Photoessay – Architectural details of Aalen and Schwäbisch Gmünd

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A few more images from my time in Germany earlier in the year – there are a lot of geometrically simple yet interesting architectural details dotted around the towns of Aalen and Schwäbisch Gmünd; of course I suspect they might be rather more depressing without the benefit of such strongly directional autumn light. I would consider this set to be mainly studies of form and texture; distillation of a scene into almost unrelated and non-contextural component elements and nothing more. Regardless of the subject, the aesthetics of an image boil down to this – every compositional element has different visual weight and presence that’s contingent on color and the amount of image it occupies, in addition to relativity to the rest of the frame. Sometimes it’s nice to be free from the expectations and preconventions a particular subject might imply – portraits must include the eyes, for example; or buildings a sense of scale. Enjoy, and lastly, Happy New Year! MT

This series was shot with a Sony A7RII, Zeiss 1.8/85 Batis and 2.8/35 PC Distagon. You can learn the underlying postprocessing in the Weekly Photoshop Workflow series.

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Photoessay: Germany, on the move

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Today’s photoessay comes from a much earlier trip in the year to Zeiss HQ in Germany; I had a lot of connections and a lot of transit time. The camera naturally falls to hand and one starts observing and recording. Having personally spent a lot of time in transit in a large number of countries around the world, I always find it remarkable how developed countries are quite similar – but somehow little things make a difference in implementation and efficiency of the overall system. Whilst German public transport lacks the brutal efficiency of the Swiss, it also lacks the unpredictability of the French and Italians, so I suppose that’s reason not to complain…MT

This series was shot with a Leica Q, Sony A7RII and Zeiss 1.8/55 FE and 1.8/85 Batis lenses. You can learn the underlying postprocessing in the Weekly Photoshop Workflow series.

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Photoessay: Gold and Silver Forum, Schwäbisch Gmünd

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During my previous trip to Zeiss HQ in Oberkochen, the group was taken to the nearby town of Schwäbish Gmünd for a demo session with the new lenses; I passed on the models and wandered around the town with Lloyd Chambers instead. Needless to say, this rather unique building caught my eye I and landed up producing a series of studies of it. It is the Gold and Silver Forum located on the banks of the Josefsbach stream in the centre of town; I was made to understand that the reason behind it was the area being historically a centre for fine metalsmithing several hundred years ago. Today, it serves as a public space to take in the sunshine and a meal. Personally, I think the most interesting part is the way the faceted facade reflects light and simultaneously creates the illusion of having many layers and great complexity thanks to the play of projected shadows on the underlying building’s core. This was accentuated by the hard light of that particular day. The facade itself is quite a challenging subject simply because it’s difficult to fully abstract without focusing overly on a single set of apertures, and pulling out loses the shadow gradation on the structure beneath. Enjoy! MT

This series was shot with a Sony A7RII, Zeiss Batis 1.8/85, Contax Zeiss 2.8/35 PC Distagon and a Leica Q. Postprocessing was with the ‘commercial’ technique in Making Outstanding Images Ep.5: processing for style.

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