last few weeks have been busy with the book that I have had to push back on other activities. The book is launching what can be done is already done, what cannot be done, I have to accept with a lull in the storm before the Press Conference at 3pm is a portrait series from the evening.

CA2's theme is the control of the focus on the discussion was on the Lang 31's formidable mainspring and how it is gently controlled by the remontoir. We also had great fun at preparing you will see in the photographs below...

These are just a series of portraits of the participants, hope you enjoy them.

Franck Giacobini, Lange's head honcho for Asia Pacific:

The mysterious M, fussing over the paperwork...

and then striking a pose, with an equally gorgeous watch on her gorgeous wrist:

Manfred Weber, watchmaker extraordinaire:

And of course, the Head of the Akademie...Principle Lange herself...Joanna:

And the participants:

My good friend and compadre Dr. Mycroft Khoo, shooting me as I was shooting him:

Veteran watch journalist and chief foodie Larry Wee:

The man who calls himself Horogasm, and king of the environmental watch shots, here shooting for his GastroHorology series:

King of the airspace...seriously, you don't want to mess him when you are flying in or out of Singapore's Changi Airport...he controls the traffic there...Lionel

Russell, I am not sure if he is impressed with the presentation, or just dazed...

A better portrait of Mycroft...sans the Fuji X100 on his face:

The long suffering editor of my book, Timmy Tan:

And from Pink Publicist, the PR agency of ALS, Wendy:

Horogasm again...he is almost omnipresent:

Joanna was in charge of the sorbet we the background, Arthur, looking really like a chef...maybe he moonlights in the Michelin starred kitchens...

And many were trying their hand also at photographing the magnificent watches which were shown:

We did have a wonderful evening...and looking forward to Lektion Drei...soon I hope.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We are going live: The book is finally LAUNCHING July 12

Hi Folks,

Finally, its here! I am launching the A. Lange & Sohne: The Pour le Merite Collection today! Press Conference at 3pm.

The book launch is held in conjunction with Lange, who will be doing the Singapore introduction to the latest Pour le Merite: The Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Merite.

Following this, starting the next day, and in partnership with The Hour Glass a very special exhibition showcasing the entire Pour le Merite collection - all the watches in the collection will be shown, including the latest Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Merite as well as the original Tourbillon Pour le Merite and the Tourbograph and Richard Lange.

I will also be doing my first solo photographic exhibition during the event, and will display 7 photographs reproduced as A1 sized prints from the book. These prints (and any others you may like to choose from the book) are made in an edition size of 10 for A1. Contact me at chongpATgmail for details.

The exhibition runs from July 13 to 19 at the L'Atelier by The Hour Glass at ION Orchard. And I would like to invite all of you to please come and drop by.

I will be at the exhibition as your personal guide every day of the exhibition from 5pm to 8pm.

Ordering information for the book - A. Lange & Sohne: The Pour le Merite Collection

Friday, July 8, 2011

Moser Perpetual: a more detailed study of the finishing

I photographed the Moser Perpetual 1 some time ago...the photographs appear here.

As a followup, this is a detailed look at the movement, showing the salient features of the quite excellent finish:

Zooming in on the escapement:

The entire esacapement, can be unscrewed at the ends of the bridge, and removed. Moser provides service centers with pre-poised, balanced, timed and adjusted escapements, so field replacements are possible. Click on the image for a 1920 pixel wide image.

And to show off the sharp curves, and fine anglage finishing, here is a closeup of the bridges. Note also the beautiful jewel within the gold chaton with screws holding the chaton to the bridge.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

At the binders

Following on the progress of the book...documenting how a high end book is being made in Singapore. The printers finished their work, and the pages, each signature, comprising of 8 pages, when folded will provide the 8 faces in correct order. The pages arrive at the binders like this...

These pages are loaded in a folding machine...

and the output is the folded pages...

The master operator checks the folds, to ensure proper alignment. Some pages have a full double page spread, and alignment of left and right pages are critical to ensure that the photographs are displayed properly.

Each signature is a set of 8 pages. But for the book to be stronger, as this is a very large book, the binders are putting two sets of signatures together to form one super-signature set. This collating is done by hand.

And when finished, each set contains two signatures which are then sewn together. The collated sets look like this:

And will be sewn in a large, hand operated sewing machine like this one:

After sewing together, the signatures look like this...for a book this size, 12 sets of stitches are required. And each signature superset is also sewn together, so the entire book is held together at the spine:

When I was there, they were still folding and collating my project, so I did not see the actual sewing. Another book, a smaller one was being produced, and this is the sewing machine used:

For smaller books, the signatures are stapled together like the case above, and the machine is totally automated. The stapled signatures are passed along the slide shown foreground over to the stitching machine towards the background so the signatures are sewn together to form the book. For the "Pour le Merite" Collection, this entire process is done with stitching, and by hand using the large sewing machine.

Friday, July 1, 2011

At the Printers

I have chosen to work with KHL Printers in Singapore for this book project. They are a rather large printer in Singapore, with huge facilities in the Loyang area.

The pdf files we supplied are color separated into CMYK and plates made for each of the component colours. The plates are made direct from computer, in a process called CTP (Computer to Plate). Here is the cyan plate coming out of the machine:

The plates are metalic, and made by the CTP imaging device which leaves reverse imprint of each colour. One plate will print 4 pages in one go, and by folding and cutting, will form a signature of 8 pages, with both sides printed.

Each plate is then loaded in their Manroland Offset Press - the Roland 700 impressive, industrial looking machine:

Printed using environmental friendly soy based pigment inks:

View of the offset machine from the other side of the machine, showing the loading of cut sheets:

The paper path, each plate is loaded into the machine, and colors printed in turn. Note from dark (black background) to light (yellow foreground) are laid on the paper. The first module is a coating module, which in the case of my book is not used.

The printer lays inks in dots, and each of the four colours are printed offset an an angle to each other...hence the name offset printer. The resulting image is a series of dots in each colour, interacting to give us almost all colours possible. It is important for perfect registration of each of the colours, and the dots are not visible. I inspected the print with a 5X loupe, where the small dots are barely visible at 200 screen line resolution.

And the pages coming off the press...

And goes into the inspection table for comparison to the proofs produced earlier, which I inspected:

And the pages laid out in a box, ready to go for trimming and binding.