Faces of Hamburg is a photography project created over a period of 5 years. These pictures show the famous harbor and St. Pauli district of Hamburg, Germany. All pictures were taken from existing print. The different materials of the printouts create different effects in the images.
All pictures are taken using a Pentacon 50 mm lens, made in Eastern Germany (DDR) in the sixties. With a M42 converter, this lens was mounted on a Sony A57 in aperture priority mode and with manual focus. All pictures were taken and stored in Sony’s native RAW format to keep as much details as possible. Straightening and B&W post-processing was done in Adobe Lightroom.
Pictures were always taken with available light as they were used by the respective owners. Only in those cases where the framed picture was covered under glass, I asked the owners to remove the glass to avoid reflections. After removing the glass, the picture was put back in its original place to capture the image the way the owner showed it.
All pictures were taken with the permission of the respective owners.
Each picture shows its own story, a moment captured in time. I will post each image here and on Instagram individually to allow the story to be told by each picture. After a lot of requests from friends, I will also make these pictures available on print, once the online shops is finished and available. The final results of the project will be made available in a book titled Faces of Hamburg, which will be published in 2019.
Why this project
My inspiration for this project comes from different directions. It started with some attempts to take pictures from old photographs I only have on print and I wanted to preserve by digitization. I also started to experiment with the 50 mm Pentacon lens and was impressed by the vintage look the pictures got with this lens, although it is not easy to get good quality pictures. At the same time I found myself in Hamburg for work almost every week, and unfortunately as a result of that I missed out on a workshop I wanted to visit by a photographer who experimented with making the material of printouts part of the photographs. So I decided to try it myself and see what would happen. This project will show the results of my work and what I have learned with each picture.
Besides the technical aspects of full manual mode with a vintage lens and available light, one of the things I learned is that I like the frozen moment in time of photography. I guess that explains why I will never warm up to video, and will always prefer photography. I also learned how much energy I get from spending a lot of time on making a specific picture, and go through the steps of improving.
I would never call myself a photographer. I just like to take pictures, to learn how to take better pictures, and enjoy the combination of technical and creative thoughts.