Nikon FE2 Nikon 20mm f2.8
5 frames with...

5 Frames in Riga with the Nikon FE2 and Lomography Lady Grey 400 – by Felix I Flores Rodriguez

October 29, 2022

Riga is the capital and the biggest city in the Republic of Latvia. Furthermore, Riga is the biggest city in the Baltic state and, with a population of 671,000, is home to one-tenth of the people of the Baltic state. The city of Riga was founded in 1201. The city’s historical center is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the 19th-century Art Nouveau and Jugendstil wooden architecture.

Also, in 2014 Riga was named the European Capital of Culture. Furthermore, the city received 1.4 million visitors in 2016. Riga is humid, and the coldest month is January, with an average temperature of -5. However, the temperature can drop to -25 on the coldest days. The autumn seasons are rainy and foggy due to the proximity to the sea (Baltic Sea and Riga Golf). The summers in Latvia are hard to find, one of the hardest things to see. Many locals call it Green Winter. In all seriousness, the summers in Latvia are mild and rainy, with an average temperature of 18 degrees.

The photos in the article were taken using the Nikon FE2 and the Nikon 20mm f2.8 together with Lomography Lady Gray ISO 400 black and white film. My favorite film brand is Lomography, and Lady Grey 400 is my second favorite film; my favorite film is the Berlin Kino 400. Lady Grey 400 is a straightforward film that produces smooth images. The film can be pushed or pulled with excellent results. For these images, I used the film at its native ISO of 400. However, I have experimented with excellent outcomes using the film at ISO 250. Lomography Lady Grey is not a contrasty or sharp film, however, it has a unique look that keeps photographers coming back for more of that classic nostalgic look that fits Latvian weather.

An ally road in Old City Riga

 

A store in Riga

A store in Riga

A building in the back part of the city

A building in the back part of the city

The Freedom monument “Mirdzi kā zvaigzne!” (“Shine like a star!”) sculptor Karlis Zale; honor soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918-1920). The monument is an important symbol of Latvia’s freedom, independence, and sovereignty. The forty-two meter statue is a focal point of Riga’s public gatherings and official ceremonies. Latvian Prime Minister Zigfrids Anna Meierovics first thought of the monument, and its construction began at the beginning of 1930

The Freedom Monument, a symbolic woman, holds three stars symbolizing Latvia’s three historical regions, Vidzeme, Kurzeme, and Latgale. The monument survived many attempts of demolition by the Soviets during the Soviet occupation from 1940-1989. A Soviet sculptor named Vera Mukhina is credited with rescuing the monument. The sculptor believed that the memorial had great artistic value.

Freedom Monument

Freedom Monument

The Riga canal is a picturesque part of the city. The boats used for the tours hold a unique historical design. The oldest of them, “Darling,” is hundred years old, whereas the other three – “Maria,” “Rebeka,” and “Laima” – have been built as their replicas. Their unique design and slow pace in the waters of the Riga Canal will allow you to get to know the most popular places in Riga.

Riga canal

Riga canal

I first came to this city in June 2010 and felt at home in the beautiful streets and the old street cars (Trams), which are my favorite. I am originally from a tropical island in the Caribbean, surrendering the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. That place is called Puerto Rico, where it is never cold, however, this piece of ice caught my heart, and since 2015 I have made it my home. Riga is full of incredible places. Please put it on your bucket list. We can go around and take photos of this remarkable place

Thanks for reading
You can find me on Instagramhttps://www.instagram/filmdrollo/

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Arne Heeringa
    October 29, 2022 at 10:19 am

    Nice pictures. But is Riga still so dangerous that you need to tape your camera? For 25 years someone told me that a friend he had in Finland refused to go over with him on the ferry because of the danger.

    • Reply
      Felix Flores Rodriguez
      October 29, 2022 at 10:43 am

      Hello Arne
      Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to read my article. I am not sure how to answer to your question. I been here in Latvia for seven years and it has been pretty safe. However, I do not frequent the nightlife only walk around during the daylight hours. The tape on the camera was something I read on a magazine and did it to all my cameras. I feel safe while walking around Riga and Latvia and never felt uncomfortable in this country.

  • Reply
    Rob
    October 29, 2022 at 10:25 am

    Good stuff – thank you.

    Just as a matter of fact, and an alternative source for your favourite films, Lady Grey 400 is re-branded Fomapan 400 amd Berlin Kino is re-branded ORWO N75
    Fomapan 400 is roughly half the price of of the Lomo brand and will obviously deliver exactly the same results – just in a different box.

    • Reply
      Felix Flores Rodriguez
      October 29, 2022 at 10:37 am

      Hello Rob
      Thanks for the information I will check the film that you have recommended. Furthermore, I think you can get Famopan and ORWO in 100ft roll. I am thinking about trying bulk films. Once again thanks for taking the time to read my article

    • Reply
      Lee
      November 1, 2022 at 12:19 pm

      This. 100%. I was going to say the exact same thing.

  • Reply
    Ralph Turner
    October 29, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    Lovely pics, Felix.
    I also admire your sense of adventure, coming from Puerto Rico to the chilly northern climes. We visited PR from the UK some years ago during a cool, damp February. Walking off the plane into the airport at San Juan was like walking into a sauna, definitely shorts ‘n’ teeshirt conditions. We loved it, but the midday heat was scorching. The locals, however, had a very different take on it. We couldn’t understand why most folks were wearing long trousers and cardigans. It turned out to be their coldest winter for about 25 years…. So, as I say, I admire your fortitude 🥶☺️
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Felix Flores Rodriguez
      October 29, 2022 at 1:10 pm

      Hello Ralph

      Thanks for the kind words. It is a very different climate between here and in Puerto Rico. I must agree that the heat and humidity separate Puerto Rico from many other places on the globe. I had a similar experience when I first moved to Latvia in July 2015. The temperature here was 25 degrees, and here the temperature was perfect. However, not me; six hours before arriving in the country was in Doha, Qatar, where the temperature was 52 degrees; it felt like winter and have to get my jacket and long pants on while everyone was looking at me like, are you sick. I am planning to visit your country shortly to photograph gray seals. Once again, thanks for taking the time to read my article cheers

  • Reply
    Louis A Sousa
    October 29, 2022 at 5:46 pm

    Beautiful tones especially in the last image. Louis.

    • Reply
      Felix Flores Rodriguez
      October 29, 2022 at 6:20 pm

      Hello Louis

      Thanks for your kind words

  • Reply
    Dan Castelli
    October 30, 2022 at 1:55 am

    Good shots. I had the 20mm about 30 years ago. I loved how the foreground and midrange objects just opened up with this lens. I also had a FE and loved working that combo. Apparently, so did the d/bag who pried open my trunk with a pry bar and swiped my kit. I was thinking or replacing the 20 after all these years when your article appeared. It’s a unique lens. You did captured your adopted city in a unique way.

    • Reply
      Felix Flores Rodriguez
      October 30, 2022 at 9:36 am

      Hello Dan
      I am sorry to hear that a d bag got your kit cannot imagine the feeling of loss. I love the 20mm is such a great lens. I got my 20mm from eBay in Japan. It was in excellent condition and was a reasonable price. I used the orange filter on the 20mm while shooting black and white film; it just gives a little kick to the image, in my opinion. Dan, go ahead and get the lens out and take some beautiful pictures. Do not let the d bag win. Dan, thanks for the kind word and for taking the time to read the article; best of luck getting your new 20mm and taking new images and memories

      • Reply
        Daniel Castelli
        October 30, 2022 at 1:03 pm

        Thanks Felix,
        I’m on the cusp of buying the lens. I did replace the FE with a new ‘old stock” FE2, still in the box. A great deal! My EDC is a Leitz-Minolta CL fitted with the sleeper Leica m-mount lens: the 40mm f/2.0 m-Rokkor.
        But the poor FE2 is needs a lens, and the 20 is calling out!

        • Reply
          Felix Flores Rodriguez
          October 30, 2022 at 1:19 pm

          I have a FE2 as well and love that camera I just shot an entire roll in the city of Coburg, Germany and will write an article on the website but title the whole roll it was a great fun the weather in Germany was unusually warm for October.

    • Reply
      Felix Flores Rodriguez
      October 30, 2022 at 9:36 am

      Hello Dan
      I am sorry to hear that a d bag got your kit cannot imagine the feeling of loss. I love the 20mm is such a great lens. I got my 20mm from eBay in Japan. It was in excellent condition and was a reasonable price. I used the orange filter on the 20mm while shooting black and white film; it just gives a little kick to the image, in my opinion. Dan, go ahead and get the lens out and take some beautiful pictures. Do not let the d bag win. Dan, thanks for the kind word and for taking the time to read the article; best of luck getting your new 20mm and taking new images and memories

  • Reply
    Mads Christensen
    October 30, 2022 at 5:37 am

    Nice photos from the city where I used to live, in 1992-94, while working as a consult on an EU-funded project in the energy sector. Very basic life back in those days.

    p.s. Riga’s population is 1/10 of the population in all 3 Baltic states combined.

    • Reply
      Felix Flores Rodriguez
      October 30, 2022 at 9:28 am

      Thanks, Mads
      Thanks for the kind words. I lived in Wiesbaden, Germany, from 1990-93. Things have changed here. The economy is better, and people are in better economic shape. However, there is still a lot of work to continue moving Latvia into the 21st century. As far as your question, here is what I found Riga (/ˈriːɡə/; Latvian: Rīga [ˈriːɡa] (listen), Livonian: Rīgõ) is the capital and largest city of Latvia and is home to 605,802 inhabitants [10] which is a third of Latvia’s population. It is also the second largest city in the three Baltic states after Vilnius[11][12][13] and is home to one-tenth of the three Baltic states’ combined population. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riga
      Chart and table of population level and growth rate for the Riga, Latvia metro area from 1950 to 2022. United Nations population projections are also included through the year 2035.
      Riga’s current metro area population in 2022 is 625,000, a 0.48% decline from 2021.
      The metro area population of Riga in 2021 was 628,000, a 0.48% decline from 2020.
      The metro area population of Riga in 2020 was 631,000, a 0.47% decline from 2019.
      The metro area population of Riga in 2019 was 634,000, a 0.47% decline from 2018.
      https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/21778/riga/population. I hope this help. Once again, thanks for taking the time to read my article

  • Reply
    Michael J
    October 30, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    Hi Felix,
    These are great- I spent a couple of weeks this summer in Latvia and it’s a great place! For full disclosure my partner is of Latvian extraction and speaks the language fluently and a bit of Russian which while not very fashionable at the moment is actually very useful. Riga is amazing and as you’ve capably demonstrated, deeply photogenic. There’s a night-market and a railway museum from both of which my Rolleiflex got wonderful atmospheric photos, and with my partner’s OM-1 I took a pic of the Soviet monument the week before they pulled it down, and not to mention the wild “Aviation Museum” which is a boneyard of Soviet aeroplanes left behind at the fall of the Soviet Union- just so many great places and people. There’s a really good analogue photography supply shop called Baltijas Foto Serviss too- definitely up for a photo safari or two there again if you or any 35MMCers are up for it!
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      Felix Flores Rodriguez
      October 30, 2022 at 8:40 pm

      Hello Michael
      Thanks for the kind words. Latvia is an excellent place. Riga is a unique city full of surprises; at every turn, I enjoy walking around the city at least once a week, and it never surprises me with new detail and a new angle. I have never been to the night market, so that will be my next stop. The railway museum is a jewel. I maybe I will do my next article about this remarkable place. I had a photo of those monuments is quite a sensitive subject in this country. I respect both sides of the discussion. I have never been to the airplane museum and will try to visit it next weekend. It needs to be a little more dramatic weather because I like to photograph such places under such conditions. Michael, next time you come this way, just let me know. Maybe we could meet and go around for some shooting. Once again, thanks for taking the time to read my article

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