The Dresdeners among us know the guy on the left by heart. He is standing in the middle of the busiest pedestrian street in Dresden every day and is promoting his “movement” or “party” or simply his views of life. He seems to be a very smart person, very kind and – I believe – just loves to talk to people. He is not bothering anyone, but whoever he catches he can talk to forever. So beware, you have been warned :).
Taking photographs can be very rewarding. Taking photographs of people can be even more rewarding. But usually you know nothing about the people who you photograph on the street. They are just passers-by. In a best case scenario they are a collection of well exposed and hopefully equally well composed pixels on your camera sensor or film.
The icing on the cake, however, is when you get to know your photographic subject at least a teeny bit and scratch the surface of his or her thoughts and ideas. In a crowded pedestrian street in the middle of the city where everybody is rushing from shop to shop or appointment to appointment that seems highly unlikely to ever happen. And yet, sometimes, fortune is with you. As it was with me today. I was just strolling through the streets trying to kill some time until my next appointment, the weather was extremely nice, although very cold, but the sun had this very winterly glow with harsh shadows and crisp air. So I thought I take my camera out and just try my luck.
And then I saw this guy in my picture leaning against this city-light ad thingie. I was only pointing the camera at him and not even taking a picture yet, and he began speaking to me. So I approached him, and of course the very first question was what I was taking the photographs for. So we engaged in a very nice conversation about my blog, what he does for a living etc. etc. etc. And this, really, is what makes photography such a pleasure. Without my camera I would have never spoken to him, never heard his story, would have never been able to grasp what was on his mind.
After five minutes of conversing he agreed that I may take some photos of him. And he was a natural. No stupid posing, no looking into the camera. Just a very relaxed pose, as if I would not even be there. Perfection.
At the end of the day, a nice photograph can be something beautiful to look at. But sometimes the story behind these photographs can be much more interesting than the surface of what you are looking at – more than a collection of pixels and electric current.
Normally I’m not very fond of the sort of dreamy images with glow and glare which are a bit reminiscent of wedding photography or equally romantic genres. But in this case I thought, why not. This castle has probably been photographed so many times from so many different angles and perspectives that a pinch of tackiness (if that’s a word) can’t hurt :).
A good friend of mine who also happens to be a photographer and 2D/3D artist (check out his blog: https://groetzschel.wordpress.com) got me a set of Lomography slide films for my last birthday. Which by the way is almost a year ago, so shame on me for waiting so long to get the first film exposed and developed. I wasn’t really sure what would come out of it as long as the film was stuck in the camera. But no risk no fun right? On my trip to California I finally was able to finish the film.
I have to say that cross-developing is really a beast of its own. It does not work for every subject and in every lighting condition. On this particular flavor of film you need lots of light and contrast. Also since green is getting really pushed it doesn’t work with too much vegetation like trees and grass. The whole image then receives a very greenish tint which doesn’t look particularly pleasing. Blue and red on the other hand work very nicely with the “Lomography XPro 200“.
Shooting something as colorful as a Christopher Street Day parade in black-and-white film sounds crazy? Yes, it certainly does. Nevertheless I thought stepping out of the boundaries of conventional thinking and photographing couldn’t hurt when making photos of an unconventional parade :).
All photos are taken with a Leica MP, Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH., Agfa APX 100 and hand-developed in A49.
(Click on gallery to enlarge)
If you take street photography by the book one should try and tell a story. Sometimes, I think, the absence of a story can be one. There is really nothing unusual or exciting in this picture that I took on one of the main boulevards in Dresden. It’s just plain and simple a reflection of normal lives that people live, chilling, strolling and shopping on a warm and sunny afternoon. But isn’t that a story in itself?
Life as a street photographer can be dangerous at times :). The guy was just installing this hose into a hatch on the street, and I very peacefully kneeled down to take a picture of him. Defenseless as I was he turned the water on and aimed in my direction. The kids in the background of the picture had great fun witnessing that spectacle. And no, he didn’t really hit me. My camera and I were safe and sound :).
My glass is always half-full, so I think it’s only logical to declare that summer is arriving now :).
It was more by accident that yesterday I stumbled upon an old photograph of a condemned building that used to be a service point for trains, cars and other rail vehicles. I took it at a time when I was really into photographing old, abandoned, condemned houses. That was in 1997, in other words 18 years ago…
This series I shot in Black and White film, a Fuji Neopan 400 Professional. Looking at these old photographs and toying around with them a bit in Lightroom 6 I quickly became fascinated again by the character of the old film images and the latitude the scanned negatives still provided when using modern photo editing tools.
So I decided to re-scan and re-touch some of them using my Nikon Scanner LS 40 ED (aka Coolscan IV ED), Silverfast 8 and Lightroom 6.
And so here you go. Enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed taking, excavating and bringing them back to “light” again :).