I discovered this location – Dakota Crescent – whilst riding to my usual skate spots. It is one of Singapore’s oldest estates built in circa 1958. That is even before the independence of Singapore. The name itself is derived from Douglas DC-3 “Dakota” aircraft.

The designs of these flats were close to that of towns in the UK back in those years and were spearheaded by architects who worked for the British Colonial Government. It is no surprise, as, before Singapore’s independence in 1965, it was colonised by them.

In 2016, all the residents had to be relocated by order of the government on the basis of redevelopment; building new public housing site. As of now, 2019, the old estates are still intact will little to no signs of redevelopment.

I came here on two occasions and on both, I shot using my Leica M4 coupled with the Voigtländer NOKTON Classic 35mm f/1.4. The films used for both occasions were the same – Kosmo Foto Mono – but shot at different speeds. The 5 frames I am sharing were shot at box speed (EI 100) and to compensate for the usage of low shutter speed most of the time, a tripod was also utilised.

I have mixed feelings about this film but I think I have found a niche use of creating a mellow, dramatic feel to the photos, using this film.

I had a hard time picking the best five frames to depict the derelict neighbourhood. I hope I can share the visual process with the chosen five frames.

~ Eman

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  1. Eman, I apologise in advance for my comment that follows, but something is not right with all these images. Considering you are using a modern Voigtlander lens, none of the images show any degree of being sharp in any region. The images are very soft all over. It’s as though the lens may be faulty, or it is not coupling properly to the rangefinder. I would have expected to see at least one plane which appears in focus, but it’s not there. If you look at your final image with pods on the ground, there is no indication of sharpness in any part of the image. As you used a tripod, this will rule out camera shake. So I am somewhat puzzled. Is it the film, or low resolution scans, or what? Can you enlighten me, please?

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