Spring Funfair in Hanover (Part 2)

June 14, 2017

by — Posted in black and white, shot on film

As already mentioned in the first part of this series, I also took some black and white photographs of the spring funfair in Hanover. My approach consisted of documenting the kiosks and rides like “real” architecture. For this purpose, I brought my SLR camera equipped with a shift lens.

I think one of the photographer’s important tasks is to create visual clarity and thus reduce complexity. In case of architectural subjects, I enjoy restricting my view to two distinctive perspectives: from a frontal and a perspectival point of view. A simple way to obtain a more visual language to align edges of your subject with the edges of the frame. I have really stressed that point in many blog posts, but for me it is the key for a pleasing architectural photograph. Therefore, it always helps me to calm down and take my time for proper composing.

Now, while reviewing the images, I’m again excited about the site’s loneliness. That afternoon it felt like walking through a ghost town. I wanted to present these blocked-up little houses more like scupltures than mundane boothes. Without any visitors strolling around I got my desired shots easily.

Everyone interested in photography has probably some of the “old masters” who she or he finds very inspiring. I’ve been admiring the iconic photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher for years. The couple created a massive body of work from the 1960s until the 2010s, depicting almost exclusively industrial structures and buildings. Their single exception was a series dealing with residential houses at the Siegerland region (an area which was shaped by mining and steelmaking, though). Often, these photographs were arranged in grids, highlighting the subjects’ similarities and differences. The Bechers applied a highly standardized procedure to take their shots. In one of the Bechers’ many books I read the description of “images without authors” because the photographers forwent any personal style. All their blast furnaces, cooling towers, grain elevators were shot on black and white film only on days with a dull sky. The Bechers used a view camera (during the first years a Linhof model, later a Plaubel one). With the camera’s ability to correct the perspective they avoided any perspective distortion. Ironically, this pursuit of photographic “objectivity” led to a strong signature style.

All photographs were taken with my Canon EOS 1N SLR on Fuji Acros 100 black and white film (35mm).

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