Happy new year 2016. Catching up with the blog.
Happy new year 2016. Catching up with the blog.
Hey. These days are very long and i am more or less busy all the time. I’m currently in Munich for an internship as assistant of photographer Olaf Unverzart. Also i work on the side and i try to shoot a lot. Small commissions and personal projects. Got a 6×6 again, a Yashica Mat 124G since its cheaper than the Rolleiflex. I am also in need fot a Ricoh GR since im doing kind of a travel log of my everyday route Nuremberg<->Munich. Let me know if you know something please.
Here are some pictures from the last months, all film this time but all kinds of formats and film types. For some rolls of Arista/TX i tried out a diy monobath developer which i like a lot. Very contrasty and rich negatives, although not perfect for archiving i think. Anyway, have fun with this entry.
Some new and not so new stories because i just started developing C-41 again. Lots of uni stuff, exhibs, festivals, excursions and of course photo class stuff going on. Some personal frames in between too. Im shooting a lot lately and i wouldnt wanna miss it. Not as much street as i would like to though, but that’ll change soon.
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Heres what happens if youre shooting with several cameras: Your chronological order will be pretty much fucked up. We ordered some film and paper for the photoclass and also two Tetenal C-41 Kits. So i started developing color negative film again in the lab at uni. Here are some older frames from around the start of 2nd semester.
So it turned out that nobody had done some manual small tank development in the lab for years. Usually, large tanks are used wich are permanently installed and connected to fresh water. Very comfortable but not very much fun if you ask me. Plus they only hold bw chemicals. Time to do some C-41! So when we turned on the water we got several liters of yellowish-dirty water. After the water turned clear or what we thought looked clear again, we started filling some tanks to pre-heat the chemicals and the small tank. However a water temp of about 40°C was wayyy to optimistic since the water had been running for about 10mins already and the boiler tank was pretty empty. So we decided to dev at 30°C. After the final rinse the film looked pretty bad, probably because of dirty water, non-working fixer because of low temp or whatever. After throwing it in the fixer again for about 5 minutes and washing again we put the roll in the dryer for another 10mins and everything was fine. The first frames have a weird blueish (so orange-brown on the neg) teint along the top side (see above) but overall, the film looks pretty good. However, i do not recommend to improvise with the use of your chemicals the way we did, except you really need to. Things can get really inconsistent and i guess we were just lucky this time.
Evening sun.Nice colors at my way to work. Ektar with mad saturation of course (In the Hexar AF).
View out of our kitchen window at night.
Some color frames from the open day / portfolio presentation day. We used all the tables of this class room for the exhibition. Left: My work, right: Stephan mounting his work.
Very nicely captured is what i thought before i realized that the snack box person on the right walking into the frame is me, so it must have been Stephan who took that shot.Hexar in my hands again. Notice the kick-ass drying marks from the dirty lab water. Im pretty confident though that the more often we use it from now on, the better the water will become, once all that old lime and rust and shit is washed out.Looking exited.Ektar kicking that spring time right in your face. This blossom actually lasts only for a couple of days so when i passed by the scene on my bike i thought why not stop and take a boring picture?Sandra with pink hair. Some barbecue color frames.
Back to Tri-X. Scenes like these make me smile.
Nice BW Fuhrpark BMW. Kids checking out a mag. Simon and his shirt #3.Olga waving me over. We visited a lecture about Foodsharing with Raphael Fellmer at the Bildungszentrum. Nice backyard.
Saturday photo class. Elmas waiting while we tried several light settings. Once the Sinar was set up properly, we metered the scene. Stephan metering. We shot some Polaroids and several sheets of FP4. Loading those backs was damn tricky since nobody except Stephan had done it before (including me, what a shame).
The next day, Andi & Irina and little Mike came for a visit.
One for Stephan. Btw i shot those with the Jupiter-12. Decent image quality for a 50€ lens huh?
For a walk around the block. Since Andi and Irina will have _a lot_ of beautiful digital shots of Mike, i think it would be nice for them to have some classic b/w frames too, right?
Connected the Hexar to the big light screens here. Works perfectly, in case youre planning to do a shooting with lights and flashes and stuff with your Hexar AF 🙂
Time for some portraits.
Bernd in early friday morning class.By the time im writing these captions Nuremberg already has been relegated down to second league. LolI wonder what being a father is like.
Visiting Basti and Beppo. What a classy bathroom!
Still working on our first “yearbook” from first semester. We’ll probably print about 25 books.
Benno talking about a photograph he took for photoclass.Elmas with glasses.Visiting an exhibition with design history class. How many pairs can you spot?Mik taking some miniature frames with his miniature cam. Its not a real camera actually but it makes shutter noises and flashes a little light.We checked out a store that sells some old cameras. Poor collection, but thats Nürnberg. The small Minox 35 was kinda overpriced.
Since i had a flat tire, Mik and i walked through the city to the nearest bike shop and to his place to fix my bike.
Mik’s sweet Nikon with a broken shutter :/Fixing my tire.
At the Ohmrolle Spring Collection 2014, an annual film festival where design students show their work to the public, semester 1 (30 sec commercial that we did) to 7 (huge impressive graduation works). The night was hosted by the Cinecitta movie theater which provided its 3 largest halls for the event. Jonas getting ready with a beer.
This was about 30mins before the beginning. Speeches and so were all held in hall #1 with livestreams to #2 and #3 reaching a total of about 1000+ people in the audience.Basti and Sandra.
Elmas and me. Tension rising right before the start.
People convinced me to take that shot. This is while our small group did a little thank speech after our movie was shown. I was pretty insecure whether to take a shot right in the face of a thousand people but im glad i did, though its not a masterpiece. It is more about the spirit and the will to document an unique moment. So in moments like these, you just ask yourself, are you or are you not a photographer? And then you just do it.
Hanging out at Julians place on a friday night. Anselm mixing white russian.
Roommate of Julian who got pretty wasted after a while.
JulianCheers!Finishing the roll whith some attic stills. Damn good afternoon light. Should be perfect for some portraits like Marc does them.
Switching to kentmere 100 + rodinal in the M6. Sometimes the line between documenting and exposing starts fading, so it is the intention that becomes more important i think.
Hanging out after class.
Synchronized cig-lighting.Curious ducks.CordulaThey came so close we almost could pet them.What on the menue?Kitchen dev station.
Olga looking beautiful.
Faculty trip to some exhibitons in Baden-Baden. Started giving the k100 about 1 stop more light here, it seems to appreciate it.
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Prof. Schaden in front of the Kunsthalle, talking about the exhibition.Benno taking frames while smoking a cig like a pro 🙂
Inside the foyer.The exhibition Room Service is about art/artists in hotels and hotels per se as pieces of art.
So the exhib was inside the actual floorways and rooms of several hotels which was an interesting concept. Even more interesing though was the fact that while we had a look at the images and installations, the hotel staff kept cleaning rooms and attending their everyday business so at some point exhibition and reality started mixing.
Oh yeah and i also took a self in the bathroom.
After the exhibition, exploring the city.Weve never been to Baden-Baden before. Turns out the city and its people are incredibly wealthy and the cityscape really consists of only parks, gardens, museums and luxurient mansions with a touch of France or Italy or whatever.
We ran into David who in the meantime checked out some stores to buy some post cards. Also, i ran out of film but found a DM drug store and bought a roll of new APX 100 (3,45€, so pretty cheap).According to Lenny, Mik and Simona, this could become a new series. For a stranger, this looks pretty dumb since i meter on my hand with the M6 most of the time, so why not take advantage of it?
Making it a day.I have to say, the APX looks pretty good here. Inside the museum for the JR exhib. People waiting in line to get their portait taken and printed on a huge poster (see below). Little girl watching whats going on. Taking home the portrait.So we had a beer on a bench across the street and just enjoyed the weather and i took some quick pictures.A 100% crop. Funny that even the baby noticed us. She smiled and waved right after the shot, the day was just too nice to not be in a good mood.Taxi, Baden-Baden style. On the bus, going back home. Some people couldn’t decide where to sit so our driver got pissed and started grumping. I guess its not his fault, he also has to stick to time schedules and orders.A proper reaction.
The last sunrays.Back home, at Steffis new place.
New York, London, Nürnberg, Hongkong. Seems legit.
Some more Ektar. Hexar because its pretty decent for a bike ride.
Early morning, Neli in front of the lab.
So on day the mailman brought me the big package we ordered for photoclass, so this is nothing but a proof.Films, sleeves, some C-41 chems and some multigrade paper. Yep, thats about 800€. Doesnt look that much actually.What a morning!Weekend in Neustadt with Olgas parents. Time for some fuji acros. Olga taking a family portrait. Focusing with a rangefinder is not that easy when you first try it. Hair on neg for sharpness scale.
The kind of portrait i prefer.Ok lets make some Pelmeni! First, make some dough with flour, water, salt and stuff.
Let it rest, then knead and stretch it. Cut out some little circles with a mug or so.Fill with meat (or vegetables or whatever you like) and close the edges.Thats how it should look like before cooking. Boil for several minutes in broth. Youre done.Enjoy!On the streets again.At a big anti-war demonstration.A man taking some notes and sketches of the scene. Its pretty simple actually.Mother and son.
Mother and daughter.
Sleepy kid with family vs. sleeping homeless men. Makes me think. The topic for this semesters photo class is “human rights” btw. Thats all for now.
Still sort of in between things. Uni started about a month ago now. We have to take all ten major courses (photography, film/animation, graphic design, typography, cast [like in podcast], space design, interaction, cgi, illustration and verbal communication) this semester and were doing more and more real projects which is very cool. Kind of the complete opposite to engineering classes at tech uni a couple of years ago. We are only about 50 people that are curiously getting to know each other. Very cool people i have to say. And since the only condition for the qualifying test was to be creative in any way (photo/film/animation/illustration/whatever), it is quite a challenge to figure out what anybodies talents are. However, theres also a lot going on besides uni, so heres another mix of everything.
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There was this weekend back in summer when we installed a small irrigation plant in Olgas family garden. I caught some moments on film on the side. Here, the whole team is getting some instructions. I shot a roll of trix with the Leica M2. Just so you know.
We spent almost half of the day digging those ditches through the garden, then laying all the small pipelines and connecting spray heads and valves.
I ran into Waldi while going for another walk in the Südstadt district the other day. These are some frames from a roll of Kentmere 400 in HC-110, which i really start to appreciate. It has a kind of trix-ish tonality but lacks some of its tones imo. But for the price (3€ vs. 4,40€ trix) its a very serious option for me. Well see how it pushes in the coming winter months.
This is a little craft shop of the Handwerkerhof that sells all kinds of leather goods. I had a little talk with this lady, discussing pros and cons of several materials that i could use as a strap for my M2. However, some days later i found some old leather band in my random-old-camera-accessoire-drawer (where you keep all the case and filter and cap and battery stuff) and had her rivet the ends with some small metal rings. The M2 is now equipped with a perfect matching (= fucked up 🙂 ) leather strap that only did cost me 5€! So if youre around and you need some leather goods such as straps, keyholders, wallets, messenger bags or whatever or some custom made leather stuff you make sure to check out this nice little shop!
Guy reading a newspaper. So heres another thing: I’ve been fighting for several years with the Canoscan 9000f + the Silverfast SE that came with it to get some acceptable scans out of my negatives. I should note that “acceptable” in this context just means “to my own taste”. Im not into that zonal system stuff and i dont like my negs to be flat and “classic” looking. I dont have an what you would call recognizable style yet, i just keep experimenting with different dev+post procedures to create a variety of different looks in contrast and tonality. However, me fiddeling around with dev temps and stuff is just one thing. The main point here is the scanner itself: I am just not satisfied with the scans the Canoscan produces. Well, 35mm at least, mf works great imo.
So i spent some time to compensate the scans lack of crispyness in post, and i mean i really did dig into things. I developed several workflows for lightroom+photoshop to get as much as possible out of my scans. But somehow, this final little bit of image quality i was unable to reproduce. So once more, i kept looking on ebay until i once again made a pretty good deal on a Nikon Coolscan IV. Yep, no V. I also switched from Silverfast to Vuescan. Silverfast might be pretty ok to work with, but the SE version that came with the Canoscan is just a joke as it only gives you 8bit bw images. I know, thats a lot of geeky technical stuff, but i think it might be useful to some at this point.
So i ran some quick test scans with the Coolscan and did a 1on1 comparison. The results were even more devastating than i thought. And still, this is just a IV version. Drop me a note if youre interested in a full size comparison. So, end of the story is that with the Coolscan (+Vuescan is pretty awesome also) im finally getting this sharpness and detail i want.
I know i know, its always (or say 99%) the subject or story or moment or feeling + a good composition that make the picture, not the technical stuff like a good tonal range, good sharpness or perfect development. But i guess sometimes, knowing your tech stuff well just helps the image. And sometimes it doesn’t. However, your images are always just as good or bad as the weakest part in your system. So if you’re out with your asph. Summicron, scanning the negs with a flatbed might not be what you wanna go for. Also if your just having fun with a small disposable 35mm: no need to set up the Coolscan 9000. Excuse this little technical excursion, back to the actual images.
Cute older couple.A man reading some postings at the church. I passed him by and took a quick shot because it looked like a nice scene. When i passed this spot again as i walked back to the bus 20 minutes later, he was still standing there, reading those notes.
A roll of trix.
Im planning on doing some more underground and train station shots this winter. I had some of those in my portfolio which was approved at uni back in the summer.
And speaking of uni, there we are. This was the very first introduction course at the auditorium for all design students in october. There was a power outage the whole time so some students lit the scene with their smartphones, hence those shadows. This was 1/4s at 2.8.
The famous Maronimann. Ah i miss the sun…Another couple.
Some images are just timeless. This Cellist (Alban Gerhardt) was playing some classical pieces in the middle of the train station.
People stopped and started listening, this girl took a shot with her rangefinder-covered! iphone.
Flea market with a roll of HP5+.
I still needed a bike for uni so i got curious and checked out all bikes that were for sale. Most dealers sold theirs for about 80-150€ and an hour later i was pretty disappointed and about to give up when i spotted a friendly-looking family that was selling all kinds of lovely, used stuff and also this beautiful Peugeot bike. We talked a bit and they told me that they had had it serviced just a couple of days ago. I told them i would need some cheap but good bike for riding to college and back and so they sold it to me for 30€. Yay!Some people just like to attract attention, while others prefer to stay unobtrusive.
As a walked around i came across this beautiful installation of urban art and took a shot.
I took a step forward to frame the pigeon in flight when suddenly a second one came out of nowhere.
A sandstone wall.
Cool hair. And check out that happy dog! In the first semester, we have to take all the 10 courses that you can major in, just to get an impression of what each course is about and to get to know the wide range of “design”. Well, guess im not gonna be an illustrator.
Didn’t know we have that here now.By the time im writing this post, summers all gone and all that it left is a layer of depressing grey shit.
Nothing special about this frame, im just really really happy that im starting to get a grip on scanning the shit out of color negative film, now that im using the coolscan+vuescan combo. Finally, the colors seem to match each other and the images just start to look “right”, with no weird color shifts or so. Another shooting with Olga. Evening sun. Stopped by at the former office. Chris joined and checked out the Zeiss.This is the garage above the soon-to-come darkroom at my uncles place. Were going to turn this place into a complete workshop. First things first, making sure that people feel comfortable.Just some nice colors.Even salad looks great in warm sunlight. Neustadt Bleichweiher.On my way home from uni.
Wednesdays illustration course. We do all kinds of drawing exercises and projects and hang them on the wall to discuss afterwards.
Starting to note typography in public. Free beer: tomorrow.
Circles and rectangles and lines.Lunch with the family. Olga and my sisters wearing all the same sneakers by chance.
Andrea At the lab.
Back in Nuremberg at the Steintribüne, part of the former nazi party rally grounds. People enjoying the weather and the space. Hexar + Ilford Delta 400.
Sunday walk.No comment needed here.
Since it was a few days before Halloween, we decided to carve some pumpkins in the garden. Step 1: drawing.
Step 2: carving.Step 3: making it durable. Father and son.
Thy did some shooting stuff, probably for a website. Well-arranged posters, german style.
Shot some Tmax 400 for a change, negatives turned out quite underdeveloped (Tmax negs tend to be slightly thinner than trix which is normal, but mine were really too weak this time).
For a walk somewhere.
Julian and Sandra cutting some advert stuff last minute we had design for typography course. Turns out those cutting machines are horrible!Tanja looking fascinated while Nico is doing some card tricksHes a professional magician actually, how cool is that! We were all watching him doing several tricks in the afternoon break. Thats our professor for illustration in the back.
Dinner with Chris and Stephan, who just came back from Bangkok.
People kept asking why i always carry a camera with me. This is on my way home from uni in the evening. She was taking photos of the birds.
Friday morning, introduction course at the sound studio.Whats left from my office.Günter proudly demonstrating his new apple slicer.Winter is here.
Oh boy its another template again! I cant help it. To be honest im not even sorry. I just love to play with css. Whatever. This post will be rather personal than other ones, for reasons. Lots of pictures about family stuff of course. But also some stories about my work life or profession or whatever you may call it. You know that feeling when you go to work everyday and it feels ok? Not great, just ok. You do it because you can, because you get paid for it, because its comfortable. You just function and do stuff and you tell yourself “well it may not be what i dreamt of but a time will come. Be realistic. Whats to grumble about? Just be patient and wait” You know that feeling? Well i do. And there came a point where i asked myself “Wait? wait for what?” And for some reason i could not answer that question. That was back when i made the decision to apply to college again. People i told about this noticed “oh nice, so youre going to get your engineering masters degree?” and i answered “well, not exactly.”
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More on that in the post itself. This one contains much text, dont freak out. You can of course skip my confession writing ego trip stuff and just look at the pictures.
Starting with some casual Südstadt frames. This is the Hexar, loaded with Ilford Delta 400. Mid-speed films shot in bright sunlight tend to give hard contrasts anyway, so i decided to push it a little more and souped the roll in Rodinal 1+25.
This was in mid-June. People demonstrating for Taksim. If youre not that familiar with the topic you might wanna check out this documentary from Simon Becker, who was right there in Istanbul and captured some intensive moments when things started to escalate.
Stopped by at fotomax for some camera strap, all they got are these sun-sniper kind of things. Pretty usable for your big DSLR, but damn ugly. This guy is testing some equipment right outside the store.
So the other day i felt like shooting some street with the Rolleiflex. Since i recently bought some rolls of Efke 25 i loaded the little gem and went for a walk. Sry about the border across the frame in the top area, that is from an obviously misaligned glass i put on top of the negatives. Helps a lot with flatness though.
Back to 35mm. Back to Leica. Except that it is not the M6. Actually it was a rather impulsive decision, but the other day i spotted a really good deal for a recently CLA’d M2 with a superb black Zeiss C-Biogon. I immediately thought to myself “this is the real thing!” and just went for it. Since i got the Hexar i dont use the M6 as frequently as i used to, so i thought, why not give it a try. (Plus the deal was really really good. The body is a real user but with fresh service, the lens is new)
Oh yeah and another thing: Since i ran out of Xtol i was in the mood of playing around with something new, so i bought a bottle of Kodak HC-110 which here in Europe comes as very highly concentrated syrup in a 1l bottle. It is recommended to make a 1+3 stock solution for better handling. That means, it is way easier to measure and pour correctly from A to B. Plus your bottles and scales will be easier to clean because the stock does not stick to it like the syrup does (it really does, feels like maple syrup or honey so make sure to clean all your stuff really good to get rid of possible residues from the developer.)
Made me think of this. Nice tattoos though!
Well heres another story: as mentioned above, i applied at Nuremberg University. Not for Engineering but for Design (with photography being a major subject ofc). I have had this crazy idea in my mind about becoming a designer/photographer/writer/whatever creative stuff since a long time, but somewhere along the way it got lost. Until now. So as i said, at some point, i told myself “just go and try it, you have nothing to lose. They could turn you down, thats all. PS: Youre a pussy if you dont do it!” It was back in march when i took this decision and so i had some time to select some pieces, write some documentation stuff and design my portfolio (which i never did before). I handed in the folder in may.
Since im not necessarily an award-winning drawer, i put together a collection of small series of both analog and digital pictures i took in the last years. This here is a cycle of 4 abstract water stills i took about a year ago.
All the analog stuff i handed in is featured in previous blog posts: some street shots from Nuremberg train station and from Paris as well as some stills from Prien am Chiemsee and from a walk in the woods. So im not gonna show that again.
About a month later i recieved a letter from the college saying that my portfolio was approved and that i was invited to the qualifying examinations in july. That was when i slowly started getting nervous. So july came and i took the tests, here is some of the stuff we had to do. Day 1: written exam, designing a bookcover and drawing a storyboard.
Day 2: Photography (actually we had to choose between drawing, photography and filming. Not so hard choice for me). Prof Jostmeier gave us a quick early morning briefing on the topic and the time schedule in the photo studio. I was torn between throwing up from anxiety and the urge to document this. We were all just nervous as hell but somehow i still wanted to capture this moment, knowing that it would be very intense and unique. Well, for me at least. Its always personal after all.
Girls viewing their portfolios. i5000 btw. Way to go. After we had finished the drawing/picture taking/filming part, we got back our folders and waited for an individual talk with one of the professors. In the end, those two days went pretty good and its again time to wait for a response. If you have questions about the whole process of application or about specific tasks, feel free to drop me a note.
I remember when i was at the Open Air some years ago with my girflfriend at the time, it was not that crowded and we could easily find a comfy place for our blanket an hour before the start. Here, everything you see from the foreground to the trees in the very background is actually people listening to the concert. Ridiculously overrun. The week after i read in the paper that there were some 75k people in the audience that night.
So after one more day at the pool, i went to the festival again to take some more snapshots. when i later looked at the negatives i noticed that the lens (actually the filter in front of it, came with the M2), had gotten very smudgy from sun lotion or something, which added a nice summilux-like glowing look to about 12 frames of that roll.
I did some adjustments on my hybrid workflow as well, meaning that i changed my scanning method and got rid of those toyish plastic canon film strip holders. I cut some cardboard masks to be able to place the strips correctly and directly on the ground glass. Then i put a plate of glass on top which i got from some picture framing. The results are decent and also slightly sharper then with the film holder. Plus i can do this: digital contact prints of the entire roll (PS stitched of course). This is pretty neat to learn something about your metering and your general style of shooting. So here is the contact sheet of aboves Delta frames. You can clearly see that frames 14, 28 and 33 are underexposed, 1 and 29 are overexposed. Frames like 4, 11, 13, 15 already show a great tonal range (this is a completely untouched scan). Dirty lens from frames 16 to 27. Since i also did a little more experimenting with the process in Silverfast and the post production in LR and PS, i will probably set up a separate post on this topic the discuss all this stuff in detail. Let me know if youre interested. So whats important here: contact sheets -> great tool to review your work.
Ill make a cut here and push the next 5 rolls to the next post since this one is getting longer and longer.
Oh yeah, the college story. So after another month i finally recieved a letter from the university in august. It said that i made it through the qualification tests and that i have been approved. Some day later i went to the college office and handed in my matriculation files. About a week ago (mid august) i got the universities final confirmation. Wow. This autumn, im going back to college. Not for what is reasonable and appropriate, but for what i love to do.
Ongoing changes. I somehow felt like switching to something brighter for the blog during the summer, hope you like it. If not, let me know. Quick and dirty, here are some facts about this entry. Gear: Sold the Lux, bought a CV Nokton. Bought a Fuji 6×9. Found out WP changes this into a pretty nice ASCII ×. Film&Dev: I ran out of Xtol some weeks ago, which is why i decided to experiment a little more like i did some time ago. The classic Trix/Acris/Xtol combo works very very well for me and i think i made my way through it and created a workflow that fits my needs quite perfectly. However i wanted some new experiences with films and developers, also with scanning technique and post. As a result, this entry is packed with mixed bw and color film, coming from different developers and cameras. Some digitals also made it in here somehow. Topics: Mostly random Nuremberg street frames, some family stuff and this years boat trip! Enjoy.
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