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Kiev Camera Month – Part 1 – Tropical Cyclone Warning T8

Hong Kong is the only place I have come across where there are Tropical Cyclone warnings that stop not only schools but also public transport and in extreme cases will get you arrested if you are out in a  T10.

Having lived in the Philippines for a few years; I have seen my fair share of direct hits and generally they have meant that the surf is amazing for a few days afterwards.

In Hong Kong however, direct hits are few and far between and in a scale from T1 to T10 – with T10 being a hit and T1 being that it may be a little windy as a Cyclone is about 500km away, you will find that the rating of Cyclones fits with the completely over cautious nature of the people.

At the start of October’s Kiev Month we did however have a T8 hoisted all day – which meant no work and for most of the mainland and Islands; a blustery and rainy day at home.

As this was at the start of the eponymous “Month of the Kiev” (I’m trying to start a trend here) I decided to go for a look around Clear Water Bay with the most impractical camera to use in the rain – the Kiev 88 with Zodiak 30/3.5.

Changing film is not something that you would generally chose to do in the rain and with a removable back and a lens that weights a couple of kg; the Kiev/Zodiak combination would suggest that you would have a terrible time of it.

However, as these cameras are built to withstand a full scale war, you just shove half of it under your arm and change films with the back under your T-Shirt and you are good to go.

I had hoped for something more dramatic in the photos as a T8 suggests massive winds and tides normally only seen in Tahiti – but these few are about as rough as the weather got in Clear Water Bay. I understand that there were winds of 120 km/h in some of the Islands but we only got what was equivalent to a winters day at the beach in the UK.


This was taken very early in the morning from the roof top of our house looking at what promised to be a much more dramatic day than it turned out.

The Zodiak is a full frame Fish Eye lens and so a careful approach has to be made to straight lines around the side of the frame. None of the images are cropped and so you can see as long as you don’t get too closed to objects and keep horizontal lines out as much as possible – you will get an image that is closer to being wide than fish eye. Keeping the horizon at the half way mark stops it from being pulled into a curve too.

Another great tip for using the Kiev in the poring rain in front of a breaking wave is to cover it with a plastic bag and probably to wear a water proof. Unfortunately I had an uncovered camera and just shorts, a T-Shirt and flip flops and so everything go a bit damp whilst trying to time this shot.

All of these shots were taken on Kodak Tri-X 400 and developed at 400 ISO in TMax Developer for 6 minutes at 20 degrees. Wipe lines on the negatives are due to using an old squeegee and letting the films touch when they were drying.

Contrast was unnaturally high due to the conditions of the day with bright sun breaking through dense cloud.

Hopefully the Kiev/Zodiak is going to get another outing during the month with some colour film. Next up will  be the Kiev 4AM in Sri Lanka.

Posted by simon on October 11, 2011
1 Comment Post a comment
  1. 10/12/2011

    Lovely images Simon!


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