Over a week ago we visited Clervaux Castle to see the Edward Steichen collection of The Family of Man, 503 photos by 273 photographers from 68 countries consisting of 37 themes. Steichen brought the collection together for the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) first in 1955 and it has travelled the world and been exposed in over 150 museums before the final integral version was installed in Clervaux Castle in the North of Luxembourg.
Photos by artists such as Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Robert Doisneau, W. Eugene Smith, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank and Ansel Adams and many more. I loved it! The day we visited it was relatively quiet and photography is allowed as long as you don’t use a flash. Duh!
The last photo in the collection is A Walk To The Paradise Garden by W. Eugene Smith, to close on an optimistic note, I guess. I’m a big fan of the photos of W. Eugene Smith, if you do not know his work make sure to check him out today, but although this photo is well executed it also contains little truth to me and the photos of W. Eugene Smith are usually bursting with truth. I’m sure most people would disagree, but I would not have ended the Family of Man exhibition with this photo…
Sort of a new project for me, the different water tower designs here in Luxembourg. Shot on my Cambo SC2 4×5 Monorail Large Format camera with Rodenstock 150mm f5.6 Sironar N lens, a combination I really start to like.
The water tower on the left is on my way to work and I have had now several weeks to see what light would work best. A sunny early morning seemed the best and that is what I went for: the light would not be too contrasty yet and the sun would still touch the tower horizontally without throwing a shadow downward. The light-play makes these photos interesting. I spotted the water tower on the right on Google maps and will try this one again after the corn has been harvested so I can get a little further into the field to avoid the narrow crop.
July 4 marked the date that blast furnace B opened its doors in Beval in the very south of Luxembourg, a few hundred meters away from the French border. Having worked almost next door and endured the constant noise, tremors and dust of the construction for so many months, I was keen to get inside and change my view of the annoyance that is working next to a construction site to the pleasure that is working next door to a great photo location.
I was not disappointed:The surroundings were transformed and the view over Belval was magnificent. For me the most fascinating part is the hall on the first floor where there is plenty of space and original parts of the furnace to imagine how working at a blast furnace must have been.
But also the view from the 40 meter high platform is worth the climb with a view of the Halle des Soufflantes and the gas cleaning tanks and pipes surrounding the blast furnace.
Earlier this week I watched the Hokkaido interview with Michael Kenna again and his work continues to inspire me and I know that his work is very popular on the Net especially since he has been using long exposures for most of his work and long exposures are very popular these days.. I would love to get his book about Hokkaido but $250 is a bit too steep, maybe it is time for a cheap re-release Mr Publisher (please, pretty please?)
Anyway, I started looking at long exposures and the reciprocity failure compensation values for the films I use. I still need some more time experimenting before I get there, but when I was scouting for locations to use around where I live, I came across this small copse that didn’t look too attractive on account of a farm being behind it and a modern shed distracting the view on the other side. But I realized that with my 165mm lens on my Pentax 67II camera, I would be able to crop the photo such that none of these appeared. Not a long exposure of this copse just yet, but certainly a shot I do like.
The site of former steelworks, Belval is currently being transferred into a museum and scientific and cultural centre and is currently very much under construction. It is also the site of my new employer, see here for location. The site is often visited by amateur photographers like me, the person I bumped into yesterday recommended also a visit to Völklingen Ironworks near nearby Saarbrücken for those who are interested in photo walks of industrial brownfields.
I haven’t had the time to explore it too much, having been busy to start my job, but I’m sure to add more photos in the coming months.