Photographic Essays

My Corona Experience (March to July 2020)

My Corona Experience shows images that were either newly taken in 2020 or rediscovered and re-edited during the review of my archive in 2020.

Changed Landscape – Homage to Robert Häusser

Still before the restrictions, when I was frequently driving through the Palatinate agricultural landscapes at low temperatures in February, I noticed the many covered vegetable fields.


Cerro Rico

Cerro Rico is a series of pictures that have been lying dormant in my archive for almost 20 years and which I rediscovered at the end of April 2020.

In 2001 I visited the mines in the Cerro Rico mountain in the Bolivian city of Potosí, where various (increasingly worthless) ores have been mined underground for centuries. The whole mountain is riddled with holes, its interior a single labyrinth.

To climb down and up through narrow mine shafts at a height of 4500 meters with a good 15 kilograms of photographic equipment was exhausting. I had heard about the lack of safety precautions beforehand, and now I heard the bang of blasting again and again.

As so often with my photographic projects, I already had the images I wanted to take in my mind beforehand. Distinctive, sooty faces of the miners, marked by the work, in hard black and white contrasts. So I loaded the camera with Ilford Delta 400 film. My expectations were disappointed in many ways. The mineros did not fit into this cliché, but were often children with correspondingly soft facial features. It was pitch dark in the mine shafts, so that I could hardly recognize anything through my viewfinder and could not compose my picture. Checking the pictures on a display was not possible in the analogue era. Due to exposure measurement it was clear to me that without flash no pictures would be possible. Of course I knew that flash would destroy the special atmosphere, the claustrophobic gloom, but there was no other chance.

Back in my darkroom at home, when I saw the contact sheets I was disappointed how chalky white and atmospherically flat everything had become because of the flash. There were only two images that could be printed using traditional darkroom techniques in a way to recreate the haunting mood of that situation. All others could not be printed this way and were forgotten until the end of April 2020. When I rediscovered the images in the contact sheets, I immediately saw that maybe something could be done with them. The digital tools allow a completely different kind of editing. The pictures were taken with a Contax camera with brilliant Zeiss primes. Therefore the sharpness is excellent. The 35mm black and white negatives were scanned with a Nikon Coolscan 9000 film scanner with 4000 dpi, so that the whole quality of the negatives is preserved in the Tiff files. By means of Photoshop it was possible to reconstruct the impression I had on site. I made the background as black as it was, but with some residual structure that gives an idea of the location.

When I see the pictures today, I am shocked once again at how young the mineros are, or rather that many of them are still children.

Back to My Corona Experience

Contemplationes Reloaded

While reviewing my archive of colour negatives, I came across some pictures that fit into the Contemplationes series.



The Neckarspitze in Mannheim is the last spot of land that extends into the confluence of river Neckar and river Rhine.



Zewa wisch und weg (»wipe and gone«).