"December 11, 2012. This project sets off with no destination in mind but to pay respect to my photographic heroes, a small dot in the never ending spectrum of what 21st century photography has become, but nevertheless my oblivious little mark. I needed a thin red line to base this idea on and chose to start out with what has become for me a trusted and very much used way of photography, the most common in the past and still the everyday master of reality, the 35mm(D)SLR camera fixed with a prime 35mm f.2 lens. Chinese photographer Lu Yuan Min set me on the right track with this idea, well, we will see how well it works for me in the long run but I feel confident that by setting certain restrictions on how to use your gear you will be able to adapt and take your own photography mindset to a higher level. Lets see how it goes and what will be the result of this project, the aim is not to reach a goal or a certain point, but just simply set out and capture life as I see it, in Black & White with a camera and lens I feel comfortable with and with no business pressure pushing from below. I know from my own experience that this is how the best work is produced. The masters I have studied and got inspiration from during the years have all had this as a foundation and have my deepest respect as one photographer to another. Photography without borders and regulations, freedom as one choose to. I have taken a deep interest over the years in studying masters like Arnold Newman, Philip Jones Griffiths, Elliot Erwitt, Anton Corbijn, Annie Leibovitz, Henry Cartier Bresson, James Nachtwey, Ansel Adams, Steve McCurry, Lu TuanMin, Reza and of course Salgado. I love the dedication they all show to their craft and their subjects. I love to have the knowledge now after many trials and errors as a professional photographer to understand and see what they have done with their views and minds. I love the fact that there are people out there that has in the past seen and others still continuing to see what is in front of them as time slips into another frame, another situation. Lets see, it's with joy and fear I set out to share this with you all."
It's been almost four years since I wrote those lines on a blog I started called "The 35mm eye".
Now some four years down the line and even if I do not set out as regular as I first intended, set out to shoot materials for this blog, it's still alive and has taken a rather interesting turn I must admit. I started a new "way", with partly an idea based mainly on Frank Savage's poems as well as a dark, more doomy beauty core line, visual imagery taken out of thin light air, which would mirror the feel and mood of those words. Frank Savage poetry started as a project to write heavy and dark lyrics for death/doom metal music. That in terms was all originally inspired from being out in nature, walking and sleeping in the forests and mountains. Combine dark images with blackened words with heavy music with pure music with raw words with images of beauty. I then happened (?!…it was meant) to meet the right people, or should I say the right person, suddenly landed in the right environment to photograph in and most important a righteous open and creative mindset to get it out from the dark and into the shadows. There never were none and still are no real objective and no "purpose" of this project I called "Project X, Under a Funeral Sky" (Always totally random titles and with no meaning except to confuse the viewer, I have named most of my blogsposts either after songs or albums that's been playing in the background while writing these posts. Guess what was playing that day!), no direct meaning except to let myself be, on my own terms, as creative as I wanted, to reach a feeling of achievement. What more should it be? I like to rest my eyes and really see these "Project X" images, these are images I can view the right growth in, a more experienced mind, a more beautiful mindset, a better me. Technically I came to rely on my favorite 35mm lens for the images that spoke the truest prose and with most sincerity attached. Shot in mainly windowlight expect for some images where I wanted to freeze a certain part of the image. Use what you have, have what you need. This project suited just perfect with the idea of my blog The 35 mm eye. A style for me that has always been there but needed to mature, to be put in the right perspective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all is said and done… Some samples from second session
In the time span of a couple of weeks I ended up shooting a couple of rolls, 4 to be exact, of mixed outdated 120 film (with the 503cx Hasselblad 2.8/f 80mm). The result was a very mixed bag of dicks to be honest. Since I don't develop my own film here in Berlin and I do not have a film scanner either, it was all up to the local "developer" up the street to get it done in a proper way. The combination of heavily outdated 120 film pushed 2-stops and whatever way he uses to develop/scan gave me some rather interesting results. I have had this camera now for quite some time and know how the lightmeter in the viewfinder reads certain lights in certain angles, I trust my ability to get it somewhat in the mood and style that I can say is 'mine'. I never push or pull my film so that was a first and what I got was unexpected. In some frames you can see traces of the developing chemical, on some (but not all so I take it was a developing error somewhere down the line) you can see parallel and vertical drag marks and lines, see the Alexander Platz TV tower image and you see what I mean. I have to admit that Lightroom saved what could be salvaged in some images I display here below, mainly by just simply adding contrast. Never mind, a part of me like and can see the organic stamp these images brings out, one part of me couldn't care less as the reluctantly lazy Less-Than-Careful photographer in me sees this as another stance on the everlasting mantra - an image is an image is an image.