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February 2002 Archives
My Minilux was recently stolen in a diner on 103rd street in Manhattan, New York. The camera is a Titanium Minilux with a date-back. I had bought a soft leather pouch for it. The Pouch is black and has the name Leica embossed on the front. The Serial number of the Camera is 2143224. The number is stamped on the bottom of the Camera and can not be removed. Please help find the camera. If you currently own the camera, please give it back. You know that it is a great camera and I am willing to pay you a finder?s fee for it. Please email me with any information.
Please help us find the stolen camera. Thank you.
Just spent the last hour or so shooting pictures of the Moonset. I know, I know, this sounds very much like serious insomnia. I do not know what it is. I am tired and I am going to sleep now, just to catch the last and best REM cycle, but the moon just grandiosely and majestically moved between buildings that it was reason enough for me to move furniture around the house and to spend the last moonlit hour exposing film for seconds then minutes. The moon is a fast moving object, compared to the stars, so it is quite possible to be too slow for the moon. I hope at least one picture came out. Last time when I was shooting the moon, I was indeed too slow and so instead of a moon face, all I got was a sausage of .
(I must have this picture somewhere in my iPhoto box, let me check)
Quite an eventful day, filled with little details which I might not be able to recall all. Some details should maybe not even be disclosed, some information shall remain private. Yes even a blog needs a corner to hide.
We have a minilux again. It was all just too painful. The camera changed the way I see things so much. And then there was this plan to build a http://www.minilux.org, a gallery for minilux photographers. I know it all sounds a bit product focused, but this camera is quite special in so many ways. So I got one off eBay. And it is even a black one. The black ones are pretty rare. They probably are not as durable as the titanium ones, but they look a bit more leica like.
I bought the camera from somebody in New York, so I could pick it up immediately, pay and forget that the old one was lost. The German expression for this is Verdrängung. What is the English equivalent? (It is not extrusion, don¹t believe Babblefish)...
The seller knew what he was talking about. A photographer himself, for years, he has a website where one can buy some excellent rare photography books. It is appropriately named photographybooks.com. The site is currently a bit bare bone, but the books are great. He got himself a client. I did not tell him that, but will get some books there in the future.
The camera came with a ready case. Had my old minilux had this case, we would probably still own it... Oh well.
I can¹t wait to put some film into the camera and to shoot some minilux pictures again. Yipiee.
Wow, a bright orange circle of s just started slowly burning from façade to façade. It is the reflection of the majectically rising sun, and I know it all sounds a bit kitchy, but it is spectacular again. There are no Clouds in the sky to announce the arrival of the sun, so all the colors do come as a bit of a surprise.
Here we go, Waferbaby just posted another New York shot. waferbaby » photos » the city project » witold (skyline). Thank you! I Like the Clouds in this particular picture and how the shadows on the building on the left are somehow like negative clouds.
It is also refreshing sometimes to have the Empire State Building a little less erect than in real life.
The coppery color is now much milder over Manhattan, only the windows of the Building across Broadway still glowing in a now more golden tone.
there is this warm rich copper tone painted over the city. what an incredible sunrise.
I know that this is not really the freshest news of the day, but the videos on this site are just really funny. It is a bit like the future, reduced on one mode of transportation. Will The Segway HT, or Ginger, or IT. Really revolutionize walking?. Nobody is walking in these videos. Everybody is *standing*. This is not walking anymore, folks. Walking actually involves taking steps. There are no steps here, just leaning and standing. I know this new great mode of transportation needs to be explained in terms understandable and digestible to the current common person. The first cars were carriages without horses, and the first television was a radio with a moving picture. Ginger is a quite funny looking device. Maybe ideo should help here. Enough for today.
Here we go, some really great Stock photography by this Photographer in Texas, who happens to have the same first name as I do.Witold Photography - Stock and Assignment Travel and Landscape Photography This guy is living our dream. I think i want to meet him. His pictures are amazing for what they are. Great stuff, page after page, after page. Wow. His name is Witold Skrypczak and he was also born in Poland. Of course.
Oh, one would think that the last entry might be difficult to top. This site was also visited by someone who was looking for "ground zero dog ad in new yorker magazine " on yahoo. I don¹t even want to link to that. ; ) wuff.
Yet another successful submission to the mirror project.The Empire State Building and me (again) Cheers... oh, and there is another one... total of four now. Yippiee.
Added The Underwood Building/WTC panorama to the | catalogue | 600x250 | Yes, these are the real buildings. The exposure was so long, it made them look a bit like toys.
Another article describing the Minilux lens:Minilux & Summarit. What a fine little camera.
oh, btw, catching the first rays was more like catching a cold. it is pretty cold in new york this morning, with a breeze coming from some even cooler region.
glad to be back in bed now. undercover writing relaxes.
Max from Meso just forwarded me this link:qmpo. How cute is that. GO to the support section to see better detail of the unit. I even like their copyright line ® LEGO and the knob configuration are trademarks of the LEGO Group. Leg Godt. (Spelling?)
Sun is coming out. Have to run, catch the first rays.
Got my first post on waferbaby... waferbaby » photos » the city project » witold
Btw, the full copy for the post was too long. I know, i just keep going on, and on, and on...
Here is the original writer¹s cut:
1. Customized NYC Taxi Map.
New York is different now. Manhattan looks very different. Downtown will never be the same. One thing has never changed though: Many people really and truly love New York. Most New Yorkers love their New York even more. Expressions of this affection can be seen in some very unexpected places. The example here is a map found in every New York taxi cab. The maps were obviously printed before September 11th, and many of them have been customized by New Yorkers and New York visitors since. I like this subtle little heart. The line was drawn twice and the passenger must have drawn it while probably pretending to look outside. I love New York.
**** end of cut
i like the edit. it is what it is.
Went through a series of older films yesterday, looking for some ok shots. Boy, I was a truly random photographer. An impulse-shooter. Some really, really bad stuff.
Trying to find out who designed the new Metrocard Vending machines, (the same people who designed the new MTA cars), I came across this interesting article:MetroCard Mess Enjoy. (So sad to see the twin towers at the bottom of the article, next to the ³Welcome to New York²)
When I bought the minilux back in November of 2000, I was so blown away by the sudden improvement of my photographic skills, that I wrote the following review on amazon: (I had to actually edit it, because the original text was talking about running out in the morning, just to capture the magical . I used to do that indeed, but who needs to know that?) : )
Other point and shoot cameras might look sleeker at first. They have more buttons you can press, and might have some special function that makes them especially desirable. (Rarely the ability to take great pictures though, it seems) The minilux follows a simple philosophy: create a camera does not look intrusive and takes the best pictures possible. Leicas have been the favorites of photographers worldwide, since Oskar Barnack decided that maybe taking pictures on 35mm film would make photography more portable and more spontaneous, thus inventing, the ur-leitz-camera, lei-ca. Documentary-style photography was born. Take a look at books with photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson or Alfred Eisenstaedt. The most important part of ANY camera is the lens. The Leica Summarit 2.4/40 lens on the minilux is excellent. It is very fast (bright) 2.4(!) so you will find yourself taking more natural looking pictures without a flash more often. (Also remember: zoom lenses can never be as bright and as sharp as this lens.) The camera has a meter built in, so before you shoot, you can find out what might be the appropriate settings for the particular environment. It is up to you to decide if you would like to overwrite these settings by changing the aperture. (From 2.4! to 16) Measure again, and you will know if your new aperture setting makes sense. If it is too dark, the camera will automatically turn on the back ing on the display and charge the flash for you. Just in case you would like to take a picture right away. The camera is full of great, very positive surprises. Even the holding strap has the perfect length, so you can shoot spontaneous, yet perfectly sharp snapshots right out of the palm of your hand. The active auto-focus works great under any conditions. If you do not want to use the auto-focus, you can always overwrite it. The camera just takes great pictures.
This camera is a perfect gift, for yourself or for somebody you care about. It might change the way you see things. It might make you appreciate every day a little more. It worked for me. Really.
Today could have been a good day. We were on our way to the armory show. Then after breakfast, the Leica Minilux was gone. It must have fallen onto the floor and somebody just took it. Somebody is very happy tonight. The camera is so excellent. Hmm... Sad.
Wow, it is getting late. Managed to post a much needed addition to the catalogue. witold riedel | catalogue | diptychs No more comments. Enjoy. I am going to sleep now. Tired.
Why is this site listed o google when I am at home and not when I am not at home? Are there several googles? A google amount of googles?
Mulpha questions by Mike Hentz and
Oliver Vogt, forarded to me by the one and only Michael Dodt:
Answers by me in the morning, sleepy, so please forgive stangeness...
> hier einige fragen an die leute:
> Some of the questions :
> What kind of world would you like to live in ?
A world in which there is less ³me² and ³I² and ³them² and more of ³WE² and ³US² and ³WIR².
> What do you think will be in 10 years ?
2012 (at least).
> What are you doing for that ?
> Whats new 2002 ?
Crystal Ball does not know a clear answer. Spring will be new and summer, and there are three new babies I know of personally. Now, that is important.
> What did the 11th september change in your work ?
It changed the roots. It changed our world. It still hurts.
We have these posters here that are based on Milton Glaser¹s I (heart) NY.
Milton Glaser was asked to make a new version of that after the 11th. And he made a dark mark on the bottom left of the heart and changed the line to I (heart) New York, more than ever.
And so do I. And I think most New Yorkers do.
> Do you love your products ?
I love some of them. Some I like. Some need some help.
> What is immaterial design ?
Oh boy. First of all it is a play with words.
All design has some sort of purpose.
Even if the purpose is sometimes hidden.
> Mental design ?
> What¹s your relation to destruction ? (expiration date ?)
Two completely different things.
I do not like destruction at all. Maybe liking of destruction could make me a better designer, but this would be a silly price to pay for short term feeling of success. I am not interested in that.
Expiration date is something else. Expiration date is transformation. Each one of us is going to die, but ³we² will never die. It just depends how open we define ³we². Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, but it is the ashes and the dust that actually become the carrier of food for flowers. I think we forget very often, that flowers are as much a symbol of life as a symbol of transformation. Life, death, life, death. We are all ultimately one large being.
> What would you recommend to young designers ?
Work. Do not believe in all the hype.
Lead, listen, pay attention.
Record your impressions.
Try to remember what your parents told you.
> Design in politics ?
Better than Politics in Design, of which there is a lot.
> Globalization what¹s good about it ?
Deutsche Industrie Norm.
Globalization could be great if it were not a cover-up for exploitation and some other old and not very nice human behavior.
Globalization of information is good. But it ends up as globalization of propaganda.
This question is too difficult for me right now.
> What¹s good about glokal ?
That it sounds funny?.
³Think global act local² was the internal motto for Coke in 2000.
How global can a human being really think? How well do our brains really work?
Certain things need to happen in person.
I hope this will never change.
> What do you want ?
Peace and Love.
And the good in people.
And for more people to understand that we are one being. Hurting others ultimately hurts ourselves.
Please do not quote me on any of the answers. It is early in the day still. I might need more time to think about them.
Here we go, let me just join another Movement. Trying to help David Gallagher to get to the top of google. Yes, he can get there, with the help of friends like you and me. We can do it.
Next post probably should explain the giraffe.
Let¹s talk about the big lens again. It is a nice and easy topic, and it allows me to post some pictures, which makes this post longer, even though I do not have too much to say.
The big lens, Sonnar 4/300, the heavy, black, big lens, actually does allow to take pictures. It sounds like a given, but we might want to remember that the lens is almost 50 years old. An old piece of technology. Filled with old Dust and who knows what else. Definitely some old memories. It seems that the lens has tiny air bubbles in the first element, very strange. Is this Separation? Separation, the scary, dangerous and almost not reparable decay of old lenses. Some of the Glas elements within the lens are actually glued together because their properties could not be generated by one piece of glass, I guess. A lens is a sort of living gem, it can fall, it is exposed to various atmospheric influences, so it is quite possible that air begins an interaction with the glue in the lens, which might lead to air bubbles in the glue, which in turn can lead to a separation of glass elements, thus a change in the properties of the lens.
Not sure if my Lens is all together still, when I look through it, most that I see seems to be hair and dust.
The Camera seems to see more.
Here we go, let¹s just take a look at the degree of magnification possible with the Sonnar 300. The larger picture will not be the entire frame, because I forgot about the film in the camera and ruined some frames. The comparison should give a nice idea of what is going on though.
First the view out of the window here, taken with the minilux. The minilux leica lens is a f2.4/40 lens, so it is a s wide angle. (50 would be a non distorted view, I guess?...)
I marked a little yellow rectangle in the picture. It is the same view, seen through the sonnar f4/300. And here is the picture. Shout out of my hand. No tripod, a bit blurry because of that, maybe... Oh, and the windows here are pretty dusty toom since they are facing broadway. Yes, there is a church in New Jersey and yes, it is not really visible with the naked eye.
So Nahe. (so close)... Sonnar actually comes from Sonne, or Sun, because the low count of glas elements in these lenses, developed for the Olympics in 1936 in Berlin, made them pretty bright. (fast)
Blogger was down last night, and the mornings just do not seem to be as smooth as they used to be. It is almost seven now and my head feels like a badly stuffed toy. Oh boy.
The sun is a day glow orange reflection in the facades of the buildings in New Jersey. I might need a few more minutes to truly wake up.
Ok, another image that was not accepted by the mirror project. It is seemingly not me, and no, there is not a camera in sight. But hey, it is a mirror, and it is a part of me. It is my Hand, dressed up as a handpuppet, in the bathroom of f SQ26 from JFK to Frankfurt/Main, sometime in by the end of November 2001. A roll is not a bomb, and the knife I used to cut the smile on the roll was made out of plastic.
I somehow understand that the mirror project did not accept this one.
Ok, now I really need to sleep. Good night.
There goes the weekend. And what a weekend it was. I was lucky enough to get three days with a Contax G2. A real Photographer who prefers the middle format now, gave his old camera to me, just to try it out. Hmm. A titanium body, obviously very sturdy, since this particular camera seems to have kissed the ground several times. The camera came with a strap that has a large Leica logo on it. And this was also the question of the weekend. We do have a Leica Minilux here, a reliable little friend with one lens, a f2.4/40, and here was the bigger sly heavier, obviously more serious Contax G2. A professional rangefinder camera, with a Leica strap.
I really shot only a few rolls with the Contax, but it just is so tempting to burn through film so easily. The release button just invites to be pressed. I must have shot 20 or so pictures which I really did not want to take. And what about the real deal Leica, what about the M6 TTL. B&H was the place to go. The Leica was just a very minimal camera. There is not much on it, except a huge price tag. 2000 for the body alone, and then the lenses for another 2000 at least?... Hmm... Then there is this Konica Hexar. A Leica Rip off, except with a motor in it, as tempting to shootshootshoot as the Contax. The Contax does not have a manual focus, the viewfinder is always sharp, the camera is loud, it does have a nice dashboard in the viewfinder, the Leica viewfinder is biggest and brightest. Is this all confusing? Yes, it is very confusing. This is why I am adding no links, or pictures, or anything here, because it is quite confusing.
It seems that I will stick with the minilux for now. And definitely have my Praktina lenses cleaned. Some of the pictures with the large 300mm Lens came out surprisingly clear. I will need to shoot more with that.
And maybe find some place that can scan my films without scratching them.
All of my negatives still came back with scratches, even though they were not supposed to this time, and even though the scanner had been cleaned.
Wow, this little blog is all over the place...
I will need to get some sleep now I do not seem to be able to concentrate.
Good night. I will write more about the cameras as soon as I have a clearer head.
Finally made it into The Mirror Project! Yey! How great is that?. More later.
It is several days now that I submitted the picture below to the mirror project. I guess it will never appear there, since I am a bit too small of an reflection in the picture. (You can not really see me)
But I am there, I am just dressed up as a Jumbo Jet. We do sometimes dress up as people and things, don¹t we?
It was the end of December 2001, I had been in Europe for more than three weeks. I had all these grand plans, wanted to work with so many people, wanted to meet so many old friends. I stayed in Frankfurt for the first week, and then things got a bit weird, and coincidently I had the opportunity to visit Paris. I went. Coming back to Frankfurt was supposed to be a better new stab at old friendships. The whole thing really failed when I got really sick. I think it was Pneumonia. I Found myself delirious, in my old room at my parents¹ place. Many of my German friends just complained that I failed to visit them. My feeling was that I barely survived the situation.
When I took the picture, it was the end of the trip. I was still on some serious new medication, but going back to New York. I have had enough of some of the pain. I know that some people were hurt my my actions some were hurt my my inactions. I was strangely relieved to be on that plane.
Latin Quarter, across Broadway is going to be converted into a Chase Manhattan Bank. So they say. There is a scaffold around the two story building. The green vinyl covers will soon be replaced by new windows. I hope the sign will not be as flashy as the McDonalds Neon sign, with the self eating burger, soda and fries.
The Hudson river does not care about these tiny changes. It¹s salty waters will be here long, long after the final merger of Banks and Fast-food franchise. Broadway might still be Broadway then, the path from the south tip of Manhattan, all the way to ... Hmm... Where exactly?...
Just realized that most of my films have been scratched by the scanner of my Photo place. This is really bad, since many of the pictures are very subtle and the negatives are now ruined.
A horrible thing to discover.
Just remembered ULF from Unplugged TV. And it is funnier than I remembered it. Not suitable for all audiences. Use responsibly. (Oh, and you want to watsh tse Konspiratsy Korner, with Ulf.)
The world turns, we pay taxes and Macromedia Has Big Plans for Flash. Of course they do.
Interesting article though.
Oh, yes, there was a tiny ³Mask² in ³Passions² at the James Cohan Gallery, as mentioned before in this blog.Art in Context - Ron Mueck > Exhibitions cheers.
Wait a second, wait a second... The giant in Design is Kinky PERMANENT is Ron Mück.... hmm... interesting... what is Ron Mück (Mueck) up to?...
Here we go, another gem of the web. www.okimi.com Use the HYPNOTIZE link to just get spaced out. Another moment when I would really like to be able to comprehend Japanese. So desu ne?
Straight out of Reservocation: destroy rockcity, by Lee Miesenheimer. Today¹s lion is not my favorite drawing, but I like Lee¹s style very much. A bit like Moebius and Bilal. Excellent work. And it is a drawing a day. Each and every one of us should do that. Definitely worth a look. And a second look and a third. (and probaly a 365th)
First experience with the Sonnar300 has nothing to do with the pictures. Having 12 inches of black metal in front of one¹s belly does make one more interesting to others. The owner of the breakfast restaurants turned out to be a man who loves Leica cameras and who actually shoots 16mm shorts.
(He wanted to look through the lens) Fathers with babies really wanted to have their picture taken (three, four?). And then there was this really strange glancing everywhere. Who says New Yorkers can not react.
The lens is really heavy. It is big and bulky and it also has a viewing angle that is just a bit beyond the regular human experience. Upon discovering an interesting detail on a house, I found myself going away almost a block, in order to be able to get more than just a portion of it. Taking pictures of people will requite a bit more patience, since the lens needs about four turns to get into focus. And did I ever mention that the Praktina FX I own does not have a meter? (Forget TTL) So shots need to be based on experience, of which I do not have much. Let¹s hope I still manage to get the ratio of one ok picture per film.
It is so much faster to shoot with the minilux. Just press the button and the picture will be crisp. Oh, well...
Taking some time to shoot a picture can have its own charm.
One incredible thing about a real big black tele-lens attached to a camera with a focusing hood (is this the right expression?) is that one just happens to be outside of the zone of awareness of a common New Yorker, or probably any warm blooded creature outside of complete wilderness. It is possible to shoot candid pictures openly. It is possible to shoot portraits from across the avenue. This is going to be real fun, once I figure out how to focus faster... And maybe develop stronger arms, so I can hold the camera steady, longer. Oh boy. Tomorrow, maybe some pictures. : )
We are shooting analogue.
some tiny pictures of the big lens, taken by Janusz Borowski from Warszawa. (Yes, the lens came all the way from Warsaw in Poland)
Received a sweet lens today. It is an Olympia Sonnar 4/300. The lens weighs maybe 6 pounds and is just a wild piece of engineering from the 30¹s. The original Olympia Lens was developed by Dr. Ludwig Bertele at Carl Zeiss in 1930. Some of the lenses reach speeds of up to f/1.5. Mine is a Carl Zeiss Jena with the number 6237482. It is just crazy how it dwarfs the camera. My particular model must have been manufactured in the 50¹s or early 60¹s because it fits the praktina FX. (Why else would I have bought it.)
The lens seems to be in pretty good shape. I will have to shoot some tests and will then report. Looking forward to it.
I just attached a macro extension ring to the lens and it is excellent. It offers the flatness of a tele lens combined with shorter distances. I might be losing some though. Need more testing. Will post images here, of course, so stay tuned.
I did not know there was serious blogging until last December. And now this:
Anti-Bloggies. Thank God the web is more than "an E-commerce solution". (Accelerating performance of buzzword generation.) Feeling a bit burned out for the last few days. Strange, strange... I wonder why.
A dear friend sent me a fantastic link Mail Art Central. Pass along objects. I am on maybe 7 lists now. Looking forward to participating in this exciting little cultural event.
Monique sent me a great link today. (Thank you Monique) 1000 Journals. I will try to get one. or two, or maybe more?... Ok, not really get, just help to transform.
The sky is clear, but it is 19?F in Manhattan (feels like 9?C) ...
This equals -7?C, that feels like -13?C.... I think cold is the word that we are looking for here. Oh, and windy is the other word.
Another gem on the world wide web... Ladies and Gentlemen: The Mirror Project. Ok, obviously this site is no news to some 3000 people, but maybe you, the reader would like to see yourself in a really great context.
Yey!... See you there.
While all this was going on, I think I might have a favorite site of the day. Not quite sure yet, and it actually might be a bit of a favorite site of the week, maybe. Also, the spam link below is from this site anyway, it is just that I linked before I thought (never link before you think) and so it was a link on impulse (implink). But now, at the beginning of a new week. I think I do have a favorite site. And it will be yours too, and I think there will be plenty of linking... it is...waferbaby. And if you knew about this site and did not tell me about it, then shame (pron: shaaa-me). Otherwise, happy surfing, linking all is good.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are experiencing a pink sunrise this moring in New York. There is a band of pink sky over the Hudson "River" and New Jersey.
(Not again, did I just write ³River² so I can elaborate on the ³Hudson Fjord² technicality?)
Sky is pink, sun is just rising over the horizon. w o w
took pictures of two befriended clouds, but because my camera is analogue, this post does not contain a link.