Back in the spring we went to Berlin – mixture a my wife’s work and holiday. On one of her work days (aka, the days I could do the stuff which would bore her a bit) I went to the Stasi Museum and then walked all the way back along Karl Marx Allee to the city centre, it’s fair walk and the sun was pounding down, which while it made for hot walking meant the combination of my Olympus Trip and Lomography ‘Berlin’ film (what else) really came into it’s own. I’ve decided the trip does buildings in bright sunshine better than just about anything else and these are so amazing. I love the woman with the pram, who I didn’t actually see when I took the photo…
I’m a fairly regular, though by no means exclusive, film shooter; of course coming from the pre-digital days what all the hipster types are calling retro I’m just treating as normal. I’m not especially brand loyal, but I do tend to buy HP5 like I did back in the 70s. Side note of course, back in the 70s I mainly bought Kodachrome….all hail Kodachrome….bring it back….pause for nostalgia.
Okay, nostalgia break over and back to the post. I was looking on the Lomography site and found they were offering a film called Berlin Kino 400. Now I’m self-knowing enough to realise that this is buying right into the whole aesthetic of an arty, edgy middle europe, the one in which Bowie re-invented himself and wrote Heroes, in which people created art communes in the shadow of the wall, of students sitting around talking about important things, etc. Heck I know what’s going on here! On top of that the reviews and sample images from people who’ve tried it were positive, and now I can do my own monochrome processing (you did read my blog post on that didn’t you?) it’s more economical and fun. Also, got to admit the packaging is gorgeous (it’s actually a colour pack, but hey, it’s a mono film)!
So I bit the bullet and ordered 5 rolls of it, I’ve never actually bought film by more than a single before so this was a bit of a first; I have ‘stock’. My wife is very good about not commenting on the erosion of the top shelf in the fridge door to film too..
Well, the thing is of course, I want to use it for, well, photos which have the air of something Bowie might have appeared in while heading to the studio, photos with an edge, perhaps a bit of somewhat run down industrial (I do like a bit of run down industrial). I want to consider the images I want to make, and then go out and make them. I want to look at them and be pleased with them and how they fit in with my vision. But, and there’s a but.
What I really need now is somebody with the right sort of 70s or 80s continental art student edgy look: the Cotswolds is a bit from the Brandenburg Gate for that.