Tag Archives: #Germany

Not Every Place is Pretty

Must every interesting photo feature stunning scenery?

On my visit to Leizig, Germany in 2001, I traveled on a local passenger train to the out-lying station at Rackwitz, where I spent an hour making photos of passing trains.

This was one ugly place. Low level platforms on tangent track with scruffy weeds and brush mixed in with uninspired industrial what not.

This northward freight paused for a few minutes on the mainline waiting for a signal to clear. For me this a photograph that works with texture, including the platform. But what makes it work for me are the flock of birds that filled the sky above the locomotive.

Exposed with a Rollei Model T on Fuji Neopan400 120 size film. Two versions of the same RAW scan below.

Low contrast interpretation.
This is a high contrast interpretation of the original negative that more closely represents the stark effect I was trying to achieve.

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Leipzig Tram Square

Among the desirable qualities of the Rolleiflex Model T was its square format.

While in my early years of using a Rollei I tended toward overuse of the 645 Superslide insert which provided a rectangular negative. I later decided that I preferred the basic square.

In June 2001, I traveled to Germany with a Rollei T, and exposed numerous 120 rolls of black & white film.

In Leipzig, I made this image of a tram on Fuji Neopan 400. I processed this roll using a mix of Agfa Rodinal Special. Unfortunately, I slightly overprocessed the negatives, a problem easily corrected after scanning, using Adobe Lightroom to adjust contrast and shadow density. The end result offers broad tonality.

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Provia 100F on the Rhein

Among the photos in my ‘Scan pile’ was this Fujichrome Provia 100F slide of a northward SBB Cargo train on the westbank of the Rhein near Lorch, Germany

It was among the color slides that I chose to scan during the week using my old Epson V600 flatbed scanner powered by Epson Scan 2 software.

Yesterday, I had prints made from some of my recent scans and was impressed by the way the scanning captured detail in the film right down to the grain.

Provia 100F color slide exposed on September 17, 2019.

Tightly cropped version to show detail.

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Ludmilla at Dresden

Twenty years ago on a visit to Germany, I spent a couple of days photographing around the historic city of Dresden.

This black & white photo at the Dresden Neustadt station features a former DR (East German Railways) Russian-built diesel-electric, DB class 234, a type colloquially known as a ‘Ludmilla’. 

June 2001.

Working with myvintage German-made Rolleiflex Model T, I made this photo on 120-size Fuji Neopan 400 roll film. I processed the film in Agfa Rodinal Special (not to be confused with Agfa Rodinal) mixed 1-32 with water for 3 min 45 seconds. I scanned the negative using an Epson flatbed scanner. 

Also see: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2020/12/20/dresden-june-2001/

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Ten Years Ago in Munich.

On this day, May 16, 2011, I exposed this telephoto image of a number 20 tram in Munich, Germany.

I was working with my Canon EOS7D with a fixed 200mm f2.8 telephoto.

Notice the unusual point-work on the tram track in the foreground.

Selective focus made possible by the relatively wide aperture with a long focal length lens helps direct the eye to the primary subject, allowing for other elements of the scene to remain slightly out of focus.

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Stuttgart, Germany June 1999.

I made a brief visit to Stuttgart during a trip to Germany and Switzerland in 1999.

On my first afternoon in Stuttgart, I exposed this Fujichrome Sensia II (ISO 100) color slide of a classic tram ascending away from the city center. Notice the effects of cross lighting. (The sun is to the left of the camera).

At the time I was working with an N90s with 80-200mm zoom lens, my standard camera combination for the period.

I’ve found that different types of equipment lend to different sorts of compositions. I wonder what images I would have made in Stuttgart if I could have carried the Nikon Z6 that I own today?

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Railfreight RastatT

On this day (April 19) five years ago my Irish friends and I visited Rastatt, Germany, a known rail-freight choke-point on the DB rail network.

I made this photo using my FujiFilm XT1 showing freight wagons on southward freights queued up while waiting for signals at the Rastatt station .

Rastatt, Germany on April 19, 2016.

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Dresden Tram-Two Versions

This is another view from Dresden, Germany exposed with my Rolleiflex Model T in June 2001. It was on the same roll of Fuji Neopan 400 that I described last week on Tracking the Light.

I’m at street level, with the Dresden Neustadt station behind me.

In the first interpretation, I made no alterations to the reversal scan of the original negative.

In the second (below), I’ve made significant adjustments to exposure and contrast.

Tech data:

Exposed using Rolleiflex Model T with Carl Zeiss 75mm lens. 120-size Fuji Neopan 400 roll film. Processed in Agfa Rodinal Special (not to be confused with Agfa Rodinal) mixed 1-32 for 3 min 45 seconds. Scanned with a Epson V600 flatbed scanner, digital processing with Adobe Lightroom.

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Dresden-June 2001.

I visited Dresden, Germany for the first time in June 2001.

The Dresden Neustadt station impressed me with its arched train shed and vintage mechanical semaphores.

Working with my old Rolleiflex Model T, I made this pair of photos on 120-size Fuji Neopan 400 roll film.

I processed the film in Agfa Rodinal Special (not to be confused with Agfa Rodinal) mixed 1-32 for 3 min 45 seconds.

I like the technological contrast between the then modern train (a Siemens Desiro railcar) and the old signals. This contrast is mimicked in the visual contrast of my black & white technique that produces stark dark lines against fluffy afternoon clouds.

120 size negative reversed and adjusted for internet presentation.
Direct scan (without reversal) of the same negative.
Reversed scan with contrast adjustments.
Direct and unmodified scan of the above negative.

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Rabbit at Dusk

DB (Germany Railways) class 218 diesel hydraulic locomotives are known as ‘Rabbits’ because of the rabbit ear appearance of their exhaust stacks.

Once a very common type, the Rabbits have been on decline for more than a decade.

On January 17, 2007, photographer Denis McCabe and I caught this Rabbit at the Bavarian town of Buchloe, where two non-electrified lines converged.

Working with my Canon EOS 3 with 24mm lens, I made this photo on Fujichrome.

A few minutes ago I scanned the slide with a Nikon Super Coolscan5000 and imported the TIF file into Adobe Lightroom for adjustment and scaling.

The TIF was made at 4000dpi and the file is about 115MB. By contrast the scaled and adjusted JPG is just under 1 MB, which makes it practical to present via the internet here.

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Leipzig tram and Hbf.

An afternoon rain in June 2001 had made for a bright gloss at the Leipzig, Germany Hauptbahnhof.

Working with my N90S, I’d exposed this Fujichrome view of a tram in front of the impressive façade of what was once Europe’s largest railway station.

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TRAXX at Lorch, Germany

DB (German Railways) class 185 electrics are members of Bombradier’s TRAXX Family of locomotives.

These are a common type for freight service.

Last September, I made this view of a Class 185 leading a southward tank train rolling along the Rhein near Lorch at Im  Bachergrund using my FujiFilm XT1.

Autumn sun was softened by thin high clouds that made for almost ideal lighting.

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Vlexx at Oberwesel; Railcar Skirts the City Walls

Standing on the Oberwesel city walls last September, I made this digital photograph of a Vlexx diesel-railcar gliding along the Rhein.

A cloud obscured the sun so I made some adjustments in Lightroom to temper the effect of the changing light.

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