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Sun, 25 Jun 2006
Barcelona Montjuic cemetery

This morning I've been visiting the Montjuic cemetery in Barcelona. I went there with mixed expectations, since the information I could find online indicated that Spanish cemeteries tend to have these massive walls full of small "urn storage graves", which are not of any real interest to me.

God, was I amazed how different it really turned out to be. Now, after having seen it, I think it has definitely made it into my personal top ten of world-wide cemeteries. Thousands of angels, and other extremely beautiful statues.

Family graves of the wealthy Barcelona families from the late 19th and early 20th century, as rich in architecture, sculptures and details that make many church look extremely plain next to them. And there you have hundreds in one spot!

The whole cemetery is very well maintained, and due to its situation on the side of the Montjuic hill, next to the sea and in direct sun there is very limited vegetation (and therefor no spread of plants onto graves, etc.).

So by now, knowing my affection for cemeteries, you must have thought that I was in heaven while visiting Montjuic. Almost, if there wasn't that stupid "no photography" sign at the entrance. It made me hesitate a bit, but then I thought "well, southern Europeans are generally a bit more open to bending the laws, so let's try it anyway". I took some five pictures, and no later than 10 minutes after entering the cemetery, I was stopped by no less than six cemetery guards, who were constantly patrolling the whole cemetery with their small scooters.

They took my personal details (I wonder whether they will send me a fine to Germany *g*), and asked me to delete those pictures on the camera. I did without hesitation. The technical reader of this blog will know how easy it is to undelete files from a FAT filesystem ;)

Anyway, I didn't engage in any further photography, and I was saddened to see all this beauty, and being deprived of capturing at least tiny bits of it in order to take it home with me, put some more prints to the walls of my apartment, etc.

This really has been the first cemetery I've been to which disallowed photography. And I've been to many hundred cemeteries, mainly in Europe but also in other parts of the world. And they don't even state _why_ they don't allow it. I would pay for a photo pass, I would sign off on no any "no commercial use" declaration or whatever. *sigh*.

I mean I can perfectly understand if people protest against inappropriate photo shootings at cemeteries (you know what I mean... barely naked women tied to graves, etc.), and there is _nothing_ in common between such inappropriate behavior and somebody like me, who basically wants to honour the original artist/sculpturer by taking some pictures for personal use only.

[ /photography | permanent link ]

Fri, 16 Jun 2006
Geek Pr0n

See for yourself at http://photos.jibble.org/GeekPr0n30. I really like them, not only because it is geeky, but also because the photographic ideas behind at least some of those pictures. How the aesthetics of the body mix with the geometry of certain object, and sometimes even play with some cultural connotation that we might have...

My personal favourite of that set is this one.

[ /photography | permanent link ]

Mon, 12 Jun 2006
Looking for historical cemeteries in Barcelona

I'll be travelling to Barcelona for the 3rd international GPL conference. As usual, I'd like to take pictures of historical and/or otherwise interesting cemeteries.

For the first time, I'd actually like to use this blog/journal to ask for suggestions. So if you can recommend any particularly beautiful cemeteries in Barcelona, do let me know.

[ /photography | permanent link ]

Tue, 11 Apr 2006
Photography at Vienna central cemetery

Apart from OSCON/LINBIT related stuff, I've also actually taken a couple of hundred pictures (both digital and analog b/w) at Vienna's central cemetery, Europe's largest cemetery with more than 3 million people being buried there.

I yet have to develop the films, and look into the 3+GB digital data. However, I'm very confident that given the good light conditions and the amount of time I spent at the cemetery, there should definitely be some really good pics...

[ /photography | permanent link ]

Fri, 07 Apr 2006
Half a day in the darkroom

I've spent the better part of this day first setting up my darkroom (in the bathroom), and then working in it. It's been quite some time (must be almost two years) since I last found time to produce my own b/w prints, but now the time has come. Used about 50 sheets of 24x30cm PE paper only today ;)

I'll probably continue with some more (postcard sized) prints tomorrow and later next week. There's certainly a backlog of a couple of hundred images that I have on film but not on paper yet.

[ /photography | permanent link ]

Tue, 07 Jun 2005
Taking photographs at Vienna's central cemetery

Vienna is well-known for it's historic cemeteries. I always wanted to take some pictures there. Now that I'm in Vienna for business reasons, I at least wanted to visit one of them, the Zentralfriedhof (central cemetery).

The first thing you notice is the magnitude of this facility. Coming from the next railway station, you enter through gate 11. Yes, that's _eleven_. Next curiosity is that there is a dedicated bus line taking you to different parts of the vast area.

I must have spent some four hours there, and it was definitely just a quick browse, I could barely scratch the surface of this beauty.

My photography was hampered by the weather. It was very cloudy, resulting at quite long exposure times even at 400 ASA films - and every so often I had to make a break because of rain.

After getting back to the hotel I discovered a most embarrassing truth. The pictures from the digital SLR turned out fine, but the chemical camera was lacking a film. I was (and still am) totally devastated.

How could this beginner's mistake happen to me? Well, I have two SLR cameras for old-fashioned chemical film. The one I took this time apparently advances the picture counter even if there is no film inside. Despite using that camera for numerous years, I didn't figure that so far. *sigh*.

This means that I definitely have to come back at some later point. Maybe I can manage to get some cheap flight tickets at a time when the weather is better, and I'm less stupid...

[ /photography | permanent link ]

Sun, 22 May 2005
Doing some fetish / erotic / alternative photography again

Due to lucky circumstances I've been able to get back to do some photography in this area. This also means that I'm actually going to spend a number of hours in the darkroom, developing prints. Didn't do that for more than a year now, and I'm looking forward to having some fun with that again...

[ /photography | permanent link ]

Mon, 28 Jun 2004
The Karlsruhe Cemetery

On Sunday morning the weather was fine (sun shining but not too hot), so I finally went to the Karlsruhe Hauptfriedhof (main cemetery) for some photo shooting. For those of you who don't know it yet: Photography [especially of historical cemeteries] is one of my hobbies.

To my big surprise, there were a number of beautiful graves, angels, statues, ... Normally 99% of all cemeteries in Germany look the same, since most of the graves are from 1950 to present - and apparently nobody has the money (and the taste) for something different than a standard grave stone.

Also, this was one of the first occasions to get some more experience with my new digital SLR camera, the EOS-300D. I really hope that the convenience of digital photography won't prevent me from still doing real chemical b/w photography... Especially with my lack of time, I fear this possibility.

Now you may be asking yourself: Where are the pictures? Well, I really want to show you all of them, but first I need to get the database-enabled photo repository finished. Stay tuned.

[ /photography | permanent link ]

Mon, 07 Jun 2004
Bought a new camera: Canon EOS 300D

In the past I've been doing only chemical b/w photography, using SLR cameras from the mid-80s. Recently I decided to explore color photography, too - but certainly not with chemical film. Developing color prints in your own darkroom is way more complicated than b/w, and it requires to buy completely different equipment.

The entry-level digital SLR cameras have just gone below the EUR1000 line, so I decided to go for the Canon EOS 300D. Despite not having had much time for exploring it, the pictures it produces are really great.

The only thing I don't like is the physical quality of the case. Coming from metal cased chemical SLR cameras, the plastic case of the EOS 300D feels extremely volatile. Also, the lens frame made from plastic is really disturbing... I'm sure this camera won't last 20 years like my two existing chemical SLR's.

Maybe finally I'll also find some time to work on www.cemetery-photography.org - which is still empty at this point. Not that I'm lacking the [digitized] photographs, I just don't have the time to set up the website, design the templates, and so on.

[ /photography | permanent link ]