Jakominiplatz

The Jakominiplatz is one of the most important public transport centers of Graz. Tram lines meet here as well as it is the starting point of many local and medium distance bus lines. It is indeed a very busy, sometimes seemingly chaotic, ever changing colorful place. So many interesting and not to mention very different people are mixed here in this relatively small parcel of space that the Jakominiplatz is truly is a photographic goldmine. The combination of the crowd with the wide variety of heavy vehicles and infrastructure makes it an ideal location for street photography, portraiture or even abstract architectural shoots.

I am one of the daily passengers. Sometimes I pass by more than once a day and of course I always have some kind (mostly different) camera with me. It was inevitable that eventually I will end up with a nice collection of images taken here using a wide range of equipment under different light conditions and in many distinct styles.

I have captured the greenish mist of  winter nights painted by the army of mercury street lamps on heavily expired film as well as using a digital pinhole camera, I have played with the strong shadows cast by the pylons and with the perspectives of the tracks in strong back-light. I have taken sneaky street photos with a digital compact and I toke some nice medium format portraits here. I find it fascinating that every time I pass by here something is different and there is always a new perspective to explore. In addition it is really fun to see how much impact the particular camera/lens has on the end result even under otherwise similar circumstances.

I think that at the end of the day I found myself in an experiment which I have not planned through or intended to do at the beginning at all. An experiment to prove that the photographer’s choice of the tool does matter even though this is not the only factor. Furthermore to show how much inspiration can be found in ordinary places which we visit every single day and therefore tend to ignore. I hope that my pictures will encourage some of you to explore your own Jakominiplatz.

Livin’ Streets on Ektachrome

Walls are usually not the most exciting subjects to photograph. To use medium format slide film to do that is even more strange and could be considered as some sort of crime by some. After all, we live in a time when both film and labs which are able to develop slides are more and more scare.

But what if you’ve found some really awesome walls filled with stunning graffiti masterpieces varying in size up to 30 meters (my approximation) and the whole place is a partly abandoned industrial complex.

Well, I couldn’t resist and loaded my Pentacon Six with a roll of expired (in 2004) Kodak Ektachrome 64 and headed to this place with my wife to take pictures of walls. In fact, she took way better photos than me, so maybe I will post those in the future as well.

I usually have no problems with expired film stocks, but this roll of Ektachrome gave me a very interesting result. When it came back from development it was possibly the flattest looking positive I have ever seen. I thought that I majorly overexposed all the frames equally. Surprisingly after scanning, I had to realize that almost no highlights were blown away and I could recover many details and color information during post-processing. I have the impression that the last 10 years after the end of the expiry date of the film was not spent in a refrigerator. I still have 4 rolls of the same batch of film, I need to think it over if I want to give them a second try.

The place we found hosted the Livin’ Streets 2014 festival for urban art, graffiti & street art between 07.06-18.07 2014. Their facebook page is here. Although we were too late to see the actual event, we could still meet with one of the artists who stayed to finish his work and also we could see all the paintings in the finished form. It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun, so yes it is totally fine to shoot some walls from time to time.

The photos were taken by my Pentacon Six Tl using a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektagon 50mm and in some cases a Biometar 80mm. The film was developed by a local shop and scanned by me with a CanoScan 9900F.

The Kodak Ektar adventure

Finally, I have convinced myself to try out the famous Kodak Ektar film, so I loaded a roll into my beloved Olympus OM 4 Ti. Unfortunately, the camera had other plans and the electronic circuits gave up at the middle of the roll.

In the end, I ended up rewinding the film and I loaded into the good old mechanical workhorse Yashica TL super. This process, however, leads to 2 consequences. Unsurprisingly I have got some nice double exposures, but most importantly I bought a bit worn Leica M2. At least I won’t have problems with the electronic parts of that camera.

I still haven’t given up the hope that the Olympus can be repaired at some point, but I generally lost my trust in these old electronic cameras.

The Ektar, on the other hand, is truly a gorgeous film which delivers everything that is written on its box. It is smooth, high resolution with fine grain and with rich deep colors and high contrast. My scanner is absolutely unable to extract all the possibilities of this film. I am very impressed by this film indeed, however, I find it not the best suited for portraits as it is too vivid. But it is only my impression based on less than a complete 36 frames roll so I might change my mind.

I am definitely going to experiment with the Ektar, but from now most likely with my “new” M2 and with a ZM Sonnar.


Joanneumsviertel , Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Facsemete-2 Facsemete-2 Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Yashica TL Super, Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm f/ 1.8, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Yashica TL Super, Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/ 1.8, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Yashica TL Super, Yashinon 50mm f/1.7, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Yashica TL Super, Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm f/ 1.8, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F

Welcome the Sun

Finally, the Sun has returned to us and days are once again long enough for me to have a chance to enjoy the light even after working hours.

To celebrate this blessing I have finished shooting the roll of Velvia which I have started last October and now sharing with you. A mixture of my two favorite seasons, autumn and spring on the same roll in vivid colors. Isn’t it wonderful? I am truly being energized by the spring, and I hope you too. Go grab a camera and have at least as much fun taking photos as I do right now.

Hilmteich See ( Graz, Marc 2014), Pentacon Six TL, CZJ Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fuji Velvia
Eszter & Anna (Hilmteich, Graz, Marc 2014), Pentacon Six TL, CZJ Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fuji Velvia
Anna (Graz, Marc 2014), Pentacon Six TL, CZJ Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fuji Velvia
Eszter (Mariatrost , Graz, Oct 2013 ), Graz, Pentacon Six TL, CZJ Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fuji Velvia
Eszter (Mariatrost, Graz, Oct 2013 ), Graz, Pentacon Six TL, CZJ Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fuji Velvia
(Hilmteich , Graz, Marc 2014), Pentacon Six TL, CZJ Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fuji Velvia

Last roll from 2013

Yet another quick post with little-written content but with a bunch of random snapshot images. This is what I end up with when I carry the same roll of film over weeks and only occasionally have a chance to shoot.  I am basically on pilot light mode right now and really hope that the next year I can do something a bit more organized work. What I can book as an achievement though is that I could gather some courage and I asked a stranger for a portrait on a street again. It was a really nice experience and I am happy with the result, but you can judge yourself if you scroll down to the second photo.

This time I had my Olympus OM4 Ti in my bag in the last few weeks loaded with the same Ilford HP5 I used in the Kiev before. As usual, the film was developed and scanned by me.

Stadtpark (Graz 2013), Olympus OM4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm 1.4, Ilford HP5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Biker (Graz 2013), Olympus OM4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm 1.4, Ilford HP5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Skulpturenpark (Unterpremstätten 2013) ), Olympus OM4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm 1.4, Ilford HP5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Concrete (Unterpremstätten 2013) ), Olympus OM4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm 1.4, Ilford HP5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Train (Unterpremstätten 2013) ), Olympus OM4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm 1.4, Ilford HP5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F

Kiev 4 + Ilford HP5

If you followed the Camerajunky Facebook page you may have already read about my planned reunion with my beloved Kiev 4 camera after a long period in which it was hidden in a box.  I really felt that I needed to use it again, and my recent discovery about the beauty of Ilford HP5 film gave me the final push to do so.

I don’t know why, but from time to time, I feel serious urge to go back to the basics and pick up a fully mechanical camera such as the Kiev and leave the sophisticated OM4 on the shelf. In addition, I really do like the character of the little Jupiter 8 lens. Especially the quality of the background blur it produces is really appealing to me. I know that many find it not so pleasing, but hey great things are usually dividing after all. It is not the sharpest nor the fastest lens I have ever touched, but an unmistakable character for sure.  I also learned that the grain structure and tonality of the Ilford HP5 ISO 400 film is also very unique and close to me, so I thought, I should combine the unique lens with the unique film.
I usually use lower sensitivity film so it could be that other medium speed films have similar characters as well. I guess I will need to try more. Until that, I leave you with some random but to me very catchy shots.

Eszti, (Gyöngyös, Hungary), Kiev 4, Jupiter 8, Ilford Hp5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Eszti, (Gyöngyös, Hungary), Kiev 4, Jupiter 8, Ilford Hp5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Trumpeter, (Graz, Austria 2013), Kiev 4, Jupiter 8, Ilford Hp5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F

Bring your giant medium format camera to work

A photographer is never really putting down his camera, no matter what crazy thing she or he is doing for a living or filling the days with. Since we are not living in an ideal world, most of us have to face the limitation of time and availability of light in our everyday life.

But limitations are not necessarily bad things! They teach us to utilize our possibilities more creatively by forcing us to see and think in ways we would normally not choose to. This, of course, influences our work as well as ourselves and vice-versa. Eventually this feedback loop can contribute our personal and photographic development similarly to the way the ever-changing environment influences life forms and pushing them towards evolution.

Currently, my job is to sit in an office and convince computers to obey to the needs of their human masters. Making their lives easier by sending them nice, well formed and most importantly correct invoices. As interesting as it sounds, but it is somewhat fulfilling to my geek side which likes to brain wrestler with abstract problems.

But it makes my photographer side starve because the current situation has a very little room for photography. Especially now when the winter is coming. Days are shorter and shorter, so more and more frequently I end up to spend most of the hours filled with natural light in between walls in my natural working environment.

To overcome this obvious contradiction, I decided to make occasionally a “bring your giant medium format camera to work day“.  I started to bug my colleges and taking portraits of them during lunch brakes or when I need to wait for my computer to finish a long-lasting blocking task.

The point is, you don’t need to stop being a photographer, just because the conditions are not ideal for the kind of photography you are normally up to. Try to get out the most of the situation and who knows this might drive you to completely unforeseen paths and discoveries.

Jogi, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F

Jogi is a musician besides being a software engineer and in my opinion, they are making pretty cool music.  Their website http://www.theflamingdugongs.at/  is not complete yet, but worth to have a look at.

Barbara, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Janez, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 120mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Kyrylo, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 120mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F

Kyrylo was so pleased with his portrait that he visited me at my desk (2 floors below his place) to shake my hands right after I sent it to him.

Hannes, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Marco, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm, Ilford HP5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F

Naturally, it is not my top priority to photograph at work, and I always make sure that this does not have any effect on my everyday responsibilities. It took me quite a while (about 2 months) to get these images. Though they are not perfect, I enjoyed taking them they are part of my journey.

Österreichischer Skulpturenpark

Airplane Parts & Hills by Nancy Rubins
Airplane Parts & Hills by Nancy Rubins

Sometimes the most amazing places are literally just a few steps from your backyard. Yet it is so easy to overlook or ignore them, just because you don’t expect anything extraordinary close to your regular living space. Or you miss to visit them because you think that since you live nearby, you could do it any time which moment never come.
In the end, I tend to know the interesting places around other cities better than my own. But I fight, so last weekend, we visited an amazing sculpture park right next to the place I work. I passed by almost every single workday since last September because my bus stop is about 20 meters from the entrance. Despite the free entrance, I have never managed to take a look, until now.
To make the occasion special, I brought my old trusted Pentacon Six Tl loaded with some expired Velvia and my wide angle 50mm Flektagon and the standard 80mm Biometar.
Apart from the last picture, all posted photos were taken with the Flektagon. I scanned the film with my CanoScan 9900F.

Sole d’acciaio by Ilija Šoškić
Betonboot by Michael Schuster

This piece of land-art (Die Erdkugel als Koffer) is one of our favorites because it integrates so well into its environment and due to the size of it, it is hard to figure out what it supposed to be. Once you get closer and maybe read the attached documentation which is, by the way, the part of the sculpture, you can have a nice AHA experience. It interprets the planet Earth as a suitcase and the statue is the handle.


Die Erdkugel als Koffer by Peter Weibel

I have never had any seriously overlapping frames issue with the P6, but this time. Hopefully, it only happened only because of my mistake during film loading.

o.T by Bruno Gironcoli

My advice is to go out and explore your surroundings and don’t forget to take a camera with you.

If you were around Graz and had some spare time, this park is really worth to visit. Here are the layout and the list of all the sculptures.

Istanbul through Pentacon Six TL

Sultan İkinci Beyazıd Veli Türbesi (Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Sultan İkinci Beyazıd Veli Türbesi (Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 50mm f/4, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Sultan İkinci Beyazıd Veli Türbesi (Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 50mm f/4, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F

Finally, I am back with a post again! It has been a long time I could write anything. The reason for this long break is that I have got married plus I have changed job and country to live. From September I will live in Austria and I hope I will find new impulses for my photography.

Anyway, thanks to my old mentor and friend PepLluis that we could visit a really extraordinary place (Istanbul) as our honeymoon. This post is a kind of diary about this trip taken by my beloved Pentacon Six TL camera. Although we have carried a digital camera as well the medium format is one of my weak points and so I decided to share these images over the digital.

Pentacon Six as a travel camera

Of course, a big question has immediately emerged when we hit the warm and crowded streets of Istanbul with a heavy duty medium format camera and with three lenses and a tripod in the backpack. As you would suggest this gear is anything but light, so the question is how good travel camera is the Pentacon Six TL especially nowadays when you can choose among many excellent lightweight digital system cameras.

This gear is indeed heavy and cumbersome to use. You need to measure light in advance, focus carefully (the depth of field is really shallow on greater apertures) and you must hold the camera very still when firing the shutter. These tasks can be difficult in the crowd you can experience in the touristic places of Istanbul during Ramadan. I definitely gained some muscles after this trip.

On the other hand, the experience of operating such a beast is really unique as well as the results you can get at home. Personally, I am really pleased with the images and it was a great fun to use the P6. But next time I will think my camera choice over before packing. Nevertheless, I am pretty sure that the Pentagon will come with me many more times. My Pentacon Six TL review can be seen here.

Approaching storm (Topkapi palace, Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Approaching storm (Topkapi palace, Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Woman (Topkapi palace, Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Woman (Topkapi palace, Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Eszter (Topkapi palace, Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Eszter (Topkapi palace, Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Eszter ( Büyük Selimiye Cami, Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Eszter (Büyük Selimiye Cami, Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Shooting with a Pentacon Six TL
Shooting with a Pentacon Six TL, Istanbul (Turkey)
Artist (Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 120mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NS, Canoscan 9900F
Artist (Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 120mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NS, Canoscan 9900F
Hagia Sophia (Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F
Hagia Sophia (Istanbul, Turkey) Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8, Fujicolor Pro 160NC, Canoscan 9900F

Collaborative street art

Sometimes you can unexpectedly run into true pieces of artwork even on the most odd locations. So did we in Barcelona during one of our typical disoriented big-city exploratory walk.  Eszter spot the scene which can be easily called as installation, but in the same time she urged me to hurry up so I had to take the shoots really quickly.

For me the interesting aspect of these images is the fact that the key components of the composition are probably done by separate individuals who did not know about each others actions.

  • Someone painted the depressed skeleton in the suit.
  • I guess the textual graffiti  on the wall was made by someone else.
  • A 3rd person placed the mirror next to the wall, I think his motivation was simply to get rid of it.
  • Of course the house must have been braked down in order to expose the surface to paint, and in addition nature started to take back what was originally belonging to her.

Than I came and take a few shoots about this partially intended but mainly spontaneous temporal exhibition.

Each of the contributors had their own motivation and in some cases story to tell. Did the painters know about the future extensions? Does this evolution step altered their initial message if there were any. What will be the next step along the life of this composition? Can it be comprehended as art?

These are hard questions to answer especially the last one which is indeed a philosophical one.  One thing is sure, these kind of spontaneous exhibitions can be found everywhere, it is up to us to notice them and freeze them via a photograph, because they will disappear eventually.

Barcelona, Olympus OM-4 Ti, Zuiko auto-s 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Porta 160 NC, Canoscan 9900F

Barcelona, Olympus OM-4 Ti, Zuiko auto-s 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Porta 160 NC, Canoscan 9900F

Barcelona, Olympus OM-4 Ti, Zuiko auto-s 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Porta 160 NC, Canoscan 9900F