A very slow project....

Back in the Seventies I discovered photography. It was my father’s hobby. I was a kid, “borrowing” my father’s gear and taking all his books about photography into my bed. There I spent whole nights reading books like “The Complete Photographer” by Andreas Feininger or “La Fête Sauvage” by Rossif Frédéric. I decided to become “a complete photographer” – still did not succeed in doing it, although actually I gain my every day’s bread by photography. But this is another story.

Finally the “stealing books and photography gear” game stopped, with dad’s decision to buy me my first own camera and to give me the promise to buy any book I wanted to read. It was just a small point and shoot pocket, but still, it was a camera. Several snapshots convinced an uncle, to borrow me his SLR for some tricky shots in Greek museums. The background thought was, that nobody of the museum’s stuff was aware about a kid taking somehow professional frames despite the prohibition of photography in these museums. Some of the shots were later printed as posters for family and friends.

It was the initial “work”, which led to my decades-long affinity to one of the big manufacturers and to my first SLR. I started to sell some pictures I took at public events. I even messed up with sports photography, in order to get the money for the next lens. Still fathers gear was a perfect prey, whenever my stuff was insufficient. Imagine his face, discovering the next scratch on his brand near gear.

But some day, father came home with a bag full of screws, lens parts and dirt. “Look, I ve found this in a garbage bin. It might be better if you try to fix this stuff rather than to mess up my gears”, he said. Indeed, within the bag I found parts of an old macro lens, and some weeks later it was fixed. I did not find all necessary original screws but the result is, a pretty sharp lens for macro photography. Some other lens parts of various lenses are still in this bag, which is kept like a treasure in a trunk.

Furthermore, when father got sick some years ago, I started to service his collection of gears, cleaning, repairing and lubricating all of them. I even kept my part of the childhood’s deal for photography. I finished university studies, as promised, got a “normal day time job” for some years and finally, more than a decade ago, the all-time second job, photojournalism became the main job again.

I ‘ve sold a lot of gear within the decades, but this very special lens stays always with me. An old, pre ai Micro Nikkor 55 mm, f 3.5. Due to its non ai status it is not usable for modern DSLRs of the same manufacture. But until some month ago, it still was used on my old analogue gear.

When father died last year, the old lens was becoming an emotional symbol for the common love to photography. But, how to involve it, into daily photography business? Since it is a manual focusing lens with limited compatibility to modern stuff, a lens adapter was an option. Meanwhile the lens was pretty old and damaged when it came into my hand, so the next thought was, that an old style, more rangefinder like gear would be the perfect match.

I found one mirrorless camera in the – still existing –shop in the city Aachen, were I bought my very first SLR. It was a bargain. Now it is somehow “welded” to the lens and an every-day companion for “slow digital photography”. The small combo is nothing to worry about carrying it everywhere, even there you would not think of carrying a big DSLR rucksack with all the necessary stuff.

By photographing exclusively raw-format, there is also the feeling of film processing within the professional work flow. Something I did miss in the last years, while clicking ten or more shots for every frame. And…, some of the pictures of the microcosms are keepers and sold at stock agencies.

Finally the “slow digital photography” project reduced my “click-rate” at the other events I’m covering with my DSLR stuff. It is not an art-photography-project, aiming to produce directly photographic art, but it is a tool to come closer to the aim of all photographers, to become a complete photographer.

Agencies: Imago, Nurphoto Media,Industry: Politics, Sports, News, Lifestyle, Traveling