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.