woensdag 11 november 2015

Everything is a parking space

Some new sculptures of Samatha Rees will be shown at ANY RECORD in The Hague. Here is already a sneak preview of her work, or at least some details of it. The opening reception is on saturday the 14th of november between 16:00 and 18:00 hours. For everybody who has never been to this space: Any Record is a nice underground record shop, located at Geest 32 in The Hague. Don't miss it!

all art work © Samantha Rees
all photographs © Norman Beierle 

donderdag 27 augustus 2015

analogue ghosts

A certain surprise by mixing up things badly and getting nice results at the end is more common with good old analogue films, rather than digital media. The whole snowball effect of mistakes that develops in an avalanche of uncertain outcome are of course not made on purpose, but are a necessary ingredient for expanding personal limits, like in my multiple exposures from last year.

This time I ran a roll of colour film through (at least) three different cameras. The first 36 images were from the last days of Buffy and were captured with my Fuji HD-R. Somehow the film cartridge got damaged in my backpack after it was exposed and I decided to put the film into a refillable cartridge which I stored in the fridge. Instead of bringing the film to a develop service I forgot about it and used it as a black and white test film for an Olympus mju camera. 

I took the camera with me but made only occasional images until the (old) battery was too low. The camera's display counted 17 images and I decided to shoot the rest of the film in a newer Olympus mju II camera. At the end I was sure that the film was a 400 ASA black and white film, which I developed in coffee.  ... and voila, after almost one year - unexpected results in a dozen.

all photos © Norman Beierle

woensdag 12 augustus 2015

thuis komen met een vakantievriendje

La Sorgue @ Fontaine de Vaucluse
Vakanties verlopen vaak net iets anders dan gepland. Dat er een paar kleine, onverwachte veranderingen gebeuren tijdens de vakantie is uiteraard deel van het vakantieavontuur. Mijn trip naar Frankrijk had ik min of meer geheel "analoog" gepland. Ik had voldoende rolfilms meegenomen om er bijna elke dag eentje met mijn Yashica Mat vol te kunnen schieten. 

Notre Dame de la Major @ Arles
Een deel van de films was ouder dan het fototoestel zelf en het was de vraag of sommige films überhaupt nog te gebruiken waren, maar deze spanning was een gepland onderdeel van de vakantie. Waar ik echter niet op voorbereid was, was dat de Yashica Mat na enkele rolletjes gewoon op hield met werken. Ik kon de film op eens niet meer verder spoelen en daarom ook geen een enkele opname meer maken.

raam met kat @ Arles
Zo zat ik dus met een tas vol rolfilms, maar nu zonder werkende camera. Een nog net betaalbaar alternatief heb ik in een antiekwinkel in Arles gevonden: een Kodak Brownie No. 2 (model F) die tussen 1924 en 1933 geproduceerd werd. Dat was ook de enige functionerende camera voor gangbare rolfilms, slechts het rode raampje aan de achterkant was behoorlijk verbleekt. Het belangrijkste was om zo min mogelijk zonlicht via het rode venstertje in het binnenste van de camera te laten. Een stukje karton en een elastiek was voldoende om rode zweem op de kleurenfilms te voorkomen.

Brownie met zonlichtprotectie
Ik heb uiteindelijk geen opnamen van dichtbij kunnen nemen, omdat dat zonder portretlens niet mogelijk was. Wel heb ik een groot deel van de vakantie vast kunnen leggen. Toen ik eenmal thuis gekomen de kleurenfilms heb laten ontwikkelen was ik zelfs aangenaam verrast over de algehele kwaliteit van de opnamen, zeker wat betreft scherpte en chromatische aberratie.

Chinees restaurant @ Fourchon Arles
all text and photos © Norman Beierle

vrijdag 29 mei 2015

The Age of Discovery

One of the modern highlights of Sevilla is definitly the area of the Expo '92, which was held between 20 April and 12 October of that year. The expo theme "the age of discovery" was to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' first visit to the "new world".

Some of the expo pavilions are abandoned, others are housing companies. The nice thing is that a lot of the pavilions are still there, although in various conditions. In the mid day the area is filled with office workers and students, who eat their lunch between the buildings. 

The best way to visit the Expo '92 is by bike as the terrain is quite huge and you can at least spend a whole day if you want to see most of the structures.

all images © Norman Beierle

vrijdag 24 april 2015


shortlisted for the APhF:15

In case you can't read the tiny letters on the jpeg of my computer screen: It says that the festival director of the Athens Photo Festival is pleased to inform me that my book has been shortlisted for the Athens Photo Festival 2015. Further it says that the (final) selection process will be completed shortly, and I will be notified via email no later than 12 May (about) it.

After the festival has ended it will find a place in the Helenic Centre for Photography. In my imagination this must be some kind of Greek Valhalla: the heaven on earth for photo books.

next stop: Kassel during the 7th fotobookfestival

Almost at the same time a couple of "Repetitions" are at the art space Warte für Kunst in Kassel. It is the second edition of kijk:paperes, organized by Katrin Kamrau and Robert Schlotter. This event will be open between 4 and 7 june and is a platform for self-published books, editions and independent publishers with a focus on photography. Kamrau and Schlotter are also running the Malenki photo editions.

woensdag 18 februari 2015


A new year - a new publication. This time I made a black and white booklet with 48 pages on thick paper in magazine style, all held together with two staples in the back. I decided to ad no additional text to it except the title and my name on the front cover. This print-on-demand booklet in A4 format has an edition of max. 50 copies and costs only 15 euro. You can order a copy on this website. The prices of the paypal button includes shipping and tax (inside Europe).

The book contains images of construction sites and city architecture that took my interest. Looking through my negatives, I discovered recurring topics. So now and then I returned to the same place and captured with my camera building processes in different stages.

On the other hand I noticed that some negatives with architectural structures and buildings have a common visual consistency. For example the form of a pyramid is used as a rooflight of an underground station, somewhere else the pyramid is used for a catholic church. Both interests in the urban space I have brought together in Repetitions.

all images © Norman Beierle

donderdag 22 januari 2015

A camera is a camera

curtains, flashed
All cameras have some qualities of its own. A nice camera doesn't even have to make images at all. For example the collection of Jan Boettcher contains a lot of dummy cameras which are made for other purposes. Not all cameras are designed to take perfect images. At least since the introduction of the Brownie box as a cheap mass product for everyone - cameras received a different status. 
adjusted and cropped b/w image
They weren't anymore the sophisticated machines to make detailed images of all family members in a studio. The new purpose was to make "memories" of million people. You could make photos quick and easy and wherever you wanted with this cheap and portable device. The quality of the images was obviously secondary - a trend that rules the world of photography for more than a century by now. 
black and white conversion inside camera (software)
But why bother? It's a sort of introduction, as my new portable device has a so called front and a main camera: a VGA for mug shots and a 5 Mp camera in the back with a built-in LED flash. No focussing and minimal choices for adjusting inside the menu. I honestly didn't bought the smartphone for its cameras, because I have already seen some sample images on websites that have tested and reviewed the thing. So I was warned on forehand.
color version
adjusted black canal from LAB mode
I had not really high no expectations. The images that came out have more pixels than a Nokia camera I had years ago, but the colors and the whole image quality are pretty similar. - But hey, isn't it the photographer - the human behind the device - who creates the images? And what do you think of the Lomography movement or the Mobile Photography Awards? Isn't it hip to have a rudimentary camera in your pocket?
contrast adjustment inside camera (software)
I am sure my new digital Diana's have their own potential. They make images with - let's say  - an own flavor. I was even a bit surprised by some images. The lens has severe color shifts, at least outside in cloudy weather., but the black and white setting is quite okay. I haven't found yet the optimal distance for the best sharpness. It is possible between 1,5 and 2,5 meters. Despite the little imperfections, I made already some unforgettable images.
adjusted and cropped b/w image