Another Street Sign

With the way the talking heads in the media are ranting and frothing at the mouth about religious fundamentalism you would be pardoned if you thought it was a new phenomenon. Of course it’s not, the ebb and flow of violent pious beliefs is a historical fact.

One day’s crackpot is tomorrow’s martyr.

On a lighter note; a sure way of recognizing a photograph shot with a medium format film camera is the so-called waist-level shot – so named because the camera is held just above the waist and you look down into the viewfinder to focus and a fine example of what happens is this picture.

The picture was shot about 22years ago so it is also a fine example of the continuity of religious bigotry.

If there is one thing that I find exceptionally hard to understand it’s the large swaths of angry people who believe that their belief in a loving god demands that they abuse and persecute those who don’t have the same beliefs, when in fact such overweaning narcissism is an anathema to all religious teaching with the possible exception of Satanism.
Bronica SQA, 80mm, Kodak Tri-x, asa 400

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Moving Times

Today I was once again out assisting a friend on the move, although this time it’s only a few blocks in opposition to a few continents. Moving, as we all know, is a huge problem because everything that’s been drilled and screwed onto the walls over the years have to come down and the trouble is that the screws were never put in straight or paint has glued them into the wall. But here’s where technology really does come to the rescue. In the June 22nd 2014 post I waxed lyrically about a small but powerful hand-held drill I had bought that makes wrist- breaking work like removing old screws a breeze, and today it earned every cent I paid for it. So much so that it was fun removing the screws instead of the usual frustrations with stripped screw heads, barked knuckles and bad moods, which meant there was plenty of time for coffee, conversation, an occasional pic and a scrumptious lunch

24mm, f1.4, 1/160sec ISO100

Travel

A friend left for a short stay in Australia today and I took this photo when I went with her to the airport. I like to see people off at the airport because it’s sort of nice to feel the building excitement and nervous tension of the person travelling without having to go through the whole cramped aircraft thing myself. I lost my love of air travel after a long and particularly tedious flight from Jakarta to Berlin and never regained any affection for it.

Trains, buses, cars, boats, yep, love them, but planes, na

The waiting times to board are too long, the seats too narrow and the food has long since lost any appeal.

I really enjoy being in new places, but if I have to fly I want the journey over ASAP.

 

24mm, f1.4, 1/50sec, ISO400

Public Art

I was away from Berlin yesterday and totally not into posting when I returned, although I think I managed to shoot one, maybe two, very special pictures during the day, but time will tell.

Often, while waiting for a bus at the main train station, I’ve looked at this statue of an iron horse from across the street and never thought to photograph it, or to even internally reference that it being at Hauptbahnhof and an iron horse was a logical metaphor. To be fair, I did always admire it, albeit from afar. Up close it’s quite spectacular and even if the weather takes its toll on it over the coming decades I have a feeling the changes will only advance the powerful impact this piece of public art has.

A little research informs me that the title of the statue is Rolling Horse by Jürgen Goertz.

24mm, f5.6, 1/500sec, ISO100

Metropolis References

What can I say, graphically the picture was perfect, an ok interesting sort of photograph in its original form, but playing around with it has pushed it visually so much further. One thing’s for sure, without changing the content the meaning in the picture has definitely been shifted, it’s no longer a simple picture of people on escalators.

I knew I wanted a modern industrial dystopian look in this image the moment I shot the picture.

If pressed, I would admit that processing the picture in this manner drew a more than a little inspiration from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. The part where the ruthless industrialist Joh Fredersen looks down on the world he created with a patrician satisfaction (it never happens in the movie, despite it being constantly referenced in almost everything you read about the film).

I’ve done this type Metropolis motif a few times in the past with wildly varying success.

One photograph won a prize, the rest have been ignored.

This version I would expect to be at its best as a very large print.

24mm, f4.5, 1/125sec, ISO250

Getting Low in Utopia

If you are in Berlin and just want to take a few interesting pictures, then there’s no better place to go than the main train station, Hauptbahnhof. It may not be the most functional building, and yes, it’s cold, windy and leaks in the winter, but at this time of year the light is fantastic. Areas of high contrast abound, but it’s the graphic nature of the structure that makes it easy to take pictures. Another big plus is that the tourists are legion at the station and so many other people are taking photos, no one cares about you taking pictures. It’s a huge public space where everybody is usually in a hurry and has more important things to think about than a man with a camera, which makes you and your camera inconspicuous, even when you get down on the ground.

A sort of street photographer’s utopia.

24mm, f4.5, 1/30sec, ISO250.

Joggers and Limits

I would like to report a great stylistic leap forward in my work, yes, I would very much like to, but honesty forbids it.

A couple of great science fiction books demanded my attention and needed reading, which makes it’s difficult to think about blurry pictures, because there are worlds to be saved, dangerous palace intrigues, weird people, amazing gadgets and nasty villains everywhere.

But that’s done with, now it’s back to work.

But the mind is still in wonderland and so I don’t know when I should stop, when too much is way too much.

Believe it or not this is a picture of an early morning jogger, he’s easy to see, he is the one in orange.

I know, it’s even a bit much for my tastes, but limits do need to be found.

24mm, f1.4, 1/2000sec, ISO100