100 years of Leica photography at Deichtorhallen
100 years of Leica photography at Deichtorhallen
For true Leica aficionados or anyone who is in interested in the evolution of 35mm photography and the 100 year history of Leica photography, there is an exhibition at the Hamburg Deichtorhallen you don’t want to miss: EYES WIDE OPEN! 100 YEARS OF LEICA PHOTOGRAPHY October 24, 2014 − January 11, 2015.
A truly superlative Leica exhibition has opened at the Haus der Photographie at Hamburg’s Deichtorhallen. In addition to showing 500 photographs, there are technical exhibits, films and much more to attract photo enthusiasts to the city. LFI talked to the curator Hans-Michael Koetzle, to the photographers Ulrich Mack, F. C. Gundlach and Rudi Meisel and to Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, chairman of Leica’s supervisory board.
Shanghai 360° by HG Esch at Europa Passage
Today, Kristin and I started gluing our recently produced instant photos to the wall… So, here’s our first iteration of our personal Polaroid gallery. Since we needed to cover some boreholes, we started with a rectangle… We will see where it might end.
We used tesa Tack, double-sided adhesive pads, to fix the photos to the wall. Despite all the negative comments on Amazon, they seem to be strong enough to hold the photos on my wall so far (no wall paper, I might add).
Since my bedroom wall is supposed to be decorated with Polaroid instant photos, I spent an evening with my Impossible Instant Lab, developing a series of photos with an iPhone 5 and the Impossible iOS App.
The result being a bunch of color and black & white photos soon to be displayed in my personal little art gallery.
It comes at a price, though. 8 instant photos produced with Impossible Instant film sum up to 20 €, not considering the price of the instant lab. That one actually dropped recently from around 250 € to just 120 €.
So now is a good a time as any to start your instant photo experience even if you don’t want to buy an analog Polaroid camera like my Polaroid SX-70 Landa Camera.
Polaroid released its cool cam in 1988. It’s basically a pimped Polaroid 600 with fancy neon colours. More infos can be found in the Impossible Project – Camera Museum.
I just recently read Christopher Bonanos’ Instant – The Story of Polaroid in a special limited edition published by Princeton Architectural Press, October 2012. On the back of the book it says:
“Edwin Land was one of Steve Jobs’s first heroes, and this book shows why. He created a startup in a garage that grew into a company that stood at the intersection of creativity and technology. This is a fascinating saga, both inspiring and cautionary, about innovation and visionary leadership.”
– Walter Isaacson, author of STEVE JOBS
It comes in a beautiful slipcase inspired by the Polaroid colours and also contains the Faces of Polaroid booklet, presenting 16 contributors to the Polaroid products.
It’s a great story about an exciting journey from becoming one of the most respected and innovative companies to a bitter and almost terminal cascade after loosing its innovative impetus.
An article from 2009 about The Impossible Project in Wired UK with some details on their motivation, their inspiration by Edwin H. Land and their mission to save Polaroid instant photography from extinction.
They startet their project in 2008. It’s 2014 and they are still around, continuously improving their film material. So for now, they succeeded.
While testing the POLAROID SX-70 LAND CAMERA SONAR AutoFocus I used film material from The Impossible Project. They develop instant film material for Polaroid cameras in both color and black & white. The film material is made in a former Polaroid factory in Enschede (Netherlands) which they bought in 2008. They basically had to reinvent new instant film material because it was already a dead technology and original color dyes were no longer available. Since their first new instant film in 2010 they constantly improved the quality of the material and the time it takes for the pictures to develop.
What might be of particular interest, is the film speed of the new Impossible instant material. The film for my SX-70, the Impossible SX-70 is described with ASA 160. The original film material from Polaroid was ASA 150. With these material unavailable since Polaroid stopped the production in 2005, many have modified their Polaroid cameras to use newer Polaroid material with film speeds up to ASA 640. They often used ND filters to correct for the wrong exposure time since the film is more then 2 times faster. ND Filters are also available by The Impossible Project if one wants to use their 600 series film material.
Although this does not seem to be necessary anymore with their SX-70 film, the difference between ASA 150 and ASA 160 is still noticeable. This can be addressed by setting the exposure dial on the camera to “darken”.
Unfortunately, by doing this, one looses the ability to adjust the exposure since all other setting lead to bad results. From left to right I tried “lighten”, “normal” and “darken”. Only with the “darken” dial set to maximum, I could create a more satisfying image.