Friday, December 15, 2006

Significant Photography

Back to the question why we make photographs, shoot images. I browse occasionally through the web to see other photographers works, either on personal portfolio pages or so-called photo-communities. I notice the number of images is huge and also the number of meaningless and bad images. I am no criticizing the images of students or starters exchanging their pics and feedback in a progress of learning, I am talking about images uploaded with serious intention and the feedback they get from their fellow photographers. Whats the point of uploading a really bad image and others highlighting as great work and beautiful imagery ? How can anyone evolve and develop, if you get continuously supported and no honest feedback that allows you to make the next step, without getting challenged. I will not mention the websites I don't visit anymore but rather highlight community pages with a very high level of quality of the images:
This sites are worth visiting ! Let me know if you find similar.

"Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art."
(Ansel Adams)

My 2 cents

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


A very simple subject. Stones. Provided by nature. Hardly changing their shape naturally during a human lifespan. They are just there. The patience of the endless stream of water might do what the pure human hand might not, shape the stones.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I am always attracted by abandoned objects, like houses and cars. Sometimes I re-visit I place that I know already. This place is near Sounion, about 50km south from Athens in Greece. A nearby famous temple attracts ten thousands of tourists but no one sees this couple of broken down houses and a little chapel. I found the place in 2001 and after 5 years I visited it again. Strange how slow times is passing there, still look s the same. Follow your own footsteps.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

ThePrintSwap Project

The second round of the ThePrintSwap is open for registration.
More information at

Registration closed 6.12.2006. The swap is in progress.
You can register for the next round in January 2007.

Friday, November 17, 2006

With the Billy Record in: Greece

I bought recently an old Agfa Billy Record (model from around the 1940's) and I am surprised that it's fully working and creates sharp images ! A camera more than 50 years old and still running like a steam engine. One of my first digital cameras (Casio QV xyz?) from 1997 not even survived one year and for my digitial image bank from another huge company I even dont get replace batteries anymore after 2 years.
I am not asking you to change to medieval equipment but give it a thought, think about the superficial fast pace of consuming and producing nowadays. The Billy Record has good chances to survice another 50 years and I will bring it along to my upcoming trips together with the Agfa Clack and the 1Ds !

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tuscany Photography Journal 4

I close the Journal for the Tuscany Trip with these 3 panorama images.

Pisa: Il Torre Pendente (Fotoman 617)

Le Crete (Fotoman 617)
Siena (XPan)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tuscany Photography Journal 2

I continue to show a couple of the Tuscany panoramas. I find the commonly known pictures from this region are getting too trivial, I have a hard time to select something off the beaten track.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

With the Agfa Clack in Pisa

"Il torre pendente" (alias leaning tower) is for sure the most photo- graphed place in Pisa, you will see at any given time dozens of people snapping away with all types of cameras (I wonder how many pictures exist of it already). The favourite position is to somehow lean over and try to push or support the tower, its the best thing to observe this for a while! I realized there was no one in sight, for the 2 hours we hang out there, using a film camera (not to talk about a medium format camera). I tooks some shots with 617 and the xpan (people look like I come from a different planet with these ancient looking cameras) and found I dedicate the place to the most simple camera I own:

The AgfaClack was produced from 1953 to 1965 and costed about 20.- SGD (19,50 DM at that time). With fix focus, fix aperture (2 settings, ~11,16) and fix shutter speed (1/30s) it exposes 120 film (6x9 cm). It was dedicated to use a Agfapan DIN 17 (25) film which is no longer available. It makes sense to use a lightmeter to give you a feeling how close you are to the F11-1/30s settings. I used an expired Agfa APX100 for these images (Scanned with Espon V700, minor touchup).

Other Clacks:

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tuscany Photography Journal 1

Tuscany must be one of the most visited places or areas in Italy. The famous landscapes, towns and cities are attracting millions of visitors each year. Most of the famous places are drowned in busloads of people. After this trip I throwed away my travel Guide telling me places like San Gimignano is a tip. Its not, if you go for some serious photography you should avoid places like this. But there is plenty to explore around and there more you get to the countryside the better, you still find places almost "off the beaten track".
My recommendation: Siena, Le Crete, Asciano (tourists but still ok), Go in September or better October.
I focused on my favourite topics: old buildings, details, landscape. The above panorama shows a farm around Le Crete, probably the most photographed place around there. You will find views like this on every second postcard and in every travel book, but not everything looks like that !

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Return from Tuscany

Finally found our way back after one week Tuscany. It is a beautiful place and there are plenty of photo opportunities all over. But I didnt expect so many tourists, even end of september. We skipped Florence to focus on the less congested (less expensive) area around Siena and Le Crete. I brought back a number of 120 rolls (617) and 135 (XPan) and now busy scanning my treasures.
I put some images here in the next few days and also give more personal thoughts and tips about travelling to Tuscany.
I brought my 6x6 and even an Agfa Clack along that I purchase drecently for 2 Euro (Lets see what a camera from 1960's with fix aperture and time) can do.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I am heading off to Tuscany for a panoramic trip. First I will meet my good and equally crazy photographic friend Thierry in Zuerich then drive to Siena and Florence. Decided to leave the digital stuff at home and completely focus on 6x17 and XPan equipped with 50 rolls of 120 and 30 rolls bw. Updates in the first week of October.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Photography as Art

Photography had a hard time to reach the status of an art form. Not talking about press or daily snapshot photographs but fine art photography like classic images by Ansel Adams or Edward Weston. Maybe my statement is not correct, images by Robert Doisneau ("Kiss by the hotel"), which is rather classic street photography reached a level of art as well, at least posthum.
I am selling occasionally prints to collectors or as well to people looking for a nice panorama image. Images that I produced with film cameras and printed on fibre based paper are higher appreciated and people are ready to pay more for a darkroom print than a print that I produce with a large format inkjet printer. Somehow the effect of being able to reproduce or reprint prints any number of times, even stating as limited edition, makes one think its a poster print from the deco shop around the corner.

I like to browse photography magazines, especially issues that are not focsussing on technical details but on portfolios images. I am struggling to appreciate the artistic value of some photographers work showing totally blurred or contentless images, just because of the fact they are either famous or student of someone else famous. Anyway, if you like your own images, blurred or not, thats all that counts.

Reflecting about this I know that at least in this community, we are producing something that endures the banal everyday things that we do day by day.

My 2cents for today.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

ThePrintSwap first wave kicks off

We gathered 26 photographers from 9 countries to start the first swap. In the next days the email addresses gonna be shuffled and the swap can begin..

Check out ThePrintSwap website and register for the next round in November 2006 !

Update 14th September 2006: The swap pairing is done.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Simple Things and
Some Thoughts about Photography

What do I see here ? Nothing you would say. Thats correct, it looks like an empty scene, a street, a wall and a an old parking device. It might be boring or meaningless to you, but its simple and appealing to me.

You ever thought about the number of pictures that are made every day on the world ? With an inifinite (?) number of cameras, digital cameras and mobile phones some millions of images are taken every day. Maybe a million every minute. Pictures taken, deleted or forgotten. How many of them will survice a couple of weeks ? How many will really catch a piece of memory of history ? How many will be considered as art, printed and displayed somewhere ?

The more possibilities we have, the more megapixel and GB of memorycards we use, the more we should focus on essential values. Spend more time on less pictures.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Streets of Hong Kong

Some more sights around Hong Kong. The usual backlog of images, already more than 2 weeks passed since visiting the city the 5th time this year. There is so muchmore to explore. From the main city centre to the islands ! I will go there for another time for sure. Just avoid the hot season and book hotel early enough.
The bird market. A huge variety of small birds in even smaller cages. Spiced with some tourists wearing the SARS and birdflue masks !

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Streets of Singapore

Our recent outing exploring the streets of Singapore finding areas that still look un-renovated. On the road with Xpan and Hasselblad Arca.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fotoman 617

A long dream came true. Years of staring at Linhofs and Fujis are over ! We flew to Hong Kong last weekend and picked up the 617 camera from Paul (Fotoman Camera). Much bigger than the XPan (of course), its using a large format lens (Super Angulon XL 90mm) and exposing on 120 medium format film. Its a great tool, I just love it from the first moment. Shot couple of slides and bw in Hong Kong.
Here you find larger versions (Streets of Hong Kong I, Streets of Hong Kong II)
Why buy a film camera in the 21st century ? Get your hands on it and you know !

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


The cristian cemetery in Georgetown (Penang). A very special place, hardly renovated and not dominated by any tourist signboards and shops. The final resting place of some of the early european pioneers including Francis Light, several early governors, Stamford Raffles' brother-in-law Quintin Dick Thomas.
I feel attracted and the same time still feel respect, even the people are burried more than 100 years. You find this place in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Print Swap

Do you want to get your hands on other photographers prints ? Then go for the ThePrintSwap project running at the panorama gallery.
Check out ThePrintSwap website and join !

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Square Format

So far I was completely focusing on the panoramic format on this page, but I wont start a separate page for 6x6 ! I will share some of the Penang 6x6 images with you.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Penang Pans

Finally made it to scan the xpan shots, most of them done with APX100 bw film.
Great place to go, would fly there anytime again. OK, no more words about it:

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Penang Trip

Last weekend we spent 2 days in Penang, probably the most famous island of Malaysia, situated on the northwestern coast. It is very intersting mixture of nature, beaches and its colonial history in Georgetown. I shot with 6x6 and XPan, mainly black and white, especially the old shophouses (you find plenty of them) give a feeling like Singapore might have look like 20 years ago.
Penang continoulsy upgrade and clean up the place, so if you want to go for the ruins and the rindown stuff, better go soon. But even the upgraded version looks very nice (they dont try to create the mickymouse history style like other places do). Not to forget about the food, which is just too good !

One story not to miss:
On the last day we were going around until 6pm (flight back at 9.10pm), finally went for dinner at 6.30pm. Because we had all our stuff in the car boot I decided to leave the 6x6 there (not Hasselblad) and bring my "green" bag along. I even decided to put the already exposed films (about 10x 120 and 135) into it and bring it along to the dinnerplace in case the car would get robbed, then at least I still would have the films and the XPan. You know what happened ?!
Suddenly heavy winds came up and parts of the foodcourt flew around us, so we decided to finish dinner quickly to make our way to the airport ! At the airport: what was missing ? The green bag with the xpan and the films !!! Jaw dropping, sweating, heat, heart beats faster, apocalypse, all gone, gonna cry,..
My wife was more conscious and asked me to drive back (45min), ok-ok, during driving back try to call the handphone which was also in the green bag, and ...... someone pick up after a couple of attempts, the boss of the coffeeshop. Relief no.1.
Coming there pick up the bag (relief no.2), giving the honest guy (thank you!) a rewards and head back towards the airport, 8pm by now (at this time the normal traveller and passenger is checked-in already) ! I saw us already in a nearby hotel waiting for the next days flight, but we can try, nothing to loose ! We drive (Penang style!), drop the rental, run to check-in ! The checkin lady was about to close the counter, we checkin, go to the gate and get our flight (relief no.3) !!! Time to relax.....
First time ever I was on the edge to loose equipment ! Now the green bag is glued to me.

I have a slight backlog with scanning slides and bw neagtives, so gonna upload some pans soon.

Monday, July 31, 2006


Finally some pans from Alsace 2 weeks ago. Follow the "Deutsche Weinstrasse" southwards and cross the border near Lauterbourg and find the town Wissembourg. You will find a laidback french small town which is not as tourist packed as Strassbourg. My recommendation in general: Go there during the week !
Just realized there is no color pan in the XPan blog yet, so lets put in some color.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Photographic Journey

My life and way of seeing changed when I started photography once. It is a continous stream of experiences, impressions and challenges. You find new areas, as well you are thrown back sometimes. I worked in color and black&white, with rangefinder, medium format, digital equipment, 6x6 and panorama cameras, experienced from basic press work, wedding photography to artistic works. I enjoyed each step and always find back to my favourite - panorama photography and classic black and white. It is like my hometown where I always return to, but always starting expeditions to venture into the other areas.

Starting with film, moving to digital and now after many years returning to film, allow me to revisit places and topics again. Find new angles in interpretation and view points.

The biggest satisfaction and happiness I find in a mounted and framed print, the next step is starting a book project (prices for printing getting more reasonable nowadays).

I met many photographer and people around the world, I dont want to miss the chats and exchange of expierences and ideas.

Hope there is much more on the way ! Keep the eyes open and the mind free !

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Some old US Pans

Whilst waiting for the latest films to get developped.
This panoramas I shot with ETRS and a panoback 4 years ago driving around California and Nevada, US.