As you know by now, from time to time I like acting like a tourist in my own hometown. I do think that by going back to places you walk by almost every day and you start looking a little bit closer you always find new perspectives and new details you had never realized where there.
This is a photograph taken in one of the stairways at the Dresden Zwinger looking down into the courtyard. Probably not the typical picture a tourist would take. Nonetheless I thought it provides an interesting perspective.
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) | Leica Summicron-M 35mm/f2 ASPH. | ISO 320 | 1/125sec | f/8
To me, shooting with a Leica M is already the essence of photography because it reduces the influence of technology to a bare minimum – even when shooting digitally. Shooting with film Leicas takes this experience even up a notch. As such, from time to time I like to fall back to my Leica MP, load it with film and let me surprise when I get the film back from development. Also, the post editing process is a lot more straight forward, there is no need for fancy filters or any other extensive retouching. The analogue film look in itself is the best Instagram filter anyone could hope for.
This time I loaded up my MP with a roll of Lomography XPro 200 and had it cross-developed. The subject of my taking photos was right around the corner of where I live – in the midst of vineyards. And I think the greenish tint and the very strong blue colors of the cross-developed Lomo helped the subject in this case.
As I mentioned in my post earlier this week I’m no expert in long-time exposures. But taking photos of the lunar eclipse was a bit of a tedious exercise for my having to impatiently wait until the moon was in a position to be remotely photogenic. So what better can you do than to look around and take photographs of everything there is. Admittedly that’s not a lot at 10PM in the middle of a vineyard. But luckily there is a restaurant nestled on top of the vineyard that is beautifully lit at night.
I’m not an expert in long-time exposures by a long shot, but the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse plus Mars being the closest to Earth, a combination apparently happening again in 105 000 years, I couldn’t resist tempting my fate. The conditions weren’t ideal, because it was a bit hazy shortly after moon rise, but later on when the moon would enter the Earth’s umbra, visibility became a lot better.
What I learnt later when editing the photos was that any exposure above 10 seconds would make the moon blurry, because, of course, the moon moves quite fast, so 10 seconds can already be too long.
The shot I selected was taken at 8 seconds, aperture of f/4 and ISO 50.
Admittedly, the Lux-50 is probably not the best lens to take shots of a small an object as the moon, so my expectations were quite low. That said, I think capturing the wider viewpoint, basically the way any observer would see it with the naked eye, has its own fascination.
This image was taken at 2220 CEST at the time of the maximum eclipse. Below the moon and a bit to the right you can see Mars as close as 57.6 million kilometers. The average distance is 228 million kilometers.
(Make sure you click on the image below to see the full res version.)
A couple of days ago I managed to finish my roll of Lomo XPro 200 film that had been sitting in my Leica MP for about half a year. I don’t know about you, but I need a creative push from time to time to deliberately take my camera with me. And that although the Leica is so darn small. Most of the time I just leave it at home because I can’t be bothered. Too bad.
The good news is that after such a long time it becomes quite an act of surprise to see what I had photographed ages ago. So expect some more analog frenzy coming this way on my blog, and let’s discover together what I thought was worthwhile capturing at the time.
First, a shot at my local Starbucks where I sometimes tend to go to work. In the morning it’s fairly quiet so I can serenely enjoy the first rays of sunlight and the scent of freshly ground coffee.
In my last post I featured some photos from the Dresden “Museumsnacht” aka “A Night in the Museum”. On our way to the exhibitions of course I couldn’t restrain myself from taking some random shots of the famous Dresden architectural heritage. It always feels a bit funny acting like a tourist in your own hometown, but Dresden is just such a marvel in so many respects, I can easily deal with the awkward feeling.
It’s a great tradition that Dresden is opening up its museums once a year for a “Night at the Museum” or in German “Museumsnacht”. For a very attractive price you get to roam through most of Dresden’s famous art galleries and all other renowned museums which Dresden is known for. On top most museums have arranged for some very special performances or special exhibitions that are normally not open to the public.
Last Thursday up and coming author Willi Hetze presented his debut novel “Die Schwärmer” in Dresden. Moderated by Andrea O’Brien and Katharina Salomo he took the audience on a captivating journey into the dystopian narrative of his new book that is set in a not too distant (and perhaps not too unlikely) future.
For the German followers among you, you can buy Hetze’s “Die Schwärmer” at Amazon or in a bookstore of your choice :).