Berlin After Dusk: A bike tour from literature to photography

Working as a self-employed publishing sales rep in the early 90’s, Detlef Bluhm visited many bookshops in the former GDR. On his travels, during those turbulent years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he started to use his camera as a personal notebook by photographing the shop fronts of the visited bookshops. The photos ended up in his files and had been forgotten for many years. Now we can be glad that Detlef Bluhm made those pictures, showing us images of a society that has rapidly disappeared. Last summer it resulted in the exhibition »Leseland im Umbruch« in Schloss Reinberg’s Coach House. From April 15th until May 17th 2019 the photos will be exhibited in the Library of Potsdam, near Berlin.

Leseland_Greifswald

As mentioned, Detlef Bluhm wasn’t a professional photographer in those days. By the time photography became more than a hobby to him, he already had made a career as an author and publisher. And in those roles he had been working on many books about Berlin. So it can’t come as a surprise, that his first photobook »Berlin im Glanz der Nacht«  (Berlin After Dusk) puts the spotlight on the German capital.

Berlin_Hufeisensiedlung_s.jpg

 

Literally. As all photos were made after dark. Night can add character to a place that wouldn’t even be noticed after daybreak. A couple of years ago Detlef Bluhm photographed the small village off Sandberg and shortly after that the mayor of nearby Gersfeld  commissioned him to document his town in the same manner. The idea came during a night walk, when barns and stables seemed to have an almost ominous presence, that couldn’t be felt at daytime. Those inconspicuous places, have their special attraction in the dark of night. After the Gersfeld series it only seemed obvious to Detlef Bluhm to dedicate a book to his hometown Berlin by applying the same approach. So he started to roam the city at night on his bicycle. Twenty months he worked on this book and exhibiton. The photos do not only show us the icons and well-known sites of Berlin in an unusual light or from a new perspective, some also give us access to places that usually are out of bounds at night.

Berlin_MercedesBenzArena_s.jpg

For »Berlin im Glanz der Nacht« Detlef Bluhm used a Fuji GFX. He’s very happy with the camera, but gradually it became clear to him, that some scenes and perspectives couldn’t be shot in the way he intended to. Enter the Cambo Actus. A view camera small enough to accompany him on his bike tours through the city and a welcome addition to his photographic abilities. He was pleasantly surprised to see how using the Actus gave him more technical possibilities and creative freedom. “In my new photographic project (the book will be published spring 2020) I’ll use the Cambo Actus-GFX even more frequently, as it will be all about architecture.”

Gutshaus_s

 

Posted in ACTUS, Architecture, Cityscape, General, Landscape | Tagged , , , , , ,

Detlef Bluhm: Wie ein Literator sich der Fotografie widmete

Note: This blog post is in German. We’ll provide an English version shortly.

Anfang der 90er Jahre hat Detlef Bluhm in seiner damaligen Tätigkeit als selbständiger Verlagsvertreter die Buchhandlungen in den neuen Bundesländern besucht. Seine Kamera diente ihm dabei als fotografisches Skizzenbuch, indem er die Fassaden der von ihm besuchten Läden fotografierte. Die Fotos landeten in seinem Archiv und wurden jahrelang vergessen. Wir können uns jedoch freuen, dass Detlef Bluhm sie gemacht hat, da sie uns ein Bild einer längst verschollenen Gesellschaft  zeigen. Die Ausstellung »Leseland im Umbruch« wurde im Sommer dieses Jahres in der Remise des Schlosses Rheinsberg gezeigt und wird vom 15. April bis zum 17. Mai 2019 in der Potsdamer Stadt- und Landesbibliothek zu sehen sein.Leseland_Greifswald

Wie gesagt, war Detlef Bluhm damals nicht beruflich als Fotograf tätig. Als er sich wirklich der Fotografie widmete, hatte er sich bereits seine Lorbeeren als Autor und Verleger verdient. Und in diesen beiden Rollen war er für so manches Buch über Berlin zuständig. Keine Überraschung deshalb, dass er sich für seinen ersten Bildband nochmals seiner Heimatstadt zugewendet hat. Das Ergebnis ist »Berlin im Glanz der Nacht«.Berlin_Hufeisensiedlung_s.jpg

 

Der Buchtitel lässt schon erahnen, dass die Bilder dieses Buches alle nach Einbruch der Dunkelheit entstanden sind. Die Nacht verleiht der Stadt einen eigentümlichen Glanz, der erst mit der Morgendämmerung vergeht. Bereits einige Jahre zuvor fotografierte Detlef Bluhm das unscheinbare Dorf Sandberg in der Rhön und kurz darauf im Auftrag des Bürgermeisters die nahegelegene Stadt Gersfeld bei Nacht. Auf die Idee kam er, als ihm während eines nächtlichen Spazierganges durch das Dorf die fast unheimliche Präsenz der Scheunen und Bauernhöfe aufgefallen war. Detlef Bluhm konnte dabei feststellen, dass Orte und Objekte an den man tagsüber oft gedankenlos vorbei geht, nachts ihren besonderen Reiz haben. Danach lag es nahe, seine Heimatstadt Berlin auf diese Weise zu porträtieren. Und so hat er sich dann auch in der Metropole mit seinem Fahrrad auf den Weg gemacht. Er hat zwanzig Monate an dem Projekt gearbeitet. Das Ergebnis sind Bilder, die uns nicht nur die weltbekannten Ikonen der Stadt in einem ungewöhnlichen Licht oder aus einer neuen Perspektive zeigen, sondern auch Räume, die in der Nacht für die Öffentlichkeit unzugänglich sind.

Berlin_MercedesBenzArena_s.jpg

»Berlin im Glanz der Nacht« hat Detlef Bluhm mit der Fuji GFX fotografiert. Allmählich wurde ihm klar, dass er mit dieser Kamera manche Motive oder Perspektive nicht so aufnehmen konnte, wie er sie abgebildet sehen wollte. Deswegen wurde im Laufe dieses Projekts seine Ausrüstung durch eine Cambo Actus-GFX ergänzt. Auf seinen Streifzügen mit dem Fahrrad ließ sich die kompakte und kleine Fachkamera problemlos mitnehmen. Die Leistungsfähigkeit der Actus und die Erweiterung seiner fotografischen Möglichkeiten haben ihn überrascht. »In meinem neuen Fotoprojekt (das Buch dazu erscheint dann im Frühjahr 2020) werde ich die Cambo Actus-GFX übrigens noch stärker einsetzen, denn da geht es allein um Architekturfotografie.«

Gutshaus_s.jpg

Posted in ACTUS, Architecture, Cityscape, General, Landscape | Tagged , , , , ,

Technical Camera Movements

Technical Camera Movements

2018 is finally coming to an end and I just have one more blog to add before the snow arrives. I found this video from 1986 which shows a keen young photographers assistant venturing into using a large format camera system. This video is 32 years old!

Cambo Large Format

There is a lot to be said about the use of Scheimpflug, it won’t change, so what you will see in the video is the same technical movements when using a fully kitted Cambo Actus or Ultima.

Thanks Calumet (past and present) and to whoever saved and converted this VHS video to share via Youtube. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

For further advice about technical cameras and lens choice contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales.

Posted in Technical | Tagged , , ,

How to choose your Cambo Actus with the Configurator

How to choose your Cambo Actus with the Configurator

As many of our subscribed readers are aware Cambo manufacture camera systems that are renowned to be modular designed in design, enabling your investment to be upgraded as new digital systems become available.

The Actus has opened up many doors to photographers. Not only is there options to change the digital capture device, whether a digital back, DSLR or DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) but also to adapt a wider range of lenses.

To help you buy the correct components Cambo have a Configurator on the website. Here is the link https://www.cambo.com/en/configurator/

Simply select the Actus Mini Camera System (this will select the correct Cambo Actus version), select the Digital Camera body and the lens plate required.

Example;

If you select Fuji GFX, the camera is ACTUS-GFX. You will see a wide range of lens mounts and lenses from 24mm to 120mm from Cambo. The Medium format lens mounts will accept lenses that will create an image circle to cover the GFX and more importantly focus.

When selecting ACB-0 and ACB-1 you will need a lens that has an image circle to cover the sensor. Legacy lenses from Schneider and Rodenstock are quite common and many are available from your local Cambo stockist.

For further advice contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales.

Posted in ACTUS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CAMBO ACTUS WITH CANON EOS-R

CAMBO ACTUS WITH CANON EOS-R

Cambo as expected have extended camera compatibility for the ACTUS by introducing a new camera mount for the Canon EOS-R series.

Canon EOS R

Canon EOS-R

This is in addition to the recently announced mounts for Nikon and Leica-SL/Panasonic.

Now all new Mirrorless cameras are catered for and photographers can choose which solution they want to use, this makes the transition of adding a technical camera to your equipment list inexpensive.

For further advice contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales. You can also check out the Cambo website.

Posted in ACTUS, Technical | Tagged , , , ,

Ken Doo and his Cambo One-Lens-Wonder

Ken Doo and his Cambo One-Lens-Wonder

Ken Doo recently retired as a professional portrait photographer in Carmel, CA. During his eighteen-year career, he received numerous accolades of excellence for his artistry. Now, as an empty-nester, Ken plans on travelling to do more landscape photography with his Cambo WRS1600.  He continues to keep busy as a fine art printer for artists and photographers. See, www.carmelfineartprinting.com  Some of his landscape photography can be seen at www.houseoflandscapes.com

You probably noticed from my images that my favorite lens is the Rodenstock HR40 t/s.  I also have the Rodenstock HR70 t/s, the Schneider 120mm t/s, and a Canon 17mm TSE with Cambo WRE-CA adapter.  I use the HR40 probably 90+% of the time on my Cambo WRS1600. I just really enjoy the perspective and this lens is simply wonderful to use. Although I usually take an LCC shot for processing in Capture One Pro, it often is rarely needed with the HR40. I look forward to seeing even more improvements with Phase One’s new IQ4 150 MFDB with its Sony BSI sensor.  I call the combination of my Cambo and HR40 my One-Lens-Wonder.  I can easily take a photography landscape trip with this one lens and be content.

Cambo WRS1600 and WRS334

Cambo WRS1600

I use the Cambo WRS1600 because it allows me to enjoy photography in its purest form. Aside from the technical bells and whistles of the Phase One IQ3 100 MFDB, the Cambo camera’s simplicity belies its well-thought out design, engineering, and craftsmanship. It affords me full movements and the ability to rotate the MFDB without removing it from the camera. I mostly use rise and fall, sometimes a bit of shift and a touch of tilt.  With my One-Lens-Wonder, I am able to pack smaller and lighter than with other camera systems, yet enjoy the best that photography has to offer me.

wrs-1600GIF

Cambo WRS1600 showing rotation

 

Cambo wrs wre-ca

Cambo WRS-1600 and WRE-CA

 

Image Information

  1. Queens Bath, Kauai, Hawaii. Photographed with Cambo WRS 1600, Phase One IQ3 100, WRE-CA and Canon 17mm TSE
  2. House on Fire, Bluff, UT.  Photographed with Cambo WRS 1600, Phase One IQ3 100, WRE-CA and Canon 17mm TSE
  3. Lower South Falls, Oregon.  Photographed with the Cambo WRS 1250, Phase One IQ180, HR40 t/s
  4. Lower North Falls, Oregon.  Photographed with the Cambo WRS 1250, Phase One IQ180, HR40 t/s
  5. Middle North Falls, Oregon.  Photographed with the Cambo WRS 1250, Phase One IQ180, HR40 t/s
  6. Garrapata, Big Sur. Photographed with the Cambo WRS 1250, Phase One IQ180, HR40 t/s
  7. Bonzai Rock, Lake Tahoe.  Photographed with the Cambo WRS 1250, Phase One IQ180, HR40 t/s
  8. Carmel Sunset.  Photographed with the Cambo WRS 1600, Phase One IQ180, HR40 t/s
  9. Carmel Mission Door.  Photographed with the Cambo WRS 1250, Phase One IQ260 Achromatic, HR40 t/s

To see more of Ken Doo’s work; Ken Doo Photography

For further advice contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales. You can also check out the Cambo website.

Posted in Landscape, Wide RS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Small Is Beautiful

Small Is Beautiful

As digital camera backs reduced in size, camera systems have steadily followed adopting the formats and adapting to the wide range of manufacturers camera mounts.

In July 2014 I received the Cambo Actus camera platform and was very surprised to see how small it was, miniaturised, but when assembled with the bellows, lens and digital camera it was not only solid but smooth in operation. It was a pleasant surprise that such a small camera platform could produce such exquisite results.

To show you the difference in size here is a comparison with the Ultima 23.

Cambo Actus Size

In August 2018 we blogged “Trading wood for metal, a difficult decision” by Richard Childs, which details his changeover to digital and of course his decision to use the Cambo Actus.

Now Richard has travelled to Iceland we take a look into his kitbag. Yes, there is an Actus in the bag, but look how small it is. Small is Beautiful.

“This is literally all of my gear these days (bar an extra Benro tripod) and we’re all off to Iceland in just two days time. The A7r3 arrived this morning and I can’t wait to get it on the back of the Actus. The A7r2 will be my back up now but will probably sit with the 24mm ts lens permanently attached for speed of set up in faster changing light.” 

Cambo Actus Kit

The shot below captured by Richard is the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. “A crazy busy place these days but seriously good in today’s light.”

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon ©Richard Childs

To see more of Richards work click here or if you’re passing why not pop in to his gallery: Richard Childs Gallery Maws Craft Centre, Unit B1, Ferry Rd, Jackfield TF8 7LS

For further advice about the Actus and range of lens options contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales. You can also check out the Cambo website.

Posted in ACTUS, Landscape | Tagged , , , ,