Two nuns

In Rome, November 1997. Not much else to say except that Rome is certainly an apt place to photograph two nuns in what seemed to be their spare time.

Taken with the M4-P on Tri-X.



A street in Ootmarsum on November 29. The time between Christmas and New Year is called "zwischen den Jahren" in German and usually not much is happening on these days, especially if there hardly aren't any workdays left as in 2009. So, maybe that's the right time to post such a "silent" picture.

Found on a roll of XP2 which was filled using the M4-P and the 35mm Summicron.



Another one from the fascinating Tsukiji market in Tokyo. Most of what's happening there is about tuna.

Shot on November 11, 2008 with the M8.2 and the 28mm Elmarit at ISO 320. Converted to black and white using Silver Efex Pro.



This photo has always been one of my favorites. It's just a backyard somewhere in NYC, but it has - in my humble opinion - a wonderful variety of tones and angles.

Shot in 1995 with the M4-P and the 50mm Summicron on Tri-X.



When I looked at the contact sheet, I immediately thought that this photo would somehow rhyme with one I did in Boston last year. And indeed it does - I printed the two of them on opposing pages in a little book I did last week and that worked well for me.

Shot in December 2009 near Hamburg's harbor with the Leica and the 35mm Summicron on XP2.

By the way, I really like to look at contact sheets from other photographers, especially if I admire their work. If you're like me, you should check out The Contact Sheet by Steve Christ which was released a few weeks ago. But the gold standard for contact sheets certainly is the "Expanded Edition" of Looking In.



Not only Rio has a huge statue of Jesus Christ, Lisbon has one as well. A bit smaller, but still pretty impressive. (And that's as Christmassy as it'll get on this blog...)

Taken with the M4-P on Tri-X in 1999.


A cab on Times Square

One night in 1998, I spent some time on Times Square with the Leica trying to capture the light and the movement of the cars driving past. With this cab, I got exactly what I wanted.

By now, you can probably guess which film I used.



One way to clean your shoes...

Shot with the Nikon on Tri-X in Ollioules on July 13, 1995.


Back to the roots

A funny picture maybe, and maybe it's pretty dynamic. And it's another hipshot. And it's a dog again.

But this photo is here mainly for two other reasons:

The first one is that it is from the first film I shot with my new Olympus XA. I wanted to have a camera that I can always carry with me in my jacket and got this one for less than 30 Euros (including shipping) from eBay. The jury is still out on whether I'll eventually like it. It certainly ain't a Leica, but if you get a camera for the price of a few rolls of film there isn't much to argue about.

The second reason, more important to me than the camera, is that I finally - after about twelve years - started to do my own film development again. It means I'm back to Tri-X, and this is the first roll - developed in our kitchen using a changing bag as a make-shift darkroom. Developer was Fomadon Excel.  Maybe it's kind of fitting that I'm posting this picture on my birthday...

The photo was taken a week ago (December 17, 2009) at the Lange Reihe here in Hamburg.


Coney Island

A snapshot of two unknown children almost looking like one. A skewed horizon. Lots of parallel lines. Articulated shadows. The reflection of a beam of sunlight. Season to taste. That was the recipe for this picture.

M4-P on Tri-X in 1998.



As someone reminded me, not only Japan has old men standing around in front of construction sites or buildings. I had almost forgotten about this guy, photographed in New York on October 1, 1995. I couldn't figure out what he was guarding.

M4-PTri-X, 50mm Summicron.


The last color film

You're probably asking yourself if I posted this photo too early. Maybe. But even if it might not be a memorable picture, it is relevant because it marks the end of my very short color film period. I might have been a bit enthusiastic in the beginning, but I quickly found out that getting the colors of scans right is simply too much work (for me) - it ain't fun. If I'll do more color photography, it'll very likely be digital. Whether I'll shoot a lot of digital photos in the near future is another question, though, to be discussed on another day.

This window was photographed on October 31 this year not far away from where I live. I used Fuji Pro 160C in my M4-P.



One way to photograph the Statue of Liberty in NYC.  We all know there are many, many others.

M4-P, Tri-X, 1998.


Blurred Vespa

When I came back from Rome in November 1997, this was the first frame of all the Tri-X rolls I had filled with the Leica that I printed. I still like it. It somehow hits the right note with me, maybe because it captures how I perceived the Vespa-dominated traffic.


The jacket

Together with the shadows of the late afternoon sun, this jacket hanging off some pole in Whitechapel, London on March 27, 1996 was irresistible for me. I still like the image because it's hard to figure out what is (or was) going on. It wasn't easy to get the exposure right while shooting more or less straight into the sun, though.

M4-P with the 35mm Summicron on Tri-X, f/8 at 1/125.


Not a stray dog

It's time for another dog. Two actually, if you look closely. Taken at the beach of the Elbe river in Hamburg in 2002 with the M4-P on Tri-X.

Today's title is of course an allusion for those of you interested in photography.


Two joggers

Boston and the Charles river as seen from Cambridge, MA. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, this area is flooded with joggers.

Leica M4-P loaded with a roll of X-rayed Tri-X, October 2008.


The gaze

What is the guy looking at? Who is the woman talking to? What's the role of the fountain in the background? You figure it out...

New York City, October 2, 1995. The old Leica with the even older 50mm Summicron on Tri-X.


Street jumble #2

A crossing of several elevated roads near Genoa's harbor on July 5, 2009. I had a "color day" and was thus looking for different motifs, but this one works much better in black and white. And it's of course both a strength as well as a weakness of digital that you can decide after you took the photo whether your picture should be black and white or not.

Taken with the M8.2 and the 50mm Summicron at ISO 160. I forgot how I converted the image to black and white.


View into the past

Another view into a shop window, this time into a photographer's studio in Ollioules on July 13, 1995. Even at that time, almost 15 years ago, the picture felt like a view into a forgotten past to me.

Shot with the Nikon on Tri-X.


Bird watcher

I didn't take notes, so I don't know who this guy was. But the doves really liked him...

Lisbon in 1999, M4-P, Tri-X.


Subway and bicycle

A view into a subway in New York. And someone is looking at me.

October 5, 1995. Taken with the Leica and the 50mm Summicron on Tri-X.

Addendum: This photo was shown n the Bronx Banter in April 2011.


The Baltic Sea

A view of the Baltic Sea from Rügen - taken with the M4-P on Tri-X in the summer of 2005.


Shot from the hip

If you haven't read Shots from the Hip by "Johnny Stiletto", try to find it in a used book store somewhere. It's fun. And hipshots can be fun, too. Sometimes you might end up with a photo you really like although you can't quite explain why. Well, maybe because a dog's in there...

New York in 1998 with the Leica and Tri-X.


More doves

Another one from the dove series. See the old post for the story and the technical details.



And while we're at the subjects of celebrities and musicians, here's a portrait of Marcus Miller. I've been doing his website since the beginning of 1997 (the whole story can be found here) and when I was in L.A. in November during a business trip, Marcus and I met for lunch. I took this picture after he had driven me back to my hotel and before we said goodbye.

A bit later, some bootleggers in Japan actually used the photo - without my permission, of course - for the label of their "Slap Shot" CD.

That was the M4-P on Tri-X again.


In memoriam

We visited the World Trade Center in 1995 but stayed at the bottom because of very bad weather. In 1998, we tried again, and this time we made it to the top. Three years later, both towers were gone...

M4-P on Tri-X.


Looking away

1996 at Brixton tube station in London. The woman in the middle seemed to be a bit deranged and was giving some kind of speech. All passersby tried hard to pretend they didn't notice her. This is one of a series of eight photos of this scene.

M4-P with the 35mm Summicron on Tri-X - March 28.


Five-finger exercise

Waiting for a plane on an airport is boring, especially if you have to do it often. And rarely do I shoot any interesting photos there - if I take photos at all. This view out of a window on a dull and rainy day was the last frame on a roll of XP2 and it turned out to be the best one. Not because it's so good, but because the rest was even worse...

Edit: Well, two months later I actually found another shot that I like. To quote the first chancellor of West Germany: "Was interessiert mich mein Geschwätz von gestern!"

November 20, 2009 with the M4-P and the 50mm Summicron on Oslo's airport Gardermoen.


Welcome to L.A.

Out of a window again, but this time it's the windshield of a car while entering L.A. after a long ride from Las Vegas via San Diego. Alas, I didn't take many photos at that time which I regret now. So far, it has been my only time at the West Coast.

To make matters worse, a day or two later Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen entered the hotel elevator I was in and of course I didn't have a camera with me! On the other hand, I was so stunned that I couldn't say a word and the whole thing was over after a few floors. I guess I would have been too paralyzed to use a camera anyway...

The good old Leica on Tri-X, November 1997.


Zappa's last drummer

Another one of the assignments I had back then. The job was to photograph Andreas Boettger for a student magazine. I always was (and still am) a big fan of Franz Zappa, and Mr. Boettger was at that time a member of Ensemble Modern and thus ended up playing percussion on three Zappa records. That's the closest I ever got to any member or ex-member of Zappa's bands except for a brief chat with Napoleon Murphy Brock three years ago.

The whole shooting took place in a dark and cramped rehearsal room, so I was happy that I came home with at least a few usable shots. Taken with the FM2 in Hanover on January 15, 1996 on Neopan 1600 developed in HC-110. My notes clearly say that the lens was a 24/2.8 although I'm very, very sure I never owned one. Seems I borrowed one although I don't remember it.

Update: Did I really say "very, very sure"? I just looked at some other old photos taken with the Nikon (from 1994 already) and they clearly look like they've been taken with a wide-angle lens. I'll have to eat my words...