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.
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.
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.
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.
My last post about portraits (Portraits round 1) featured black and white photographs. Black and white often help simplify things by skipping the colors and thus resulting in a cleaner image focused more on geometry, composition, and effects of light and shadows. Many times this monochromatic approach emphasizes important properties which would have been otherwise overwhelmed by the chaotic world of colors and can be greatly beneficial. While I love the more abstract nature of the B&W images, I also admire the emotional power of the colors. Sometimes a photo just works better in color.
I am quite fed up with the long, cold and dark winter here so now I am starting to see and use some colors. Besides this post is a post about portraiture it is a small celebration of colors hoping that spring will come soon.
Unfortunately, I had less time to take pictures recently, therefore this selection is composed of my old works exclusively. The photos are taken in many different locations and seasons using various films and lenses but with the same old Pentacon Six of mine.
Color negative film
If you want to take portraits in color, negative film is probably the best choice. It is usually less prone to exposure issues than positive (dia) film so it can accept slight over or underexposure without serious problems on the final image. Also, these films are not as contrasty and vivid as most positive films (except Kodak Ektar which I have never tried so far) so the images are smoother and it is often a good point in the case of general portraits.
It is also very easy to make black and white images out of a color version so you have the flexibility to change your mind during post-processing.
Color positive (dia) film
Positive films are generally recommended for natural product and architectural shoots. At least this is what I have heard a lot. But of course many uses dia film for portraits as well. For example, the famous photographer Steve McCurry used to shoot on positive film and took fabulous portraits like the Afghan Girl.
I personally like to use these films for portraits because of the character and the fact that they have the finest grain ever. But this is true that lights and shadows have more contrast, the exposure must be bloody accurate and overall you have to be very precise to achieve a good result. In addition, it is not too easy to find a lab where you can get it developed especially if you shoot medium format or bigger.
At the bottom line, I think it is still worth to shoot positive films regardless of the subject because the view of the developed dia film makes you happy as a kid at Christmas for sure. You get the final (not inverted) image. Because it gets visible by the light passing through the film rather than reflecting it. That is why dia has a huge dynamic range which makes the experience (in my opinion) kind of better than reality.
According to Wikipedia he was a Hungarian philologist and orientalist, author of the first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book. He was born in Kőrös, Grand Principality of Transylvania (today Chiuruş, Romania).
Anyway, I am probably not the right person to describe this sight historically neither theologically, but it was a wonderful experience and we could really smell a special religious atmosphere.
There were a Fantastic sunshine and clear deep blue sky although the air was a bit chilly plus, of course, the stupa which indeed looks extraordinary. I hope the photos will explain better what do I mean.
If I made you interested in this stupa, have a look at this link.
I used my Pentacon Six TL and most likely the standard 80mm f/2.8 Biometar and some Kodak Ektachrome 100 slide film. This was my first and so far only trial on this film. I would love to get some more of it though. I have used my Ricoh GR Digital digital compact as light-meter.