Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The end of the line


More squares to come! 

After having finishing the b/w film, I continued with a colour film.
The photos do reflect my approach to the location I pictured 100%. There is nothing exciting. 
You can sense a calm, almost boring atmosphere by looking at the photos. Guess what, that's exactly how it is, the end of the line. 
I am surprised, how soft the colours turned out. I guess I overexposed most of the pictures, maybe the handling of the film at the photo-laboratory did its part, too, altough the scans are much lighter than the original prints, the contrast is also very low.
 2nd photo not as intended ;-)

The 6x6 creates a unique feeling of space. When I look at the photo with the blossoms above, it seems like a picture taken inside a room. The only room that's there is the room formed by the branches of the tree.
On my way to one of the most expensive living areas in Vienna.
Since there are only 12 photos I show them all. Usually I would delete digital photos like the one above and the one below.
Normally you would take photos with the camera mounted on a tripod. 4 pounds and a mirrored view are not really easy to handle. I took al photos with the camera holding the camera in my hands. My right thumb isn't thankful at all.
Another end of the line, almost central. I like this photo, irrespective of its suboptimal exposure. The brownish light comes with the late time, 7.30pm

The next day I was left with one more shot. Soft as you can get:
In case you wonder: Yes, you still find shabby houses like this in Vienna. Gentrification has not taken it all, not yet.

The next film is going to be b/w. 'The package of 5 is sitting on my shelf. 
And the camera? Definitely not going to be a borrowed one. Call me in!

Saturday, 9 May 2015



the last posting included some square hints.

I would never go so far to say that these photos are master pieces of a recently unknown genius ;-)  But I do say, that I like what I see and that I think it's absolutely worth continuing in this direction:
medium format, preferably b/w, medium grain film (400ASA)

Speaking of worth: one photo costs 3 EUR. (includes film, developing, contact printing 6x6cm and scan)

Since film is still around, and the costs are no deal-breaker, I decided to give it a try and borrowed a medium format Rolleiflex from a generous friend for a weekend.
It is a privilege to be able to try a camera hands-on and I can only recommend it. Now I know: the camera I want to buy must not weight more than 3 pounds. :-)

Undecided focus - things you end up, being an unexperieced medium format photographer.

Over the past years, I have been trying to create the look of a 400ASA b/w with the SIGMA picture software, which comes with the DP2. The programme is said to produce excellent monochrome pictures, imitating the grain of analogue film. Truth is: the programme does add specks and spots, only those disturbances look nothing like the grain of a film. In the end you end up with a poor imitation of film.

And I am not even talking about the image quality, the size of the negative etc.
 Many manufacturers shut down their companies over the past years. The camera I am am going to buy is most likely to be a used, maybe even vintage camera. Lucky me, I have many shops at my hands in Vienna, specialised in vintage cameras.

Except for the one photo with the two chimneys all photos have been taken with the camera in my hands, me looking down onto a focusing screen. The focusing screen shows a mirrored image of the picture you want to take. Slowly moving the camera into the right position does something to your brains, left side/right side thinking ...   

Obviously not the best motive to focus on with a manual focus: the fidgety squirrel

Now that I have returned the camera, I find myself thinking about many possible motives, stories and projects I would like to cover with the 6x6cm format/80mm lens (80mm medium format approx. equates 50mm for small pictures)
Not long ago I did feel absolutely comfortable with my wide angle lens and the small film format. Wide angle always adds a certain drama to any motive. And of course you cover more of the surroundings using a wide angle. 

My angle has changed. 

All above photos have been taken with a 80mm lens (equals 50mm small film).
Locations in the 13th district in Vienna, including the Lainzer Tiergarten, maybe you remember this.

Hoefully the tiny b/w label in the right is going to grow in 2015.

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Good Reason


Lately I have been  taking a lot of photos. It's spring, the light is coming back and the more I go outside, the more I see. I walk, halt and shoot photos. Without a good reason. Having worked as a freelance journalist half my life, I can't help but ask – ask myself – what is it that makes me going? Halting and taking all those photos. I could not come up with any satisfying answer yet.

Looking at my parents, I see a young woman shooting film. Cuttings film with this cutter on rainy afternoons, me and my sister looking thoroughly at those tiny tiny frames, finding ... us! And I see a young man, strolling around the city, early mornings, on his way to work, preseving moments on the corner of the streets of N.Y.C..

Sure, photography and film, both were huge in the late 1960's and 70's. Still, not everyone my age shares my love for photography. In my eyes, the brand KODAK was as strong as Coca-Cola. Recently, film has been experiencing a revival.

This year, my love for capturing the street – the city, the light, reflections and details –  seems to have reached a new level. A friend of mine says it's our age: the older you get, the more you appreciate the seasons. However ;-) it seems a good time to show you some Viennese corners you might not be familiar with. At the moment the DP2 Merrill is my workhorse.

Lets start ...

The light that greets me in the morning when I leave the house

The light on my way home, in the centre of Vienna, close to Volkstheater

 Austrian tradition, happening in Vienna. Yes, this is actually in Vienna, you have to trust me. I know my hometown. ;-)

 This is one of the oldes hospital complexes in Vienna at the moment, seen from the street. A few years from now people will live in these premises. A new housing complex is on its way.

 I fall for nostalgic typography, every single time. My nostalgia already starts in the late 80's.

One thing I like about Vienna is the distinction between its West, East, South and North. The West has it's own atmosphere, framed by hills. Those hills are – you have to believe me – the Eastern tail of the European Alps! That's where it ends. Or starts. Depending on your point of view.

One of my big loves is the love for sunlight reflections. Sunlight which is not supposed to lighten those corners and walls, because the sun at that time of the day is already behind the buidlings, those buidlings meant to be in the shade in the early evening, since they are facing East.
 This building works as the sun's giant reflector:
Around the corner of the giant reflector you can find a place which welcomes you with beguiling odour at this time of the year: the Vienna Volksgarten. Men enter the park, shouting "It smells like perfume!" It smells like perfume!"
 Syringa / lilac ready for full bloom

I have been told that the scent of lilac is one of the rare scents you won't find in a bottle. Maybe because it sickens people after a while? There is a chance to escape the odours, one of the more neutral parts of the gardens:
 In the rear you can see the building of the Austrian parliament.

Oh, and those cuuuute ducklings. 
They were floating around a small bassin.
They were also racing around the bassin. Not pictured: the crowd of adults, admiring the ducklings.

Maybe you have noticed (probably not): I have been playing with proportions, getting familiar with the square format, a format I am not familiar with. You, who own and use a smartphone are probably very familiar with the square. One word: instagram. I am taking a different, a more analogue approach.

Speaking of analogue: we are done! For the last 3 months we have been listening to 30 years of 33rpm. Every single side, including the B-sides :-) Approx. one third ot the record collection is going to leave the house. 

Two folders with 45rpm are left,. I enjoy listening to them a lot. Except for this rare single:
What you can't see is how they sing in "standard German", an absolute no-go when it comes to Austrian folk music.  

Have a nice day!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sunday Morning

... looks like this at the Paula residence:

These Tulips come with a tiny CO2 footprint, 45km travel distance. The grew in Mr Paula's parents' garden in Lower Austria. One week ago they looked very different from now.

For regular readers, this is sight is probably nothing new to you:

 old stripes
 Guess who is in favour of the red half and who is in favour of the blue half? You remember this?

For the next 8 - 10 weeks you are not going to read anything sofa-related on this blog. Promised!

And this is how the Sunday morning sounds like:
United Future Organization feat. Mc Solaar, Ensemble On Est Ensemble Sans Se Parler. Mc Solaar was the reason I started to learn French. Two decades later the reason sounds still veeery reasonable to me. :-)

Enjoy your Sunday!