Finding a Project

I’m currently attending another HGB evening academy workshop. The theme is “city/landscape” and I’m looking for something to shoot long term-ish. At the moment I’m thinking about the transition between the city and its surrounding landscape. Either geographically (edge of town), or in spirit (allotment gardens). We were asked to take some preliminary images of our interest or to collect (visual) ideas.

Here is what I got so far. Shot with my new Canonet rangefinder. Somehow I love the portrait orientation. Not sure if I’ll continue this thread or rethink my approach… we’ll see in the coming weeks and months.

Markkleeberg / Leipzig, Germany – November 2018

Shop Talk

Canonet 28 (40mm / f2.8) + Fujifilm Superia Premium 400
Film sponsored by Caro.
Development + Scan by NimmFilm
Edited in Adobe Lightroom

[Memories] First shooting day

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Equipment used during the first day of shooting.

Film

During the HGB workshop meetings we came to the conclusion to shoot this project in color. I looked into “ORWO Color NC” – the film stocked used by my parents – but it’s hard to get (only sporadic auctions on eBay) and you can’t develop it in standard C-41 chemistry. So instead I settled on Adox Color Implosion. It should provide an old / expired film look, without the hassle. In theory!

Places

I made a map of when I lived where, from birth to now. Turns out I moved 10 times, everytime within Leipzig itself. For this project I’ll only focus on retracing my steps until 6th grade (age 11) though.

First Day

It was a very warm saturday, I packed my bag (see above) and went to Leipzig-Grünau, which is a neigborhood dominated by Plattenbau (industrialized apartment blocks). There were a lot of pensioner and young families around. Trees and flowers were planted in mass during the last years.

I didn’t have any memory flashbacks, shot moderatly interesting frames, filled a whole roll in ~2–3 hours, wanted to rewind the roll and it ripped in the middle. With no second camera around the shooting day was over.

Now I have to wait for darkness, so I can try to rescue as much as I can. Not a great start. But hopefully all the mistakes will happen in the beginning instead of kicking me in the ass at the end, when it’s too late. Fingers crossed!

Finally a project for 2016

It’s been quiet for quite a while. The 52 rolls project is over, but I still have a lot of rolls left. I didn’t have a clear idea what to do in 2016, that is until now.

I joined a 14-week photography workshop at the local Academy of Fine Arts. Subject for the whole workshop is “visible invisibility” and for that I’ll explore my childhood memories – something invisible (memories) made visible (through photography).

The Camera

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Voigtländer Vito BL | 1956–1960 | Color-Skopar 3,5/50mm

The camera I’ll use for the project is a Voigtländer Vito BL, that was built during the mid to late 1950ies. It was the camera of my great-grandfather and is the camera of my very first photography related memory. Looking through the viewfinder, the smell of old leather, the somewhat hard to press shutter release.

It was handed down for generations, until it landed in my hands a couple of years ago. Being that old it’s not surprising, that it doesn’t work perfectly. There are multiple issues with film transport (overlapping frames), aperture blades sometimes not closing correctly (overexposure, weird light lines) and light leaks. I thought about trying to service the camera before, but now that I’m doing a project on memories I’ll use it as it is. Memories aren’t exact, sharp or even clear.

Film, Approach and Presentation

I’ll use the leftover expired film and maybe try to track down film, that was actually used during my childhood: ORWO. I guess the future has a lot of eBay auctions in store for me.

It will be interesting to go out and not just shoot, what I find interesting, but instead go to a specific place here in Leipzig, Germany (good thing I still live in my childhood city) with a specific memory and try to visualize it. Sounds hard and to be honest a little bit scary as well. But I guess there’s no growth without challenge.

At the end there’ll be an exhibition (no pressure) and maybe I’ll make some sort of magazine or book out of it for me as well, so I’ll have something more tangible after the exhibition is gone.

Final Words

And best of all: I’ll use the blog to share the progress and have a record of the project at the same time. Wish me luck! Oh and if you have any advice on expired film, broken cameras, exhibitions, book making, or anything else – I’d be happy to hear it.